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Consignment Inventory Management

What is Consignment Inventory Management?

What is Consignment Inventory?

Consignment inventory refers to a supply chain model where a product is provided to a retailer, but ownership remains with the supplier until the product is sold. This process is commonly found in various manufacturing models such as co-manufacturing, customer inventory, co-packing, and private label manufacturing.

In co-manufacturing, the owner of the product collaborates with a contract manufacturer to produce goods. The inventory used in this production can remain in the ownership of the original owner until the end product is sold. Similarly, in the context of customer inventory and co-packing, goods remain in the possession of the retailer, but the ownership doesn’t transfer until the sale is made. Finally, in private label manufacturing, a retailer sells goods under its own brand name, but the inventory used to produce these goods stays in the ownership of the original supplier until sold.

How do CoPackers Keep Track of Consignment Inventory?

In order to effectively manage consignment inventory, it is crucial to differentiate customer ingredients or components and raw materials. This can be achieved through various inventory tracking methods.

Consignment Inventory Tracking

Consignment inventory tracking involves maintaining a detailed record of consigned inventory – from the time it enters the consignee’s possession until the time it’s sold. Various inventory tracking tools can be used to automate this process, making it more accurate and efficient. Barcoding, and inventory management software are the gold standard of tracking tools used for consignment inventory. They can significantly improve visibility and accuracy in tracking consignment inventory, reducing the risk of errors or mismanagement.

Consignment Inventory Accounting

Another essential aspect of consignment inventory management is consignment inventory accounting. This involves keeping track of the financial transactions related to the consigned inventory. Special care is taken to account for consignment inventory separately from other types of inventory, considering that ownership of the inventory does not change hands until a sale is made. Regular audits and reconciliations should be part of this process if you are lacking exceptional warehouse management software, ensuring accurate financial reporting.

Inventory Tracking Tools

In the realm of consignment inventory management, inventory tracking tools play an essential role. Notably, the use of an automated Manufacturing Execution System (MES) can provide significant advantages for customer inventory management. The core strength of an MES lies in its automation, which eliminates manual tasks and the potential errors that accompany them.

An MES can keep track of the entire production process, from the initial order to the final shipment. With the ability to collect, track, and process data in real-time, an MES offers a comprehensive overview of production operations. This means you can quickly identify bottlenecks, monitor quality, and ensure efficient use of resources.

Harnessing an MES for inventory management in a co-manufacturing setup comes with a multitude of advantages. Some of the significant benefits include:

  1. Automatic Inventory Updates: With an MES, your inventory data is always up-to-date. The system automatically registers changes in inventory levels as soon as transactions occur, providing accurate information at all times. This eliminates the chances of inventory discrepancies and aids in maintaining optimal stock levels.
  2. Managing Recipes: An MES can track client recipes and their own formulation so that an operator doesn’t use a previous version of the recipe or a different client’s formulation.  
  3. Live Documentation: MES provides trackable electronic batch records, ensuring that every batch produced is thoroughly documented. This not only enables efficient tracking of batches but also ensures adherence to quality standards and regulatory requirements. The live documentation feature helps assure your clients that you have made the product to their current, approved specifications. 
  4. Live Reconciliation: MES solutions also offer live reconciliation capabilities. The system can track and write off containers that are emptied automatically, ensuring accurate inventory status. This live reconciliation feature helps to prevent stock discrepancies, enhancing overall inventory management efficiency.

On the other hand, more manual approaches to inventory management, such as spreadsheets or paper-based systems, have several pitfalls. These methods are prone to human error, whether it be data entry mistakes, misplacement of documents, or misinterpretation of information. In fast-paced industries where demand can fluctuate rapidly, such manual systems can be inefficient and may lead to issues such as stock-outs or overstocking.

Moreover, manual systems lack real-time visibility, which hampers quick decision-making. For instance, in the food and beverage industry, a delay in information about a batch of spoiled ingredients can lead to a massive recall, affecting the brand’s reputation and financial stability.

For these reasons, it’s evident that utilizing an intuitive MES system can make co-manufacturing easier and more efficient. By adopting such a system, businesses can significantly reduce errors, improve their response times, and ultimately increase customer satisfaction.

Let Mar-Kov Optimize Your Contract Manufacturing

Contract manufacturing brings with it a host of challenges. From managing complex consignment inventory to maintaining precise accounting records, every facet requires careful consideration. It’s in this context that Mar-Kov’s MES solution shines.

Our comprehensive software suite brings together all the essentials for modern-day manufacturing in an easy-to-use, intuitive package. Mar-Kov’s MES streamlines inventory tracking, simplifies accounting procedures, and ensures error-free management, all in real-time.

Inventory Tracking: MarKov’s inventory system eliminates the pitfalls of manual inventory tracking. Our automated tracking system reduces human error and provides real-time data, helping to maintain accurate inventory records and optimize production planning.

Consignment Inventory Accounting: Our MES also simplifies the intricate process of consignment inventory accounting. By integrating to your accounting software it ensures accurate recording and reporting of financial transactions related to the consigned inventory, ultimately improving transparency and efficiency.

Real-Time Visibility: With MarKov, you get instant insight into your manufacturing processes. From raw material status to production progress and quality control data, you can monitor it all in real-time, enabling swift decision-making and proactive problem-solving.

Regulatory Compliance: MarKov understands the critical importance of compliance, especially in highly regulated industries. Our MES can meet the most stringent regulatory requirements, providing peace of mind and ensuring your operations stay on the right side of the law.

MarKov’s MES solution can be the game-changer your contract manufacturing business needs. Don’t just take our word for it, check out these case studies to see how MarKov has helped other businesses like yours revolutionize their manufacturing processes.To truly understand the power of MarKov’s MES solution, we invite you to get in touch with us. Our team will be more than happy to discuss how MarKov can help optimize your contract manufacturing operations. Reach out today, and let MarKov take your business to new heights.