A new year hints at a fresh start and it is the perfect time for businesses to improve their inventory control in preparation for the business year ahead.
Effective inventory control can mean the difference between a profit or a loss. Mishandled inventory leads to unnecessary wastes of time, money and ultimately, the profitability and success of your enterprise.
This new year, one of the easiest choices you can make to optimise inventory control is to implement online inventory management software into your organisation.
Online inventory management
If you haven’t already joined the revolution that is online inventory management then you need to make it a new year’s priority. With so many software options available, it is important to consider the various functionalities offered when choosing the online inventory management tool that bests suits your business and eCommerce needs:
One of the most difficult parts of running an eCommerce business is handling and tracking your inventory stock. When evaluating a software package for your business it is important that it tracks inventory from the moment a purchase order is raised to the time it is dispatched, allowing you to monitor supply and labour costs. A good inventory control system will allow you to track items throughout the entire supply chain from point of origin to the end user.
Automatic reorder points
Holding too much inventory is risky business, it ties up capital in assets that cost money to hold and are at risk of waste and obsolescence. Work on reducing your inventory levels to only what is necessary in the short term. Set minimum stock levels and look for a system that automatically reorder when inventory stock reaches the set amount so that you always have the item on hand. Reducing your risk of stock outs and giving vendors enough time to deliver the new order.
Make even better use of your employees’ time and achieve greater speed and accuracy by utilising barcodes and barcode readers to receive, pick, pack and ship goods. Cycle counts can also be performed with the aid of barcode scanners to instantly update inventory records if the number of items in stock don’t match the recorded quantities.
The picking, packing and shipping process is at the core of every eCommerce transaction. Good inventory management software will automatically generate pick-lists of what needs to be packed and shipped when an order is placed. Speeding up the order fulfilment process and instantly adjusting inventory records in much less time and effort than needed for manual processes.
Most online inventory management systems should integrate seamlessly with other software to complement and optimise resource management, providing accurate and current information to all areas of your organisation. Linking information systems with suppliers will optimise your supply chain and help maintain inventory accuracy through enhanced transparency and communication.
Contemporary consumers are more impatient than ever, and efficient customer service is crucial if you want to maintain existing customers and retain new ones. An effective inventory management system allows you to easily track the status of your inventory and will make it easy to manage and fulfil orders from start to finish. Tracking clients’ previous orders allows you to undertake targeted marketing and promotional activities to customise information regarding new products and services.
With the increased demand for transparency and the pressure on companies to provide accurate and reliable information quickly and efficiently, software solutions such as Unleashed Software provide the tools necessary to help meet these demands.
Online inventory management provides numerous benefits to a business, the least of which is scalability. The software helps you to manage and maintain your business as it continues to develop and grow, whether you are adding more products or entering new markets, the software adapts to your changing business needs.
With all of this in mind, isn’t it worth making improved inventory control the new focus for your new year?
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.