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Change You Can Handle: Best Practices for Inventory and Warehouse Management

Posted 04-05-2008 at 04:17 PM by Kevin Collins (SmartTurn Inventory and Warehouse Management Best Practices Series)

Change You Can Handle: Best Practices for Inventory and Warehouse Management

Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein are two giants of history who knew a thing about getting things done right. The observation that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again with the expectation of different results” is attributed to both of them.

Does their observation characterize your inventory and warehouse operations?

If your operation is one of the tens of thousands of warehouses in the United States still using paper, Microsoft Excel, or processes first developed in the late 70s/early 80s, we’re here to help. To provide you tools, information, guidance, tips, proven methodologies, we offer you the forthcoming “Best Practice Series for Inventory and Warehouse Management.”

SmartTurn created this series for business owners, accounting staff, procurement managers responsible for inventory or warehouse operations, and anyone else who...
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Director, Product Mgmt
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Best Practices: Comparing SaaS to On-Premise WMS Software

Posted 04-29-2008 at 05:02 PM by Kevin Collins (SmartTurn Inventory and Warehouse Management Best Practices Series)

Best Practices: Comparing SaaS to On-Premise Warehouse Management System Software

You already knew after reading the Best Practice Series for Inventory and Warehouse Management introduction that implementing a Warehouse Management System (WMS) was inevitable.

You might have already implemented one. You might even be currently editing a WMS Request for Proposal as a first step. Or, your eyes might be closed shut, hoping that WMS vendors stop calling you, and Modern Materials Handling writers stop writing glowing WMS case studies. Sorry, you can’t ignore their ample benefits any longer. You really need a WMS to implement your industry’s best practices. But what type?

To SaaS or not to SaaS
We’re going to start our WMS conversation from the perspective of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vs. on-premise software. It is vital to understand their similarities and differences. The applications loaded on your laptop or desktop are examples of on-premise...
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Annual/Physical Inventory Best Practices

Posted 10-23-2008 at 02:40 PM by Kevin Collins (SmartTurn Inventory and Warehouse Management Best Practices Series)

Annual/Physical Inventory Best Practices

Overview
In the first chapter of our Best Practices series, we explored the many benefits of cycle counting. Chief among them is the elimination of an annual physical count of your inventory. While cycle counting is our preferred inventory counting process, many companies still conduct annual counts. Acknowledging that many companies still conduct annual counts, here is our look at the Best Practices for an annual physical inventory.

Benefits of Counting
Anyone who has ever planned or participated in an inventory count knows what a frustrating, tedious and time-consuming activity it can be. The actual process of counting requires you to remove employees from their regular jobs for hours, if not, days in every inventory location. Depending on your warehouse operation, this could effect shutdowns in other parts of your business such as manufacturing. While the frustration of counting every item, and hunting...
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Best Practices for Kitting and Sub-Assembly

Posted 11-07-2008 at 03:33 PM by Kevin Collins (SmartTurn Inventory and Warehouse Management Best Practices Series)

Best Practices for Kitting and Sub-Assembly

Introduction
Let's talk about Best Practices for kitting and assembly. They mean different things depending on your position within the supply chain. Many companies use kitting and assembly interchangeably together but they are indeed different.

Manufacturers typically use the term assembly while wholesaling industry (comprised of 3PL and distribution companies) use kitting. You are either combining raw materials to create a finished good, or combining already finished goods into a larger group. Even if you have raw goods, you can still kit for assembly. Kitting is for anyone who wants to combine group items together, build a product, or make a master item.

If you are a distributor looking to build business with just-in-time manufacturers, kitting is a value-added service to offer to prospects during your sales/business development conversations. If you are a 3PL, you may have manufacturing...
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Best Practices for RF Mobile in 3PL and Warehousing Operations

Posted 02-10-2009 at 01:21 PM by Kevin Collins (SmartTurn Inventory and Warehouse Management Best Practices Series)

Best Practices for RF Mobile in 3PL and Warehousing Operations

Introduction
If your role in the supply chain is to have stock immediately available to meet your customers' needs, then it is time to take a closer look at best practices for RF (radio frequency wireless).

As a distributor or 3PL, know that RF technology advances are now at the forefront of internal operational improvements in wholesale distribution. RF is a mature technology and has been implemented in thousands of facilities. There is little question, therefore, that the modern warehouse is wireless, incorporating paperless receiving, putaway, picking, shipping and inventory counting. (According to Pembroke Consulting, well over 2/3rds of industrial distributors already use wireless local area networks).

In this chapter of our Best Practices series, we're going to look at how to use RF in your operation to respond to the not uncommon scenario in which your customers demand...
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