Essential features of inventory management systems for SMBs
Role of Inventory Management Systems
Initially, retailers start with limited inventory and resources to avoid using up their working capital rapidly. This is the reason why many do not readily invest in proper inventory management systems. However, once you figure out the right balance of inventory movement to profitably run your business, then you must consider investing in solutions that help you operate and improve your raw materials or products better.
Inventory management systems and solutions help you avoid mistakes and continually serve your clients before another company can step in as competition. Most start-ups and small businesses understandably rely on traditional spreadsheets for inventory management at first. But over time, it is important for you to explore and spend on new technology to streamline your inventory processes.
Avoid mismanaging your inventory and unnecessarily tying up cash that can be used somewhere else and set up your inventory systems as soon as you can.
Important Features of Inventory Management Systems
More than just indexing and labeling your stock, inventory management systems involve accurately tracking your products from the time that you order them, up to the time that you deliver them to the customers. It also involves making sure that stock is properly stored and organized.
Inventory management systems must provide you with the ability to do the following:
- Real-time tracking. Monitor product dates and expiry, as well as back orders, so you can count remaining inventory, as well as outgoing ones on several channels accurately.
- Inventory control and optimization. Check your listing for product details, variants, barcodes, or any information about your inventory about a particular filter. Based on this data, you can avoid running out of stock by placing reorders timely when you make a sale.
- Warehouse management. Receive and sell stock from a specific warehouse, as well as consolidate data and transfer stock from warehouse to warehouse. Avoid overstock and expiration by moving inventory accordingly.
- Point-of-Sale. Sell on more than one location and update your inventory after every transaction. Avoid theft and pricing inconsistencies using this feature.
- Recording and reporting. Record inventory data and create comprehensive reports of on-hand stocks, back orders that are for replacement, stock locations, incoming stock, and sales, etc.
- Communication. Create a network of your suppliers and communicate with them to improve the speed of ordering. Keep a record of all your supplier and customer data using CRM and study purchase history and buying behaviors.
- Accounting. Estimate the value of stock and reconcile accounts. Record receivables and payables.
Is it worth it?
With the aid of modern stock control solutions, start-ups and SMBs can simplify inventory operations to avoid overstocking, theft, errors, and losses. The more data you have about your inventory, the better you will be able to control it and minimize the cost of keeping stock. Moreover, you’ll be able to fulfill all orders and improve customer satisfaction.
If you are feeling anxious about giving up your old inventory system, it is normal. However, the bigger your business gets, the more competition you’ll have to beat. A full-service stock inventory management system helps you operate smarter and quicker, giving you more time to focus on improving your products and core competencies.
To help you choose the right system for you, chat to our guru for advice.