Managing inventory requires a high level of accuracy and foresight. Any errors in inventory tracking, counting, forecasts, and data entry can cause serious issues such as depreciation, unnecessary purchases, inadequate stocks, and shipment delays which eventually lead to customer dissatisfaction. These mistakes would most likely occur if you’re still managing your inventory manually.
Inventory management software was built to help all types of companies of all sizes automate their inventory management and improve their business efficiency. Through the automation, any human errors can be reduced and even eliminated. If you are one of the thousands of business owners who are looking for automated inventory solutions, then this is the right article for you. Here are seven factors to be consider when choosing inventory management software for your business.
1. Your Own Requirements
Before deciding to buy an inventory management system, you need to understand your requirements first. Find out the challenges you’re facing in managing inventory and the solutions you’re looking for.
Ask yourself, for example, like; Do I want to be able to monitor the shipment status? Do I just need to keep track of the inventory levels? Explaining your requirements thoroughly to the vendor will help you get the fixed price faster.
2. The Cost of the Software
The price of the software will depend on how complex your requirements are. You should figure out the market price of the software, so you can decide whether the price offered by the vendor is worth it or too expensive.
Before investing in inventory management software, you should make certain that your business finances are stable enough for the momentous plan. Check your budget and ask yourself; is this the right time to invest in technology?
Thanks to the presence of Cloud-based software solutions, it’s more affordable than ever for businesses to implement inventory management systems. Cloud-based inventory management software is the most suitable option for startups, SMEs, or companies with low budgets.
3. The Customization
If you have very complex specifications, then you might need to customize your inventory management system. Ask the vendor if the software can meet your specific needs and how long it will take to customize it. If you currently have an inventory management system and you need a new one with additional features, then make sure that the new system can be easily combined with the existing one.
Read this related article: 6 Efficient Ways to Prevent Inventory Shrinkage in Retail
4. The Usability
This point is most often overlooked by business owners, while in fact, the usability determines how effective the implementation of an inventory management system in your business. If it takes hours for your staff just to learn the ins and outs of the software, then it’s probably not worth buying. Remember that you are looking for a solution that can help you simplify your inventory management, so choose the easy-to-use one instead of the complicated one.
5. Integrations with Other Systems
You may not have thought about integrating your inventory management software with other software tools, but you might need the integrations when your business gets bigger. Moreover, inventory management is closely tied to other areas in your business. Nowadays, most of startups have used up to four software systems to simplify their business processes.
Therefore, it is important for you to ensure that the software you choose can easily be integrated with other systems. Inventory management systems are usually integrated with warehouse management, accounting, eCommerce, and purchasing systems.
6. The Flexibility
Another important thing you need to take notice of when choosing inventory management software is the flexibility. Find out if the software you are considering is suitable for mobile devices, how many users can implement it, whether it is a web-based or an on-site system, and so on. Flexibility is a pivotal factor to consider, especially if you have multiple stores or warehouses in different locations.
7. The Support
Once you choose an inventory management system, you wouldn’t want to be left alone and seeking ways to use it all by yourself. When you can’t find your purchase transactions or when your staff don’t know how to set up low-level stock notifications, you would expect someone to provide the solutions as quickly as possible. Therefore, make sure that you’re going to receive complete support from your vendor; from training, warranty, to assistance.