How to Win at Inventory Management

Inventory managers in consumer packaged goods have their work cut out for them. From rapidly evolving customer demand to supply chain problems to economic instability, inventory management has never been more challenging. And if your organization is stuck in the manual ways of old operations, you’re feeling the burn even more. That’s why many competitive organizations are turning to technology to help them modernize inventory management and scale for the future. 

How do you know if upgrading your technology is the right move? See if any of these aspects characterize your business: 

  • You’re still doing manual data entry 

  • You perform manual inventory counts without scanners 

  • Your ability to rebalance inventory across your network is limited 

  • You’re running out of warehouse space 

Operating in any of those ways can slow down your growth and create bottlenecks and inefficiencies. Even if your inventory turns are high and you’re selling quickly to accommodate customer needs, you’ll still have a problem scaling your goods at this rate of demand over time with manual methods. Only the right software solution will ensure your organization can meet today’s—and tomorrow’s—demand.   

 

Western Computer + Microsoft = Successful Inventory Management 
Western Computer sells and supports the most advanced Microsoft Dynamics 365 enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions to give you the following inventory management capabilities: 

  • Real-time visibility into all available and committed inventory 

  • Slotting 

  • Predictive re-ordering 

  • Barcode integration 

  • Demand planning/forecasting 

  • RFID 

  • Advanced container tracking 

  • RMA management 

Let’s dive into a few of these tools and how they benefit your business. 

 

Real-Time Visibility into Inventory 
Let’s say you want to see how fast your items are turning. Western Computer’s Inventory Management Power BI dashboard provides various views to see real-time information on cost of goods sold and inventory turn. You can view general turns per item and drill down on certain analytics, get reports, and see further details. With the ability to view goods through filters, you can get granular data on turning items or choose a macro view. You can also compare highest-earning items, and much more. To view in-depth steps on how Power BI gives you real-time visibility into your inventory, check out this video

 

Barcode Integration 
Barcoding your business in Dynamics 365 Business Central is a key requirement for scaling. Barcoding helps you eliminate a significant amount of manual labor and gives you the ability to go paperless. For example, you can implement barcoding in pack and ship models, which use USB scanners connected to your computers. These models are a low-cost of entry way to automate shipping by scanning barcoded item numbers they are packed into boxes. Having packing stations and scanning through your shipments greatly speeds up your workflows. Learn more about how barcoding supports inventory management in this video

 

Advanced Container Tracking 
Western Computer offers 365ContainerImport—an app for Dynamics 365 Business Central that makes it easy to consolidate, track, and manage your inventory, purchase orders, and containers in real time. From embarking point to final destination, the solution gives you all the information and functionality you need to track imported goods, eliminate errors, and ultimately reduce costs on this arm of your inventory management. Using 365ContainerImport, you’ll have visibility over your goods’ entire transit process, and you’ll more easily be able to manage every aspect of container imports—all in one place. 

 

Why Western Computer? 
Our experts have been helping inventory managers transform operations to modernize, scale, and grow for decades. We have expertise across Microsoft solutions and offer custom technology tools for inventory managers—no matter how complex your distribution needs. Whether you want to better forecast demand, gain greater insight into your shipments, or introduce automation to save time and money, we’re your partner. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help. 

 

About the Author

Greg Williams

As Western Computer's VP of Strategy, Greg Williams is responsible for aligning the company's product and service offerings with customers.

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