An Overview of Inventory Management


When we talk about inventory management, we are not just talking about finished products. It is also the stock of raw materials or semi-finished products. Inventory management is planning and implementing a method to maximize profitability. Good inventory management is about having the right quantity at the right time. If the stock is not large enough, we speak of out of stock, which is bad for production which risks being interrupted. An excess of stock, on the other hand, is expensive without forgetting that there is a risk of depreciation of the stock. Good inventory management therefore consists in finding this balance which will allow maximizing profit while minimizing costs. Forecasting and planning are effective tools in the service of inventory management.


How To Find This Balance of Optimal Stock


Good inventory management system should allow the company to have the necessary resources to produce and the finished products available to fulfill all of its orders. It should also minimize storage costs. Indeed, the stock is very expensive! Between the cost of acquisition, the cost of storage (rental of premises, storage costs, etc.) and the cost of devaluation, it is clear that the company has no interest in storing a surplus in its premises.


“Just In Time” For Better Stock Management


There are several methods for optimizing inventory management. Among the methods that guarantee a reduction in costs is the just-in-time method. This method consists of eliminating all the hazards that could cause waste throughout the operating process. This regulation of the stock allows the company to gain competitiveness since it reviews all the causes of inefficiency and offers a response to demand just at the moment. In other words, it is a question of producing only the quantity. which will be sold and the company therefore goes through the elimination of what is called “zero stock.


Digitization At The Heart Of Warehouse Performance


While the subject of digitization is not new, some warehouses have been equipped with WMS since the end of the 1980s, the new opportunities offered to logistics by the acceleration of computer computing times and the generalization of digital uses in the company are numerous. Companies can thus more easily adapt their organization to changes in the market and to the expectations of their customers.


The Smart Warehouse


First, an intelligent warehouse must be able to adjust its operation in real time to the type of orders to be processed. It must in particular optimize fluctuating flows from one day to another or even within a day. Fixed configurations should therefore be banned. This is all the more true when the company has limited visibility on the development of its activity in the medium term. It is then a question of ensuring not to design a production tool that compromises its development for lack of sufficient flexibility.


Warehouse Of The Future: What Will It Look Like?


As new needs appear regularly, warehouses must perpetually reinvent themselves. How can they therefore evolve to fulfill orders that have become urgent and unitary leading to increasingly limited opportunities for massification? Are we moving towards total mechanization? What will be the place of humans there? What can new technologies offer? These are all themes that we were able to discuss with the contributors to this case.

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Author: Peter Navarro


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