Efficient stock control, sometimes referred to as inventory control, can make all the difference to a successful logistic business. Stock control is officially defined as “Ensuring that appropriate amounts of stock are maintained by a business, so as to be able to meet customer demand without delay, while keeping the costs associated with holding stock to a minimum.” It’s the simple flow of goods and making sure that supply isn’t exceeding demand, which may sound simple on paper, but is a lot more complicated to implement in reality.
Stops on the journey
Research and development has refined stock control over the years. This has enabled wholesale distributors to become more productive and efficient, by using a stock control system that is both accessible at all stages of the stock’s shelf life and also open to scrutiny by all those involved in the products’ journey. A well-organised warehouse set-up will make the maximum use of the various software and technology that is available to it. Stock Control Management software not only helps you track stock levels, orders, sales and deliveries, it can also help to streamline day-to-day processes, enhance communication across the business and drastically improve customer service.
A balancing act
The worst thing that can happen to a company is that it can find that its distributor has run out of stock. Monitoring the flow of supply and demand is perhaps the most important aspect of the process, as there needs to be complete synergy between warehouse, distributor and retailer. Getting the balance right can be all important to a company’s success. In the same way as running out of stock can become a major problem for warehouses and suppliers, so too can overstocking. While this situation mitigates against running out of stock, it can also bring with it its own problems – for example, there will be storage costs incurred for shelf space being occupied by unsold stock, and with shelf space currently at a premium, this is an unwanted additional cost that will be incurred. Many products will have a finite shelf life, which could become compromised by spending too long in a warehouse or distribution facility.
There’s also a great deal of fluctuation in demand due to season shifts. Some products can be affected by climate – such as the long summer days or cold winter months – while others can be due to public holidays, such as Christmas or Easter, or hyped and marketed ‘events’ such as Halloween or Black Friday. The popularity of these various annual events mean that companies and distributors need to make sure stock is where it should be when it needs to be. This can be in transit to stores or waiting to be shipped out in warehouse facilities. A good digital stock control system, such as Boughey Distribution’s BougheyNET, can depict with pinpoint accuracy the stock levels of goods and their whereabouts in the system – be that out on the road for delivery, stored in the warehouse or in the distribution facility being prepared for delivery.
These season shifts and sudden increases in demand can be built into the model and supply and stock flow tweaked accordingly. Other aspects to consider are when clients incur storage costs for stock that sits on the shelf for far too long, or perishable stock that reaches its expiry date before being sold. Both outcomes are not going to please suppliers.
Boughey’s stock control management system helps both our customers and us maintain a smooth flow of goods and a highly accurate level of stock monitoring. Our stock control management software not only helps us track stock levels, orders, sales and delivery times, it helps us streamline day-to-day processes, enhance communication across the business and raises our customer service to new heights.