Your start-up is ticking along nicely and all your processes and systems seem to be working fine for you now. But what happens when it’s time to expand and grow? Having the right inventory management systems and business processes in place can be the difference between success and failure. It’s worth taking the time beforehand to make sure you have the right systems in place so that as you grow there are no unnecessary headaches.
Let’s look at a few reasons why an inventory management system is a must when it comes to growing your business.
No matter what size your business, time is money. But as a small business, quite often with few staff you will be the one running around doing literally everything, so time is even more precious. The same happens when you are looking to grow – more and more stock is coming in and going out, accounts are growing, piles of paper are getting larger and larger and you’re probably now managing staff as well. It will be manic.
Having an inventory management system in place right from the start will drastically help you manage and automate everything on the inventory side. Least that’s one bit ticked off. No longer will you be manually entering sales data and tracking receivables and payables in a spreadsheet, it will all be done for you.
Another way inventory management systems can help you grow your business is by offering extensive reporting. In fact, a proper inventory management system may be one of the reasons you realize you can afford to grow in the first place. Especially when integrated with the likes of your accounting and point of sale software, you will easily be able to see a range of insights that will lead to better business decisions. This includes everything from informed sales and forecasting information through to ordering and re-stocking information.
The best part is that your inventory and business insights will be real-time too, so now you won’t have to wait for people to manually enter data that’s days or weeks old and you can see it any time of the day as and when you need it. This is particularly important during the growth phase to see if your current systems are handling the expansion, to see whether your stock is moving as quickly as you’d have thought and to make sure your stock numbers are keeping up with orders.
As touched upon, inventory management systems will also be able to integrate with a range of different systems that will help streamline your business as you grow. Now that you are dealing with a load more stock, integrating your warehousing with your physical store with your e-commerce store means increased efficiencies across the board. Plus it works with all your other add-ons as well, accounting, point of sale, e-commerce website, you name it. Multi-channel sales become easy and multi-site sales become a breeze – everyone knows exactly how much stock is at each site, where the sales are coming from and going to, and transferring inventory between them all is simple as well.
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.