Inventory Control / Management
Accurate Inventory Control Is Almost Impossible Without Detailed Information
Many produce companies are disappointed with the inventory control information they get from their warehouse people. Management often tells us that their warehouse people are not capable of tracking inventory accurately. That may, or may not, be true.
We have people on our staff who are very experienced and very good with inventory control, but they could never provide good inventory information if their computer system did not provide the tools they need to do their jobs well.
Warehouse people need GOOD INFORMATION and GOOD TOOLS or there is no way to provide the inventory detail that is needed for the company.
Produce companies expect their inventory management people to be able to give them accurate inventory information at ANY TIME. If the information they need is not available, that is impossible.
YOU CANNOT GET INFORMATION OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM, IF THE NEEDED INFORMATION IS NOT BEING INPUT, STORED, AND INDEXED IN A WAY THAT ALLOWS A RAPID RETRIEVAL.
Color Coded Displays For Sales And Purchases Show Potential Problems
Produce Magic Software provides NUMEROUS Color-Coded Sales Order and Purchase Order Summary Screens so you can see “at a glance” when late arriving Purchase Orders will affect sales orders needing that product.
Excellent programs are provided to bring up all sales lines items for late arriving Purchase Orders, and let you change those allocated Inventory Lots to Inventory Lots that are ‘on hand’ now or will arrive before the sales order needs to ship.
We also provide excellent programs to display ALL sales lines that have not shipped yet for a particular product that is in short supply, and let you re-allocate the available product between the orders that are not shipped yet.
There are also sales order summary screens that show orders that are ready to ship and orders that are waiting on product coming in on Purchase Orders.
Those screens show when the last product for the sales order is scheduled to arrive. As planned Purchase Order Arrival times are changed, the last time for product arrival is updated (and color-coded accordingly) in all of the sales orders that have not shipped yet.
As everything else in Produce Magic Software, all data is in real-time.
Inventory Flow Overview
Produce Magic Software brings Inventory Lots into the system through Purchase Orders. A separate Purchase Order is created for each shipment from your growers / suppliers.
Each line item on an incoming Purchase Order has an Inventory Lot automatically assigned to it. Purchase Orders are normally input as soon as the information is known and before arrival, so the product on those incoming Inventory Lots can be allocated to Sales Orders before the Purchase Order arrives.
Site and Warehouse/Department combinations can be set up to require Inventory Lot tracking or not require Inventory Lot tracking. Some produce companies will want to track Inventory Lots in some Warehouse/Departments, and not in others.
When Inventory Lot tracking is required for a Site and Warehouse/Department combination, each Sales Order line item that is shipped from YOUR inventory must contain the Inventory Lot number that supplies that product. When multiple Inventory Lots or outside (Customer Fill) purchases are used to supply the same line item, the line item can be split ANY number of times.
You could clean up your warehouse and ship thirty different inventory lots to supply one line item, and THE CUSTOMERS ONLY SEE THE TOTAL ORDERED AND THE TOTAL SHIPPED.
We track all of the detail in-house for your grower accounting and profit and loss information, but the customer sees only the summary total for each line item. Product for any line item or split line item can also be purchased from outside vendors, right in the sales order line. We call that ‘Customer Fill’. All you have to do is change the department on that line or split line to a code such as CF, then enter the Vendor code and product cost. That automatically creates a payable for that line or split line.
Inventory Control Often Makes Or Breaks Produce Companies
Inventory control is the number one problem for many produce companies.
Inventory control problems and tracking problems can be extremely expensive for produce companies. In many produce companies, losses incurred by inventory problems take ALL of their profit. Much of that could be prevented if inventory was controlled accurately. Produce Magic Software does that for you automatically and seamlessly.
The Inventory / Product Manager Is One Of The Most Critical Positions
For produce companies, accurate inventory control is MUCH MORE CRITICAL than for other inventory firms, because produce companies handle very expensive, very perishable inventory. As we have all heard, “…anything that CAN happen, often does”.
Good inventory decisions can save the company huge amounts of money and poor inventory decisions can cost the company equally huge amounts of money. Produce companies often try to cut costs when it comes to paying for an Inventory/Product Manager.
Someone from the warehouse might be GREAT for that job, but not if they do not have the organizational, management and computer skills that are needed. The Inventory/Produce Manager obviously needs to REALLY understand the products that the company sells as well as the sharpest salespeople in the company.
Salespeople should be able to go to that person to get answers about product quality. As much care should be taken in the selection of the Inventory/Product Manager as for the General Manager, the CFO, or the Sales Manager.
The Inventory/Product Manager should be as sharp as the CFO or the sharpest salespeople. A really sharp Inventory/Product Manager can make more money for the company than anyone else in the company!
Few produce companies realize how much poor inventory control decisions cost them, because their systems do not capture needed information. Produce companies should expect to pay their Inventory / Product Manager a salary similar to their top salespeople.
If a really sharp Inventory / Product Manager can prevent inventory problems, each problem they prevent can pay their salary for months. Their salary will not cost the company if they are good at their job. The opposite is true. If the Inventory / Produce Manager is good at his/her job, then the company can make a good deal of profit.
Many produce companies who think they have “Produce Automation Software”, do all of their inventory tracking manually because the inventory information they need is not input into their systems until well after the product has been shipped. In many cases, all the information they need is NEVER AVAILABLE.
What kind of automation is that?
Detailed Inventory Lot Information Is Stored In Each Sales Line For The Selected Lot
When an Inventory Lot is selected in a sales line item, dozens of fields in the sales line item are updated with Inventory Lot information.
We could have simply stored the Inventory Lot number in the line items, then link to the Inventory Lot record when we need Inventory Lot information.
We do that for some of the information we need from the Inventory Lot, but we need many of the Inventory Lot fields right in the Sales Line Item file for indexing and reporting purposes. That lets us display (or print) desired information instantly instead of making the user wait for the system to scan and sort the data records for a long time.