Inventory management is the process of overseeing the efficient, constant flow of products in and out of inventories. Inventory management systems are needed by manufacturers, suppliers/distributors, wholesalers, and retailers to manage inventories.
Inventory management is important because it helps you determine what is moving and what is not, so that you can better place orders (and which helps in product development) and it helps cut down on inventory-related costs. Inventory management also ensures that products do not become obsolete or spoil while in storage, it prevents damage while shipping, and it ensures that the packing, shipping, and receiving of items is smooth.
Decision support for inventory management systems, as the term suggests, are systems that are geared towards making your inventory management more efficient. One of the greatest advantages of decision support for inventory management is therefore, the fact that you will end up spending a lot less in your inventory management, your processes will be smoother, and you will get fewer complaints from customers and/or suppliers since they will have what they need when they need it, and in the right quantities.
According to industry studies by AMR Research, A.T.Kearney, and others, companies lose as much as 3.5% of their sales due to inefficiencies in supply chain information. The same studies also show that 30% of data in catalogs have errors and 60% of invoices have errors. Decision support systems (DSSs) are capable of eliminating these errors and reducing losses caused by supply chain information inefficiencies.
The increased popularity of the Internet means more and more businesses and enterprises are making their sales online. Decision support for inventory management ensures that you are competitive and that you are even able to compete with larger players.
Decision support also helps in analyzing and developing cooperative environments among supply chain members. This has the effect of reducing the cost of goods sold and the cost of inventory. Decision support systems help you develop what-if analyses, which are important in that you will be able to evaluate different scenarios so that you can get the lowest inventory costs. This means lower costs for the customers.
Most DSSs are easy to use with no requirement for technical knowledge of the system. You can restrict access to information based on the position of the individual in the company. This reduces the risk of data tampering. Decision support for inventory management systems are accessible from computers and hand-held devices (such as PDAs, smart phones and tablets), meaning managers get unparalleled convenience. The information is accessible from any part of the premises and even outside the premises.
Today’s decision support systems allow for quick design changes and they can be customized to suit the company’s particular purposes. These systems can tap into the power of the host PC to access ‘flat’ files (raw data) if it is needed. These systems allow you to decide the information that is to be displayed on the screen and what is to be printed.
If you are managing a large inventory, consider tapping into the power of decision support for inventory management systems. Decision support systems (DSSs) have several advantages.