Mr. A runs an auto manufacturing unit. He has spent millions of dollars to have auto parts in inventory of raw materials required for the finished product, and made another major expenditure in warehousing the inventory. However, he has no clarity on- which inventory is stored where, which results in waste of time, money, and other resources.
Ms. B, on the other hand, has a bakery business. One day, she realizes she doesn’t have enough flour to complete her high-priority customers’ order. Running out of flour, which happens to be a key component of a baker’s end products, and hence should be a crucial part of inventory, isn’t a good sign for her business.
What’s the point being made here?
Inventory management & control is an absolutely crucial aspect of a manufacturing business. Having knowledge about the on-hand inventory, and where exactly it is stored, allows a manufacturer to maintain adequate stock levels, and meet the customer orders on time. For any manufacturing company, accurate inventory assessment is the difference between profit and loss.
Most of the times, manufacturing organizations do not know how to control or manage inventory in the most efficient manner. Majority of such businesses rely on manual methods, which at best, prove to be a hassle, forcing employees to waste valuable time on repetitive, menial tasks. Such methods also induce human errors, and often carry out-of-date information.
Consequently, the information doesn’t get shared across departments which results in costly delays, wasted resources, quality management issues, and regulatory incompatibilities. This holds true for all the manufacturing businesses, including the specialty chemicals manufacturing businesses.
The key lies in automation
Managing the inventory efficiently isn’t the only challenge for the chemical manufacturers, who operate in a highly-regulated environment. Besides dealing with the hazardous raw materials, and ever-changing regulations such as REACH, GHS, SARA reporting, etc., they also need to worry about waste disposal management, and adhering to industrial hygiene & safety standards.
Then there’s the need to continuously improve the product quality to stay ahead of the competition; so is to keep innovating by ensuring adequate R&D efforts. Changing consumer preferences, increasing item proliferation, and shortening product cycle, etc., among others, are some challenges that test the resilience of the specialty chemical manufacturers.
The fix- Chemical inventory management software
To deal with these challenges, and importantly, to effectively manage and control the inventory, the specialty chemicals manufacturers need an automated system that can help eliminate the manual processes related to inventory management and control, among other things.
A chemicals manufacturing ERP software happens to be that solution, and helps businesses solve these challenges by offering an automated, accurate system that’s accessible from anywhere. Such solutions integrate a range of business functions in one place, streamlining processes and information across the entire organization.
What is a chemical inventory software?
A chemical inventory software is a business management tool that helps all types of chemicals manufacturing businesses — including the specialty chemicals businesses — that operate with enormous inventory needing different handling, storing, and disposal specifications, effectively manage their inventory.
Integrating all the different departments of an organization into one comprehensive information system that’s accessible to all across the entire organization, it offers the chemical manufacturers intensive inventory planning and management capabilities, and also capabilities that give them a panoptic view into warehouse operations,along with the ability to manage them thoroughly.
A chemical inventory management software is particularly essential when it comes to planning inventory, as it can assess the demands coming from various sources like customer orders, warehouse transfers, etc., and check inventory on-hand to help businesses evaluate and make more accurate production decisions to avoid over- or underproduction and stock inaccuracies.
Salient features of the chemical inventory software
- Demand planning, MRP, and forecasting– A chemical inventory software comes with material requirement planning, demand planning, and forecasting capabilities, which help businesses forecast sales, and simplify purchasing and production decisions based on historical information, material needs, and on-hand inventory, ensuring they never exceed/fall short on quantities.
- Unit-of-measure conversions– A chemicals manufacturing software custom-made for the chemical industry will automatically convert units of measure into the base units businesses need to measure their inventory. This way, manufacturers can ensure accurate inventory quantities, costing, pricing and sales analysis, and better manage recipes and formulas.
- Real-time inventory control – Through tools such as handheld scanning devices, chemical manufacturers can scan the barcodes and send items directly into the inventory list, ensuring accurate, real-time quantities updated across all locations and departments. A chemical inventory system also offers functionalities such as lot control, expiration date tracking, etc.
- Compliance and reporting – Chemical inventory management systems come equipped with tailor-made functionality to help manufacturing businesses meet regulatory compliance requirements. Such systems collect, organize, and report information for OSHA, EPA, DOT, and ISO, and support GHS labeling requirements along with MSDS and HMIS support for safety of workers.
- Multi-location inventory tracking – A chemical inventory management software helps chemical manufacturing businesses keep a track of all of their hundreds of thousands of chemicals across multiple locations, as well as their corresponding costs and vendors, allowing them to keep an eye on where their inventory levels are, what is needed at each place, and when to re order.
Some benefits of using a chemical inventory software
- Automation of manual processes– Using an ERP software for chemical industry, businesses can rid themselves of hunting through warehouse shelves or typing in data, as their inventory is automatically updated whenever a chemical is received, used, relocated, or disposed of.
- Integration across business functions – The right chemical inventory system offers immense benefits to a business, as it integrates and streamlines functions across departments, including inventory, production, distribution, and pricing.
- Cost-savings – A chemical inventory software increases efficiency and productivity, boosts morale, and drives more revenue by eliminating accidental double-orders, unnecessary disposals, and inaccurate expiration dates, so that the manufacturers can optimize ordering, and streamline production.
- Better business decisions– With the accurate, real-time information, and sound planning, forecasting and budgeting tools that an ERP software for chemical industry offers, the chemical manufacturers can make smarter decisions with respect to buying, stocking, and handling inventory efficiently.
- Increased safety – Most of the chemicals used in the manufacturing units are hazardous in nature, and can pose threats such as fires, explosions, leaks, and even adverse health effects. Managing this risk is impossible without thorough knowledge of chemical inventory, and an ERP software for chemical industry precisely helps identify potentially harmful substances in the facilities, and prevent accidents and injuries.
- Reduced wastage – A good chemicals manufacturing software can help minimize wastage by offering a way to better manage the perishable and unused inventory. By keeping the inventory lean, and by checking the organization’s carbon footprint and resource usage, a positive contribution towards sustainability efforts can be made using it.
A chemical inventory management software isn’t just a “nice-to-have” tool any more, but an essential one for any chemical manufacturing business. BatchMaster offers comprehensive ERP solution that includes inventory management functionality designed specifically for chemical manufacturers. The robust solution offers all of these features& benefits, and more.
Do you use a chemical inventory software? If not, there’s no better time than now to get started! Learn more about how our ERP software for chemical industry ensures effective inventory management.