As a small business just starting out, you may find that a pen and paper is all you really need to keep track of your inventory levels and whereabouts. However, as your company begins to grow, you will soon find that this is insufficient. Do these tell-tale signs look familiar to your business? Let’s find out why your business should upgrade its inventory management system.
Increased Demand and Supply
As your company begins to expand and your customer base becomes more and more established, you will soon find that demand for certain products increases. Naturally, this requires you to increase supply of said products, which of course entails keeping track of a growing list of inventory.
While spreadsheets and manual record keeping systems may suffice when you first started out, you will soon find this get more difficult to manage when supply increases. Keeping track of your inventory with simple manual system is error-prone and they may end up leaving you worse off.
For this reason, as your business starts to grow and supply increases, we suggest that you trial cloud-based inventory management software as well as use barcodes and barcode scanners. These tools are excellent for tracking inventory all the way to the customer’s door. Further, barcodes and barcode scanners mean you can quickly bring up information about products in stock such as the amount you hold, the whereabouts and more. This is not only great for your own record keeping but excellent in terms of providing quick information to customers who require it.
You Can’t Predict Sales Trends
Another reason why you might want to consider upgrading your inventory management system is when you find that you can’t accurately predict future sales trends. As mentioned, as your business begins to expand you will need to continue keeping track of your growing inventory. However, you will possibly find this very difficult if you’re using a manual inventory management system. By using cloud-based inventory management software, however, you will be able to track and trace the sale of your items easily and accurately. In doing so you will be able to predict which products may be more popular and therefore, you can order appropriate stock accordingly.
Faster Customer Service
Accurate record keeping regarding inventory management is not only vital to the smooth flowing business processes, but also for keeping your customers happy. Having piles of inventory records inevitably makes it harder for you to supply customers with accurate information about products, and this is definitely a negative in terms of customer satisfaction.
Alternatively, adopting cloud inventory management software will mean that this information is right at your fingertips. When a customer asks about your stock levels for a certain product, for instance, you will be able to quickly search the product and pull up the information within minutes.
Faster customer service is always a good thing, as customers value convenience. Therefore, if your company is growing it may be time to consider cloud-based inventory software and ditching the pen and paper for a more efficient way to manage your inventory.
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.