An effective inventory control, or otherwise known as stock control, is an integral part of any packaging or manufacturing operation. The prime purpose of an inventory control system is to track huge quantities of merchandise being stored in the warehouse.
In stretch film packaging, unitizing products facilitates inventory control given that large unitized loads, as opposed to small loads can be categorized, counted, and managed with ease. Stretch films are designed to counter specific packaging requirements that more general-purpose packaging solutions cannot provide including warehouse color-coding and dating inventory.
Types of Warehouse Inventories
Warehouse inventory control systems are vital for monitoring products throughout the entire storage and distribution process. These systems range from simple computer automated systems to sophisticated systems that facilitate order picking, shipping logistics and manage inventory management. In order to understand how an inventory system works, it is vital first to understand the different types of inventories.
Raw materials are items that come in from your suppliers for the production of components, subassemblies or finished products. Some items may be partially assembled, but the supplier or the distributor considers it as a finished good. Such items include labels, shippers, adhesives etc. needed in the packaging operation.
Work in Progress
This kind of inventory is comprised of products including materials, components assemblies and subassemblies waiting or currently being processed within the system.
These inventory goods can be controlled in your warehouse or by the distributor. They are shippable inventories, mostly ready for delivery to wholesalers, retailers, or consumers.
While managing distribution inventory can be deemed as hard, service inventory is tougher. Vital to business, service inventory needs to be expertly managed. Some global mandates such as global regulations and recycling mandates need to be managed effectively or else you might end up in jail.
Transit inventories arise from the need to transport goods from one point to another. Also referred to as pipeline inventory, transportation inventory accounts for somewhere between 5% and 20% of a company’s revenue. It's often overlooked because it does not sit in the warehouse but happens to be sitting in a ship, plane, truck, or train.
Setting Up an Inventory System
Effective inventory control allows you to have the exact quantity of stock in the right place at the right time while simultaneously helping you maximize the value of your stock by keeping costs under control.
- Implement regulations that limit the number of people who can access the inventory, and keep a record of who has access to secure areas at different times.
- Organize location names and location labels to prevent confusion and disorganization.
- Enter item numbers and units of measure such as “lbs” into the systems database. Item numbers help in uniquely identifying an item and prevent typing lengthy descriptions that can be hundreds of characters. In the case of discrepancies this factors can come in handy.
- Use a software system that makes it easier for you to track all the inventory activity.
- Load data into your new inventory system. This will help you get a good count of your stock levels.
- Implement strategies that will help to ensure that all your paperwork including receipts and inventory counts are processed timely and quickly for maximum accuracy.
While the benefits of keeping an inventory system are endless, how the items are packaged in the warehouse is of paramount importance. Paragon Films will help you identify the perfect packaging solution for you. Contact us today for more information on stretch film packaging.