You may be asking yourself if you really need a piece of software to manage your business’s inventory. It may also be the case that spreadsheets or other manual methods have been serving your business adequately. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand why software and automation are such critical aspects of a growing business.
Along with the benefits outlined below, a software system will provide the structure you need to expand your operations. When you put your business’ data like stock, sales orders, customers and promotions directly into an inventory management system you are opening your business up to a whole host of opportunities for advanced control.
As a business owner, your time is precious. You don’t want it wasted on monotonous manual entry, you want to spend your time on things that matter to you and that are going to help your business to flourish. This is why maximising efficiency is a top priority and is crucial given the current market conditions. Harnessing the power of inventory management software will allow you to maximise the time you spend on tasks, grow more efficiently and keep customers happy at every stage of their buying journey.
The limitations of using manual methods
Whilst using workarounds such as Excel can be simple to use, as well as a great cost-saving for businesses getting started, it’s not a long-term solution. The key factor in all of this? Automation. From inventory tracking and order processing to forecasting and reporting, inventory management software and the technology behind it can achieve far beyond what an Excel spreadsheet is capable of.
Ultimately, the time it takes for a member of your team to manually input data could be costing your business money. With little to no automation available on basic spreadsheets, tasks become monotonous and time-consuming.
The larger the inventory, the more prone it is to mistake. For those taking stock of larger inventories, it’s unlikely you’re able to take your spreadsheet with you. The result? Double handling data upon every stock take.
As well as placing a heavy burden on your team to keep the information up to date, the more your business grows, the more products and SKUs your business is responsible for. If your business is to grow, it must grow with a system that’s flexible for change.
What is inventory management software?
Inventory management software does exactly what it says; It’s a piece of software that allows you to manage and maintain your inventory. It provides accurate records of what stock you have available, as well as real-time stock levels across multiple channels. This means accurate information on your e-commerce channels, an informed customer service team, and no disappointed customers.
Benefits that manual methods cannot provide
For businesses, data is crucial. You need to have data on your customers, their buying habits and how much they are spending with your business. You also need accurate data on your inventory to see what’s selling, what’s not, and where you can improve on your reordering processes. Implementing an inventory management system will allow you to pull reports on various areas of your business, so you can analyse and compare business performance and make necessary adjustments.
Having the ability to set up price lists for your products can be a powerful tool in your arsenal. A software system will give you the functionality to create and amend price lists and have them automatically apply to orders. Setting up price lists allows you to apply quantity breaks when orders hit a certain amount. This means if a customer orders so many of a product they will receive a discount on the price. This is incredibly effective when looking to build long-term relationships with customers, if you sell to wholesalers and they know they will receive a discount if they order over a certain amount, the chance of them reordering from you will increase.
When selling goods, returns are a natural part of the process. Ultimately some customers may be dissatisfied with a product for whatever reason and at some point, you are going to have to process returns. For many businesses, this is where a lot of money is lost, through inefficient processing of returns. By having a system in place that can process your returns you can keep a close eye on your returns process as a whole, preventing unnecessary profit loss and ensuring every customer leaves happy.
An inventory management system will allow you to compare returns against products and customers, so you can see if certain customers are developing a habit of returning products, or if a specific product is causing a lot of returns. All this information will allow you to fine-tune your returns process to make it as streamlined as possible.
Without having a system in place to manage your stock, you will have to rely on data that has been collected manually. As mentioned, this means someone in the business will have to manually count stock and then send this information across. This poses two problems. Firstly, this process leaves a high margin of error. Secondly, this is a very time-consuming process. Inventory management software, like Khaos Control, automatically updates your stock levels when a sale is made, saving you time and money and giving you the peace of mind that information is accurate.
Find what’s right for you
Whilst Excel spreadsheets are simple to produce, the inefficiencies, errors, and delays caused by such a system aren’t going to get your business where you want it. Investing in inventory management software can seriously improve your stocktaking, ultimately benefitting your bottom lines. Contact us today for more information on any of our inventory features.