Stock control is becoming a higher priority for more glass manufacturers. In the past, lead times for raw materials were short and costs were reasonable, so there wasn’t a huge impact if you didn’t get it quite right. However, with recent increases in the cost of glass and very long lead times in many markets, keeping the right levels of stock is now key to profitability and customer service.
If you are still managing stock using spreadsheets or an accounting package, or you need daily stock-takes to keep on top of the business, it may be time to consider a more efficient and tightly managed approach to stock control:
Maintaining sufficient glass stock to meet customer demand
When you can no longer rely on a quick turnaround from suppliers, it’s essential that you can forecast where your Stock levels will be weeks and even months ahead, so you can be sure of enough stock for planned production. Of course, it’s possible to do this with a spreadsheet, but this is time-consuming and relies on your colleagues having provided complete paperwork to keep you up to date.
With a system like Gtrak from Jotika it’s completely different: all your sales and purchase orders are already in the system and every item of stock is tracked as your staff check it out of stores (typically with a barcode scanner). This means the system has a very good idea of current stock levels and constantly maintains a forecast of your ongoing stock situation, so you always know when and how much to order.
Controlling the cost of glass stock
With increasing glass prices, you need to strike a careful balance of keeping enough stock without tying up too much money. The key to this is analysing past stock data and combining that with what you know about current supply situations, to work out optimal reorder levels for different types of glass and other parts and materials. If you are a Jotika customer, we’ll be happy to share the benefit of our experience to help with this.
Different people in your business will need to look at the value of your stock in different ways, looking at either the price it was purchased for, the current replacement cost or a combination of the two. Gtrak provides a variety of stock reports and dashboards to support all of their different requirements.
Managing stock movements, ordering and authorisations
A simple stocktake can tell you the current stock position but doesn’t give management any insights into how you reached the current position, nor what actually should be in stock. A good stock control system will give you insights into all of these questions, so you can investigate where there are supply issues, where adjustments are being made and why.
With Gtrak, every stock movement is tracked, and the system notes the member of staff involved. You can restrict activities, such as placing orders, to people with the right level of authority, or require draft orders to be authorised by a manager.
Maintaining traceability from customer back to raw materials
In life-critical applications, such as high-rise buildings and bullet-proof glass, you need quality systems that can trace everything you deliver back through your factory to the original raw materials.
A good stock control system will log every item within each batch that comes in from your suppliers and track when it leaves your stores to be used in production. If there is a problem with a batch of glass, a system like Gtrak makes it easy to identify and locate everything else that may be affected. With barcode scanning this takes almost no extra time, and it ensures you have permanent, reliable records.
Reducing admin and focusing on customer service
By actively managing your stock in a system like Gtrak, you no longer need to spend time doing daily or even weekly stocktakes to be sure that you have enough glass for production. Ordering becomes simpler and your salespeople can accept customer orders there and then, without having to take time out to ask their colleagues.
In an increasingly competitive market, stock control is another key step that Jotika can help you take to optimise efficiency, profitability and customer service.