Businesses across the globe are no stranger to the basic benefits of using an online inventory management system. However, not all systems are equal. Depending on your specific situation, you might find that some online inventory management systems are better than others.
Here are some instances where you should consider updating your system:
1. To Grow Your Business
Any system that you choose should ultimately make your work easier, not harder. An online inventory management system that is difficult for you and your employees to use without intensive training can be a liability.
The more time and attention a system needs to be functional, the less of these precious resources could be used for activities that grow your organization. If using your current system is proving to be a distraction, perhaps it’s time to consider an upgrade.
2. When Not Satisfied With Your Reporting System
Inventory data can be extremely valuable to your salespeople, marketers, warehousers, procurement officers, and management team.
However, if the inventory management system is unable to pull the data each team needs or is unable to present the data intuitively, much of the value behind having the system becomes moot.
If your team constantly tells you they need inventory data that the system is not able to easily provide, an upgrade may be in order.
3. Constantly Losing Stock To Misplacement And Pilferage
Internal theft is an ugly reality of small business. An outdated online inventory management system can make your stocks and even your workplace resource inventory extremely vulnerable to theft and misplacement, especially if the systems are not paired with an adequate tracking system.
Internal theft alone can sometimes account for up to a third of losses in inventory value. In most cases, the cost of ignoring theft as a “cost of doing business” is far more than the cost of doing the system upgrades to effectively detect theft and misplaced inventories.
4. To Reduce Overhead Costs
We’ve already touched on how an updated system can significantly reduce the risks and losses associated with stolen or misplaced inventories. However, they can reduce your overhead in many other critical areas as well.
Using a better system with real-time tracking allows you to reduce the overall size of your inventories as real-time tracking reduces the need to have buffer stock. This can lead to savings in warehouse rentals as well as labour cost.
5. Linking To eCommerce Site
Older online inventory management systems may not always be easy to integrate with today’s most popular eCommerce platforms.
As online shopping begins to become more and more popular, the inability to integrate your existing system with your desired platforms can be a massive lost opportunity.
In this case, updating your system is important to seamlessly interact with your eCommerce platform.
6. To Get Instant Access To Inventory Data
Many older systems don’t give Instant access to timely data, particularly those that require considerable manual inputs.
If your current system only allows you an overview of your inventory on a weekly or monthly basis, you will need to consider updating to a system that lets your business move as fast as the market it serves.
7. To Reduce Human Error
Human error is unavoidable, and the best we can often do in inventory management systems is to find ways to reduce the needed human inputs.
Systems that require an inordinate number of steps to complete certain actions such as reports generation can be more prone to these issues simply because there are more areas where things can go wrong.
If these issues happen with your current system, a new one might be worth it just to save time and aggravation.
8. For Better Automation Options
Sometimes, you’ll want your inventory management system to be easily automated to facilitate certain functions.
For instance, you can set up to automatically order a certain item when stocks are detected below a set threshold. You can also send a marketing email when stocks run low or as they become available.
Other possibilities include automatically switching suppliers when another raises prices above a certain amount and recommending certain items to customers depending on their buying history.
Whether you’re in retail, manufacturing, or any other industry, keeping your online inventory management system up to date helps keep you in step and relevant.
Updated systems not only help you expand your current capabilities, they help reduce waste and help keep you focused on the things that truly matter for your business.