You’ve come to the conclusion that your inventory management techniques need an update, but how do you decide which software to buy, or even if you need inventory management software at all? You’re looking at potentially spending hundreds of dollars and several hours learning to use the new software, so you’ll want to be certain you’re getting the right tools for your business.
Asking these questions before you commit to purchasing inventory management software can help you focus on what you really need before you spend any money.
Why Does Inventory Management Matter So Much?
Let’s dive in a little deeper into inventory management to better understand why it’s so crucial to business operations. If you’re a retailer or other supplier that carries stock, you need to manage, track, and record what you have on hand, what you receive, and what you sell. Accuracy makes all the difference in inventory management.
When you have too much stock, you’re losing money because it’s sitting on a shelf rather than being sold. If you have too little stock, you’re also losing money because customers want the products that aren’t available. If this happens often enough, you might even miss out on sales opportunities.
Another issue that many retailers run into is not having an accurate picture of their stock before they order more. Inaccurate supply counts can be caused by faulty software, but most of the time, they’re due to human error.
How Am I Tracking My Inventory Now?
The first question you should ask is “how am I tracking my inventory now?” Take a closer look at how you’re keeping track of what you sell, what you order, and how you count what you have on hand. Are you still using pen and paper? Does someone else keep track of stock? How often do mistakes occur?
How Much Am I Losing To Poor Inventory Management?
You might think losing a few dollars per week to poor inventory management isn’t a lot…until the end of the month comes, and it adds up to hundreds. So, how much are you losing each month? This is a serious question, so take the time to really look into it and be honest with yourself.
You’re going to be purchasing new software, which may have a monthly premium or up-front cost, so you’ll want to know exactly how much you’re losing in order to justify the new costs. Even if you’re losing $100 per month, that cost alone pretty much covers new software.
Is My Poor Inventory Management A Reflection Of A Bigger Issue?
Sometimes, problems are connected to larger issues that seem to be hidden. This happens quite a lot in business, simply because running a business involves so many people and factors. It can be difficult to keep track of everything all the time, and if one area is suffering, it’s likely that other areas of your company are as well.
Poor supply management can lead to fewer sales, higher costs, and general disorganization and confusion, but what could be causing it? Is there a bigger issue at hand? Are your employees simply not trained on your system? Are human errors constantly occurring? Perhaps poor management is to blame?
Before you spend money on new software, it’s best to identify the general issues connected to your inventory management. You can have the best software on the market, but if your employees aren’t trained properly or aren’t committed to the quality of their work, you’re still going to have issues.
What Features Do I Need In My Software?
Now that we’ve covered everything else, it’s time to actually look at the software itself. You’re looking for software that fits both your business needs and your budget, so you’ll need to consider a few things first.
- Do I need strictly inventory management software, or something more (like POS software)?
- Does the software feature cloud backups or secure storage?
- Can the software integrate with my other systems?
- What kind of reviews does the software have?
Don’t forget to consider the customer service of the company you’re purchasing from. As supply management software is a digital tool, there’s a chance it will malfunction or run into issues, and you don’t want to be stuck trying to figure it out on your own.
This is where POS software shines. Many POS companies offer 24/7 support for their products, so you’ll never have to worry about being without support at crucial times.
The Bottom Line
Inventory management is nothing less than a necessity and having the right software to do the job is equally as important. Consider your specific needs, take a closer look at where you are right now, and be sure to choose the software that best fits your needs and your budget.