Inventory stands for products or finished goods that are stored with a business to be sold to customers soon. Any inventory, that’s not sold, becomes dead or obsolete, and leads to a massive loss in capital. It would not be wrong to say that inventory is perhaps the biggest asset of a company. Therefore, to manage this asset, every business, irrespective of its size, must use an efficient inventory management system.
An inventory management system can support all the processes involved in creating the products to warehouse management and finally selling the product to the customers.
However, before you purchase inventory management software, it is essential first to evaluate your current system and find out:
- What solutions will work for your business?
- What are the features that your business, specifically require?
- What are your future expansion plans?
- Depending on the nature of your business, select the right system, and how it will streamline your processes?
There are hundreds of Inventory management software providers, so it might be challenging to pick the right system that can support your business. Therefore, here are a few features that you must look out for:
This feature should be on the top of your priority list. Forecasting is very critical functionality that is required to calculate the amount of stock to be ordered and when. Based on the customer demand pattern, the system should have the ability to estimate when a product will run out of stock. Further, the system should evaluate the past selling patterns and predict future demand so that the stocks can be made ready in advance, to address the sudden demand.
Barcoding and Scanning
When your SKUs are large, then the barcode and scanning feature can be of great help. As you know, a barcode is a machine-readable visual representation of data. Here, every SKU, shipment, or order is attached to a barcode; therefore, on scanning these barcodes, the inventory managers can quickly get all information about that section and accordingly take necessary actions. Although the barcode feature is provided by a separate vendor yet check if your inventory systems support this functionality.
Your inventory is full of data, but more than just having data, it is essential to understand how to use this data to improve your processes and make valuable business decisions. The more detailed the analysis feature, the better will be the gains. For instance, check if the system calculates future orders or can flag nearing stock out situations in advance. Auto-generated reports are more accurate since here, the scope of human error is minimum.
A cloud-based system is anytime more cost-effective than an on-site implementation of the system. Additionally, they are easy to install and easy to manage. The most significant benefit of the cloud is that it allows real-time and remote management of inventory and warehouse operations.
Provides Integration of Processes
Handling IT is critical, and managing different software for different methods, could be a tedious task. For instance, for inventory, you use one system, and for warehouse management, you use another system. Therefore, select a system that can sync all other processes and become the primary software. The additional software can act as a secondary platform and automatically fetch data from the inventory management system to maintain a perfect synergy of processes and information.
Applying apt inventory management functions is a very critical element of a business. A well-implemented inventory strategy will increase the overall sales and will also help you to service your customers and keep them satisfied and happy.