Manual inventory control is important in business

Are you doing manual counts of inventory?

Are you doing manual counts of inventory?

Proper inventory control is critical to a business’s success. Warehouse managers should know exactly what’s coming in on material handling carts and should be able to determine exactly where stock is in order to fulfill orders quickly.

According to Business 2 Community, it’s critical for businesses to know what to keep in stock rooms and other areas where inventory is easy to access to fulfill customer orders quickly. Additionally, for businesses that have multiple brick and mortar locations, it may be worth it to redistribute inventory to different locations if it’s not selling in one particular store. Different markets can mean different demand.

The news provider also suggests keeping track of inventory by doing frequent counts in both the stockroom and the warehouse. Technology can help identify exactly how much of each item should be in stock, but manual counts can be helpful in ensuring the numbers match up.

The Small Business Chronicle also suggests doing a manual count of how many of each item has been sold. This way, inventory managers are able to get a clear picture as to where each inventory item is located, which can be pretty hard to manage on a store by store basis and additional warehouse.

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Don’t let time waste in the warehouse

Reduce the amount of inventory trips you have to take.

Reduce the amount of inventory trips you have to take.

You need material handling carts to move inventory at an efficient pace. Not only can this equipment reduce the chance of injury on the workforce, it can also help move inventory more quickly. You may not realize exactly how much you can save in cost when you speed up the processes of your warehouse.

According to Manufacturing Business Technology, time is one of the hidden costs associated with the warehouse. The news provider reports that after labor, time is the most expensive variable cost in managing a warehouse. This is because the time it takes to properly sort and place the inventory can eat up into resources. In order to combat this, warehouse managers should research on average how long it takes to move inventory and then work to make it more efficient by adding more equipment to reduce number of trips needed.

Digitalist Mag reports that to start off on the right foot, put extra attention on the receiving aspect to make sure all inventory is properly inspected, labeled and put away. This can reduce the amount of confusion of looking for an item when it is put away in the wrong location, potentially leading to wasted time and a lost sale if the order cannot be fulfilled.

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Warehouse vacancy ticks up slightly

There could be less movement in the warehouse space.

There could be less movement in the warehouse space.

Warehouses have been hot properties over the past few years, as companies try to streamline their supply chain in order to better keep up with customer demand. As there is a greater need for providing products at a lightning speed rate, companies are trying to buy up warehouse space in key areas to fill with inventory that they can deliver quickly.

Moving flat shelf carts around filled with similar inventory goes on throughout the day, with workers racing to properly manage inventory and make sure they’re fully stocked.

However, while there has been a surge in demand for building warehouses, the trend could be slowing down a bit. According to Industrial Distribution, there is a lot more vacant warehouse space available than in previous years. Still, the news provider reports that this isn’t a reflection of a drop in demand, but rather there has been enough space built up over the years that will make sure the demand is being met.

According to Manufacturing.net, new warehouses have increased by more than 10-fold since 2010, which indicates that builders are really listening to demand. Because so many retailers are looking to increase their supply chain operations, there’s little risk to building the space and having it stay vacant. However, if demand has dropped, new warehouse construction may slow down a bit.

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Stay on top of routine vehicle maintenance as much as you can

See a professional about maintenance.

See a professional about maintenance.

Taking your vehicle in for repairs should happen on a recurring basis. Professionals have utility carts filled with the equipment they need to make sure your car is running smoothly and efficiently. With the change in seasons, it can be particularly hard on a vehicle.

But you should not wait for inclement weather to hit before you bring your car in for service. According to Bank Rate, you should try and stick to a routine maintenance schedule in order to keep overall costs down. Checking to make sure everything is in working order on a regular basis can prevent big fixes from happening, which can end up being quite costly.

Instead, take your vehicle to your trusted professionals, as they have all the tools necessary to make little adjustments that will save you money in the long run. The news provider reports that owner manuals will frequently have a recommended timetable for getting routine checkups.

According to Lifehacker, while there are many inspections you can do yourself, such as checking for any leaking fluids, having a car’s alignment checked by a professional is a smart bet. Additionally, getting tires rotated on a regular basis can ensure that the vehicle continues to perform in peak condition.

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Work with your providers to keep utilities down

Utility providers can help you with cost.

Utility providers can help you with cost.

Building managers know about the cost benefits that come with being energy efficient. However, it’s not necessarily their own staff that will be moving around utility carts to make the adjustments; you may need professionals from the provider.

According to Utility Dive, there needs to be a good relationship between utility users and providers in order to make sure that services are being used as efficiently as possible. In order to make certain adjustments, you need the expertise of professionals in the field who can make sure that efficiency is a top priority. The news provider suggests that this should be a top priority for anyone who is looking to reduce the amount they spend on utilities, and building managers who are used to large bills may want to consider extending the olive branch.

There are also things that your own maintenance staff can take a look at when they’re doing their rounds. According to U.S. News & World Report, you should always be on the lookout for leaks. Whether there are cracks in the foundation or a leaking sink, these minor issues can cause the costs to creep up. It may be small enough that you do not notice right away, but you could see a major change over time.

