<img alt="" src="https://secure.shoo5woop.com/166337.png" style="display:none;">

The Datacor Blog

5 Key Benefits of Real-Time Inventory

May 8, 2024 by Jinelle Cioffi

Many businesses in process manufacturing and distribution rely on manual data entry, spreadsheets, and extensive paperwork to stay on top of their inventory. Instead of transitioning to modern software systems that offer real-time inventory, full visibility into their raw materials and output, and streamlined workflows that help enhance productivity, efficiency, and performance, they instead choose to stick with what they know.

But in a fast-placed, increasingly competitive marketplace – where many of their peers are digitizing operations – the question is, can they afford to resist?

Used effectively, Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are an extension of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution and offer complete control and management of inventory and orders, says Steve Pombert, Product Manager MES/WMS at Datacor.An MES enables users to track raw materials and finished goods throughout the manufacturing process, whereas a WMS offers complete control over inventories in real time.

While the ERP is the system of record for inventory, the WMS helps facilitate the transactions that happen out on the shop floor, says Pombert. That means whether you’re moving inventory internally within your facility, preparing raw materials for manufacture, or picking for an order so it can be shipped, the WMS provides the vital real-time visibility needed to stay on top of your stocks and supplies.

Without a WMS in place, every one of these tasks would have to be done manually – which not only increases the chance of errors, but also poses significant challenges for your ERP when forecasting for purchasing, managing your scheduling activities, or monitoring order status.

On the MES side, this powerful tool helps keep users informed about how they consume their raw materials. So, if you’re taking a raw material to put it into the manufacturing process, the MES will remove it from your inventory in real time. Alternatively, if you’re creating a new product and adding it to your inventory, it will also update it accordingly. Without an MES, there's always going to be an element of guesswork and an increased likelihood of potentially costly mistakes. Working without software means having to create production orders or batch tickets, print them, and then physically hand them to staff working in the warehouse. These then have to be checked off as and when products are made, or the raw materials are consumed. Most likely, you would only be able to manually update the inventory listed on the system at the end of the day. As this isn’t reflected “live” in your ERP, it’s all too easy to assume that inventory is still available.

Not only does this make material incredibly difficult to track, but it paints a misleading picture about your stock levels and significantly impacts your revenue cycle. Orders may have been completed, yet you’re unable to send out an invoice for that inventory because it hasn't technically been shipped and recognized.

Still not convinced? Here are some more of the key benefits of using Datacor’s MES/WMS software:

1. Improved accuracy & inventory visibility

Real time inventory removes uncertainty from your operations. Users can instantly view and manage accurate and up-to-date inventory across all their facilities in their ERP for purchasing, planning, shipping, and customer service. Effectively, it eliminates time consuming manual tracking and minimizes the risk of errors, assists with decision making, and significantly improves the cycle times for shipping and invoicing.

2. More efficient order fulfillment & receiving

Delays and missed shipments can destroy customer relationships – but by using an effective software solution, you’ll always have full visibility of stock levels and inventory to help ensure orders are fulfilled on time, every time.

It also means that material handlers, office staff, and customer sales teams never need to waste valuable time searching for product or lots, and always know how much is available. Software makes it easier to calculate possible costs associated with escalated and premium shipping, as well as being able to invoice more quickly, accurately, and efficiently.

There’s also the convenience factor. With wireless connectivity, Datacor’s solutions are completely mobile – meaning transactions can be completed on the shop floor where the work is being performed rather than having to wait until you return to the office, or require someone else to manually input all the data into the ERP.

3. Costs can be closely managed & controlled

Given the prevailing market conditions, businesses are having to be more focused on minimizing costs than ever before. By adopting real-time inventory practices, Datacor MES/WMS users don’t have to worry about carrying too much obsolete inventory; searching for misplaced supplies; dealing with excessive and un-necessary inventory corrections; or inefficient storage of inventory.

4. Software smooths the manufacturing process

A key element of real time inventory in manufacturing is the consumption of raw materials and recognition of finished goods inventory in near real-time. Timely ERP updates mean that more informed decisions can be made for purchasing, order fulfillment, and shipping without delays. Being forced to suspend production because you’ve misplaced - or lack - the required materials can be very damaging in terms of both your bottom line and reputation.

6. Better traceability & quality control

Traceability is critically important in today’s manufacturing landscape. Best practices around inventory management and lot/location control can help ensure quality control in real-time. MES/WMS software helps with: enforcing inventory management leveraging FIFO (or First In, First Out) and FEFO (First Expired, First Out); raw material validation, ensuring quality, and reducing the risk of a bad batch; avoiding obsolete inventory – and that expired lots are not shipped to a customer; and gathering supporting documentation or evidence at several stages of the process.

If you’re among those still wavering on whether to make the transition, ask yourself this: what does a minute of downtime cost – and how much would it impact your operations? Can you afford to delay orders because you don’t know how much inventory is on hand? And can you put a price on damaging those customer relationships you’ve worked so hard to build?

Look at your business strategy. If you’re trying to grow revenue, do you have the capacity and the efficiencies to meet your goals with your current practices of inventory management? If your strategy is geared more towards cost control, what is your lack of inventory best practices costing you?

Need more help? As a leading supplier for the process manufacturing and distribution industry for over 40 years, Datacor’s team of experts understands the unique needs of your business and is always on hand to answer any questions or provide a demo.

Find out more about the Benefits of Inventory Management Software or read about the experiences with Datacor MES/WMS from some of our customers - Deveraux Specialties, LLC. and The Lewis Chemical Company.

Topics: Inventory Management, Datacor MES, Datacor WMS

Jinelle Cioffi

Written by Jinelle Cioffi

Search the Datacor blog

  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.

The ERP of Choice for Process Manufacturers & Distributors

Bring all of your back-end operations together to increase visibility and boost productivity.
See Datacor in Action

Follow the Datacor Blog

Recent Posts

Media Contacts

Jinelle Cioffi
Marketing Manager

(973) 822-1551


Schedule a Free Consultation

Datacor offers products and services designed specifically for process manufacturers and chemical distributors. Contact us to learn more about our products and services. Call us now at (973) 822-1551 or fill out the form to the right.