In the manufacturing sector, inventory management can be both time consuming and difficult.

To operate in effect and productively, you need to know exactly where your inventory is at all times including when it arrives at your warehouse, where it is located within your stockroom, and when it leaves. Plus, you need to prevent your inventory from becoming too high to avoid storing items at redundant cost or too low, which can lead to a costly out-of-stock situation.

The smart approach the inventory management

Fortunately, advances in technology have given manufacturers and distributors access to a range of tools that enable far more effective inventory monitoring and control at every step. While remote, internet-connected devices enable you to capture data on your inventory, an ERP explanation such as SAP Business One can help you tie all of your data together, so you can effectively balance your ordering and inventory management processes to make certain far greater consistency, efficiency and control.

Here are some key inventory executive hacks enabled by SAP Business One:

1. Automate the sales order entry process

Manually checking inventory levels to fulfill sales orders can be prolonged, difficult and prone to error. Unless the process is backed by real-time data on your available inventory, you have no way of knowing exactly when a product will be accessible for the customer, or when it can be dispatched.

With SAP Business One, however, you can automate and streamline the sales order course, by ensuring all sales orders are linked directly to real-time inventory data.

2. Scan goods when they arrive/depart the warehouse

The Internet of Things (IoT) has already revolutionized the built-up sector on a global scale, enabling manufacturers to access, gather and use real-time data on their inventory despite of where it is, or what step of the supply chain it’s at.

For instance, by putting internet-connected scanners in your warehouses, and feeding this information into a system such as SAP Business One, you can robotically track the location of your inventory determining exactly when it arrives at your cargo space facility, when it is moved to another location within your facility, and when it leaves.

3. Integrate warehouse solution to your courier company/ freight specialist

With a solution such as SAP Business One, you can also automate much of the delivery, by integrating your know-how with that of your courier business or freight specialist.

With Smart Freight, you can automatically initiate your delivery requests, and can also track a package from the moment it leaves your warehouse to the time it arrives at an end customer.

4. Integrate warehouse, production and accounting

As SAP Business One works seamlessly with your other core business systems, all of your inventory data is integrated with your ordering and financial office data meaning you get overarching insight.

For instance, when a goods receipt for an ordered item is posted, your SAP Business One software will automatically update the inventory in the warehouse and inform the warehouse manager of the expected delivery date. It can also update the related vendor and expense accounts. As SAP Business One captures information at every step of a contract, you always know what’s on hand in your inventory, and will always have the up-to-the-minute economic status of your business from your desktop or mobile device.

5. Use material requirements planning to ensure the right stock levels

Ensuring that your stock is at optimal levels can be very challenging, and you want to avoid costly out-of-stock situations at all costs.

SAP Business One supports purchasing planning and helps you set your reorder points fittingly so you avoid unnecessary purchasing that would otherwise result in inventory carrying costs. Using the material requirements planning wizard in SAP Business One, for instance, you can forecast and plan your textile and non-material needs and schedule your purchases accordingly.