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3 May 2021 Posted by: admin Inventory Warehousing

Stock Accuracy Matters

Why you can’t find your stock and when you do, some of it is missing

You don’t know where your stock is.

There is nothing more frustrating than knowing you purchased something and being unable to find it. Or eventually finding it but some of it is missing. Apart from the time you just lost, you just disappointed a customer, it takes a week, a month or more to get more stock and your customers may cancel their orders before you can ship.

Or maybe you printed a few hundred orders to ship today and by lunch time fifty of them can’t be shipped due to missing items. You get one of your warehouse staff to spend the rest of the day searching the warehouse to find the missing stock, they find a few items but at the end of the day you stick another stack of unshippable orders on the pile and you just didn’t ship enough orders today. 

Why you don’t know where your stock is

There are two simple reasons stock is lost in a warehouse:

  • The movements of stock into, around and out of the warehouse are not recorded accurately in the business system.
  • There is no stock location tracking system, or the system used is inadequate.

When you receive a delivery, your staff need to identify the items and quantities received and then enter this information accurately against the right purchase order. Then they need to move that stock to the warehouse and put it in one or more spaces in the storage racks and shelving. Errors in product identification, counting, and data entry commonly occur at receiving that may not be picked up for days, weeks or months until that stock is ordered, and a picker is unable to pick what they need. This time delay may make it difficult or impossible to identify what went wrong.

If the locations of the stock putaway are not tracked or only approximately tracked with a single location per item inventory system, then inaccuracy is built into the system by design. There may be a normal storage area for the items known to the staff, but reality breaks these conventions all the time and stock is stored somewhere else and later, no one can remember where it was put.

When orders are picked the items may be incorrectly identified and the wrong item picked, or the right item is picked from the wrong location, or the counted incorrectly or short picked but incorrectly shipped in full on the system.

Over time the errors compound and stock accuracy falls to dysfunctional levels. Stock accuracy below 95% is dysfunctional, if it falls below 80% chaos reigns and staff no longer trust the system or care much about trying to keep it accurate. Simply put – the more accurate your stock the better your warehouse will run.

The antidote to inaccurate stock

The antidote to stock inaccuracy is to confirm all stock movements in your warehouse at the time the movement is done and with the aid of barcoded stock and warehouse locations for fast and accurate data entry.

Inventory Management Systems are not designed to do this, they are primarily designed to track dollars not boxes. Real time stock tracking can only be done with a Warehouse Management System (WMS) that has a mobile application to track stock movements in real time using a mobile computer with a barcode scanner.

The Logistics Cloud Co. WMS gives you real time tracking and direction of every stock movement into, around and out of your warehouse. With accuracy built into every move by scanning barcodes on items, stock locations and stock carriers (i.e., pallet licence plates). The LCC WMS is used by one of the biggest 3PLs in the world and is now available as a cloud version for growing wholesalers and online retailers and the 3PLs that serve them.

If you want to take the antidote to your stock accuracy issues then call us today to find out more.