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A fragmented inventory can be scattered across multiple locations, warehouses, and suppliers’ drop-shipping facilities. It resists efforts at centralization for the simple reason that it’s economically viable to leave it where it is. Because the distance between vendors and suppliers is significant, moving it into one central location costs too much, and may give rise to logistical challenges. One solution is to manage it using a cloud inventory management app that supports multiple locations.

How well you manage a fragmented inventory depends on a few crucial factors:

•   The Quality and Flexibility of Your Inventory Tracking System – If your barcode scanning is not available in all locations, or if some vendors send you inventory data in a format that can’t be easily imported into your inventory control app, this increases the challenge of managing a fragmented inventory.

•   Accounting System Integration – Ideally, you want all your inventory, including items that are being drop-shipped for you, to show up your QuickBooks account. In this way, they can be imported into your QuickBooks inventory app.

•   The Flexibility of Your Inventory Management Solution – Some inventory apps are better than others at managing a fragmented inventory, and this depends especially on their ability to handle stock in different locations within the same interface.

Get Important Notifications

The first step in managing your fragmented inventory is to make sure you get stock notifications for all items in all locations. Missing out on an understock alert in a location can have a major impact on your turnover. Your customers in that location won’t like it, either. With an app like DataQlick, you get the right notifications at the right time.

Automate Orders

Just as important is to be able to automate replenishment orders across your inventory locations based on accurate reorder points. Creating replenishment orders manually for different locations isn’t only time consuming, but can also be frustrating, as you have to check quantities several times a day. This can become a time sink.

Finally, you want to be able to manage kits and bundles with ease. This means you have to know where exactly your products – and especially overstock that goes into kits and bundles – are at all times. If you don’t, you may end up inadvertently bundling products that are stored in different locations and that can’t be packaged together to fulfill orders.

Ultimately, the best way to manage a fragmented inventory is to use a mobile cloud inventory management app that supports multi-location stock management and offers full support for kits and bundles.