In today’s world, businesses are finding it necessary to use innovative ways to manage their inventories. Whether it’s a retail establishment or a manufacturing facility, managing inventory levels can mean the difference between success and failure. While in years past inventories were managed by pen and paper, today’s businesses rely on various types of software to make sure they have adequate supplies to cover the needs of their customers. If your business is in need of effective inventory management, here are five easy tips for using software to manage your inventory.
Use Real-Time Tracking
For businesses of all sizes and in all industries, using real-time tracking of inventory levels is critical to success. “By being able to track and collect data on a wide variety of categories, a business can then generate reports that can be used by management to make improvements within their inventory management systems,” said ARBA Retail Systems. In addition, the inventory data can also be accessed on numerous mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. By having this capability, managers and other key personnel can have access to vital information not only on-site at the warehouse, but also while they may be on the road or at other locations.
In most businesses, having the ability to easily integrate an inventory management system can make a tremendous difference in staying ahead of the competition. For businesses that have eCommerce stores, this can help with the ability to view not only current inventory levels, but also to project future needs and ensure inventory levels will be maintained to meet those needs. Integrating with accounting software can also prove useful, since management is constantly concerned with how higher inventory levels will affect a company’s budget. Therefore, businesses that sell items themselves as well as third-party vendors can benefit from system integration, since it results in increased customer service and satisfaction.
Increase Data Security
With the data systems of companies everywhere always at risk of being compromised by hackers, using software to manage your inventory system can lead to increased data security. Many companies take advantage of restricted user rights, which lets them limit which employees have access to create orders, receive and transfer products, and have access to certain company security codes. By utilizing these capabilities of inventory management software, companies can save time and money, as well as greatly speed up the inventory management process.
Quickly Spot Trends
While most people believe inventory management software is used only to keep track of current inventory levels, the fact is it is widely used by various types of businesses to spot trends well before the competition. By being able to track such information as where products are stocked, which suppliers delivered them, and how long they have been on the shelves, inventory levels can be better controlled. In addition to this, warehouse space can be better utilized, lowering company costs even more. By bringing all of this information together, companies can quickly spot industry trends and incorporate them into critical times of the year such as peak seasons or holidays.
Cycle Counts and Fulfillment
By being able to analyze cycle counts and fulfillment statistics, inventory levels can be stabilized to best meet customer demand. Along with this, popular products as well as those that are sold together can be placed closer together in order to speed up the picking and delivery process. By implementing these steps, cycle counts can then be performed on a regular basis, enabling fulfillment to be more accurate while out-of-stock items are reduced or eliminated. As a result of these steps, inventory will be more accurate and eventually lead to an expanded inventory.
While there are countless other ways in which software can be used to manage inventory, the above-mentioned tips offer the greatest opportunities for success. Whether it’s making fulfillment more accurate, ensuring company data will be more secure, or spotting the next hot trend, it’s clear proper use of inventory management software can help any business achieve its goals.