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HomeIndustriesHash Manufacturing Automation8 Inventory Management Hacks for Manufacturers

8 Inventory Management Hacks for Manufacturers

Have you ever faced challenges in managing inventory effectively as a manufacturer in Singapore’s thriving industrial landscape? For many manufacturers, the complexities of inventory control often pose significant hurdles, impacting production efficiency, costs, and overall business performance.

Recent studies reveal that efficient inventory management remains a pressing concern, with a substantial percentage of manufacturing businesses encountering issues related to overstocking, stockouts, or inaccurate inventory records.

In a competitive market like Singapore, where efficient resource allocation is vital for sustained growth, the need for streamlined inventory management practices becomes paramount.

This article delves into proven inventory management hacks tailored for manufacturers in Singapore, offering actionable insights and strategies to address the intricacies of inventory control effectively

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1. Set up Minimum Inventory levels

Make inventory management easier by setting up “par levels” or the minimum amount of inventory necessary to be on hand at all times. When certain items reach or approach predetermined minimum levels, you know it’s time to reorder.

Ideally, you will order items in a sufficient amount to exceed the minimum levels. The minimum inventory levels will vary by product, depending on how quickly the product sells and how long it takes to get the product.

The best way to maintain inventory levels is to take advantage of inventory management software like those designed for specific industries, including inventory management for salon and spa. These specialized software systems not only ensure optimal stock levels but tailor their functionalities to manage unique inventory needs of salons and spas – like managing different beauty products, tracking their usage, expiry, and restocking needs.

2. Conduct Demand Forecasting

To find out the amount of inventory that should be on hand at all times, and avoid unnecessary procurement, overstock, and stockouts, you need to forecast the demand for your products.

Manufacturers can conduct demand forecasting in several ways by involving internal and external factors such as:

  • Market trends
  • Sales data for the previous year
  • This year’s growth rate
  • Overall economic conditions
  • Upcoming promotions
  • Expenditures for planned advertisements

When you use historical sales data, it is important to make sure that the data generated is complete and accurate, so there are no mistakes while performing forecasting. A sophisticated inventory management system has a forecasting feature that allows you to generate forecasts that help you make the right decision for future purchases.

This forecasting capability not only assists in predicting demand but also aids in optimizing inventory levels efficiently. Curious to explore such advanced features and its pricing? Click the banner below to delve into HashMicro inventory management system’s pricing schemes and unlock the potential for better-informed inventory management decisions!

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3. Use FIFO Method

First-in, first-out (FIFO) is a critical principle of inventory management. It means that your oldest stock (first-in) must be sold first (first-out), instead of your latest stock. This is especially important for easily damaged goods so you will not end up with unsaleable items.

The FIFO principle can also be implemented on non-perishable products. If the same items are always put at the back, they tend to get obsolete faster. You certainly don’t want to sell something outdated or not worth selling.

To apply the FIFO principle, you need a well-organized warehouse by adding new products from the back or making sure your old products stay at the front.

4. Audit & Conduct Regular Inventory Inspections

Reviewing and conducting regular inventory audits is the best way to find potential problems before they occur. Ideally, manufacturers audit and do regular inventory inspections every month to cover their entire base.

The easiest way to validate your data is to rely on inventory management software and generate reports to find out how many products you have. However, it is important to ensure that the quantities recorded by the system match the physical count of goods on hand.

inventory management
Source: freepik.com

There are several inventory audit methods you can use:

Physical Inventory

Physical inventory means counting all your inventory at once. Many businesses do this at the end of the year because they are related to accounting and filing income tax.

Physical inventory can be very disruptive to business processes even though m
anufacturers do it is usually once a year. It is considered to be less efficient compared to other methods. If you find a discrepancy, it may be difficult to identify the issue, since you have to look back at an entire year.

Spot Checking

If you do a full physical inventory at the end of the year and you often experience problems, or you have too many products, you might want to start spot-checking throughout the year. This means choosing a product, calculating it, and comparing the number calculated to what it’s supposed to be. This does not need to be done on a schedule and is supplemental to physical inventory.

Cycle Counting

Instead of doing a complete physical inventory, some businesses perform cycle counting to audit their inventory. Rather than doing a full count at the end of the year, you can conduct cycle counting to reconcile the number of products listed on the system and the actual number of products throughout the year.

Manufacturers can conduct cycle counting whenever needed; every day, week, or month. Different products are checked in turns according to the specified schedule. There are various methods of determining the number of times a product has to be counted, however, higher-value products are usually counted more frequently.

5. Use ABC Analysis

Some products need more attention than others. Use ABC analysis to prioritize your inventory management. Separate products that require a lot of attention from those that don’t. Do this by reviewing your product list and adding each product to one of the following three categories:

A – high-value products with low sales frequency
B – moderate value products with moderate sales frequency
C – low-value products with high sales frequency

Products in category A need more attention because the financial impact is significant, but the sales are unpredictable. Meanwhile, products in category C require less supervision because they have a smaller financial impact and they are constantly turning over. Products in category B fall somewhere in between.

