In today’s fast-paced world, managing inventory can be such a daunting and time-consuming task, but it certainly doesn’t need to be! If you are finding inventory management a real headache for your company, then you need to take note of the many companies that are using specialised inventory management software. Not only does inventory management software have the ability to manage inventory stock and analyse trends effectively, it can save your company money and time in the long run, directly impacting your bottom line.
Inventory management processes
Although inventory management software is becoming an increasingly valuable company asset, present technology is not sufficient on its own to solve each and every supply chain problem. A company needs a structured set of processes as a foundation for the software to follow and be effective.
Inventory management software is not necessarily replacing inventory processes, but rather a means of completing processes more efficiently. Companies should start by documenting processes that all inventory stock items need to go through. A common example of this may be a simple step process:
- Customer places order and your company receives it
- Staff pick the items on the order
- Staff consolidate items within the order
- Staff pack the order
- Staff send the shipment
Next, a company should be able to clearly state and identify their operation goals. Many companies have generic goals such as creating automations or increasing efficiency. Although they are great goals to have, goals need to be more specific and actionable in order to achieve measurable success. For example, a specific goal could be “We want to create more visibility in our supply chain by setting up notifications as orders move along our pre-set workflow,” or “We want to be able to be more efficient by getting notifications when inventory stock levels get low for effortless reordering.” By having specific goals outlined from the beginning, you can choose an inventory management software that meets your company’s needs.
Return on Investment
Using inventory management software should enable your company to see how it will add value. Specialised software can be a significant investment for many companies. It is important to assess the costs and benefits of the inventory management software system your company chooses to know you are getting a proper return on investment.
It is important to note that successful implementation is not always immediate; the initial cost of this process is often not profitable for the company right away. But in time, with processes fully developed to develop and implemented, this will change.
Inventory management software can provide a number of different benefits to companies. However, for implementation of such software to be successful, companies should meet these three criteria. They should have structured processes in place, a specific goal to achieve, and a clear view of how the software will create a return on investment. If you meet all these criteria, then you are ready for your inventory management software chapter to begin.
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.