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5 Reasons to Automate Inventory Management

By Alina Dorosh
Two automated robots assembling parts

The decision to build a supply chain management system that responds flexibly to demand and market trends has always been both reasonable and far-sighted. Nowadays, the automation of replenishment processes is equally critical.

Automated inventory management solutions like Intuiflow have become a must-have for manufacturers in an era of resource-saving and focus on global instability.

Let’s look at the top 5 reasons why automating inventory management is so important nowadays.

1. Automation Minimizes Lost Opportunities

Automated inventory management solutions show what items should be produced immediately to meet current demand and maintain broader system planning priorities. This enables retailers to avoid lost sales — and helps manufacturers and distributors enhance service levels.

Remember, your director is not the person who pays your company’s salaries, but rather the buyers who purchase your products. So, by automating open demand fulfillment with solutions Intuiflow, you are saving the future of your business.

The company receives funds it can invest in things like development, entering new markets, launching new product lines, training staff, equipment modernization, and creating reserves for unforeseen situations and emergencies.

2: Automation Reduces Your Dependence on Forecasts

The accuracy of sales and inventory forecasts has always been significantly affected by rotating product ranges, reduced product life cycles, and fast-moving competitors. The current age has brought more atypical risks, from currency fluctuations to a global pandemic. Many companies are entering new markets and opening new distribution channels. Of course, in such conditions, past statistics do not help, forecasts fluctuate, and the Sales department can’t predict what will sell.

But since solutions like Intuiflow rely on real demand during operational planning, it reduces dependence on forecast accuracy.

The clients who have been using Intuiflow and a demand driven approach for several years point out that their businesses experience less stress even during the crisis. Buffers dampen demand fluctuations and allow to overcome the turbulence, despite the storm around. Intuiflow quickly responds to those spikes that no-one warns about.

3: Automation Gives Everyone a Common View

Given how many employees still work remotely, in an endless stream of Zoom conferences, companies are in critical need of an integrated and transparent system for monitoring manufacturing and supply. What items are currently in production? Which SKUs are running out and which ones are in excess? What’s the situation with inventory levels in the distribution center and local warehouses?

Automated inventory management solutions create a common information area for everyone. They also simplify the data flow between the departments that are involved in the process. As a result, the speed of your team’s reaction to ongoing changes will increase.

At any moment, top management can control who generates the largest overstocks or doesn’t approve orders in time so it leads to shortages, which is the gap between current and target inventory.

In addition, solutions like Intuiflow automate everyday tasks for managers, eliminating routine jobs like order calculation and focusing attention on deviations — that is, on what’s really important. They free up managers’ time with alerts and analytics and help prevent crises from emerging.

4: Automation Puts You In Lockstep With Demand

At the beginning of the pandemic, the pharmaceutical industry experienced dramatic changes in demand. Suddenly, the world needed more paracetamol, protective masks, and antiseptics. Pharmacies had already felt a significant increase in sales, but production continued to follow its forecast plan, and the warehouses soon became empty.

Even if you missed the beginning of changing market trends, do not hesitate, and start considering demand patterns from today! 

Producers could only regret bitterly that they responded too late. If they had reacted more quickly, when demand was just beginning to go up, they could have avoided huge lost sales.

Afterward, pharmaceutical production began to work in three shifts. But without a reliable notification system, would they be able to understand when to stop and avoid producing excess products?

The same applies to other industries such as FMCG, DIY, etc. Automation enables a company not to miss out on a sharp increase in demand, as well as a decrease in consumption.

Intuiflow’s buffers are updated at least once a day during an exchange with ERP, for instance — in contrast to the safety stocks, which can be recalculated once a week or once a month. Thus, up-to-date information about demand will not be missed.

5: Automation Provides Competitive Advantage

Competition in the market is getting tougher and stronger, and it’s hard to imagine niches without rivals. You must run twice as fast in order to maintain your position. 

Inventory management automation is a powerful way to stand out from competitors. It’s a powerful addition to well-known tools like price changes, product development, marketing, and so on.

Why? Because it helps companies be more flexible, and be the first in the market to respond to changes as well as adjust the entire replenishment system to meet the requirements of the market without delay.

Intuiflow gives you relevant recommendations on what to produce and supply right now while other market players will try to fix their forecasts. System of alerts shows an up-to-date situation and underlines weak sides, so you can prevent issues before they happen. Don’t miss this chance!

The era of rising demand fluctuations and instability is the right time for business automation projects. Now you need to choose the right products that meet market requirements: cloud-based, flexible and easy to use, and yielding a maximum effect in a short time.
Evgenia Medvedeva, ABM Cloud managing partner

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