Proper stock control plays a critical part in the success of any business, but requires balance. Understock and you risk satisfying customer demand. Overstock and you have excess stock, resulting in insufficient liquidity.
When business owners fail to properly manage stock, the bottom line is damaged as it becomes increasingly difficult to fulfil orders and make money.
At Clarity Software, we understand the complexities that go into stock management - especially in the signage and print industry.
With thousands of different materials to manage, and several bespoke orders to stay on top of, efficient stock management may feel like something that belongs in a fantasy. But unlike unicorns and dragons, we know efficient stock control methodologies actually exist, so we thought we’d offer some tips and tricks.
Get clarity on demand
In order to take control of stock, you need to understand exactly what you’ve got on the shopfloor and warehouse, and exactly what you need to fulfil any future orders. Proper forecasting should always factor in:
Demand patterns and lifecycle
Every single item in your warehouse will be required for a specific stage in the manufacturing process, and this life cycle stage impacts the material’s demand pattern, which must be considered when it comes to forecasting.
You may have some products that are impacted by seasonality, so it’s important to not only understand this, but keep any seasonal demand figures separate from your basic forecasting. This will ensure data isn’t skewed, which will help with forecasting in the future.
When forecasting, you should look back at your data for any trends that may have influenced sales. From social and economic trends to legal factors and fashion trends, this should all be considered.
Marketing, sales and promotions should all be factored, along with any competitor information and marketing events.
With Clarity Software’s MRP & Nesting module, understanding stock visibility becomes second nature, as you have complete transparency on what you have in and out of stock, along with all the jobs you have in the pipeline.
Undertake regular stock reviews
Stock reviews play a vital role in the success of any business, as you can understand what stock you need and what’s in place. In most instances it is best to work on a minimum stock level basis and order more materials when stock is at the lowest level.
Get real time inventory management
Staying on top of stock levels and keeping a lean stock count is easy with real-time inventory management. Clarity Software’s Stock Control & Goods Handling module provides warehouse visibility, and accurate picking lists so that you never end up with stock sitting around or wasted, or run out of essential stock thanks to minimum stock ordering and monitoring.
Introduce batch control
Clarity Software’s Stock Control & Goods Handling module helps work towards batch control, as it combines multiple signed-off jobs into one picking order. This helps you save time, improve staff efficiency and process jobs into production more quickly. No more unnecessary trips around the warehouse.
When you can effectively track your sales and new business pipeline, stock and workforce capacity in real time, you can better forecast demand and plan for the future.
With Clarity Software’s Sales and Tracking Management Software, you can effectively manage the sales process from initial enquiry to delivered product, and by combining this with your stock management you can maximise your sales and opportunities as you know exactly what materials you have, making planning easy.
If you can’t get on top of stock control management, then get in touch with Clarity Software. Designed to help you work smarter, not harder, Clarity Pro and Clarity Go makes production workflows effortless and strengthens your new business pipeline. Our business management software makes a difference from day one. Request a demo.