Picture this: “Yes, we have the size you need, just a moment, please. A few minutes later: “Sorry it looks like we are all out”.
This is an embarrassing situation most shop owners face now and then. This can impact the brand image and customer loyalty, which results in less revenue. If you are still using old-fashioned ways like keeping an excel sheet, then, be assured, the situation might repeat itself.
Upgrading to an inventory management software can reduce the stress from you and your employees. The software digitally keeps a record of all the items you sell and then alerts you when any particular item is running out of stock; so that you could restock quickly.
Plenty of options are available for inventory tools, so how do you choose? Here are a few features that should be there is a good inventory management system,
1. Inventory Tracking
The aim of having an inventory tool is to keep track of all your essential and necessary warehouse functions so that you can track product history, stock level, and further inventory requirements all from one place. If you have a team working from different places, then the inventory management tool helps you operate all your stocks efficiently and productively without any inventory mishaps.
With the inventory tool, you can have reports generated automatically for many of the necessary subcategories of products. The tool also takes care of the future demand of your stocks to avoid unfortunate inventory incidents like understocking the product in demand.
2. Automatic Inventory Restocking
You don’t want to wait for a popular item to run out of stock before you go out and order some more stock. Not having the inventory when you have a customer at your door can harm your business and damage your brand’s trust with customers. So the next time they are out to buy some items, they might simply think that you might not have the item and will choose competitors over you.
Even some of the entry-level inventory management tools have features where you can set a minimum value for a particular stock. Once the product falls below that limit, your inventory management tool places the order with your supplier directly to restock those items.
3. Easy Integration
Most businesses don’t just use one software; they use multiple different softwares at once. Ideally, your inventory software should be able to integrate with your other business softwares. This allows you to share the critical information between two software, and they can easily sync and keep themselves updated. If compatibility is an issue, you end up way more time-wasting on transferring data from one tool to another, which can also make your business suffer.
For example, if you are using QuickBooks like accounting software, look for an inventory tool that can directly update your tax information after buying or selling products. So alternatively, a brick and mortar shop needs an inventory system that keeps updating automatically with it’s POS stool.
Today, everything is done electronically, and your software must work together in harmony and automatically sync all the data. Having an inventory system that doesn’t work well with other tools can cause more obstacles than increase efficiency.
4. Mobile Access
It is essential that the inventory system you use could be accessed on mobile devices and not only through a laptop or desktop. If a vendor has just one location, then this won’t be much of an issue, but if you run multiple locations, you need to pick an inventory system with access from mobile platforms.
You will be able to access your inventory data from anywhere, anytime, and using any device available. It will improve the coordination between your staff members too. Having accurate coordination will help you make informed and precise decisions.
5. IoT Integration
IoT driven inventory management is increasing in demand day by day. Right from checking the current stock items to keeping track when the stock gets low, everything can be measured using the combination of RFID and IoT technology.
The inventory system integrated with IoT works better when the RFID reads the data and sends it directly to the database present in the inventory tool, making it more productive and insightful. The whole system will keep you better informed about your item location, assent’s live status, and much more.
Inventory systems should be easy to follow, navigate, and simple enough to use every day. It doesn’t need to be a tool so overloaded with features that it results in more complex problems. You can ensure the software is user-friendly by exploring any training sessions on the seller’s website. The only way to know for sure that you would like the program is to try it first and then implement it in your business.
Author Bio: I am Greg Wilson, a Content Writer working with GoodFirms, a research and review platform for service and software companies. I am passionate about blogging, creative writing, social media, and content marketing. I write blog posts for GoodFirms about eCommerce softwares, Cloud computing, IoT development, and many more such categories.