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3 Inventory Pain Points (And How To Solve Them)

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

Inventory can be a sore subject for business owners when they don’t have a strategic plan in place and can affect everything from customer satisfaction to a return on investment.

There are many pain points to be experienced in this leg of business, but take solace in knowing that there are plenty of ways to combat those pains and make for a smoother ride.

Let’s take a look at three pain points experienced by many product-based businesses when it comes to inventory.

Supply Chain Complexity

In this ever-changing economy global supply chains are in constant motion, affecting your plans in inventory and how you run your day-to-day operations. Many manufacturers and wholesale distributors have inconsistent or unpredictable lead times, requiring your company to be flexible with shipping windows. However, many businesses rely on consistent and speedy shipping in order to thrive.

When setting up and tracking your inventory, continuously monitor supplier performance and keep an eye on supply chain disruptions. Tracking the trends will ensure simplicity and streamline logistics when it comes to future inventory. It also helps to have alternative suppliers in the back of your mind in the case of an emergency. As time goes on, you’ll be able to identify and rely on the suppliers that are consistent and move away from those that aren’t.

If you use an inventory management system (and you should!), check to see if they provide vendor management functionality. This helps your company determine which suppliers are reliable and which ones are not.

You can also offset supply chain disruptions by maintaining a safety stock of inventory. This will make up for any shifting lead times, especially when it comes to unpredictable spikes in international competition for raw materials- a trend we’ve gotten quite used to since the beginning of the pandemic.

Proper inventory planning helps your organization adapt to dynamic global supply chains and keeps your business flowing.

Lack of Visibility

When you’re looking for inventory in the warehouse, having a clear organization system can be key to time efficiency. If your inventory is difficult to locate or is not visible enough, incomplete, inaccurate or delayed shipments are bound to take place. Finding a system, and sticking with it, to organize your warehouse will help your employees find what they need quickly and efficiently and allow your warehouse to run as smoothly as possible!

To improve warehouse visibility, try labeling your shelves with images and brief descriptions. To help streamline the packing and shipping process. You can also use software that delivers comprehensive inventory visibility, such as NetSuite! This will clearly and directly give you insight into stock levels, and even links customers orders to the items.Consider using a supply chain model that prioritizes responsiveness to help with adapting quickly to changes, which will in turn deliver positive customer experiences and feedback.

Poor Demand Forecasting

Stockouts, lost sales, excess inventory and other costs associated with poor demand forecasting falls into the top three pain points of management. It can be difficult to predict the correct amount of inventory, especially during unpredictable economic times. Customer demand is constantly shifting, yet hanging on to too much inventory could lead to an inability to sell. On the other hand, not having enough inventory could result in unfulfilled or delayed orders. It can be a vicious cycle, and an undesirable customer experience, if you’re unprepared.

To offset this obstacle, using NetSuite’s inventory management platform can assist you with your demand forecasting by integrating accounting and sales data to help you manage your demand and schedule/automate orders based on current preferences from customers. It can also account for availability of materials and trends in the changing seasons.

The right inventory management platform can automate processes, improve inventory practices and enhance customer experiences.

NetSuite offers a collection of native inventory management and control features to help overcome some of the biggest inventory management challenges!

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