Until recently, implementing best practice inventory management controls required businesses to buy, maintain and upgrade expensive software and, in some cases, servers and hardware. Smaller businesses were shut out, while larger companies made large investments in enterprise-level software. Software-as-a-Service, or ‘SaaS’, has changed this dynamic, lowering the barriers to entry for smaller users and reducing costs for enterprise clients. Here are 7 key reasons why a SaaS solution is the obvious choice for managing your inventory:
SaaS products are easy to use
Legacy software or manual systems such as spreadsheets can be difficult for users to operate effectively – there are often many different ways to achieve a particular task, some of which can be very inefficient. In contrast, UX design typically gets a lot of attention in the development of cloud software, leading to products that are intuitive resulting in a lower learning curve. Cloud-based inventory management is generally better received by end-users, reducing the risk that staff will stubbornly stick to a pen and clipboard.
Cloud-based inventory plays well with other SaaS systems
Cloud-based inventory management software is often able to integrate with providers of related services. By combining inventory management, point of sale and accounting software, it becomes possible to create an enterprise-level package that is streamlined, synchronized and addresses all of your business’ needs.
The SaaS model is that upgrade planning, implementation and costs are all the responsibility of service providers. Upgrade issues become a thing of the past, reducing cost, stress and downtime.
Reduced upfront costs
Software that is installed and hosted on-premise typically requires users to make a large outlay for licensing fees and, in some cases, server hardware. On the other hand, running SaaS usually involves a pay as you go model.
Reduced cost of ownership
SaaS inventory management solutions are not only less expensive upfront but also have a lower total cost of ownership overall. In particular, pooling server costs between a large base of users means that SaaS products are generally cheaper than on-premise solutions. Downloading and deploying a feature-rich on-premise inventory solution can be significantly more expensive than using a best in breed cloud product. Maintenance, support, upgrade and business continuity costs are also reduced as, consistent with the model of software as a service, these are typically the responsibility of the software provider.
Software-as-a-Service solutions are highly scalable
Cloud-based inventory management software is highly scalable with upgraded functionality available on demand. If your business requires a transition from one warehouse to several locations, then additional inventory management functions can be accessed without having to outlay significant amounts of money and time upgrading hardware or software. Upgrading to a more feature-rich plan can be a seamless and nearly instantaneous process.
Flexibility and the freedom to get the best service
The pay as you go business model of most SaaS providers means that users are able to switch easily if a different solution is required. If another provider is offering a more reliable or capable inventory solution at a better price, users can easily switch to get the best deal. SaaS providers’ incentives align much better with users’ interests.