As a forward-thinking business, effective inventory tracking and management should be on your priority list. The complexities associated with the modern supply chain are increasing, making inventory management more tedious. Still, 43% of small businesses in the US rely on manual inventory management.
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Here’s where inventory management systems can help. Let’s look at why every business needs inventory management software.
Inventory Management System: An Overview
Before delving into free inventory management software, let’s understand inventory management first. It’s a systematic approach to manage both raw materials and products in the inventory. The process involves sourcing, storing, and selling items by having the right stock at the right levels, place, and time.
An inventory management system is a software program that allows you to track inventory levels, orders, and deliveries from one place. It’s a centralized solution that integrates all your inventory operations and provides complete transparency into the supply chain.
Why Do You Need an Inventory Management System?
If you’re a micro or small business with a negligible volume of orders and deliveries, you will do just fine without an electronic solution. But as your business grows, managing high inventory volumes becomes tedious. That’s when an inventory management solution comes to the rescue.
Here’s why every business needs top inventory management software.
1. To Increase Your Profits
As a business grows, costs increase. You need to store more products, and without an inventory system, you won’t be able to identify the most cost-effective warehousing methods. The estimated inventory distortion cost worldwide is $1.1 trillion.
An inventory management solution also helps minimize losses. Buying items that don’t sell can lead to losses, as you’ve already invested, but you can’t recoup the capital. Inventory software comes with demand forecasting capabilities, which help minimize risk and maximize profits.
Lastly, an automated inventory system helps you sell more items. It enables you to anticipate customer demands and increase your stock levels accordingly. This way, you’ll be able to sell more products.
2. To Improve Customer Experience
What if a customer wants to buy something from you, but it’s out of stock? Or worse, they order it, but it turns out to be damaged. Wouldn’t it affect the customer experience? An average retail operation in the US has an inventory accuracy of 63% only.
Inventory management systems help minimize these mistakes. The forecasting capabilities enable you to boost product availability. It ensures that you never run out of in-demand products.
These solutions also integrate warehouse management, allowing you to organize your warehouse operations and pulling items for customer orders with greater accuracy. Moreover, if you sell online, you might drive sales from multiple channels. This can make sales tracking difficult. Inventory software integrates with POS solution, thereby making sales tracking easier.
3. To Make Business More Efficient
Inventory management software makes your business operations more efficient. It streamlines warehouse management. You can reduce storage costs, integrate scanning systems, and map warehouse space.
With a cloud-based inventory system in place, you can manage multiple locations and warehouses from one place. Thus, you’ll never lose track of any item. The software also integrates with other tools like POS, accounting, and CRM systems to offer a unified experience.
Key Features of Inventory Management Software
Here are some key features to look for in an inventory management solution.
- Various Types of Inventory Management: Categorize and measure your products, count cycles, manage vendors, and track product status.
- Barcoding and Tagging: Seamless barcode scanning and tagging for faster performance, recording information, and obtaining precise product details.
- Reporting: Collect and analyze real-time data to make informed decisions; reduce human error and enhance business productivity.
- Forecasting: Leverage powerful future insights to forecast demand, reduce the risk of stock-outs, and increase turnover rates.
- Security and Backups: Enjoy cutting-edge security and backup; keep your data protected and prevent it from loss or theft.
- Cloud Capabilities: Utilize cloud capabilities to reduce costs, increase access, and improve coordination.
- Integration: Integrate with other enterprise solutions like CRM, ERP, bookkeeping, and warehousing tools to ensure smooth and hassle-free operations.
Inventory management systems help you sell better, reduce costs, and increase efficiency. It allows you to accommodate the increasing volume of orders and ensures that you cater to the changing requirements of your customers. Plus, cloud capabilities make sure that you stay on top of your business every time.