Various goods and commodities are constantly moving between manufacturing plants, warehouses and distributors. These products pass through many hands before being placed on shelves or in shipments to fulfill customers’ orders. Yet it only takes one inaccurate inventory number to set these complex operations back. Workers scramble to locate missing items while sales reps deal with angry customers who want to know when their cargo will arrive.
Streamlining inventory management and ensuring balanced inventory scales could help businesses avoid inaccurate counts and misplaced products, thus improving fulfillment, customer satisfaction and, ultimately, the bottom line.
The Importance of Inventory Scales
Inventory accuracy is a balancing act. You want enough products on hand to manage spikes in sales without carrying too much that could lead to a waste in resources. To accomplish this harmony, you must understand numerous factors about the merchandise that are stored. The size and weight of the goods dictates their placement in the warehouse or distribution center, how many you can store at a certain location, and how much packaging material you need in order to transport them.
Accurate inventory measurements help determine whether the product must be placed on the floor or on racking systems. The dimensions also allow workers to understand the number of products that can be placed on the shelves in order to keep picking zones organized. Sales, marketing and accounting departments also use these numbers to promote specific deals, understand how much is available in inventory, and accurately price the products to bring in profits.
Inventory scales are tools that can measure products and pallets when moving through inbound and outbound processes. These scales provide the measurements that will be placed into warehouse management software to be later accessed by workers who manage the inventory.
A Balanced Inventory Scale
These inventory scales experience daily wear from the number of products that must be measured. In time, the scale may lose its adjusted calibration, which could lead to inaccurate measurements recorded by the weighing application. Other issues that can impact the inventory scale include uneven flooring or surface vibrations. An unbalanced scale could lead to failed or imprecise results. Worse, a malfunctioning system might provide different readings for the same product.
You or your workers may not realize that the readings are off until it is too late. That is why repairing and recalibrating an inventory scale are essential steps to ensure smooth processes. You can also take it a step further and invest in automated reporting software and real-time tools. These instruments help provide a greater visibility into the collected data from inventory scales. They make it easier to spot anomalies in the measurement weights, which could help identify potential issues with a product or your system.
There are many tasks being performed in your distribution center or warehouse: Workers are constantly receiving products, fulfilling orders and updating inventory software with accurate numbers. Don’t wait until a problem occurs. Make sure inventory weight measurements are accurate by maintaining, repairing and recalibrating your inventory scale on a periodic basis.
Author bio: Beau Christian is Director of Marketing at WSI, a leading 3pl solutions provider that specializes in fulfillment, chemical warehousing, transloading, transportation and more. Having the 17th-largest 3PL network in the United States, spanning more than 15 million square feet, WSI delivers tailored end-to-end supply chain solutions to customers who seek to increase efficiency, shorten lead times, deliver more reliable performance and minimize costs.