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Distribution Software - Inventory and Warehouse
Historically, warehouses have been a nightmare of lost or damaged goods and inventory has been very difficult to accurately track. Now, however, many companies use inventory and warehouse distribution software systems. These software systems are powerful new tools that can turn a bogged-down, inefficient mess of a warehouse into a lean, mean, moneymaking machine.

Inventory software enables companies to track all receipts, shipments and inventory adjustments. Item information with the capability to drill down to transaction details is just a few keystrokes away. Master item files can contain detailed product information and specifications, pricing, landed cost factors, purchasing formula data, and processing flags. Leveraging the technology this way trims away non-value-added activities like all-day inventory taking every quarter, or time-consuming invoice recording and transcribing.

Inventory software also has the capability to calculate re-order points based on past or future usage, seasonal trends and vendor lead times. Items may be grouped into buy lines for cluster purchase so that customers can take advantage of special pricing. Global availability, dead stock and inventory value are instantly available and warehouses can be flagged for centralized or decentralized purchasing and replenishment.

Warehouse software provides similar benefits. Companies can now track serial numbers, bins and lots for receiving, pallet assembly and movement, picking and order verification. Radio frequency (RF) pallet tracking automatically assigns tracking numbers and prints pallet license plates to facilitate visual identification. This enables accurate and efficient product tracking throughout the warehouse. Additionally, automated move tickets can be created to track items, replenish bins based on picking lane requirements and bulk stock merges. Warehouse managers can easily view sales and warehouse transfer orders for individual or wave picking based upon many different criteria.

The advantages of using inventory and warehouse distribution software are numerous. Inventory management software helps companies provide exemplary customer service while maximizing return on inventory investment. Also, these systems can provide on-the-water boat tracking and location transfer information so that there's never any doubt about where products are, even when they are in transit. Warehouse management software facilitates pallet identification and tracking through the use of RF and license plating. It also tracks movement, adjust quantities, and logs product history. Warehouse managers can leverage the distribution software to review the picking process and analyze trends by zone, area, or picker. RF technology, coupled with distribution software, can ensure that the correct pick is made--upon scanning, the system verifies that the correct bin, item and quantity was picked by comparing scanned data to the electronic order.

The benefits of this technology can be realized by accurately assessing the company's needs and selecting inventory and warehouse distribution software that provides maximum information, search capability, and flexibility without significantly overburdening the IT servers. Another criteria for selection is the software's ability to plug seamlessly into the current supply chain management system--if a tool is cumbersome to use and doesn't interface well, it won't be used. Additionally, the inventory system should have to capability to link to substitute and complementary items so as to take advantage of the upsell opportunities to customers.

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