Inventory Management: A Problem Of Big Data

Large companies have vast inventories of products, product components, raw materials, and tools. Often these inventories are located in multiple geographic regions. Many companies keep track of their inventories through the use of barcodes and databases that store information which might include an item’s location, price, quantity, serial number, the vendor, date of purchase, date of manufacture, maximum shelf life, etc.

Inventory management is a complex process. Too much inventory ties up capital and risks loss of that capital if the inventory can’t be moved before the end of its shelf life. Most products do have a shelf life. Even products not subject to degradation eventually become obsolete or unfashionable. Too little inventory risks loss of customers when products have to be back ordered.

Knowing how to order from vendors in an optimal manner requires lots of information and analyses of one’s supply chains. It also requires an ability to do reasonably accurate demand forecasting. The more uncertainty there is in your demand forecasts, the bigger your inventory stock must be to compensate for this.

Inventory management is yet more complex when inventories are spread out among different locations. Should one purchase new inventory from a supplier or transfer stock from an inventory in a different location? If transferring from another location, which location should that be? This complexity increases still further for international companies.

As the size, complexity, and logistics of a company’s inventory increase, so does the challenge of its management. It’s a challenge of dealing with a multitude of interrelated variables. The answer to improving profits lies buried in your inventory data. The more you know about your inventory, the more control you potentially have but this also increases the size of your inventory database. In short, your inventory management is a big data problem. The companies that most effectively cope with the problems of big data will be the leaders in their industry.

Big data management starts with your data storage. We have the data storage knowledge, expertise and resources to help you with your needs. Contact us today for more information.

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