One the quickest ways of reducing end-to-end supply chain costs is to get your inventory control under greater control. And one of the quickest ways to do that is by using an online inventory management system and cloud-based technology to improve your inventory and warehouse management.
For some organisations, a real lack of knowledge and understanding of inventory control can significantly reduce the effectiveness of these online inventory management systems. Therefore, it is imperative that vendors and inventory management practitioners take a considered approach when migrating clients to new systems and cloud technologies.
A good approach is to focus on the many benefits of cloud technology to give your clients solid financial reasons to make a change and break down the transition process into clear, easy to understand steps.
When seeking to migrate your clients to cloud-based solutions, you can smooth the way by restating the numerous benefits. Discuss all the potential gains of online inventory management, including cost benefits, security, real-time inventory levels and ease of use.
Cloud-based inventory software provides a centralised co-ordination of essential data from all areas of a business. With an integrated cloud system, all employees, whether in production or sales, can have access to the same information that is updated in real-time.
The software allows businesses to improve productivity through a single integrated data site, eliminating the need for time-consuming manual data processes. Planning tools can help companies work smarter by shifting individual areas of inventory control into a single, easy-to-use software product.
Hosting and software license fees can be paid monthly, removing the need for large upfront investments and expensive server infrastructure. Also eliminating the need to regularly install software upgrades.
There is nothing that sabotages a business relationship quicker than a client expecting different results from a project implementation. Set expectations early and take the time to walk them through the transition to cloud.
Plan well and have a process, help your clients to envisage a more seamless inventory control in their business and set a clear direction for any decision-making along the way.
Give them a real concept of the different phases of transition, the projected costs and the timeline involved, along with clear details to what will migrate to the cloud-based system and any activities that will not.
This also provides you with the ideal opportunity to work with your client and break down the transition to cloud into manageable goals and milestones. As they begin to see the benefits in real value they can implement staff training to ensure the optimum outcome of the migration to cloud and the positive change to their business and operational efficiencies.
Ensure that clients understand that they will now be using the internet to connect and access information. By confirming they have sufficient connectivity and bandwidth you can help make the transition to cloud much smoother.
Many cloud providers include data backup so before moving anything to the cloud, have a clear plan of how clients can retrieve data and access good backups of their information.
Without the need to send files back and forth, clients using cloud-based inventory control software will always be working from the latest version and can access inventory data on any device, from any location. Online inventory management software will streamline planning by automating the entire process, reduce waste and the cost of stock-outs.
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.