The one industry that witnesses unpredictable supply and demand is the pallet, crate and RTP industry. So many factors determine how many pallets with materials are in transit, how many pallets may be kept as a buffer and how many are lost or damaged.
Hence, having the right amount of inventory becomes a challenge and it’s crucial for any supplier or manufacturer who utilizes RTP to invest in pallet management software that gives you tools to predict future demand, control over your supply chain and an increased visibility into your supply chain.
7 Ways To Begin Digitizing Your Warehouse
Some of the main reasons for warehouse inaccuracies include:
- Inefficient allocation of RTP
- Poor layout and set-up
- Lack of controlled visibility
- Analog data entry of pallet and crate movement from warehouse
Solving some of these challenges will help speed up productivity. In order to get started with solving these challenges, the first step would be to introduce digital real-time communication that all team members can use and access. By introducing a digital solution such as a pallet management system, you can organise, track and maintain your inventory more accurately.
Impacts On Inventory
Your warehouse inventory can face some serious challenges such as labour shortages, supply chain shortages and fulfilment errors. Employing a pallet management system will help you track these issues continuously in real-time.
The more you stay updated on real-time internal and external logistics, the stronger your operation will be.
Fulfilment errors can occur for several reasons, such as:
- Poor communication between the warehouse and sales team
- Disorganized inventory management
- Pricing issues
- Mix-ups in the shipping process
- The product takes longer to ship than expected
By using a pallet management system, you can keep your warehouse work connected via a single platform using mobile devices so they can easily access the information they need. Furthermore, your analysts will also get real-time data that can help them plan your supply, demand and warehousing operations more efficiently.
Purpose Of Demand Planning
It’s important to be clear on how a demand forecast differs from a supply or demand plan.
A demand forecast begins with analyzing historical and current sales data to form a demand forecast model. Using the LogSoft digital solutions you can easily migrate data across systems (SAP, Oracle, or legacy systems) via EDI or other standard formats for seamless data access on one platform.
Manufacturers and warehouses use a supply plan to gauge the number of units produced based on demand.
A demand plan, by contrast, combines data on demand forecasts with supply plans to shape an integrated model. It connects demand highs and lows with various factors such as seasons and promotions.
Demand Planning Process
The planning of warehouse operations and forecasting involves analyzing sales data, order fulfilment and data collected from the purchase order.
A key part of the planning is to study all the various different factors that may affect the demand, and now it has become essential to plan and forecast more accurately as consumer demand and expectations are getting higher – making it more competitive for on-time shipments.
Comparing historical sales with recent sales data is essential for arriving at reasonable estimates on future inventory counts.
Optimizing Layout For Demand Planning
The layout/floor plan of your warehouse is not just about aesthetics, it should ideally be set up in a way that makes it easy to move products in or out efficiently. Your goods need to be placed in appropriate locations to remove any unnecessary obstruction.
You can consider dividing the layout in a way where you separate inbound, outbound and damaged items to avoid reshipping orders or making mistakes in inflow and outflow.
Avoiding the Bullwhip effect
Efficient planning can avoid imbalances in the supply chain and differences in orders vs sales.
A retailer might order more units than they need, which might distort a wholesaler’s view of demand.
These imbalances can arise for numerous reasons, including:
- Suppliers rounding orders up or down
- Forecasting updates by supply chain members
- Price fluctuations such as discounting
- Manufacturers or wholesalers misinterpret when a retailer increases order size
Manufacturers that own warehouses should work on improving efficiency through diligent supply chain planning using tools like pallet management systems. By switching to digital solutions and ditching the old school way – a manufacturer or supplier gets more visibility of the supply chain.
To avoid the bullwhip effect, suppliers need to share real-time information. They must use software tools to identify what’s causing the imbalance and work on fine-tuning supply chain management forecasting.
Art Of Anticipating Demand
There is no silver bullet solution to solve all the imbalances that occur along a supply chain, however, a skilful analyst can anticipate supply and demand using digital software like pallet and crate management software combined with their professional experience and make better predictions.
Digital software helps gather large amounts of accurate data which can be used to generate reports on the efficiency of the supply chain.
Warehouses can use these software technologies to analyze patterns in both supply and demand rapidly (many times these patterns are overlooked by competitors).
The payoff for investing in demand planning technology is cost efficiency and an accelerated cash conversion cycle (CCC).
Demand planning for warehouses gives you clear ideas on how many units of each product you need to stock and helps you evaluate and account for factors that can increase or decrease sales so you won’t have to worry about overstocking.
If you are looking to get started with tracking and managing all your vendors and services on a single platform, from customer stocks to warehouse inventory, reach out to the LogSoft team and we will give you the right solution for your business.