Lead Forensics

Live inventory management systems enable zero-interruption inventory counting

New inventory management technology could transform the operation of stock counting

When stock needs to be counted, many warehouses suspend order processing until the counting has finished, or count overnight when the warehouse is closed, but this is not ideal for warehouses that operate 24 hours a day. If order processing is not stopped while counting, the inventory data is already out of date by the time the counting has finished.

A new type of inventory management software called TouchPath collects live data from all data capture devices including scanners and mobile computers, to create a real-time view of inventory numbers. Stock takers can count stock and input live data into the warehouse management systems. The software adjusts their figures as stock is picked, and inventory levels are monitored in real-time.

Operators using heavy duty trolleys can pick any item, including those in areas where stock is being counted. As soon as they scan an item to pick it, the scanner connects to the system to adjust the inventory levels.

A benefit of this new technology is that stock counting can be done more frequently, even daily, to accurately compare actual stock levels with the number of items that should be on the shelves. If items are lost through damage or theft this can quickly be spotted.

Warehouse operators who have adopted this technology find that the system pays for itself within a year through downtime reduction and fewer product losses. Warehouses that used to pay stock takers overtime rates for working overnight save on wage costs.

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