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No matter what industry you operate in, it is nearly impossible not to feel impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. From supply chain delays, to travel bans, to a remote workforce, and closed stores, almost every company out there has suffered disruptions! This has put massive pressure on small businesses to improve their internal processes because let’s face it, small business does not have the funds or resources to weather the storm casually.
In this post, our top experts discuss some warehouse management techniques that allow small and medium enterprises to bury the inefficient hatchets and survive the COVID-19 induced uncertainties. Furthermore, these optimization techniques also enable companies to strengthen your business in the long-term.
Warehouses serve as a bridge between the customer and the business. The primary goal for small and medium enterprises is mostly to make sure that the correct product gets delivered to the right client at the proper time. Do not be fooled by the façade of COVID-19. This is no time to sit back and think that customers are not buying! They absolutely are. As a matter of fact, research shows that that right now is actually a good time to invest in your business, but one must be strategic about it. KeyBank’s study in the early stages of COVID-19 reported that even top enterprises could benefit from improved operational efficiency/productivity during temporary or long-term downtimes such as this pandemic!
With warehouse management being a major pain point for most companies, we have penned three crucial tips to help small and medium enterprises tackle operational efficiency along the supply chain!
Businesses should keep a close eye on warehouse capacity if they wish to improve operational efficiency. There are a few questions you can ask yourself when it comes to warehouse management:
- Do you have single SKUs in different locations, and what are the SKU attributes?
- What is the fast- and slow-moving inventory?
- Where are those items placed in the warehouse?
- Is your shelf space sufficient, and are your items adequately managed?
There are a couple of things that companies need to understand here. First, optimizing the warehouse space will enable companies to be more productive and efficient. If companies want to adopt a new warehouse layout during this “hibernation” period, they should ensure that their workers are safe. Organizations can achieve maximum productivity by providing fewer “touch-points” for an item as it moves around the warehouse. You should also isolate your fast-moving inventory to ensure that you place it in the front for optimal picker efficiency! Remember, time is money!
Companies should use this time to clean up their business processes. All entrepreneurs and managers always wish that they had time to give their operations a makeover- well, now they do. For small and medium enterprises that are scaling, stopping, and evaluating processes might seem a bit painful. Still, this time can serve as a blessing in disguise as you can figure out which processes can be further improved! You can start by looking into:
- How often is your inventory counted, stacked, and restacked?
- How efficient your workers are, what causes customers to return products?
- Do you have proper visibility in terms of warehouse management?
- Can you track your inventory in real-time?
Relying on spreadsheets, paper-based manual processes, and tribal knowledge are significant factors that are sinking companies even before the pandemic hit us! Companies need to streamline their processes and opt for a more efficient financial system and enterprise resource planning software such as NetSuite. Along with NetSuite comes the need for an excellent solution provider (*cough AlphaBOLD cough*). This may sound daunting to small businesses, but to scale and survive in this economy, it is essential to be at the top of your game, and AlphaBOLD and NetSuite can do that for all business, small, medium or large!
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Manual, disparate processes are not only time consuming, but also prone to errors. Moreover, with the added stress of COVID-19, you cannot expect workers to be game right now. Furthermore, with NetSuite, you will not just be ensuring survival today, you will also be ensuring progress and scalability in the future. Enterprises can also utilize NetSuite add-ons such as the BOM Generator by AlphaBOLD to update the business process.
NetSuite offers a robust warehouse management system with a 360° view of all activities. It empowers managers with complete visibility and real-time analytics along with serialized inventory tracking and real-time reporting. Furthermore, NetSuite also provides a demand planning module that allows users to predict changes in inventory based on past trends and future sales forecasts. It uses a single dashboard to streamline all business practices; thus, it is extremely user-friendly! Additionally, NetSuite equips you to combine inventory reports from multiple warehouses and consolidate multi-company/multi-entity financials. This not only allows companies to refine their internal processes but also has obvious benefits such as increased worker productivity, efficient picks and shipments, quick order turnaround, motivated workforce, and smart and data-driven decisions!
There you go, folks, three precious tips to help you survive the storm! I hope that this blog helps all small and medium enterprises make most of this downtime. If we utilize this time correctly, we all can come out stronger! If you have any questions on warehouse management, NetSuite, or the services AlphaBOLD offers when it comes to NetSuite, please reach out to us! We are always happy to help.
By AlphaBOLD, www.alphabold.com