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18 Sep 2015

Multi Channel Inventory Management Software


As a retailer you will always thinking of ways to grow your business and the notion of taking your share of the opportunity to sell on Amazon is hugely tempting. Who wouldn’t want access to the world’s biggest eCommerce marketplace?

But, what you may not realise (until you’ve done it) is just how quickly orders come in. If you’re a growing retailer who has been managing inventory by hand, Amazon-sized quantities of orders will bury you.

In this post, I am going to demonstrate why you need multichannel inventory management software to ensure you can seize the most opportunity possible from the Amazon marketplace.

Amazon Inventory Management Risks

If you’re going to venture into the world of selling on Amazon, you need to be aware of the inventory management risks that will be introduced to your business:

  • Order volume is likely to increase substantially, so manual processes will become a heavy burden.
  • Inventory will deplete much more quickly. Making sure you have correct inventory levels at the correct time can be quite challenging.
  • The higher order volume will make splitting and routing orders for fulfilment more complex.
  • If you perform poorly enough, Amazon will suspend your account.

Nothing in business worth pursuing comes without risk. But, you should be aware of the risks and the potential costs of not addressing them.

Cost of Poor Inventory Management

The cost of poor inventory management can take many forms:

  • Managing multiple inventory systems manually is slow and expensive. It takes labour away from more strategic work that could be used to grow your business.
  • Inventory mismanagement and inefficiencies negatively affect cash flow. Knowing what you are selling, how much of it, and how often helps you plan purchasing so that inventory is always moving.
  • The opportunity cost of mismanaged inventory can be massive. Amazon customers expect availability and fast delivery. If they don’t find it from you, they will find another seller that can meet their expectations.
  • Customers could give you a bad rating, which is the equivalent to the kiss of death in online retail. It may also keep you from getting listed in Amazon’s Buy Box.

Our multichannel inventory management solution will help considerably to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Choosing the right Inventory Management Solution

You need a solution that can synchronise inventory across all of your sales channels and inventory locations. There are several types of solutions you can choose with a wide range of capabilities. As you do evaluate solutions, consider these factors:

  1. Sales Channel Support
  2. Business System Integration
  3. Business Need

Sales Channel Support

Systems vary in the channels they support. For example, some systems may support:

  • Amazon only
  • Online marketplaces only (eBay, Amazon, Play, etc.)
  • eCommerce systems (Magento, Shopify, etc.) and online marketplaces
  • eCommerce, online marketplaces, and electronic-point-of-sale (EPoS) systems

Don’t just consider your needs today. Make sure you think about how you plan to grow your business. Maybe you’re a single brick-and-mortar store selling on Amazon today. Could you expand into eBay tomorrow? What about setting up an eCommerce store on Magento?

Ultimately, the system that affords you the most flexibility for growth will bring you the most value.

Business System Integration

Many systems focus on the front-end of your business (your sales channels) but ignore the importance of integration into back-end accounting and/or ERP systems.

While managing inventory across your channels is important, synchronising it with your business system is critical to ensure proper purchasing. If that piece is still manual, much of the benefit from automation is lost.

Integration into back-end systems varies from custom coding a connection to the system of your choice to pre-built integrations for popular accounting and ERP systems.

Business Need

Inventory management is a critical component to managing your Amazon sales channel, but there are other important business processes as well. Some inventory management solutions support inventory only, while others include support for multiple business processes, such as:

  • Item management
  • Order management
  • Accounting integration
  • Shipping notifications
  • Customer data collection
  • Purchasing
  • Third-party warehousing
  • Drop-shipping

Choosing a single solution that supports many or all of these processes makes more sense (and more pence!) than buying a solution for each and trying to manage them individually. Again, keep in mind your current business needs and your potential future needs. Buy technology based on where you want to go.

Benefits of Automated Amazon Inventory Management

With the right solution, you can automate and synchronise your Amazon inventory seamlessly. And, it’ll sync with your EPOS, ERP or other eCommerce sales channels. Data will flow between the systems, eliminating data entry errors and delays. You will be able to keep up with more volume than you could ever handle before.

  • No more errors from manual data entry; manage item data and inventory from one place
  • Integrate inventory data between your existing EPOS, ERP or eCommerce sales systems
  • Manage inventory for multiple sales channel, centrally
  • Access accurate and updated inventory counts across all sales channels; synchronise counts in real time
  • Increase customer satisfaction by always showing accurate product availability and performing quick delivery
  • Increase sales and revenue (the result of all the others)

Khaos Control’s Channel Listing multi channel management platform gives you exactly that functionality. Check out our features page for more information on how we can help you successfully sell on Amazon. Or contact our sales team and request a demonstration of our multi channel software.

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