Marketplaces are constantly changing, and eCommerce is driving increased competition for both large organisations and SMEs from across the globe. Supply chains are becoming increasingly complex and customers are correspondingly as demanding as they are more vocal about their experiences.
Factors affecting inventory managament are becoming equally complex with multifaceted supply chains and vast networks of manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers from which to source, distribute and sell products.
Factors affecting inventory control
Inventory stock challenges range from longer, less reliable lead times to difficulty tracking inventory along the supply chain and across multiple warehouses. Other factors affecting inventory control include not having adequate knowledge of your inventory, having inefficient processes or both.
Companies should always have full visibility of their inventory to know what is in stock, when items need to be replenished and the size and quantity of the order. Cloud-based online inventory control offers businesses this visibility in real-time and by replacing traditional operating procedures with new technology, you will become more efficient in managing your inventory stock.
Customer wants and needs are constantly changing, and consumers now demand greater flexibility in their purchasing decisions. Learning and understanding customer needs to ensure expectations and demands are met is one of the main factors affecting inventory control.
Cloud-based solutions collect and analyse client data to help organisations better adapt to changing consumer demands while simultaneously helping to manage their inventory stock to keep up with these demands.
Online inventory control solutions
Businesses face many problems with inventory control, and managing inventory is often more complex than it may initially seem. However, these issues come with many solutions and the implementation of a cloud-based online inventory control is a simple one to overcome traditional inventory control problems.
Remove manual processes
Investing in automated online inventory control systems will remove manual processes and improve the efficiency of your inventory control practices. Online inventory control provides companies with the visibility to see their inventory stock and inventory related expenses in one central location.
The visibility of inventory stock at each stage of your supply chain that also links with barcode technology provides real-time access to information on every SKU in your warehouse. With accurate inventory levels it then becomes much easier to make informed operational decisions around the what and when of stock replenishment and reordering.
Improve customer satisfaction
Communication and transparency are essential to customer satisfaction. With online inventory control customers can see when items are out of stock and be notified when the product is back in stock. They can also track the progress of purchases from point of sale to shipment and delivery to them.
Save resources and reduce waste
The automation provided by an online inventory control system will save you time and money. For example, items with expiration dates, such as food or cosmetics can become spoilt or unusable if not sold in time leading to lost profits and environmental waste. Cloud-based inventory control systems give you access to real-time data on product lifecycles so warehouse staff can ensure older products are picked to be sold first.
Improving your warehouse and inventory control processes will optimise your supply chain and will lead to greater efficiency and profitability for your business. Companies with multiple warehouses will benefit from investing in online inventory control software that supports multi-location stock management.
Warehousing expenses fluctuate, depending on the levels of stock you hold during a given season. When you hold too much stock there is a risk of items becoming hard to sell or obsolete. Inventory control systems improve forecasting helping you to make more informed purchasing decisions, avoiding high storage costs and saving your business money.
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.