- Published: Friday, 29 April 2022 11:05
Any error in tracking and managing inventory can generate major issues in your operations. This can result in additional expenses, wasteful purchases, depreciation, and understocking. Worse, it can also cause delays in deliveries, leaving customers dissatisfied with your business. Avoid these scenarios by investing in the best inventory management software for your business.
Why invest in inventory management software
Businesses are earnestly digitizing their supply chain operations to remain competitive and relevant in the market. This allows them to streamline inventory management, warehouse management, manufacturing, and order fulfillment process. One of the most in-demand software is inventory management software. In fact, GMI Insights predicts its demand will have an annual growth rate of 5% from 2020 to 2026.
Inventory management has a positive and significant relationship with your company’s profitability. It ensures you have enough stock of your products to meet customers’ demands. This makes it one of the most crucial aspects of your business operations. Hence, you need an efficient and transparent system to make sure that you aren’t missing sales due to understocking or losing money due to overstocking. An inventory management software can simplify this process and make it even more effective.
So if you want to keep up with your competitors, it’s time you recognize the importance of inventory management software for your business.
Key features to look for
You will find countless inventory software available for businesses. Each one offers unique arrays of tools and functions to help you manage your inventory efficiently and effectively. So before you invest in one, make sure you end up with the right software for your business. With that, here are some of the key features to consider during your search.
One of the challenges in inventory management is keeping track of your stock. The lack of transparency makes it harder to determine when to purchase or manufacture more of your products. Poor inventory tracking can result in overstocking or understocking. Either means a loss of profit for your company.
Hence, it is important that your software can track and monitor your inventory. This lets you know the right time to restock your products to prevent understocking or overstocking. In effect, your inventory management software serves as an extra pair of eyes to monitor your stock levels.
Likewise, choose software that can allow you to purchase more supplies for your inventory. This makes it easier and more convenient to manage your stock since you don’t have to switch tabs or apps to do so. You will find inventory management software solutions that automate restocking. In fact, 58% of businesses have implemented smart automation in their supply chain, specifically in their inventory management.
As your company grows, you need to make sure that your inventory management can keep up. It means adjusting to new customers’ demands and anticipating the changes in dealing with your stock. This is also something to consider when choosing the right inventory management software for your business. Invest in software that can help you scale up (or down) as needed.
Cloud-based inventory management software is a great example of scalable software. Unlike their on-premise counterparts, you don’t need to invest in your own hardware to scale your inventory management software. Your cloud service providers would have the necessary resources to scale up your processes and make sure your software can adapt to your business growth.
Analytics and reporting
Data is driving businesses to make smarter decisions and better plans for their operations. One of the benefits of inventory management software is its data analytics and reporting feature. It doesn’t just monitor your stock levels, but it also extracts data from your inventory and analyzes it. From there, it can generate forecasts of how much stock you need for a certain product in the future. Some inventory management software can also predict potential sales and profits based on your inventory data.
Aside from data analytics, another feature to look out for is report generation. Pick a software that transforms raw data and analysis into a summarized format. This includes graphs, charts, or figures. This way, you can gain insights into your inventory management with just a glance.
The past years saw a boost in remote work. As a result, companies prioritize flexibility when investing in software. Flexibility refers to the software’s accessibility. You need to make sure that important stakeholders can access the data, tools, and functions that your inventory management software offers.
What you need is software that can be accessed on any device. This includes mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. This allows you to track and manage your inventory on the go. You don’t even have to go back to the office or go to the warehouse to resolve any issues with your inventory management. You access all the processes and data involved at the push of a button.
Allowing room for flexibility within your operations is also a proven ecommerce strategy for sales growth. This allows you to expand your operations and meet your customers’ demands wherever they are.
Integration with other systems
Your inventory management is a part of a bigger system, which is your supply chain. If you want to embrace full digital transformation for your supply chain, it’s a good idea to check your software’s integration capabilities.
Integration makes it easier to sync data across all your digital systems. For example, you can integrate your inventory management software with your warehouse management software to have more comprehensive information about your stock’s overall condition.
You can also integrate your inventory management software with your ecommerce platform to boost your sales. Doing so allows your inventory management software to update your stock level in real-time and avoid the possibility of selling out-of-stock items in your store.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all inventory management solution. Software designed for small businesses won’t be able to cope with the complex processes of a corporation. Fortunately, there are different types of inventory management system that you can choose from depending on your business’ needs and demands.
Another alternative is to pick a software that allows customization. You can find out by contacting the vendor to ask if they can add or remove certain features in the software. This is a great feature to have if your company has very complex specifications for your inventory management.
Usability and support
The whole point of investing in software is to make inventory management simpler and more convenient. Investing in a software that is too complicated to use will defeat the entire purpose. All it would do in the end is waste hours of your time just to learn the ins and outs of the software. The same is true if the software keeps having issues to the point where it disrupts your workflows.
Hence, it is important that you consider usability and support when picking the right inventory management software for your business. Choose a software that is intuitive and beginner-friendly so that anyone in your organization can easily use it without further training. Likewise, choose a vendor with great and reliable customer support and can immediately help you resolve any issues in your software.
Choosing the right software
You might find yourself overwhelmed with the sheer number of inventory management software to choose from. It is tempting to just pick one that is the most popular just to save yourself time making the decision. But in doing so, you can end up with a software that does not suit your current workflows.
Learning what key features to consider in your inventory management software helps narrow down your list. This ensures that you will get your money’s worth by investing in the right software for your business. Aside from these key features, you should also identify your business’ own needs to have an idea of what other features to look out for.