Municipalities are one of the busiest organizations. Unlike manufacturing and warehousing, this organization has different departments with numerous people needing supplies and peripherals to perform their jobs. The police stations, fire stations, and health units are some of those departments that need different types of supplies and equipment.
Manual operations frequently result in misplaced or lost tools, consumable supplies, and other peripherals. The manual data gathering procedures of the past are no longer capable of keeping the warehousing needs of today even for small businesses and government agencies.
Accurate inventory stock levels are also difficult to determine due to inaccuracies and backlogs. Manual procedures, in other words, are a waste of time and money.
The Inventory Process
Inventory management tasks such as procurement, receipt, recording, issuing, and storekeeping are being divided among officials to manage inventory for municipalities. Segregation of duties is beneficial to avoid potential errors and fraud.
What’s best for organizations with processes like this is to have a centralized system that gives real-time information and inventory visibility. The organizational structure alone is very extended and when it comes to handling the multiple locations and departments, it’s hard to keep track of which department has what supplies and assets, and how many items are left in the inventory.
Optimizing the inventory itself might appear to be a difficult task, however, with the help of today’s technology, it is still possible to enhance the management of inventory while reducing the cost. Automated technologies like inventory management software are being used by organizations to streamline inventory processes and be in control of everything on hand to become more efficient and always record-ready for auditing and reporting.
The best features to consider in an inventory management system for organizations like municipalities are the following
- Inventory mapping
- Inventory loss prevention
- Inventory level indicator and expiration date
- Drag and drop items between locations
It is one of the new features in some of the inventory management systems. Municipalities have numerous departments which are equivalent to multiple locations that need to be managed. Inventory mapping offers a dashboard where these locations can be mapped based on their actual location in an office. Users can create sublocations such as rooms, shelves, cabinets, and even drawers and vehicles and zoom into these locations to view contents.
Inventory loss prevention
Inventory loss can occur for a variety of causes, including human mistakes or fraudulent conduct such as theft. Loss may be avoided by keeping track of inventory activities. With activity history, important information such as who, when, and why supplies and assets are moved or checked out is tracked and recorded.
Inventory level indicator and expiration date
The inventory level indicator is quite useful when it comes to keeping the ideal inventory level. Storekeepers will know what items and when replenishments should be ordered based on the selected threshold. Expiration dates aren’t just for perishable goods, they can also be used as a reminder for routine maintenance or auditing. This is also where the useful life of certain equipment may be set to determine if it performed its function for the specified amount of time or to use as a reference if it has to be replaced soon.
Barcoding is a common kind of automated data collecting. It is a proven and reliable approach that has been used for decades. Barcode labels can be developed and attached to assets and supplies. Each barcode label contains important information about the object such as the description and the identification number.
Drag and drop items between locations
Drag and drop is very useful in day-to-day operations for quick transactions like distributing consumable supplies and assigning equipment to each office department.
Automated inventory management ensures data collection is accurate. It’s easier to optimize inventories and recognize where adjustments are needed. The ultimate goal is to achieve efficiency and get a hold of accurate and detailed information anytime.
Ineffective inventory management has a significant impact on both cost and service delivery. Inventory shortages, in particular, affect service delivery, while excess inventory leads to higher costs. As a result, one of the most important goals of inventory management is to guarantee that the ideal amount of inventory is accessible to achieve defined service levels while keeping prices low.
If your department’s existing approach to inventory management continues to cause issues, you may want to reconsider your present procedures. Municipalities and other public sectors do not have standard inventory management since it is dependent on the needs of the organization to carry out its mission.