When most people think of analytics, they think of marketing. However, the field of inventory analytics is a growing industry—providing unmatched advantages to the businesses that utilize this new and innovative technology.
For example, companies can use detailed reports generated by Fishbowl's inventory management software to explore specific avenues of their operations. Manufacturers can check the Available to Build report to see how many finished goods they could produce given their current number of raw materials. Retailers can look at the Historical Part Cost report to see what a certain item has cost them to obtain in the past using FIFO, LIFO, average, or standard costing methods. Wholesalers will find the Sales Order Summary report particularly useful in spotting trends over time and checking the status of orders that are either open, in process, or fulfilled.
While it may require an investment in new hardware and the implementation of new software, the benefits far outweigh the costs.
Reduce Your Dependency on Storage Space
If you look at any warehouse, you'll see rows upon rows of products and raw materials, but you'll also see large amounts of space dedicated to replacement parts for machines used in the production facility. This is done to ensure repairs can be completed efficiently, so unexpected downtime can be eliminated.
Now, keeping multiple items of each machine part is no longer necessary. The system can identify a part that needs to be reordered—freeing up space and reducing dependency on a separate inventory of spare parts.
Have an Effective Alert Strategy
Similarly, utilizing inventory analytics can help ensure that you never run out of raw materials. Especially in food production, keeping a variety of supplies on hand is essential to maintaining a steady and efficient production schedule.
An analytics program that identifies what you have on hand and what has been used helps you stay on top of this concern. As a specific ingredient or product gets low, an inventory analytics program can be set to send a notification to a workstation or mobile device. This ensures a new supply of that particular item is ordered before it's needed.
Eliminate an Excess of Inventory
This is particularly helpful where a company's products have expiration dates. Keeping too much on hand means running the risk of the product spoiling before it can be shipped. An analytics program can help maintain a steady flow of product so you're only manufacturing enough to keep up with demand. This means older product can be shipped out sooner, and you'll be able to maximize your company's return on investment.
Optimized Warehouse Locations
Additionally, a system incorporated into the product movement vehicles, such as forklifts with on-board computers, can ensure the same products are kept together. This makes it easier to keep an accurate inventory record and helps employees find products faster. This means shipments can be loaded faster and more efficiently.
These are just a few of the ways that an inventory analytics system can benefit businesses. Overall, a quality system will be easy to learn, and it will efficiently manage inventory levels, so you're never caught with something out of stock. Whether it's maintenance parts, raw materials for the production department, or finished products for customers, you can now have everything you need on hand.
Ready to see what inventory management software can do for your business? Contact us today to download a free trial of Fishbowl.
Inventory Analytics Best Practices | IBM
Infrastructure Monitoring and Alerts | AppOpptics
Leveraging Analytics | Manufacturing Business Technology