Common Challenges Faced in Inventory Management Planning

Warehouse operation involves many connected tasks. And the efficiency of each determines the overall customer experience. Managing the inventory stock, restocking on time and accurate picking can all influence the timely delivery of items to customers. Delivery timeliness and accuracy cannot be compromised even during unprecedented increase in demand. Inventory planning can be challenging and the best way to handle this will be to implement automation or an overall warehouse management solution. To know what features to look for and thus pick the right warehouse management system, identifying the common inventory management planning challenges will be useful. 

Most Common Inventory Planning Challenges 

1. Unpredicted glitches in the supply 

Timely placement of orders for restocking an inventory is definitely important. But what’s even more important is that the supplier delivered the ordered stock on time. Supply processes cannot always be the same. Sometimes, there are disruptions and these can affect your inventory restocking a great deal. To tackle this, one option will be to have an automated system that keeps track of local suppliers. And if there are unexpected supply delays, backup suppliers can be picked and orders can be placed in order to overcome this challenge. 

2. Market fluctuations 

Changes in the demand pattern might be one of the biggest challenges and also perhaps the toughest one for warehouse businesses to tackle. Sometimes it is because of sudden changes in customer preferences and other times it could be due to competition. Finally, market fluctuations also have a role to play. Keeping track of the market trends and using reliable analytics tools to take into account all the influential factors will be a way to handle this challenge. 

3. Wasted stock issue 

Deficit in the inventory is one problem but excess stock that leads to wastage is another. It can be a problem for all types of products. But the issue is even bigger for perishables and items with short shelf life. Wasted stock due to excess reordering is another inventory management planning challenge that warehouse businesses should prepare for.

4. Visibility issues of the goods in the inventory 

Sometimes there is enough stock but finding an item might be the problem. This could be when there are inefficiencies in tracking the inventory stock. As a result, inventory visibility will become a huge challenge. This can also be a reason for delayed order delivery. 

5. Warehouse space constraints 

Manual processes in inventory planning can lead to many issues. And among them one issue could be when the ordered stock and the space available do not tally. Supply chain complexities are prone to occur. When the documentation is not clear, the timelines for placing orders might not be accurate. As a result, sometimes there is excess stock ordered and there might not be enough space in the inventory. Again, shelf life issues can lead to deterioration of product quality before delivery. All this should be taken into account for inventory planning. 

Inventory management planning comes with many such commonly known challenges and there are some unexpected hurdles as well. Being prepared is the only way businesses can avoid bottlenecks from hampering their customer relationships. Managing inventory data and identifying the suitable automation options is one way businesses stay prepared. And for this, a dependable warehouse management system is one of the best options. 


Hopstack’s core product is an advanced SaaS (Software-as-a-service) platform to automate and digitize warehouses and fulfillment centers. Hopstack's advanced digital warehouse software closes the operational visibility and execution control gap between an ERP and a legacy WMS.

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