Thursday, June 1, 2017

Why track product locations?

Why track product locations?

Knowing your product locations pays big dividends for most companies shipping perishable goods. After all, with perishable goods product rotation is key to managing quality and minimizing waste or donation due to product aging.  There are other benefits of knowing you product locations that impact the rest of the organization:
  1. Sales- Your sales team needs to know what is in stock and available to sell.  In food products retail and food service companies orders are often restocking stores or restaurants. When you short ship they can't fulfill their orders, which means their stores or restaurants may run out of product. This creates unhappy customers who have alternate options. At a minimum short ships damage the goodwill of your customers; repeated occurrences will often cost you their business.
  2. Finance- When your staff can’t find the ordered products they may need to substitute another product.  If the customer has not pre-authorized the substitution, you could be facing product rejections or chargebacks. In addition to issuing credits, your people are spending time/money on resolving the issues.

 How you track product locations will vary by the size of your facility and nature of your business. For instance if you pack and ship everything you receive each day, your bulk product is probably all in one or two rooms and your packed product has shipped or is staged for shipment the next day so product locations are easy to see. As the size of the facility and amount of product you store grows, so goes the level of the systems needed to keep track of your inventory and locations. All systems are as good as their last update, having a fast electronic way to record inventory updates is ideal.
That is not to say a manual system can’t work, it just means the level of effort to maintain accurate inventory is high. I once visited a table grape facility a few years ago that had inventory workers stationed in the hallway and when one or more pallets or grapes were brought into or removed from the room the worker grabbed the clipboard hanging outside the door and wrote down the pallet number and quantity stored or removed.  
At the end of the day someone would key this into their inventory system.  The customer did have accurate inventory at least once per day, but the amount of time spent managing the system was higher than the value derived.

By moving to an electronic inventory system that updates inventory in real-time, you position your company for higher accuracy, less donation or waste, and ultimately higher customer satisfaction.  What does system that look like? It starts by having inventory software that can be updated in real-time, providing access to that system to those whose jobs are affected:
  • Sales needs to know what can be sold and shipped today
  • Operations needs to know where product is for fulfillment
  • Quality needs to know the again history to ensure the product matches the customers’ expectations
How can you achieve this type of solution? RedLine Solutions have several different solutions that can enable product location and real-time stock accuracy. Why not look at RedLine Cooler system or

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