A warehouse might seem like a pretty simple part of a business — until you try running one. In reality, controlling the inventory for a modern business could be compared to the biological complexity of a living cell. Stock must be gathered, tracked, and moved out, all based on a continual stream of data from a sophisticated communications system. And in many cases, a healthy warehouse helps keep the business alive.
To optimize operations, customer approval, and financial performance, inventory management professionals today can often benefit from custom FileMaker applications. Highlighting this synergy, FileMaker has published the Inventory Management eBook. It offers 28 pages of information about the conditions of modern warehousing and the ways a personalized app can boost your cash flow and customer satisfaction.
The central theme of the ebook's discussion and examples is the "just right" principle. You know this concept from the careful evaluations of food and lodgings performed by the world-famous analyst, Goldilocks. For a warehouse, finding the just-right balance is vital. It's a simple concept that is difficult to apply. It requires clear knowledge of what stock you have right now and which directions those materials are moving, plus accurate predictions about the stock levels you'll need in the future.
Digital technology and real-time data make it possible for a supply chain manager to maintain this just-right ideal. However, the current state of warehousing across the U.S. shows some non-trivial obstacles. The FileMaker ebook points out noteworthy statistics, such as:
- American retailers carry an estimated $1.43 in inventory for every $1 of sales.
- 75% of supply chain managers describe improving inventory management as “highly important” or a “strategic priority.”
- 19% cannot confidently benchmark whether their approach is helping or hurting the company.
- 88% estimate they could reduce inventory levels by more than 5% with improved processes and technology.
- 66% rate their ability to deploy technology on the scale of “poor” to “average.”
These numbers outline a troubling scenario: most inventory management professionals clearly understand that things could be improved and that software tools could help, but they aren't sure how to make it happen.
In contrast to this uncertainty, FileMaker spotlights several companies who have grappled with this same problem and come out as winners. By using custom applications, Tucci Lumber, Yo-Ho Brewing, and the Benetton Mega Store have each seen striking improvements in their operations. The ebook highlights the Alaskan retail chain, Once in a Blue Moose, which estimates a saved 200 hours of administrative time annually — 5 full work weeks every year!
Not meant as lemon juice on an already painful cut, instead these examples demonstrate how beneficial a custom app can be. The remainder of the ebook walks through how to develop a targeted FileMaker app to remedy your most troubling inventory management problems. Using this platform, you can diagnose and prescribe for your company's health. Transform a healthy warehouse into one that performs beyond current expectations.
Download the free FileMaker Inventory Management eBook.
As with every effort in life, there comes a point where the next level of gains may require more time and energy than you have available. We invite you to explore the aACE business software suite — a robust yet affordable, FileMaker-based package. Straight out of the box, aACE 5 includes much of the functionality needed for outstanding inventory management.