Inventory management rebuilt: The best of both worlds
When it comes to Inventory Management, the temptation may be to build a system from scratch.
You ask why should you not treat yourself with a bespoke solution crafted by professionals? Something that appears singular to you, specific for your type of business and reinforces your business identity? That’s ideal, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, reality is very different. While it looks like you’ll have greater control over your product descriptions, order processing and so on, the end product can be time-consuming, money-eating and almost entirely unnecessary. Why?
Because of existing, easily-obtainable software that’s just sitting there waiting for you. Software that has been built by professionals in the industry with years of experience and knowledge. We believe that buying is a better option than building. If you don’t believe us, ask over 60% of mid-market retailers. That 38% you’re part of will start to look smaller and smaller.
In this article, we’ll indicate key factors regarding inventory management you need to consider when weighing up whether to start from scratch or save your hard-earned cash.
You’ll know when choosing a specially-built inventory management system that it’ll cost serious money. However, we argue the primary consideration here is time.
Like any builder on the job there are promises, and then there are results. The latter often takes longer to achieve than the former, so while you wait for the project to be completed the world moves along. Chances are by the time the engineer dusts their hands and says they’re done the whole setup is outdated, which isn’t a far fetched statement – this isn’t just a big task, it’s colossal. You’ll likely be hiring more than one developer to manage the load. Factor in testing and optimization and you’ll see time and money working together to give you one massive headache.
Time is also a limited commodity with regards to your chosen contractor. Once the end date on that contract passes, that’s it for you and the person handing over the keys to your inventory management solutions.
As with any structure, regular maintenance will be required. Technology isn’t a slow coach. Once your system can no longer handle up to date tasks, new features have to be added.
What if you’re upscaling your business? Heck, what if it breaks? With all that stress on the horizon, selecting a suitable software solution is a no-brainer. There are some great offers on the market which anticipate significant developments rather than wait for them to happen. So if you decide to take your business up a notch, these built-in features can help you. It’s an altogether more meaningful approach that really pays off long term.
Having a bespoke package is an appealing prospect, yet all too often turns out to give the illusion of control. The more specific your build, the more detail is created and the more management it will need. In an elaborate household, it’s difficult to keep track of all those tweaks and adjustments.
You can’t merely shake the contractor’s hand and walk away. Plus while that CV of theirs looks impressive they may not have a history of building inventory management systems.
Red Adair put out many a blaze, and his words are appropriate: “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” Whether it’s a pro or an amateur, if they decide to leave, you’ll be hemorrhaging time and money training someone new to master the operation.
With software solutions, you’re taking part in one ongoing collective build that works for everyone. This option supports growth, not bills you for extras brick by brick. They have their own army of engineers who devise new, labor saving functions. Dedicated product teams constantly absorb customer feedback in order to update and improve the package. Everything feeds back into a cycle that evolves naturally and responds rapidly to your inventory management needs.
If you’re beginning to lean toward the idea of software over a scratch build, we can probably make up your mind in this next section.
Software-based inventory management systems focus on your API, or Application Programming Interface. Put simply, this enables all the elements of your software to communicate effectively with each other. The better your API, the easier it is to get the show on the road. From this, contractors working for software solution companies generate custom workflows. However, unlike a build, there isn’t one person responsible. The team has shouldered the burden to give you the best construction experience, setting down strong foundations and using tried and tested methods.
Why not go for an option that takes the best part of the building process and discards the rest, replacing it with a growth-intensive strategy that will keep a roof over your head come rain or shine? Pre-built software saves you time and money and leaves you free to do what you do best – run a great business.
For any more questions you have about pre-built software, chat to our guru.