Having sound inventory management processes is crucial to any company dealing with inventory stock and can directly impact the company’s bottom line. No one solution will satisfy every company’s needs; this holds true for your own company. As your company grows and expands, so should your inventory management system in order to streamline processes with little error.
Understanding what you have, where it is in your warehouse, and when inventory stock is going in and out can help lower costs and speed up fulfillment. Sound inventory management systems are also necessary in maintaining the right amount of inventory stock in your warehouse. The last thing you need is to lose a sale, simply because you did not have enough inventory stock to fill an order. Constant inventory stock issues can drive customers to your competitors. It will also help you get a better, more real-time understanding of what is selling and what is not.
If any of the following problems are happening to you, it may be time to update your inventory management software to better reap the rewards of having a sound inventory management system.
Still using spreadsheets
Spreadsheets are all very well for beginners and businesses just starting out, but be cautious of continuing to use it as your business grows. It will certainly end up costing your company more time and money than necessary, as opposed to upgrading to a robust online inventory management software system.
The main reason spreadsheets are ineffective is because employees need to manually enter everything. This makes it prone to human errors that add up over time and makes reporting labourious.
Inaccuracies also can cause major headaches. Your company may spend too many hours sifting through paperwork, trying to track down a mistake, or mistakes could go unnoticed and you could inadvertently report inaccurate information or order inventory that you do not need.
Spreadsheets also lacks real-time data so what you see on your spreadsheet may have discrepancies to what you actually hold on hand. This is especially true when you have multiple people dealing with your inventory stock, but only one person can update a spreadsheet at a time.
Not using barcodes
Unfortunately, internal theft can be a problem for companies. A security camera can spot a theft when it occurs, but inventory management software can track an item on a continuous basis using a barcode. If there are discrepancies in the data, many systems can alert managers in real-time if items all of a sudden go missing which will help eliminate lost profits and lost time.
Barcode technology is not only innovative, but also helps eliminate mistakes, prevent mix-ups, and is completely traceable and auditable. If your current inventory management software does not have the basic barcode tracking capabilities, you need to upgrade your solution to one that does.
Making reordering mistakes
Having an inventory management system that updates in real-time and has access to historical data can provide you with more useful information to make smarter re-ordering decisions. An accurate online inventory management system can help prevent the situation of obsolete inventory stock collecting dust on your shelves or not having enough of a popular product in stock. This way you can optimise your inventory levels and replenish items as quickly as needed.
If you are using old online inventory management software, this can be susceptible to security issues. It is increasingly important to protect your company’s and customers’ data. If your current software version is susceptible to bugs or other security issues, you need to make upgrading your online inventory management system a priority.
Your inventory stock is the lifeblood of your business. However, many overlook how costs decrease and productivity increases when a business is highly organised with an online inventory management system. Poor inventory management can result in unnecessary operational downtime and loss of business and revenue. If you find your business struggling through the above inventory challenges, then it may be time to upgrade your inventory management processes.
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.