Inventory Management: Move It Or Lose It! Features You Should Look For In Any ERP System To Manage Your Inventory Investment.

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When it comes to inventory management, you are either effectively moving your products or you’re losing money. It is that simple!

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How are you determining which products to stock and at which location?
  • Are you keeping accurate track of on-hand inventory quantities?
  • Do you have accurate and effective inventory forecasting processes?
  • Are you organizing your warehouse by product line or by product demand?
  • Is your technology managing this process effectively or are you just managing to get by?

The successful management of your inventory is often times a challenge. But, as your inventory  is most likely the largest monetary investment your company will make, it is important to keep your  products moving in as efficiently as possible.

Getting a firm grasp of your inventory and managing your investment requires you to put your virtual arms around it. Using an ERP system that has the tools you need to manage your inventory will provide a solid return on your investment.

There are a few must-have functions you should look for in any ERP system you consider for managing your inventory investment:

Bin Locations
This provides the ability to place your inventory in specific locations in the warehouse for use in picking routines, restocking, and inventory counting.

Replenishment Control
Your buying strategy must insure enough of an item is on hand, but without being overstocked.  A replenishment control system will provide you the ability to calculate the optimum quantity to have on hand, including safety stock, on an item by item basis.  It will then provide you information on when to order and from whom.

Cycle Inventory
Counting Physical inventories often requires every able-bodied employee, including the receptionist, to show up bleary-eyed early in the morning and to count every piece of inventory in the warehouse.  The result is not an extremely accurate, or time efficient, valuation of what’s on hand. Cycle inventory counting provides the ability to count parts of the inventory every day, with the fastest moving items being counted more frequently that those items that haven’t sold since 1985.

It’s in the system somewhere; you should be able to get it out. You need flexibility to slice and dice your inventory and selling patterns so you can make intelligent business decisions. Sometimes you need it graphically, sometimes in text. It might be easiest if it was automatically emailed to you, or available online. You should look for an ERP system that provides a variety of reporting opportunities as well as a database that doesn’t restrict you to a proprietary report writer.

Depending on a company’s needs and complexity, there are many other elements of an ERP system and inventory management software to consider. The bottom line is to find a system that provides you with the ability to satisfy your customers while managing your inventory sensibly.

By Sikich – Microsoft Dynamics Partner for AX, GP & NAV, Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Microsoft Inner Circle member serving St. Louis, MO and the Midwest

Chicago Microsoft Dynamics Partner for AX, GP & NAV


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