Inventory replenishment is the process of moving the inventory/stock from the reserve storage to the primary storage to ensure that the stock is drawn into the supply chain of the business, to maintain the stock levels. In a warehouse business, inventory replenishments can be very crucial as it affects profits and customer loyalty.
As inventory replenishment directly affects the stock levels, any errors in the process can learn the problems of inventory out-of-stock and inventory overstock.
If a certain inventory is out of stock, it not only affects the sales and profits but also customer loyalty as the customer leaves the store without fulfilling their demand for the product therefore it leads to a decline in the overall satisfaction of the customers.
Similarly overstocking of the inventory can increase the overall cost of inventory as a part of the overall inventory will remain underutilized, and will lead to waste of resources s well as the space in the store, therefore the productivity of the services declines.
Therefore to avoid both the situation, the Managers or the owners have to implement proper strategies and plans for the inventory replenishment. This involves drawing proper reports consisting of availability and the need for particular items, contingency plans about the changes in the predicted demand, and supply of the inventory.
But, how to ensure that the process of inventory replenishments goes smoothly and optimum results are achieved?
- It’s simple, ‘know your business’. It is very essential to identify the nature of your business, its needs, marketing channels, sales, and target customers so that a proper plan could be devised and the inventory can be procured and managed efficiently.
- Once plans and strategies are devised, the employees can be divided into different teams, that will be accountable for different responsibilities like- Supervising the movement of goods in the warehouse or keeping check of inventory count, etc.
- Appoint team leaders and managers for each team so that a proper formal channel of communication could take place, ensuring each one has their own authority responsibility and immediate accountability.
- Certain inventory limits are required to be established, i.e. if the inventory falls below that level, then the managers will get an indicator to restock/reorder the inventory.
- It is very important to analyze and forecast the demand and supply of their products so that an estimated supply chain could be established which will act as a basis of each inventory plan.
Although, every competent warehouse has its own set of replenishment rules. Typically, these are somewhat moveable, depending on the severity of the case, but they are usually written after a demand forecast is produced. The managers/owners are required to be proactive in taking decisions regarding the inventories.
Although certain things cannot be predicted, therefore the business should also analyze the market situations at regular intervals of 2–3 months to develop contingency plans in case of an unseen fluctuation in the demand and supply due to a sudden change in the economical, political or social construct of the countries.
The process of replenishment can pose many challenges based on communication, organization, and competent forecasting., So it becomes very essential to be flexible and realistic about the numbers so that the business never has to deal with a lack or surplus of inventory.