Strong inventory management is important for keeping any business afloat, but it’s especially critical for electronics companies. A faulty component, no matter how small it is, can bring down sophisticated and costly electronic devices. Imagine, for example, a 50-cent part sabotaging a line of $1,000 cell phones. Stranger things have happened, and the fault often lies with shoddy inventory control.
Inventory management monitors the progression of goods from manufacturers to warehouses to points of sale. The basic process is the same:
- Goods are delivered to a warehouse (“goods” may be raw materials or components)
- Materials are organized and placed for storage within the warehouse
- The goods are moved to production facilities and made into finished products
- Products are shipped to customers (or returned to stock areas for later shipment)
The challenge is keeping tabs on the goods as they progress through these steps. This involves tracking lot numbers and serial numbers. It also involves monitoring the cost and quantity of goods and the dates that they move through each of the inventory management steps.
Good inventory control requires the investment of time and resources, but we believe it pays dividends. Here are just a few of its benefits:
- Individual component tracking. Sophisticated inventory management software allows for the barcoding of individual parts. Those barcodes can then be tracked with database lookup and auditing to weed out defects. This tracking process helps keep faulty parts out of products.
- More efficient ordering. Good inventory management helps predict components’ average failure rates. With this information, companies can plus up their orders to include replacement parts that they will need down the line. It’s far more cost-effective to include replacement parts with an original order than to purchase replacements piecemeal.
- Precision troubleshooting. Strong inventory control makes it easier to identify the source of product failures. Faulty components can be weeded out quickly before they take down high-dollar finished products.
Be sure to seek out a contract electronic manufacturer with a robust inventory management system. At EMS Solutions, we are committed to ensuring high quality in every step of the manufacturing process to protect our customers’ reputations and bottom line.