3. Remote equipment
For both manual and spreadsheet-based inventory management systems, remote equipment can cause issues. When a company has numerous sites, keeping track of equipment becomes exponentially more complicated.
As tools are taken and moved around sites, it becomes impossible to know whether equipment is being used, is in storage at a different site, or is broken or missing.
Often this can arise from a lack of transparency across locations. When a system is managed centrally using manual or spreadsheet-based systems, communication between sites can be very difficult. While this is frustrating, in the realities of day-to-day operations, this is completely understandable - it just isn’t practical or feasible to ask workers to record every item they take and update the status of equipment constantly.
Remote equipment can have numerous inventory management implications. Without a clear sense of what equipment you have in your toolpark, overstock and understock are extremely likely, with workers often being equipped with the wrong tools as a result. This can lead to downtime on-site and increased costs, as well as excess stress for procurement teams, plant managers and workers.
It’s extremely easy for a company to outgrow manual and spreadsheet inventory management systems - particularly if the business has grown quickly. The various problems associated with these systems can develop over time, and many companies may not realise how inefficient their systems have become.
Effective inventory management helps negate these problems by allowing you to see clear, up-to-date information on your stock, which can vastly improve your overall productivity.