Evolution of Inventory Management System In Retail, Manufacturing and Other Inventory-Intensive Sectors
The process of the inventory management system has continued to get better over the years. Like so many other processes the main reason for the evolution over here is the need to be even more accurate and efficient than the one already is. Nowadays, suppliers are able to use software that is cloud-based and operates on a real-time basis as well. This way they are able to better keep track of shipments and inventory. This allows them to manage them the proper way as well. Now, let us take a look at how businesses have reached the present stage.
Before the Industrial Revolution, the system of managing inventories was rather primitive. There was nothing like document digitization services. People relied on manual counting. In fact, business entities such as merchants and shopkeepers had to rely on the process of inventory management. They could count the number of products at the end of each day. This helped them to determine how many they had sold on that day. This also helped them to predict future needs as well. This process was one that usually took up hours and at times it could go up to days as well.
Punch card system
The next in line with regards to the evolution of the inventory management system was the punch card system. The Industrial Revolution deserves credit for completely transforming this particular process. It was this particular phenomenon that realigned and shifted business goals to values such as mass production and efficiency. The punch card system came into being in the early 1930s by a team at Harvard University. By making small holes in paper sheets these punch cards corresponded with catalogue items that the computers were able to read. The system would then send the information across to the employees in the storerooms who would then bring the necessary product to the customer.
The bar code
The bar code can be called the herald of the modern era in this particular regard, one that has seen the evolution of the document digitization services. The bar code first came into being during the 1940s and 1950s. They were made of ink that was sensitive to ultraviolet light. They also contained readers that were able to track items that were supposed to be sold. It was in the 1980s and 1990s that this particular technology improved. This was when this particular system became a lot more affordable and efficient, and this was why it was adopted all around as well.
These days when you think of an inventory management system you think of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). It was from the early part of the 2000s that this started to become almost normally used in the likes of warehouses, retail stores, and factories. In this case, a microchip is used in order to provide information regarding a particular product. This includes information such as type, serial number, and manufacturer of the product. This information is normally maintained in a device that is supposed to collect data.