End-to-End: Storage and Distribution

As we continue with the End-to-End series we move on to storage and distribution. In this series, we will take you step by step through the supply chain. You will learn how inventory management software can help improve performance across the supply chain.

The series will have five posts covering manufacturing, storage, distribution, transportation, retail and reverse logistics practices. Having an inventory system that integrates across your supply chain can greatly improve performance and boost efficiency.

After the product is created in the manufacturing stage, it enters either the storage or distribution phase. This is when a product is sent to a storage facility or to a customer location. In this phase, implementing an inventory system plays a large role in improving your tracking capabilities. By using scanning technology with an inventory system you can create real-time information to track your inventory.

Receiving

With one scan you can generate product and quantity acknowledgment. As items are scanned leaving the warehouse or entering a storage location, inventory quantities are automatically updated in the system. The system uses the barcode scan to identify the item or order, inventory levels are then updated based on a number that is attached to the barcode or keyed in by the user.  You can also use the barcode to identify a put-away location to improve efficiency further.

Picking and Packing

Within many systems, you are able to view and print, pick and pack lists. Through customization, paperless picking, and packing is also possible. Lists can be uploaded to handheld scanning devices for easy and accurate processing. Many companies have seen a great reduction in picking and packing time when using digitized records and electronic devices.

Cycle Counting

With scanning capabilities, you can turn your cycle count process into a three step task. Simply scan the item, enter the quantity, and then verify any discrepancies. The system with update all inventory quantities in the system real-time. This helps you ensure your inventory information is always accurate and up-to-date.

Improve your storage and distribution operations by implementing an inventory system. Improve efficiency when receiving items, implement paperless picking and packing, and effectively complete cycle counts to ensure accurate inventory.

Now that we have covered manufacturing and storage and distribution, you can see how all phases of the supply chain are interconnected. As this series continues we will go over how implementing an inventory management system can help with transportation, retail, and reverse logistics.