Inventory Management is the Core of What We Do
Our role in your supply chain is to ensure that your product is received accurately, stored and tracked efficiently, and shipped without error. We do this through a combination of facility and equipment, process and procedure, and systems to tie everything together. All CDS distribution centers are equipped with an advanced inventory management system that enables real-time inventory tracking down to the case level. When combined with established CDS processes and trained CDS personnel, the outcome is a system that enables clients to know where their product is at any point in time.
The Result: Inventory accuracy rates in excess of 99.7% are common at CDS for a good reason: maintaining high accuracies is at the core of what we do.
CDS has implemented various processes to ensure the ongoing accuracy of inventory data, including:
- Bar Coding – the most accurate way to track inventory, bar codes are placed on all product, physical locations and doors. Any activity with product is recorded via a bar-code scan. This provides complete and immediate inventory knowledge as well as historical traceability.
- Bay Auditing – a structured counting of warehouse locations by specialized resources; the contents of storage bays are counted and compared to the warehouse management system. A variance will trigger an investigation including a cycle count if necessary. The audit cycle typically requires one to two weeks to complete, at which point the process begins again. This perpetual inventory process is a key procedural element towards ensuring the highest inventory accuracy results.
- Cycle Count – an inventory auditing procedure where a specific subset of inventory within a facility is counted on a specified day.
- Physical Inventory –a process where normal warehouse operations are suspended and a physical count of all inventory occurs during an established time period. As with all counts, strict control procedures are followed along with any procedures or necessities required by CDS clients.
- Resolution Procedures – any inventory variance will trigger additional counts to resolve any potential underlying issues. Variances are noted as system adjustments, and clients are notified via pre-established communications paths, primarily automated reporting and/or electronic transmissions.
- Countback – the counting of a specific location during order allocation. Countback miscounts trigger immediate bay audit procedures to resolve any mismatches. This procedure is automated in the Warehouse Management System (WMS) and helps keep overall inventory issues low – and order accuracy high.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – include location accuracy, SKU accuracy, physical inventory accuracy (within a specific percentage), and damage percentages; these are measured on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual, or event-specific basis.
Other critical components of inventory management include:
- Customer orders are monitored and managed to ship cleanly and correctly
- Receiving processes ensure product integrity, accurate identification, and appropriate storage
- Error-free shipping is assured through real-time radio-frequency checking, defined loading procedures, and detailed documentation
- Specialized equipment protects, identifies, stores, moves, and retrieves your product.
- Flexible configurations allow you to match space, storage, climate, and security specifications to your business requirements