Every manufacturer and distributor will agree that without proper inventory control, the costs of operation will rise exponentially. Inventory management can prove to be tedious if employees still resort to pen and paper in an environment where automation is taking over.
Businesses that fail to respond to the technological advancements are at risk of getting swept under the rug.
Organizations with robust inventory control systems maybe light years ahead of their competitors in terms of processing orders, warehousing, and storage space management. Moreover, it can prove difficult to track customer sales by relying on manual processes. This leads to poor customer service and makes it easy for the rival businesses to capture a greater market share.
An ERP solution can create a level playing field for smaller players in the industry. Here are four ways how manufacturers and distributors could manage their business.
1) Workflow Alerts
Any abrupt changes in the inventory levels can disrupt the supplier, manufacturer, customer, and distributor estimations.
This is where workflow alerts prove to be especially useful by sending timely emails, push notifications, or texts as an immediate response to sudden changes made to the inventory. This was an issue in the past where late merchandise, delayed purchase orders, and back orders were not discovered until someone manually went through inventory control and stock reports.
By receiving timely alerts in real-time, employees can keep track of the changes made to the inventory levels and increase customer service.
2) Inventory Forecasting
Inventory forecasting plays an important role in budgeting for any business. The ERP software will give employees access to tools that make intelligent use of past sales data and accurately predict performance in the future. This is possible by making use of formulas, data algorithms, and sales patterns to track trends with reasonable accuracy.
At the same time, forecasting tools also allow users to manually make changes to data such as adding new products or customers.
3) Planning of Required Materials
Keeping material levels at sufficient levels is a time-consuming and error-prone task that can be automated by the help of ERP systems. This will optimize workflow by ensuring that the required materials are made available to speed up production processes. ERP platforms can also track sales orders, purchase orders, inventory levels, production orders, and sales forecasts.
This data makes it possible for manufacturers to track material requirements for both short and long terms as part of more efficient and cost-effective planning.
4) Tracking Cargo and Landed Costs
There are many challenges involved when importing products from overseas, such as difficulty in accurately tracking delivery times across different time zones and pinpointing the exact position of particular goods in the transfer process. Other complications buyers face when importing goods include duty, inspection, insurance costs, and freight when placing an order.
This is where an ERP system’s cargo tracking tools prove to be particularly useful. By collecting all imports on to a single database, it is possible to not only track departure times, but to also locate the exact position of the goods along with an accurate ETA.
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