If you’re looking to make improvements to your inventory management, but you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got a few suggestions to help you out. When you take a step back and look at your processes, your warehouse, and your staff, you will undoubtedly see methods that can be better. It’s one thing to find these areas of concern, it’s another thing to enhance them. As a business owner, you want to see your company thrive. To reach that thriving state, you need to look at modernising your inventory management system.
Amalgamate your channels
Consumers can purchase products through a variety of channels. They have the option of brick-and-mortar stores, online shopping, buy-online-pick-up-in-store and mobile platforms. They are always developing something new as well.
If your business is diversified enough to have your products being purchased and distributed through multiple channels, you’re already doing great. These are big feats when it comes to looking after sales, fulfilling orders, and stocking the right inventory.
However, when these channels are managed in silos things can get complicated. If your online inventory stocks don’t communicate with your brick-and-mortar inventory stock, then fulfilling orders can get tricky.
Look to use an online inventory management system that integrates your channels and brings everything together. When your online inventory management system can communicate with multiple eCommerce platforms, operations become more streamlined. Logistics and ordering processes become simpler and there is general transparency throughout the business. This helps you avoid stock-outs and make better business decisions.
Harness the power of real-time data
Cloud-based software is one of the best things that has ever happened to inventory management. This technology provides a magnificently accurate and up-to-date snapshot of your stock levels. More so, with online inventory management, this information can be accessed from anywhere with internet. This gives business owners flexibility that they might not have previously experienced. This modernisation carries throughout many phases of the product’s journey — shipping, inventory storage, picking, packing and delivery. This makes your processes more efficient from the beginning to the end.
Read more about how businesses like Picture Hanging Systems have used real-time data to their advantage.
Inventory management tools have grown exponentially from the days of spreadsheets. Now, with constant real-time information being recorded, inventory management tools are data-rich. This means we have the ability to gain more insight into product patterns than ever before. You can use the data to derive patterns in demand, determine peak buying habits and assess the popularity of certain goods.
One of the most helpful benefits is analysing data to see what the future holds. This information bank can lead to smarter forecasting. With smarter forecasting, your warehouse can minimise dead stock numbers and run in a leaner way. Moreover, it can save you money if you don’t purchase excess inventory stock.
Use scalable technology
When looking at online inventory management tools, look for something that can cope with the growth of your business. If you are looking at modernising now, you really want this tool to adapt and grow with you into the future. Make sure it is scalable, can handle growth and caters to your current and future demands.
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.