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Stay on top of building maintenance

Stay on track with building maintenance.

Stay on track with building maintenance.

Keeping up with building maintenance can help manage costs in the long run, and smart building managers will have a crew frequently surveying the structure with utility carts to see if there is anything that raises alarms. Even when trying to keep buildings in good condition, time can cause wear and tear, which is why frequent monitoring is important.

According to Facility Executive, having a preventative maintenance program in the building can go a long way. It should be a two-step process; the first of which is the inspection, where the maintenance crew assesses the structure to see if there are any issues and then the execution phase, which is used to take care of any problems.

The news provider reports that preventative maintenance can save both time and money, as letting the problem persist can lead to a more costly fix.

It’s not just the inside of the building that should receive routine checks; managers will also want to pay attention to any issues on the exterior. According to Buildings.com, roofs should be checked at least twice a year and anytime following a severe storm. Not only should maintenance crews check for any wear and tear, but they should keep the roofs clear of debris or anything that could be blocking drains.

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Be transparent when it comes to inventory

Are you promoting the inventory you have on-hand?

Are you promoting the inventory you have on-hand?

Keeping up with demand is one of the many challenges that retail managers face when trying to get market share. It falls upon managers to stay on top of the kind of inventory that moves on hand trucks from the warehouse to the stock room, and it’s important that customer demand is being met. Managers may also want to consider being transparent about the kind of inventory that is delivered to the stock room on a hand truck.

According to Internet Retailer, the majority of consumers want to know exactly what’s in a store before they make the trek. The news provider points to a study that shows 80 percent of consumers responded that they would like to be able to see on a website if a product is available in their local stores. This can come in handy if shoppers want to go to the store and try on the item or see the size of it themselves, rather than having to deal with the process of returning online or even paying for shipping.

Small Biz Trends report that it’s important to have an online presence even if you’re brick and mortar, as this is where a number of potential shoppers could simply be browsing before they come across your items and decide to head to the store with intent to purchase.

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The electricity industry could see some changes

Utility workers could see changes this year.

Utility workers could see changes this year.

Economic trends can impact the utility industry in ways consumers may not realize. Building managers may have workers come in with utility carts to make adjustments on their electrical utilities, as the sector is predicted to experience some changes in the coming months.

According to Utility Dive, the electric industry could see some major shifts as utilities experience changes. For starters, the news provider reports that there could be a bigger shift toward renewable energy, as building managers look to keep costs low and reduce their carbon footprints. Being energy efficient is a major push not only by the Environmental Protection Agency, but also companies that are looking to reduce their overall utility costs.

Analysts are also waiting to see if any changes are made by the new political administration, which could shift priorities in the utility industry. This is something building managers may also want to pay attention to when looking at costs.

There’s been a definite shift toward clean energy. According to Forbes, the solar energy has more employees for in the electricity industry than coal, oil or gas combined. This accounts for approximately 374,000 employees in the solar industry. The news provider also reports that the solar industry added nearly 74,000 new jobs in the past year.

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Utilities see a big spike in December

It's important to keep up with utility maintenance.

It’s important to keep up with utility maintenance.

Have you found there’s been greater need for utility carts to help get your systems ready for winter? If so, you’re not alone. With winter in full swing, all across the country people are using utilities at a record pace. According to Reuters, the month of December saw the biggest jump in utility usage since 1989, when outputs increased by 0.8 percent.

To put that into context, there was a 0.7 percent decline in November, indicating that while 2016 was noted to be one of the warmest on record, it’s not stopping people from using utilities. The news provider notes that because December was cold in contrast to the other warm months, it created a sharp rise in utilities, which normally have a gradual progression as the weather begins to cool months before.

There are adjustments that building managers can make to prepare for the winter that won’t have them spending all of their money on utilities. The Department of Energy suggests closing any holes or leaks around the building’s structure and windows. This can keep cold air from getting in, preserving the room’s temperature longer without the assistance of utilities. Additionally, doing routine maintenance on utilities can help prolong their shelf-life, reducing the costs that typically come with large repairs.

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New supply chain trends require adaptation

Do you know what materials are on which cart in the supply chain process?

Do you know what materials are on which cart in the supply chain process?

Now more than ever, a smooth running supply chain is critical to a business’s success. With so many ways of purchasing, channels that materials run through and shifting aspects of how business is conducted, managers need to have a pulse on every small detail of their operation. Every supervisor should have an idea of the kinds of inventory being placed on material handling carts in every aspect of the operation.

According to Modern Materials Handling, businesses are finding that they need to be able to adapt to changes in the supply chain from every angle, as trends have shifted in recent years due to the rise of e-commerce. The news provider reports that this marks a change in both business to consumer and business to business operations, so all managers need to be able to make adjustments.

However, the news source is quick to point out that many managers may feel like they need to do some serious catching up to the rest of the industry.

According to Smart Data Collective, visibility in the supply chain is only becoming a bigger trend, and there is a growing amount of technology that gives managers data as to where all materials are in the supply chain process. This can help create a better overall picture and execute strategy.

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