Warehouse management systems (WMS) often have many different types of online inventory reports that help you track your inventory. Inventory reports are crucial to managing your business because they provide specific information on your key KPI’s and metrics, how your inventory is doing, and where errors might have occurred all in one space. One of the best ways to know that your WMS is right for you is that your inventory reports have all the essential information all in one place. If they are missing key pieces of information, you could find yourself having to sift through your system for hours — or worse, or pull together a new one from scratch. Want to save all that time and energy? Then next time you look at your WMS inventory report, make sure it includes these key components:
Dashboard reports are great because they provide key summary indicators of how your online inventory is doing at any given time. Make sure these five key components are included in your WMS dashboard:
Active and Pending Orders
It is essential to know how many of your orders have been downloaded and not shipped yet, or are currently active. This information affects your company’s ability to adequately meet the needs of your customers. For example, if you don’t know which of your orders are pending, you can’t help your customers if they ask about their order!
Active receipts are important to include in online inventory reports because it shows how many active purchase orders are pending to be received and how many will arrive in your warehouse. You can use this information to calculate future inventory forecasts, such as your availability to promise (ATP) levels.
Single-Item orders and Multi-Item Orders
This is useful to know so that you can see how many orders of each type are being processed. This will tell you how long it might take before they’re shipped. Single and multi-item orders have different picking and packing process flows in the warehouse — for example, single-item orders can be picked using batch picking, whereas multi-item orders can be picked using a cluster batch picking or order-based picking.
Make sure you have this included in your online inventory report to be aware of how many locations are empty in your warehouse that is ready to receive incoming items or products. If you don’t know how much space you have left, you could end up with an inventory surplus or shortage.
How Many Tasks Are Pending
Knowing how many warehouse tasks are pending is important because it shows where your shipment progress is at any given time at in the warehouse.
Main Online Inventory Reports
As you can see above, this inventory report screen in Logiwa shows the available inventory in your warehouse that is available for sales. When you look at our report, it includes some more key components, such as:
This is great to have for clarity on what the sku involved are, and also to help you differentiate between two similar items.
Attributes such as the lot number, expiration date, or serial number show the traceability of the inventory. For example, if you are operating in the food industry, knowing the lot number and expiration date is essential for potential recalls. Additionally, the serial number ensures that if a product is returned, it is the same product you sold in the first place.
Shipment Progress Reports
Last but not least, another essential type of online inventory reports is the shipment progress report. These are one of the most important features to make sure you include in your inventory analysis because it tells you where your inventory is at all times. A few key components to make sure you’ve included are:
Status of Order
You can see whether the order has been completed, shipped, or delivered.
Knowing which channel your inventory is being sent out with is important because each selling channel has different process flows and fees associated with failed shipments. If you are using dropshipping for certain channels, for example, you can easily tell here which orders this applies to. Additionally, this helps you avoid penalties for shipment errors, such as not shipping an Amazon Prime order within the time limit.
Make sure the carrier is included in your inventory report so that you know which labels should be printed for a specific order.
Cut Off Time
This is essential, especially since each carrier has a specific cut off time. A cut off time indicates what specific time your carrier arrives at your warehouse daily. Your pick list is dependent on this time frame since it must be ordered according to which carrier arrives first. Cut off times help determine the order of batch picking waves that improve the workflow of your warehouse.
Time to Ship
This gives you a clear indicator of how many days you have to ship an order.
This shows which carrier option you are going to use for a specific order.
Shipment Tracking Number
Finally, this is an essential component to include in your online inventory report. It is important because you will push this number back to sales channels so that the consumer can see it. Additionally, this way you can also see the delivery status of the order.