Inventory management can be a complex task for any business to master. Trying to optimise inventory stock levels can seem like an endless battle. Sometimes you end up with too much or too little. This trial and error saga continues for businesses who don’t have the right inventory management systems in place.
Small businesses often lag when it comes to setting up their inventory management systems properly. Historically, inventory management systems were big investments and reserved for large companies. However, with current technology, small businesses can afford inventory management systems. Not only will they appreciate the affordability, but they will be able to leverage and grow their company with these new systems. Here are a few key reasons why small businesses should look to implement inventory management systems.
Spreadsheets are old-school
Spreadsheets are outdated and can’t handle the modern demands of inventory management; they are cumbersome and take a long time to manage; there is a lot of manual effort that goes into tracking inventory stock for a spreadsheet. Not to mention, manual data entry is more susceptible to human error. Spreadsheets are not scalable. They will not adapt and grow with your business. Instead, they will hold you back and cause more harm than help. They don’t communicate with other systems easily and there are always problems with version control.
The cloud has never been easier
Cloud-based inventory management software is simpler than ever. Without the cloud, inventory management can be a mess of suppliers, warehousing allocation systems and sales tracking. Often, these issues are dealt with independently of one another and rarely integrate.
The cloud understands these issues and has software in place to make data flow instantaneously. It can interpret information and provide real-time updates of inventory stock levels and current sales. It communicates with your accounting software and inventory management software. It also integrates with your business performance dashboard and can keep profit margins up-to-date.
Decision making support
With cloud-based inventory management software, you’ll be able to analyse data much easier. This is important because it allows you to make informed decisions and to make them quickly. Since you can have access to real-time information, you can see what’s working and what’s not.
Inventory software can help with many facets of the business. It can determine when you need to order more inventory stock from suppliers and can be programmed to place the order automatically. The software can also help with forecasting. It can help predict what products to order and in what quantities. With a large amount of information available, it can run analytics from previous years. This can also help identify patterns in demand. Moreover, the cloud highlights what products sell better at what time of year and show how buying habits change. This means you can see which suppliers are offering the most competitive prices. This will help to save money and make decisions on which supplier you go with for those big orders.
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.