6. Manage Good Relationships with Suppliers

Establishing good relationships with suppliers is a great way to keep your inventory under control. This way, your suppliers will be more willing to work with you to solve any problems related to your inventory management.

Having good relationships with your suppliers will be very helpful. Manufacturers can negotiate minimum order quantities. Don’t be afraid to ask for a lower minimum so you don’t have to keep as much inventory. Managing relationships with suppliers is possible by adopting a supply chain management system.

A good relationship is not just about being friendly. It’s also about good communication. Let your suppliers know when you’re expecting an increase in sales so they can adjust the supplies to your production planning. Ask them to tell you when there are certain products that they cannot deliver quickly so that you can delay the production and promotion time for the product.

7. Supplier Collaboration and Relationship Management

Establishing robust collaboration and nurturing relationships with suppliers is pivotal in the realm of inventory management for manufacturers.

By forging strong ties with trusted suppliers, manufacturers can optimize their inventory processes extensively. A key advantage of this collaboration is the ability to enhance lead times and ensure timely deliveries.

This cooperative relationship allows for streamlined communication, enabling manufacturers to share crucial information such as sales data, demand forecasts, and production schedules with suppliers.

This exchange of data fosters better inventory planning and enables suppliers to align their production and delivery schedules accordingly. Consequently, manufacturers can reduce the likelihood of stockouts or excess inventory, ensuring a more efficient inventory management system overall.

Moreover, negotiating favorable terms with suppliers, such as flexible delivery schedules or pricing arrangements, can contribute to cost savings and improved operational efficiency for manufacturers in Singapore.

8. Implement RFID Technology for Inventory Tracking

mplementing Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology presents a transformative approach to inventory management, especially in manufacturing.

RFID tags serve as digital identifiers, storing unique information about individual products, components, or raw materials. These tags use radio waves to transmit data wirelessly to RFID readers or antennas placed strategically throughout the production line, warehouse, or storage areas.

This technology enables manufacturers to seamlessly track inventory movements in real-time as items traverse various production stages or storage locations. Unlike traditional barcode systems, RFID doesn’t require line-of-sight scanning and allows for bulk scanning of items, significantly reducing the time spent on inventory checks and manual data entry.

Moreover, RFID enhances accuracy by mitigating human errors, ensuring precise inventory counts and reducing the likelihood of stock discrepancies or misplaced items. The instantaneous and accurate visibility into inventory levels empowers manufacturers to make informed decisions promptly, facilitating optimized resource allocation, streamlined production schedules, and improved order fulfillment.

By leveraging RFID technology, manufacturers in Singapore can streamline their operations, minimize inventory holding costs, and foster a more agile and efficient manufacturing ecosystem.

Conclusion

Finally, in order to track your products that are in supply, you can use The Number #1 Inventory Management System from HashMicro. This software allows you to track your product journey from one warehouse or outlet to another. Increase your accuracy in tracking products, and reduce the chance of delaying production.

This is the greatest hack you can implement easily. But you need to know the pricing scheme calculation of HashMicro’s inventory system before you implement it. With this, you can gain information about the costs you need to prepare. These hacks need to be implemented to optimize your inventory management. Get free demo!

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FAQ About Inventory Management Hacks

  • What are some effective inventory management hacks for reducing excess stock? Implement strategies like ABC analysis to categorize inventory, optimize reorder points using historical data, and establish a just-in-time (JIT) inventory system. Utilize cycle counting to regularly audit stock levels and minimize excess inventory.
  • How can I improve inventory accuracy without investing in expensive technology? Employ simple but effective methods like regular cycle counts, standardizing labeling and barcoding, and ensuring a structured layout for your warehouse or storage space. Train staff on accurate data entry and inventory tracking practices.
  • What are efficient ways to streamline order fulfillment and improve order accuracy? Integrate an order management system with real-time inventory tracking to ensure accurate stock availability. Optimize picking routes, use batch picking for similar items, and employ packing stations to streamline the fulfillment process.
  • What inventory management hacks can help optimize storage space utilization?x Implement space-saving techniques such as vertical storage, standardizing container sizes, utilizing bin locations, and employing FIFO/LIFO methods to ensure older stock moves first, preventing obsolescence.
  • How can I prevent stockouts and overstock situations using inventory management hacks? Leverage demand forecasting techniques to anticipate future needs accurately. Utilize buffer stock strategies to manage unexpected demand spikes and maintain safety stock levels without risking overstocking.

Interest in getting savvy tips for improving your business efficiency?

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HashMicro is a software development and enterprise resource planning (ERP) company. Consequently, we often provide articles about ERP and other systems that all businesses need.
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