This past year has been difficult for everyone, including manufacturers. Depending on your customers, sales went up, stayed the same or tanked during the lockdowns. You might have pivoted your operations to serve a sector that you’d never have supplied before. You also had to make changes on your shop floor to accommodate with social distancing guidelines. With everything going on, one area that might have been overlooked since last March is your inventory counts.

For many companies this is an all-hands-on deck operation for your entire team. It requires a lot of people touching materials and operating in close quarters while counting. So how can you manage inventory counts and stay safe? With technology, of course!
Here are three ways that Seradex ERP and technology can help solve the problems of doing inventory during a pandemic.

1. Cycle Counting
How do you avoid shutting down to count every part in the warehouse? By using cycle counting instead. Instead of one massive annual count – you count a handful of parts every day. The daily parts list is automatically generated and uses a mix of A, B and C items. A items are 80- percent of your annual spend, B are 15% and C are 5%. This allows you to keep track of your inventory bit by bit because having accurate inventory is critical with shipping delays and supply chain issues caused by COVID-19.
Seradex OrderStream has all the functionality you need to launch a cycle counting program and get control of all your inventory.

How do you twice the work with half or a quarter of the manpower? With technology! Earlier in this article, we mentioned how inventory is a large-scale operation, involving most of your company. However, with physical distancing, and potentially some of your admin team working offsite, this isn’t going to end up happening probably anytime soon.
RFID technology or Radio Frequency Identification uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to your stock. Unlike barcodes, RFID tags don’t need to be directly in front of a mobile reader to be recorded, but work based on a radius of 25 feet. Your staff can record inventory faster, and it allows you to maintain physical distancing, reduces the amount of people key-punching on a single machine, and reduces the touching of shared surfaces.
3. Mobile Apps & Bar Coding
Using clipboards and spreadsheets to track your inventory isn’t going to make the process quicker or easier, especially now. Clipboards and paper are difficult to sanitize, and you might have to re-enter information into one central terminal that everyone is using.

You can make this process easier, quicker, and compliant with COVID-19 protocols through using mobile applications. Seradex Orderstream can be accessed on a tablet or a phone, and this information is available instantly to everyone who needs it without having to re-enter it multiple times. Plus, phones and tablets are much easier to clean between uses, and it lessens the need for multiple people to be touching the same device at a time.

Lockdowns might have shutdown or slowed your business for a time. Or you might have pivoted to supplying materials, machine capabilities, or your products to different customers to fulfil needs that the pandemic created. You might have faced supply chain issues, or had to change up how your factory runs on a day-to-day basis to ensure social distancing. Whatever challenges you may be facing, Seradex has a solution! Give us a call today to find out how our system can get you started with cycle counting, RFID, and using mobile applications to do your inventory.