But a common mistake make is to place an inordinate focus of the sales and fulfillment part of the overall process without giving enough attention to the underlying functions that support them.
If order fulfillment is crucial to your business, inventory management is crucial to your order fulfillment. Yet it’s surprising how many businesses neglect their inventory tracking and management.
If yours is one of them, you’re missing the opportunity to take advantage of many bottom-line-boosting benefits:
- Increase Warehouse Productivity – When you have more control and oversight of your inventory, orders are filled faster with less effort, inventory turnover times are increased and new efficiencies are easier to identify and implement.
- Reduce Out of Stocks – You can’t fulfill orders with product that you don’t have. Out-of-stocks are a major contributor to lost sales. Proper inventory management should virtually eliminate the problem.
- Reduce Inventory Loss – Barcode tracking of individual items in a box, both those coming in and those heading out, not only confirms what’s in the box, it also identifies what’s not in the box but should be.
- Optimize Warehouse Space – By allowing for optimizations to just-in-time delivery and warehouse space planning, inventory management can be the key to the extra warehouse space you’ve always wanted.
- Mitigate External Risks – While inventory management helps you reduce the inventory risks over which you have some control, there may be parts of your order fulfillment process over which you have little or no control, like transportation and delivery. With your inventory and fulfillment processes operating at peak efficiency, you reduce the external risks that negatively affect your business.
If business expansion has prevented you from implementing the inventory controls you would like to have, it might be time to consider a third-party fulfillment company. Not only will you get state-of-the-art inventory management, but you’ll enjoy state-of-the-art everything else you need for optimal order fulfillment.