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 much more complicated. As tools are taken and moved around sites, it's 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 difficult. While this is frustrating, it's completely understandable - it just isn’t practical or feasible to ask workers to record and update the status of every item they take.
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. This can lead to downtime on-site and increased costs, as well as excess stress for procurement teams, plant managers and workers.
It’s really 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.