Using Mobile Devices to Improve Inventory ManagementBrett Wilkerson
Whether you’re tracking parts as they make their way to the assembly line, managing the flow of products through a retail back room, or monitoring the usage of essential supplies in a hospital, your operation’s efficiency is determined largely by your ability to ensure that everything your workflows need is in the right place at the right time. In fact, effective inventory management is essential for any business that moves materials through a supply chain or distributes and tracks products across locations.
Over the past decade, the challenge of monitoring, tracking, and managing inventory has received a tremendous boost with the application of mobile solutions. Today’s decision-makers have learned that equipping workers with mobile technology gives them access to inventory information that is light years ahead of legacy manual systems, providing information that’s more accurate and more complete with less effort. And that sets the table for improved decision-making that leads straight to better profitability.
At MSM Solutions, we’re working with a variety of businesses to implement mobility solutions that improve inventory management systems. Our experience has shown us that solutions based on Zebra’s handheld mobile computers can optimize inventory management workflows for just about any business. Here’s a brief look at some of the benefits our customers see.
Equipping your workers with mobile computers can accelerate all of your inventory management processes, with systems that update data automatically to eliminate inefficient physical counts and reduce the frequency of cycle counts. This information will help you spot trends and potential problems more easily, allowing you to adjust inventory or shift operations before problems arise.
More Accuracy and More Detail
By using mobile computers throughout your operations, you’ll have the ability to capture and verify inventory information at multiple locations as assets move through your operations. This will give you a granular level of detail and improve the accuracy of your inventory data; you’ll know exactly how much inventory you have, and you’ll have more detail about the location of inventory.
Using mobility tools that distribute inventory data collection across your workflows will reduce your inventory-related labor costs. In fact, every business that we’ve helped integrate mobile computers into an inventory management system has been able to greatly reduce the need for physical counts, and some have been able to eliminate physical counts altogether. Either way, the bottom-line impact is significant.
Better Visibility for Better Planning
An inventory management system that integrates mobile computers will deliver real-time updates as materials, supplies, and products move through each area of your operation. This puts timely information right at your fingertips; instead of waiting for the next cycle count, you’ll automatically get the latest information. Often, this simple step is all that’s needed to improve inventory-related decision making, allowing retailers to see trends faster, manufacturers to detect material shortages before they become a problem, and hospital managers to reorder supplies more efficiently.
Hopefully, this gives you a sense of the top-level benefits you can expect when you put mobile computers to work in your inventory management systems. Contact MSM Solutions to learn more about the specific advantages you’ll see in your business.