An inventory management system combines processes, technology, and procedures to support the maintenance and monitoring of stocked items. Inventory management systems also allow retailers to organise and oversee their products whether finished goods or raw materials to be delivered to end consumers and vendors.
The importance of investing in an inventory management system cannot be overstated. The company’s inventory is considered one of its largest assets. Properly managing the inventory is also an integral part of the entire supply chain process.
Finding the Best Inventory Management System: Questions to Ask Yourself
Finding the inventory management system that will suit your company’s needs best hinges on a few key factors. Often, it requires taking a close look at where your business is right now.
When considering getting an inventory management system, start by asking yourself the following:
Question #01: What are the challenges your business is facing at the moment?
To determine the inventory management system that’s right for you, begin by assessing the current challenges and needs of your business. It is likely that you have outgrown your enterprise resource planning system or your inventory management system. You need to also assess how fast or slow your business is growing.
In addition, you need to check if the inventory levels are inconsistent across your sales channels. Do you often run out of stock faster than you expect? Can you track inventory KPIs to meet your goals? Do you have to improve your tracking so you know where all your units are at any given point?
Answering questions that are related to your current challenges can help you accurately identify pain points so you will know the inventory management software functionalities you need.
Question #02: Do you need a cloud-based or server-based inventory management system?
Although cloud deployment has been the trust choice for many years now, many companies still patronise server-based and on-premise management systems. When looking for an inventory management system, it is ideal to first determine if you will benefit from a server-based system or a cloud-based one.
You need to also ask yourself if you prefer to have a server and software on location or a cloud-based software that can help you avoid large capital expenditures. It is recommended that you weigh your options and your unique needs so you can make an informed decision on the system that is best for you.
Question #03: What are your organisation’s inventory management policies?
Your inventory control policy will dictate your product movement, how you can prevent shortages or losses, or how you can track costs. A clearly defined policy such as first in, first out can help effectively maximise the fulfillment processes and supply chain. If it is not updated yet in conjunction with the growth of the company, an update would be a good idea.
Awareness of lead time, handling requirements, product cost, and other policy needs can help you decide the inventory management software that will suit your organisation’s needs.
Question #04: What are the features you need to effectively run your business?
The correct software should fit your budget. It should also do what you need it to do. In line with this, you need to evaluate it for quality, capability, scalability, and price. It is also important that you find out the additional features you need to run your business accordingly.
Does the industry have certain requirements you need to meet? Do you need to use mobile devices in order to scan barcodes? Do you need real-time visibility when it comes to the availability of your products? Would you like to have a comprehensive report of the inventory across your wholesalers or warehouses.