The cloud is the overarching, new way of doing things in business and can be especially useful for small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs). There are so many benefits to using a cloud-based software to manage everything from inventory to accounting. Despite this, a staggering 43% of businesses in the US in 2017 either did not track inventory or did so manually. Why do the 43% need cloud-based software?
No need for an in-house IT department
The first notion we need to agree on is that managing day-to-day company operations by computing and automation is vitally important to keep up with competitors, turn products around quickly and meet customer needs and expectations in an accurate and efficient manner.
Traditionally, managing a company’s computing system, if there was one, was the job of an in-house IT manager or department, depending on the size of the company. Their role would be to fix any software or hardware issues that require it, train staff to use said software and hardware, protect the system and ensure it was upgraded in conjunction with global standards. However, with the introduction of the cloud, this is no longer necessary. Software providers can provide their help from a distance through the cloud. They can host it, train your staff, ensure it is protected and upgraded and save you significant money and time in employing an in-house IT specialist. The entire process becomes far more streamlined and specialised.
Accessibility and transparency
A major bonus to a cloud-based software is that any information and data stored in it can be accessible from anywhere. This becomes extremely beneficial to SMEs that have multiple branches or locations or where the data must be accessible from home as well as work, or even on the road. Not only is the data accessible from any device with internet capability, but it is also accessible in real-time, meaning that it is always up-to-date.
This enables good and reliable business decision-making where data can be trusted as a guide. It is also very important for optimal business operations to have every team working in harmony where they consider different departments in their actions and decisions. This is where transparency in manufacturing and sales data is important so it can be seen by logistics, marketing, sales and management for example, as it affects all their roles. Transparency and communication are the keys to a well-oiled machine.
With cloud computing, you no longer need to make an out-dated software system work for your SME even if it does not entirely suit it or answer all your needs. Cloud-based systems often make it possible to select different add-ons that can be amalgamated to form one, all-inclusive, computing solution. With cloud-based systems, it is also possible to adapt their functionality to integrate into existing equipment or systems that you may have and that must remain in place. Essentially it negates the need for you to throw everything out when only one component needs to be updated or replaced to ensure continued and seamless functionality.
Even inventory management can be managed in the cloud. Inventory management software is designed to support real-time sales and manufacturing data collection, report generation and inventory control. It provides SMEs with a seamless inventory management solution that enables better control, less wastage and increased profitability.
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.