Wholesale distributors have long faced the challenge of item management. Keeping track of items with different attributes within subsets of specific category needs, based on industry and intended use, is a time-consuming and error prone process. It’s not uncommon for a distributor to handle tens of thousands of items, many of which have only slight differences from one SKU to another, e.g., a screw that fits into ½” or 5/16” socket. It doesn’t seem that difficult to keep track of a variation like that, but try staying on top of a 100,000 SKU inventory, with 10 attributes per SKU. Now, you’re dealing with a million variables!
The challenges in item management include keeping administrative overhead low, avoiding order fulfillment mistakes and making stock replenishment as efficient as possible. Acumatica Distribution Edition solves this problem by streamlining the item management process. It enables item managers to access, order and store items using an inventory matrix. This approach simplifies item management in a variety of ways.
Stocking Kits or Picking Components Using a Built-In Kitting and Disassembly System
Some orders require special attention to kits and components. Many industries, such as electronics and automotive, work with kits, e.g., a battery goes with a device, but each component is a separate SKU. Item managers who work daily with kits often need to break them down into base components. On the other hand, kits can be related by how components are related to other items which may be assembled or sold with another kit. Acumatica makes this process easier by creating an automatic link or option showing the relationship of items and suggestions for adding or subtracting pieces of a kitting order.
Keeping Track of Serial Numbers and Traceability of Lots
Serial tracking and lot traceability are a vital piece of the puzzle where everything must be precise and work together seamlessly. Optimally managing items in inventory depends on accurate tracking. Acumatica records serial numbers during a sales order entry or upon receipt of goods from the shipper. The software confirms orders and tracks missing pieces. Serial numbers and traceability are directly connected as serialized components must be identified if they are to be assembled or added to kits.
Relying on Essential Units of Measure (UOM)
Acumatica Distribution Edition features Unit of Measure (UOM) conversion. Items often come in packages that use different units of measure. This can complicate order fulfillment and inventory replenishment. For example, if containers hold certain amounts of a vaccine which need to be shared between multiple hospital systems, and the containers are not of uniform size and there are various vaccines from different manufacturers, Acumatica will give options to the distributor to separate out, repackage and safely ship boxes or containers. The software gives item managers information on the relationship of units of measure and convert them when time is of the essence.
Establishing Critical Expiration, Perishable Items and “Use By” Dates
Lots and serial numbers for perishable goods are essential for items with time sensitivity. Acumatica simplifies the process of keeping track of precious inventory. There is no room for waste. The software tracks expiration dates, factoring in data points like the time and date when the item was received. It keeps the item manager informed about what is on the verge of expiring and which items may be put “on sale,” depending on the item and the industry, to make at least some profit before expiry. The software also provides information about rotating stock and pulling anything that by definition may cause harm if not used by a certain date.
Acumatica Distribution Edition, with its inventory matrix, simplifies item management and helps avoid costly errors in purchasing and sales. We work with distributors on all sides of the inventory and item management workflow—designing item management processes according to best practices and then realizing them through Acumatica Distribution Edition.
To learn more about how we can help you get better at item management, contact us for a free demo and consultation.
Learn More About Faster, Easier Item Management for Distributors
For distributors that want to prevent errors that can cost them sales, having a modern ERP system is essential. Our eBook, 5 Ways Acumatica Simplifies Item Management, will help you determine what you should be looking for in a new system. Download it now. In this eBook, you’ll discover how to:
- Manage items more effectively using attributes.
- Stock or pick components more efficiently with stock and non-stock kits.
- Streamline compliance by implementing lot and serial traceability.
- Speed up kitting and disassembly by simplifying unit of measure conversions.
- Enhance stock rotation by associating expiration dates with lots or serial numbers.