How To Efficiently Manage a Distribution Business

by:APTEK     2020-08-09
By Anthony Ricigliano: Today's business world is a difficult place for warehouse managers and inventory specialists. One area where the stakes have been raised significantly is the distribution industry. The margin for error is razor thin and those businesses that succeed are the ones that use technology to their advantage. Efficiency is the name of the game in distribution, since having too much or too little inventory can lead to equally ugly problems. So what is the magic solution for those in charge of large distribution companies? An excess of information and a well-equipped integrated system are two great resources to have in your back pocket. Though the current economic climate has brought distribution difficulties to the forefront, the business is a tough one in any economic climate. Warehouses that contain too little inventory can lead to delays, since orders won't be filled on time. This can hurt relationships with end-clients and important business partners. On the flip side, efficient warehouses cannot contain too much inventory, since this will take up valuable space and drain the bottom line. The key is finding that middle ground, where a business has just enough inventory to fill its needs, while not wasting space in the warehouse with dead weight. So how do businesses find this balance and put their distribution company on the track toward success? Most find that a dedication to precision analytics is the right approach. Though it might not seem obvious, the numbers are there, hiding under stacks of old order forms. The key for businesses is taking this information about clients, products, and time frames and turning it into something much more useful. It is especially worth noting that there are ways to make this happen in today's business world, giving businesses the power they need to succeed in a competitive marketplace. During the day-to-day routine of a typical business, veritable islands of data are collected. These data points might include information on a customer's buying history and his quarterly needs. It might contain information on the perfect inventory levels for that business at its peak efficiency. The data might indicate pricing points that a business needs to implement in order to stay competitive. All of the information is there, but the disjointed nature of business data makes it difficult for companies to react. With this in mind, successful distribution businesses do something to change that trend. They use remarkably precise systems to collect, organize, and dispense data for people to use in decision making. In the past, business owners and warehouse managers have viewed this type of program as an unnecessary expense. They thought of it as a luxury. Today, the smart professionals understand that these tools are an important part of the efficiency process. The money saved and business relationships preserved as a result of integrated information systems is enough to justify its cost to almost any business. With a solid system in place, managers will know exactly when a customer is likely to order and they will know how much he is going to order. This can help in preparation, giving the warehouse time to stock up. Likewise, this helps smart businesses avoid overstocking, which can be wasteful from a cost perspective. Likewise, the data compilations are presented in an analytical way, giving smart business people the opportunity to compare their methods with others in the industry. The business world is wildly competitive at this point in time, so having this information can be the difference between a successful company and one that struggles. Likewise, it can help to promote growth, providing a distribution business with optimal allocation of its most important resources, including man hours and precious warehouse space. In all, integrated systems are the key to efficiency in a market that demands such. Author Anthony Ricigliano
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