Here’s An Inventory Management Guide For Managing Your Fleet Remotely Efficiently

Jul 7, 2020 7:20 AM ET

Inventory management is a complex and challenging task.

You need to be constantly aware of what’s going on, think as quickly as you possibly can, yet make thoroughly informed choices.

To put it simply, you got to work like a superhuman.


Now, as if all of this was not enough – add to it the pressure of working remotely.

The reasons for working remotely could be anything –

To protect yourself and your colleagues during a pandemic
To save on office rent expenses
To optimize the work-life balance
Out of personal preference


Whatever may be your reason, managing your inventory while working remotely is no mean feat. It requires meticulous planning and precise implementation for your business to succeed – especially in these challenging times.


And yet we are here to tell you – do not be disheartened!


You can definitely sail through the storm with the right dedication, perseverance, and guidance.


To help you in this business endeavor, we have prepared an inventory management guide that is sure to make your work a lot easier.


1. Inventory tracking to keep stockouts at bay

One of the main reasons for having an inventory management system is to avoid stockouts.

Stockouts can be a real pain as they not only result in lower profits but may also compel you to go back on delivery promises, which makes you look bad.

One of the solutions to this problem, made possible by modern technology, is inventory tracking.

Inventory tracking software (sometimes coupled with fleet software such as vehicle gps tracker) makes it super convenient to track inventory in real-time, thus helping you avoid stockout of essential parts and ensure you always have the right parts on hand.


Pro tips:

Opt for the services of a tech consultant to assist you to zero in on the best tracking software for your business, optimized for your unique business needs
Make use of data analytics as much as is possible which will help you make more informed decisions
Set your software so that it sends you alerts and/or notifications in case of a critical inventory shortage well ahead of time

With the latest technological developments such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc., you can easily make optimal decisions to avoid most stockouts even in the medium to long term.


2. Managing inventory in multiple locations

Depending on the size and scope of your business, you may have your inventory in various locations, and consolidating all of them at one place may not be feasible.

Add to it the challenge of working remotely, and you find yourself in the soup.

However, thanks again to cutting-edge technology, you can manage inventory remotely with the help of inventory management software that integrates fully with your business.

With just the right software for your business, you can not only monitor, but also efficiently manage your inventory levels, without being anywhere near it!


Pro tips:

Pick an inventory management software that specifics the exact location of each and every part throughout multiple warehouses as that would offer you the best information to make confident decisions
Ensure accurate documentation for each of your parts down the aisle so your team can quickly find the parts you need without any operational delay
Keep a tab on warehouse operations by communicating with the people as much as possible

What it ultimately boils down to is having the right software and taking appropriate actions based on the data it provides, resulting in optimal business decisions.


3. Collaborate with everyone involved

It is often said – your business is only as strong as the team you build. This is true always, but even truer when working remotely.

Communication technology (at least as it is at the moment) cannot fully recreate the experience of speaking with someone face-to-face.

However, that does not mean you cut-off communication lines and grow distant while working remotely – as this can prove to be disastrous.

It is, in fact, ever more crucial for you to pick up your phone and get talking.


Pro tips:

Speak to your team at the warehouse to keep a tab of any inventory shortfall that may not have been captured by your system
Ask your team to check the functioning of all tracking devices involved as well as to keep updating you of the situation on the ground at all times
Use tools such as video conferencing (group or one-on-one) to make better decisions by involving more people

It is best that you eliminate as much bureaucracy as possible so as to maintain easy communication between you and your team.

If necessary, you may even have to adjust your demeanor so as to come across as approachable. Only then will your team members feel confident in approaching you and stating the straight facts – just the way you want it to be.


4. Just-in-time inventory strategy

The Just-in-Time inventory management strategy, often shortened as JIT, is a strategy that originated in Japan as a means to always meet current demand without having to maintain an overstock of inventory.

It involves increasing efficiency while reducing costs by operating lean inventory, and ordering parts only at the time it is needed. Pretty much what the name suggests.


Pro tips:

JIT is a great strategy, but it nearly necessitates adopting an inventory management software in order to eliminate all of the paperwork that can be a big-time hindrance to efficient JIT
Before implementing JIT, you must first ensure that you have a clear understanding of your inventory levels along with the guarantee of timely demand and supply
You have entire online courses (some with certification) to learn JIT which can be a great way to feel confident before executing the strategy

JIT is a tried-and-tested technique that has a tremendous success rate. With the right approach, it can help scale your business to new heights.


In conclusion


Yes, working remotely has its own pitfalls. However, the mark of a great fleet manager is to work around it. To make the best of what is available while creating a business empire.

In order to achieve big, you first need to dream big, which is only possible if you set yourself free from the shackles of traditional modes of thinking, and allow yourself to fly like a free bird.

With that, go forth, and may all your dreams come true.


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