ILLUMITI INNOVATION BLOG

How SAP Business One helps Food and Beverage Distributors Improve Inventory Management

By: Neal Johnie
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As a food wholesaler, one of your biggest costs depends on how much inventory you stock and how quickly you can turn over that inventory. Finding the balance between how much inventory you stock and your customer demands, is a critical priority. Here are four considerations in helping you tread this fine line for advanced inventory control;

1.) Effective expiry management : Throwing away expired items is wasteful and costly. Using the FIFO principle (first in, first out), ensures you have enough stock while effectively turning your inventory so that you have the freshest ingredients without waste.

2.) Traceability is King: Having the ability to know where every product is, ascertain the origin of each product, and all of its ingredients and attributes including its remaining shelf life is critical to effectively managing your inventory. Furthermore, batch traceability ultimately provides security for food safety. SAP Business One’s robust traceability capabilities allows you to confidently identify allergens, bi-products, kosher or halal products as well as the source of any contaminants. It is not about expecting the worst-case scenarios but rather preparing for the worst while expecting the best.

3.) Managing your shelf space: Effective management of your shelf space is more than simply managing the physical space in your warehouse and/or storefront to store your inventory items. You must also manage your shipping and receiving, picking, packing, physical inventory counting, and quality.

The keys to successful management of your shelf space lies in planning and logistics. SAP Business One provides fully integrated tools like intelligent forecasting and materials requirements planning (MRP) to help identify when you need what, how much you need, and in what order quantities alleviating much of the heavy lifting while providing you with the necessary recommendations to make informed business decisions.

4.) Real-time inventory cycle counts: It is far less disruptive and much more efficient to have a rolling cycle count than having to resort to physical counts every week/month/quarter. A cycle count is an inventory auditing procedure where a small subset of inventory, in a specific location, is counted on a specified day. Cycle counts provide an ongoing measure of inventory accuracy and procedure execution that are critical to business processes.

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