Inventory Control Software: Stock control in real time
Inventory management software is a software system for tracking inventory levels, orders, sales and deliveries. It can also be used in the manufacturing industry to create a work order, bill of materials and other production-related documents. Companies use inventory management software to avoid product overstock and outages. It is a tool for organizing inventory data that before was generally stored in hard-copy form or in spreadsheets.
Inventory and warehouse management systems are becoming essential in retail, wholesale, service delivery, and many other industries, helping the company keep track of its produced assets, and distribute them accordingly to all interested customers.
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Key Features of Inventory Management Software
Basic Inventory Control. As simple as this sounds, it tops the list of most requested features. What this means is having a systematic way to truly ‘manage’ and control your inventory across all of your sales channels. Often businesses work with spreadsheets where formulas can break, and a lot of manual effort is required to keep inventory on track.
Barcoding & Scanning. Increasing the number of daily orders you receive can lead to bottlenecks if you’re not positioned to process and fulfill those orders efficiently. You can streamline these processes even more by implementing barcoding and scanning at the pick/pack/ship stages.
Demand Forecasting. Demand forecasting is key to planning what to order so you spend resources wisely. With the proper tools in place, you can learn more than just which products are selling and which channels are performing. Having the ability to drill down into the attributes of your sales, such as size, color, scent or material, provides you essential information to help you keep more accurate levels of inventory and make better decisions about what and how much to buy.
Accounting Integration. While an accounting system can’t do the work of a specialized order and inventory management system, it is necessary to run a successful business. Having a direct integration to your accounting package from an order and inventory management system makes all the difference. It enables you to easily post to your General Ledger account and keep track of all your other business expenses outside of inventory.
Lot Tracking. If you deal in regulated products you will understand the importance of identifying specific stock items, or lots. If a product gets recalled for some reason, lot tracking allows you to know which of those items are in stock and need to be pulled from your inventory. You can also track which customers have already, or are about to receive, a product from that lot and notify them to ensure the safety of your customers. Tracking can be done by raw material, finished good level or both, whichever your business requires.
Benefits of using Inventory Management Software
Centralized storage. The more stock locations you have to govern, the more difficult it becomes to manage orders and direct products to the right customers. With an adequate warehouse tool in place, you will be able to track the availability of all products and services.
Efficient stock operations. Good inventory management is the founding pillar of any healthy business, as it saves both the time and effort needed to manage stock manually.
In-time delivery. The core benefit of using inventory management software is being able to hit delivery deadlines, and preventing customers from waiting ages for their shipment to arrive.
Adjusted order frequency. Leaving products to waste or paying for their storage and maintenance is where businesses lose the most of their money, and that’s why inventory management software is so useful. Being able to track their actual stock supplies, companies can re-order from vendors in the right moment, or adjust the order frequency in a more suitable manner.
No more hidden costs. Another competitive edge of good inventory systems is that they adjust easily to sudden spikes in your sales, and you get to tweak them in line with sudden spikes and drops. For the purpose, you won’t have to pay extra storage fees, while in the best possible scenario you will also get a product that prepares, packs, and ships products for you.
Integration with back office systems. Another way to recognize a quality inventory management system is to examine its connectivity to back office applications, in particular accounting and ERP systems which process stock related data.
Accurate planning and forecasting. Inventory management systems help you plan ahead and become more proactive, as they track the status of your products, manage negative trends and opportunities, and retrieve vital historical data to predict the progress of your sales.
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