Contract Electronics Manufacturing and PCB Assembly Blog

How Professional Inventory Management Optimizes Your Operations

Posted by Matthew Turpin on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 @ 07:00 AM

electronic manufacturing servicesVirtually any business involved in any sort of manufacturing and sales is painfully aware of the role of supply lines in this process. From sourcing the original materials, through their construction, to distribution, and even into post-sale support (like spare parts), supply chains and proper inventory management are at the heart of any and all product sales.

Unfortunately, with the spread of globalization, inventory management issues have become an increasing problem for too many businesses. What used to be a simple matter of “order products, receive products, ship to retailers” can now involve dozens of subcontractors in facilities spread around the world.

True data-based oversight of your entire operations is a requirement to get a handle on inventory in a globalized business environment. That's where professional inventory management experts can become invaluable for businesses that have begun “getting in over the heads” in global supply chains.

Four Reasons Why Professionals Should Update Your Inventory Management

1 – Centralized Databases

At the heart of any modern inventory process is a single database tracking every item as it moves around your supply chains. This requires an investment in computing power, or in Cloud-based data storage, but this single database will be the keystone of all future inventory management.

Things move too quickly today to keep multiple databases which, in turn, have to be kept synced. A single consolidated solution is required, and experts can help set that up.

2 – Controlled Item Tracking

Along with the database, your supply lines need a way of tracking those parts and components. There are multiple ways to accomplish this, usually with either RFID chips or QR Codes. In fact, many don't know this, but QR Codes were originally invented by Toyota specifically for inventory tracking in their own global operations, before they entered the consumer mainstream.

Do your suppliers have the setup necessary to track every part? If not, it may be time to look for a new partner. Item-by-item tracking is a necessity for an efficient system, and to ensure your goods are always moving where they need to be.

3 – Ensure Component Quality

Here's another big way centralized inventory management helps, and it's one a lot of businesses don't stop to consider: The problem of counterfeit components making their way into a supply line goes up drastically when dealing with outsourced vendors who doninventory management't deploy item tracking.

We won't speculate as to motives here, but either way: If you aren't keeping tabs on every component, it becomes extremely easy for “substitutions” to be made. Even the US Air Force discovered counterfeits in their hardware a couple years ago!

Besides helping ensure this doesn't happen at all, item tracking also helps in investigations after the fact. If the counterfeit is tagged, you will know exactly which supplier sent it. Blame cannot be avoided.

4 – Optimizing Buys

Finally, consider the benefits that a professionally-managed data setup can do for your inventory purchasing patterns. With the wealth of information provided across the system, extremely precise calculations can be made to ensure your firm only purchases what you need, with a minimum amount of waste.

This can be min-maxed across different scenarios as well, comparing different potential outcomes from different strategies. This data analysis can be a core part of future planning, and it's completely unavailable without an integrated supply line solution.

It's Midnight... Do You Know Where Your Kit Is?

Data-based supply line and inventory management solutions are revolutionizing global business, both among mega-corporations as well as everyday suppliers. If supply chain issues are causing hassles, or degrading the quality of your products, ZenTech can help!  

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Topics: American PC Board Assembly, inventory management, assembly electronic