Are you looking at purchasing your first inventory management solution?
Then you’ve come to the right place. Our IT experts here at YourShortlist have put together a handy guide covering everything you need to know before committing to a brand new solution. Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
What is Inventory Management Software?
Inventory Management systems – along with its close cousin Warehouse Management – are quickly becoming ubiquitous. But what exactly is it they do?
Well, essentially this tool lets you keep track of what you produce or store – and it can provide some pretty good pointers on how you can distribute it accurately, too. By seamlessly tracking goods throughout your supply chain, you can easily map the full journey of a product and ensure that each step of the process is optimized for success.
By deploying an inventory management solution, you can:
- Eliminate errors and mitigate costly mistakes
- Plan ahead with accurate forecasting
- Monitor trends by referring to historical records
- Prevent product spoiling
- Keep customers happy
Why Use Inventory Management Software?
Whether you run an ecommerce site, a supermarket, or a large shipping company, an inventory management system should undoubtedly be considered a necessity these days. Not only will it give you valuable insights into all of your products, but it will also give you an understanding of your customers and the way they make their purchases.
Regardless of your size or industry, there are a few challenges that are haunting most businesses out there. Let’s take a closer look at the dangers of leaving these challenges unattended – and how they can easily be improved upon by the right software:
Eliminate spreadsheet errors
If your current system relies on using spreadsheets to manage stock and inventory, then you’ll likely find yourself facing a large amount of human-made errors, especially as your business grows and your stock volume increases.
Unfortunately, spreadsheets are completely inadequate for larger organisations. When you increase the amount of data that goes into your documents and spreadsheets, you will soon experience that the file takes longer to process and that it’s much easier to make errors. Keeping on top of these errors will be an increasingly complex task.
By implementing a solid stock management software, you can track your stock and inventory in real-time – and thereby avoiding the human-made errors that all too often accompany Excel spreadsheets.
Reduce stock variance
Stock variance is another common problem for retailers and wholesalers, especially if they have yet to implement a POS system. This is a problem that occurs when the inventory data differs from the actual amount you have in storage.
Most often, this points to inaccurate counts. However, it can also be a symptom of something more serious, such as mismanaged inventory or even theft.
To mitigate unnecessary risks, you can let the inventory software do the full count for you. The majority of these systems also come equipped with easy-to-use dashboards, meaning that all your accurate data will only be a few clicks away.
6 Great Benefits of Inventory Management Software
There are plenty of advantages to implementing a high-quality software solution. Despite this, it’s essential to remember that not all systems are created equal, and that it’s absolutely imperative that you choose the system that best align with your needs and requirements.
In other words, before you settle on a solution, you must first decide which features you want from your software. Do you need an inventory forecasting tool? Do you want barcodes? And how much are you willing to spend?
In order to get the most out of your software, we recommend choosing a cloud-based solution that is both mobile-optimised and integrates well with any third-party software. The latter is especially important, as having a software that doesn’t communicate with your other solutions – such as CRM, ERP, or Financial Management – can seriously hold you back in the long run.
When implemented correctly, these are a few of the business benefits you can expect:
- Better stock operations:
Solid inventory control is alpha and omega for any business operating in the retail, wholesale or manufacturing industry. With a proper system in place, you will no longer need to produce daily reports or manually check up on available stock, as this data will be fully accessible on all your mobile devices.
- Increase sales:
With current stock data available in real-time, you will always be able to recommend the best and most suitable product for your customers.
This system will also help you strike the right balance between overstocking and understocking. If you constantly overstock, you will most likely end up having to sell these products at a loss. If you’re ordering too little, on the other hand, your customers might start heading elsewhere as you’re always out of stock.
- Avoid overstock:
With an inventory system in place, it will be easier for you to adjust your order frequency in real-time. Having too many products in storage and leaving them to waste, can end up costing your business large amounts of money every year.
By regularly tracking the stock supplies, your company can adjust the order frequency and re-order items at exactly the right time.
- More satisfied customers:
With more accurate data at hand, you can tend to your customers faster and thereby increase your amount of satisfied (and returning) customers. It’s a win-win for both parts!
- Effortless integration:
A solid inventory system should effortlessly and seamlessly integrate with other back-office software solutions you use, such as ERP or your accounting software. When these systems communicate, you will have a much faster access to data and KPIs.
- Accurate forecasting:
Most inventory systems will equip you with the tools you need to perform accurate forecasting, thereby helping you to become more proactive by planning stock and distribution ahead of time.