5 Tips for Inventory Management in the Supply Chain

inventory management supply chainThe globalization of the supply chain represents an enormous opportunity for electronics manufacturers and distributors. However, it also involves increasing complexity and inventory management challenges that include: language barriers, long-range logistics, market volatility and economic fluctuations that have an enormous impact on the effectiveness of an organization’s supply chain.

For proper inventory management in a global supply chain, a company should:

1. Streamline Inventory Management

As the supply chain grows, the number of vendors available to an organization increases exponentially. The first step in managing inventory is to streamline RFQ, PO, receiving, and tracking processes to eliminate waste, and to maximize efficiency throughout the supply chain.

Related: RFQ Definition: How Automation Will Streamline Your Business

2. Improve Forecasting

Timing is key to successful inventory management, therefore forecasting supply and demand becomes a critical part of managing the supply chain. When dealing with a global supply chain, forecasting has an even greater impact because lead times are longer, and logistics are more complicated.

Data analytics are instrumental in accurate forecasting, using historical data to provide organization with insight as to potential market supply and demand scenarios. Predictive analytics allow a company to prepare for expected market fluctuations well in advance so that organizations can be prepared and avoid expensive last-minute orders.

3. Eliminate Silos

An efficient process requires a free flow of information and data, which can be used to make sound decisions that affect the entire enterprise. Without an integrated, centralized source of data, decisions are made based on an incomplete, partial view of the organization.

However, eliminating departmental or functional silos improves the flow of data and increases collaboration, leading to better decision making throughout the supply chain.

4. Don’t Choose On Price Alone

One of the major benefits of an expanded list of potential vendors is the opportunity to save costs by seeking out lower-priced suppliers. However, particularly in the electronics manufacturing industry, businesses must be aware of the dangers of low-quality or counterfeit parts that may be substituted by illegitimate suppliers.

While it can be difficult to compile counterfeit parts reporting from different countries, data from organizations such as ERAI show that electronic parts counterfeiting is on the rise. Ensuring that the correct, authentic electronic parts are meeting required quality standards are ordered and received will help to eliminate costly, last-minute substitutions.

5. Automate

Automation is a key component in creating an efficient, streamlined, cost-effective supply chain. Manual processes are time-consuming and prone to errors. Automating repetitive processes not only increases efficiency and productivity, but it also frees up employee resources to focus on higher-level, strategic objectives.

Automating supply chain processes such as PO and RFQ intake and response, BOM generation and management, and communication with vendors and suppliers, ensure that processes are efficient and streamlined and that data can be gathered and analyzed for maximum impact.

Orbweaver simplifies inventory management in the supply chain by eliminating common data management challenges such as RFQ intake, price book management, PO issuance, all while saving money and increasing speed to market. Gain increased efficiency and speed to market with our seamless integrations and real-time data analytics.

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Request a consultation with Orbweaver today for more information about how automation can help your organization effectively manage inventory in a global supply chain.