A reliable warehouse management system is now essential in retail, service delivery and countless other industries, helping a company or business keep track of its assets and distribute these accordingly to their entire customer base. All the tools the help prevent products from getting damaged, eliminate thefts and costly mistakes while keeping customers satisfied is what defines inventory management software. Modern businesses appreciate the fact that inventory automation technology has the ability to plan ahead and prepare for unforeseen sales spikes or drops by monitoring trends. You will thus be able to be more effective in the management and pull off valuable stats any time you need them. A warehouse management tool is a vital addition to your software infrastructure regardless of the complexity of your stock. It is one of the fastest ways to meet both your customers and employee’s expectations.
Before you decide to purchase your first software, you need to first determine which type of warehouse software you need. There are both simple catalogs and complex listing systems available in the market. That is why it is important to compare different varieties of solutions before you make your decision. This knowledge will help you select the ideal system that matches your business’ needs.
Why use Inventory Management Software?
There are numbers benefits associated with using inventory management software such as prompt customer service, accurate distributions of products, and more secure deal closure. The ideal scenario is whereby your system is well integrated with third-party management software that is readily available to users even on mobile devices. This can cater to the needs of large and decentralized teams. Here are some the main advantages of using such a system.
- Centralized storage: it gets so difficult to manage orders from different stock locations and send products to the right customers. An adequate warehouse tool will help you track the availability of stored products and so your customers will always be promptly informed in the status of their orders.
- Efficient stock operations: any healthy retail business relies heavily on good inventory management as it saves time and effort that would otherwise be needed to manually manage stock. A collaborative system in place ensures your employees don’t need to write daily reports and be in a rush to give them to customers. Rather, they will have the data regularly updated on their mobile devices.
- Enhanced sales productivity: many companies have reported noteworthy improvement in their closed deal rates after implementing an inventory management solution. Accurate reports prevent you from making you common human mistakes and from losing customers. You will not direct clients to the wrong stores.
- In time delivery: you can easily hit delivery deadlines and spare customers the agony of waiting for ages for their shipment to arrive. An advanced system will even go beyond this and give customers a realistic picture of their order’s status. This allows them to track the product’s movement right from the purchase up to arrival.
- No more hidden costs: good inventory systems adjust easily to a sudden rise in your sales so that you get to align them with sudden spikes or drops in sales. You will not need to pay extra storage fees. You also get a product that packs and ships the product for you.
- Satisfied customers: with a personalized service that delivers accurate responses at any time, your customers will be very satisfied. They will follow along with the progress of their shipped orders without fear of late notice that the expected product is no longer available.
- Integration with back-office systems; you will identify a quality inventory system by examining its connectivity to back-office applications that process stock related data. In order to be in the safe side, it is better to purchase an open API system as this allows all service providers to stay connected and this always comes with the best technical support.
- Accurate planning and forecasting: the fact that you can plan ahead and track the status of your products while managing any negative trends means that you are more proactive. You can easily predict the progress of your sales through an examination of vital historical data. Inventory tools are packed with analytic features that save you time while helping you stay more productive.
The Different Types of Software
These systems can be classified in different ways but the intended use and purpose will define a type of software you have selected. The category will also depend on the mode of work and features available. The first group of the category is the manually-managed inventory systems. This is inspired by spreadsheet technology and it is ideal for small business or startups that are still in the process of transitioning from paper-based stock management to an automated system. These systems are simple and are designed to order and track a limited number of products. The user will still need to enter formulas for complex calculations and this is a downside because human errors may still be an issue and cause output inaccuracies.
Barcode scanning systems is another classification which allows companies to process a large number of items and retrieve data directly from computerized cash registers. There is an automatic update of incoming inventory and this makes it easy for agents to always be informed in their ordering and purchase when it is ready to use. What makes this even better is that these systems are not restricted only to a limited number of warehouses. Rather, inventory can move without any obstruction during packing and shipping procedures. There are many systems which offer barcode scanning as part of their integrated feature.
Advanced radio frequency systems may be expensive but are known to provide the biggest guarantee when it comes to the efficiency and productivity of your business. Automation is provided in a warehouse from end to end and it is an ideal system for large enterprises with thousands of order to process on a daily basis.