4 Basic Inventory Issues & How to Fix Them

Loads of issues that take place in the warehouse revolve around inventory. As a warehouse owner, you might be able to relate to an utterly messed-up inventory. Your daily inventory count might be over or super short.

Here are some ways you can fix your inventory issues.

Inventory Issues on Receiving

When it comes to receiving inventory, you could be shorted by your vendor. However, your vendor might provide you with a different product or even the wrong product. Your warehouse employees could also miscount the product.

There are many different ways you can mess up during receiving – however, there is only one guaranteed way to eliminate potential inventory errors during the receiving process. The solution is that every single pallet and carton coming out of the container and entering your warehouse must be counted case to case.

Mostly, warehouse owners or managers make the mistake of taking an entire pallet containing multiple items and taking it to the inventory precisely as it came. So, it means that the warehouse managers take the word of their vendors as the bible as truth.

The bottom line is that the vendor is a human and hence can make mistakes, and they can potentially shorten the order and mess up the inventory. All of these yield an overage or a shortage in the inventory wherein the warehouse managers might have no idea where the inventory issues have come from.

So, it is recommended to take the products off the container – if it is a pallet, break down the pallet, re-palletize everything and count every single item.

Suppose there are any discrepancies between the purchase order and the receipt of goods. In that case, you must ensure that it is reported to your back office team, so they enter their receipt of goods directly into your accounting system and potentially alleviate the possibility of there being any mistakes.

Inventory Issues in Picking

More often than not, the pickers in the warehouse are hanging out, gossiping, and talking about politics and other matters, and they get so engrossed that they make a bunch of errors picking.

They might pick up too much product or too little product – they might also pick the wrong product, and before you know it, you might send out the wrong product to your customers and result in upset customers.

The potential errors in picking can also damage your relationship with your clients. Typically, the position of pickers in the warehouse is not so reliable because it is a high turnover position. There are certain things you can do to minimize the issues in picking.

For instance, you should put a checker to ensure that all pickers are dedicated to their work. The checker will ensure that everything that is picked gets cross-references and confirmed. This way, the checker is dedicated to double-checking everything that is picked.

The responsibility of the checker is to take the pick sheet and the load sheet – whatever the picker is utilizing to pick the items/ products and double-check everything before it gets palletized and goes on to the staging area and is loaded on a truck.

Believe it or not, the checker might be the most critical person in the entire warehouse.

Inventory Issues in Cycle Counts

So, a lot of people make potential mistakes when it comes to cycle counts. For instance, they might count the inventory wrong. If you are wondering how it happened, let me tell you that it happens in the absence of a warehouse management system (WMS).

An efficient warehouse management system can eliminate loads of warehouse issues, especially those linked to the inventory.

You have to count the entire warehouse when you are working on a piece of paper – so, if you count an item, you will have to count every single case of that item in the entire warehouse because if you don’t – here is a scenario of what can happen:

Let us say you are a cookie distributor, and you have ten cases of chocolate cookies in the entire warehouse. Now imagine that you have two packs of chocolate cookies residing below in the picking location, and you have eight above.

If you are counting up and down the bins counting, and you count the two below, but you forget to count the eight above, you will effectively eliminate the eight cookie packs from your inventory, which will create an adjustment of minus eight.

Resultantly, those eight cookie packs will sit in that bin location until it expires. And why did this happen? It happened because you relied on a piece of paper and didn’t count the entire warehouse inventory.

To eliminate potential issues, you invest in a good warehouse management system so you can quickly identify the location of products.

It all comes down to how you are handling and maneuvering the warehouse products, which is why it might be a good idea to set up an elevator conveyor inside the warehouse. The elevator conveyor will ensure that no product gets damaged in the transportation process.

Inventory Issues in Loading

Many distributors neglect the little process of loading pallets onto a truck. Many errors are caused because warehouse employees fail to load the items in the right truck, which causes a cascade of problems, including loss of sales.

Again, this is where the checker comes in. The responsibility of the checker is to ensure that all the pallets assigned to a truck are indeed on that truck and not any other truck.

Once the checker verifies, you can rest assured that the truck will deliver the correct order to the right customer. Meanwhile, you will also minimize the overages and shortages and those potential neglectful mistakes that are killing your relationships with your customers.

Final Thoughts

Now, you know the primary reasons your warehouse inventory gets wholly messed up throughout the warehouse operations – from receiving inventory to picking, counting, and loading the inventory. The bottom line is that even if you hire the right people and put the right personnel in place, you will still need technology and the right data entry software to eliminate all potential inventory issues and to ensure that everything runs smoothly inside out.

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