Overflow is a common problem for warehouses and storage facilities of any type. Products can get returned, overshipped, or simply backed up somewhere in the supply chain, and they have to go somewhere.
But the question always remains: where, exactly, are these products supposed to go? And, worse yet, what are you supposed to do with them when they get back? If your warehouse is starting to have a problem with overflow products and you need to get your inventory back under control, here’s a few things you can do to curb this issue:
Determine Who Controls The Inventory: One of the most common issues with overflow inventory is finding out who it belongs to. Many independent warehouses handle products from a number of different retailers, and they may have some kind of contract or legal protections in place to guard their inventory if it’s being stored at an offsite facility. If your warehouse carries inventory from different retailers or manufacturers, figure out whose inventory is causing the overflow problems – and then make sure you actually have the ability to manage and control that inventory once it arrives at your warehouse.
Implement Better Tracking Methods: Even the most complicated and thought-out inventory control methods tend to not account for overflow inventory, and this can provide an immediate change in your overflow problems and your management overall. Review your current product tracking to see if there’s anything you can do to better include overflow products that might be overlooked by more standard inventory tracking procedures, and then implement them going forward – if your workers keep skipping the overflow products during their counts and scans, the overflow products aren’t going to go anywhere.
Designate An Overflow Location: Depending on the nature of the products you store, your overflow products might wind up getting mixed right back in with your currently managed inventory, making it harder to track. Even if some of the overflow products are items you currently stock and inventory, your best bet is to set up a special area with wire shelving and pallet racks to hang onto overflow inventory and keep it out of the way of your standard, in-use inventory and products.
Remember To Constantly Track And Update: Finally, not keeping an eye on these overflow issues will cause them to become an issue again later. After implementing your new tracking procedures and designating a storage area for them, you need to focus on tracking and counting these items until a solution can be found. They’ll probably wind up being sent back to the manufacturer or sold to a wholesaler at a discount, but before then you need to remember to keep them separate and count them accurately to avoid inventory problems elsewhere.