Cloud software is fast becoming the way to do business. The reason for this? Everything becomes easier, more accurate and more accessible – which, at the end of the day, is the direction a company should be going in. Cloud-based software is basically where everything to do with the program is online. We will look at a few ways that cloud software can help you achieve good inventory management and manufacturing control.
Cloud software allows for fast and effective communication. This is this case for data and in-program communication, but also for instances where you need to get in touch with your sales manager to let them know what to order.
With everything online, there is no need to copy and paste data to hardware, such as memory sticks, to access on a different computer — data is automatically shared between programs and accessible from any internet-capable device.
Data security and recoverability
Thriveon has listed six very real disaster scenarios where your business data is at risk. Natural disaster, theft, loss of staff, corrupted data — the list goes on. In the event of a data emergency, cloud software mitigates most of the risk as you can access your business data from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
you’ll also need to pay attention to how secure your cloud software is in order to form a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.
Accuracy and transparency
With everything to do with manufacturing and sales being stored online, data can be accessed by anyone you authorise and from any device that has internet capability. This allows transparency of processes and information in the company, which is a great precursor to accuracy.
There is no latent period of time if information is shared automatically which allows for greater accuracy. For example, if two people are looking at the same sales spreadsheet from different locations and each choose to update it with new data, then the data is kept accurate and current, providing a great platform for sound business decisions.
There is a direct cost saving of cloud-based programs that provide automation because gone is the need for someone to be entering data, manipulating it and sharing it manually. There is also a model of cloud software called Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) where the license for the software is provided to the company on a subscription basis while the software itself is owned and hosted by a third party. The benefits of this are not only financial gains, but there is also no need for an IT department to run it and update it, or even provide training in it as this is often provided by the hosting company. It also allows the company to trial it and see what works for them without having to pay exorbitant amounts in purchasing packages directly.
Improved inventory control and business decision-making
If information around manufacturing and sales is current and automatic, then it is much easier for the company to deduce accurately at any given moment, what is in various stages of production and what is being sold. Having this information accurate and accessible allows the managers to forecast more accurately based on customer demand which then allows for more accurate ordering. Having accuracy around ordering will certainly facilitate the optimization of resources, a definite benefit when it concerns the bottom line.
Accessibility and ease of use in the cloud
Having the ability to access manufacturing and sales data from anywhere on any capable device allows for the freedom of managerial staff to go about their personal or business lives and still be able to maintain a handle on things. This is especially useful when it is a requirement to travel overseas for the company, while still maintaining order and control of stock.
An improved customer experience
Finally, cloud-based software can improve the customer experience. Having control of inventory and sales means that stock is always available for the customer, when they need it. If your company can provide this service, uninterrupted because adverse situations are foreseen and avoided, then your company really will be set apart. In addition, if there is a module in your software where the customer can order stock themselves online, then this will certainly improve their experience and keep them coming back.
Cloud-based software provides so many benefits to a company compared to more traditional methods of inventory management and manufacturing control, and these apply to both the company and the customer. It is well worth investigating a cloud-based software package for inventory management such as Unleashed Software if you truly want to take your company to the next level.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.