Inventory Management and Warehouse Management are often confused for their similarities. It is good to have a clear understanding between both the material management systems as choosing the best software suitable for your business operation directly impacts the business efficiency and growth.
What is Inventory Management ?
Inventory Management is a system used by companies to track, retrieve and maintain minimum stock balance across all locations. It helps to know the exact stock materials in store, when to buy additional resources and how much needed to be bought. This ensures that the materials are handy when required for the production. Having an efficient inventory management lets business owners have a great control over their stock materials which is nothing but the investments made. It also indicates the presence of old stock materials or goods that needed to be moved first. Thus inventory control plays a crucial role in a company’s growth.
What is Warehouse Management ?
Warehouse Management is a system used by companies mainly for distribution and storage of their goods and products. The operations involves planning and schedule of product moves, route plan and allocating labors by areas. It handles the activities like goods inward, managing the storage facilities, picking & packing of products and shipping across locations. It is also responsible for maintaining good quality of products while at storage as well as through-out the shipment.
Difference between the two?
Complexities : To say it simply, inventory is just part of the warehouse management system. The inventory of a company shows the quantity of stock or products in the store whereas the warehouse system manages the whole infrastructure of different products in large numbers. Also ensuring its movements in and out of the premises with respect to timely shipment and delivery.
Control and Storage : The control and storage in terms of inventory gives the specific quantity of the products/materials in the store. In case of Warehouse management it allows you to check the storage locations and space for a particular inventory of goods.
Integration : The inventory is the first step of a warehouse management showing only the quantity and locations of materials. But the warehouse involves various company management from production supply, sales and distribution and quality management. Hence warehouse management is integral to ongoing operations in other departments whereas inventory management is not.
Software : When it comes to Warehouse Management Solutions, it provides you an opportunity to check and analyze the process of inventory and come out with a more efficient streamlined way of optimizing the storage space. But in case of Inventory Management Solutions it only provides you the exact numbers and locations.
Benefits of choosing the right material management system :
Depending on the nature of business you should choose the right system that could help streamline your business operations. Implementing the right software system can benefit you in several ways.
Improve customer satisfaction and gain their trust
Reduce wastage in inventory
Improved on time delivery of goods
Enhance business operations in terms of productivity and transportation
Get better control on inventory and stores by accurate real time information
Additional Information :
Difference between a Warehouse and Store :
A Warehouse is something that deals with finished goods. These are distribution channels located in various cities to help improve the delivery of goods and products to end users.
A Store is a space inside the company that has storage of both raw materials that are needed to be processed and the finished goods as well.
Difference between an Inventory and Stock :
An Inventory refers to the raw materials and sub products that are used to produce the finished goods in a company.
A Stock in something that has all the finished products/goods in the storage ready for sales.
It is evident that choosing a material management system is totally depended upon the nature of the business. It is clear that a warehouse management system is used by distribution, traders and ecommerce industries whereas the inventory management system is used by manufacturing industries that deals with production of goods.