The main reason why most companies are adopting technology in their operations is to keep ahead of their competitors and be a step ahead of their customer’s demands. You are also using technology because you also want to run a smarter, faster and more efficient business with inventory management software. You probably would not enjoy manually entering numbers and data into countless spreadsheets saved in local computers. Such a tedious task would feel like a nightmare. But if you have an automated system to do all these tasks you can even have time to go off on holiday.
The Benefits of Inventory Management Software
- Achieve efficiency and productivity in operations: keeping stock means that you also tie up your money in them since you can’t spend this money. To ensure your cash flow is always positive, you want to ensure efficient management of stock levels. When your business runs out of cash it can be problematic. Simple analytics and reports help you to see what products are fast moving through multiple sales channels. You can thus be able to make smarter purchasing decisions. For those in the beauty, health and pharmaceutical industries, the managing of batches, and expiry dates are very important. Inventory management software makes it possible to handle complex units of measurements and also manage product variants.
- Minimize cost, maximize sales and profits: perhaps you have a multi-channel e-commerce shop that is recording huge sales streaming in from both online and offline stores. Such a busy setup requires you to manage orders across sales channels in order to minimize the loss of sales. This is important when you have to restock an important product for the next season. Inventory control is essential if you want to cut down on the costs of holding stock. Keeping stock in your warehouse for a long time can be expensive. Things such as storage fees theft, taxes can eventually eat into your profits. Unfortunately, this affects each company despite the best intention of analyzing purchase patterns and past sales. Technology and fashion sometimes become obsolete and this should be viewed as part and parcel of business.
- Integrate your entire business: when a sales rep closes a sale and creates an order, the software does the rest of the work and makes its way from sales to fulfillment. The software has a user management application which makes it possible for you to readily create user accounts for each and every staff in the company’s department. These departments include sales, purchasing, management and administration and fulfillment. After you create job roles each user is assigned permission. They will have access to various functions that describe their job responsibilities. This prevents users from unauthorized access to financial reports, stock adjustments or transfers. Collaboration between team members is made easy through task and notes. Your staff shares information on suppliers, products, handover information and sales order shipments. This ensures everyone in the company is granted full visibility of the order. Your operations team can, therefore, create a shipment pack that includes all the items and quantity of the sales order that has not yet been shipped. This delivery order can also include picking and packing lists that are sent to the warehouse team to ship. One the order is received by the customer they can mark it as delivered. The accountant then filters the sales orders depending on their shipment status. Once this process is complete, the accountant issues invoices for the shipped orders. Once payment is received, these customer invoices can be quickly listed and marked as paid. Alternatively, a credit note can be issued to the customer in case of product returns.
- Automation of manual tasks: no one would like to sit in an office for long hours doing manual data entry tasks or complex manual calculations after every purchase order. Leaving software to do all these common tasks for you can give you peace of mind as you focus in other areas that need your attention. For instance, most wholesalers and distributors fear the calculation of landed costs. The inventory software has the ability to automatically divide landed costs by the proportion of the purchase cost. This is a great way to save time effort and mistakes. If regular customers are used to buying from you can take advantage of a B2B e-commerce platform that enables you to open a purchasing account for customers. The customers can also view custom price listings and personalized product prices from this platform. Customers use an online cart to check out their purchase and these are automatically entered as sales orders so you do not have to waste a lot of time making new entries each time a purchase is made. The software also makes it easy for you to email quotations and sales orders wherever you are. Documents are easily generated in PDF format and these can be translated into other foreign languages.
- Keep customers happy: an automated system reduces your time and therefore you can stock fast-selling products and fulfill them immediately. A buyer would be willing to buy from a seller who has ready stock to ship immediately. No buyer would want to wait to for several days for their order to be shipped out. When a customer receives his order quickly he becomes a happy customer. Returns and exchanges are handled graciously by the system and these results in instant support satisfaction.
As discussed, it would be impossible to manage your business without competent inventory software. Just choose one that is practical for you and your business. Don’t be confused by the various marketing claims, complicated features, and paid upgrades. Advanced technology is there to liberate you from the burden of running a huge business all by yourself. You can live your life and enjoy doing things you love. It also lets you concentrate on other areas of the business that need attention. Therefore, investing in such software is surely worth the effort.