Can inventory management software really help distribution?
Why is inventory management important?
Inventory software makes managing and tracking stock simpler and more efficient. It can also reduce carrying costs. It is vital for distributors to track goods throughout the supply chain. However, accurate inventory management software can offer even greater value.
The advantages of inventory management software:
1. Supply chain information: By using inventory management software, you can gain a lot more valuable information about your business. Inventory management software provides you with ‘supply chain visibility.’ In simple terms, it allows you to track inventory at each stage of the supply chain.
For example, when it is fully optimized, the software can provide you with information regarding your inbound and outbound product flows. This information can enable you to plan, organize, or take action if necessary. It can also allow you to analyze all of the details, which helps in making strategic decisions, not to mention forecasting future demand.
2. Quality management: With both durable and nondurable goods, there can be problems. In both cases, there can be delays. For perishable goods, this can have a severe impact on their shelf life, giving you a limited amount of time to sell the products before they expire.
On the other hand, even with durable goods, delays can cause problems especially if the products are seasonal. For example, if your shipment of Christmas ornaments arrives in January rather than December, you will have missed peak demand and most likely will be forced to sell at considerably reduced prices.
Equally, perishable and durable goods can arrive broken, and this can be costly regarding both time and money. However, inventory software can track these issues. Reports and analytics can provide guidance on the factors which affect quality. This allows you to identify and manage any problems to minimize any damage to your inventory or your profits.
3. Forecasting and planning: Software doesn’t just manage stock in your warehouse, it can also predict your business’s future requirements regarding capacity. In other words, you can see how viable it is to open regional stores near your key customers.
These insights increase efficiency and improve service, allowing you to make informed, strategic decisions which can provide considerable long-term benefits for your business, helping you to grow.
4. Cost management: Any product which is left on the shelf for too long is damaging your profits. Inventory can run the risk of becoming damaged, outdated and obsolete if it has not been purchased after a while.
To combat this issue, managing stock in real-time and increasing your inventory turnover will allow your business to make the most out of shelf space. A healthy inventory turnover will be sure to give your company’s profits a boost, again helping you to develop and pursue long-term growth.
5. Efficiency and customer service: Inventory management software can provide considerable benefits to both you and your clients. This is because you can reduce the time taken to replenish stock and process shipments.
The increased organization that your business will gain by using inventory management software allows you to become more efficient than ever. You can serve customers faster, which in turn will improve your customer service and overall company reputation. All of this can be achieved without affecting the quality of your products or necessitate the hiring of more staff.
6. Scale: Inventory management software guarantees business growth without being extremely expensive. It does not require sophisticated hardware or intricate and costly systems. If you enter new markets, distribution inventory management software will keep up with you to ensure that distribution is as organized and efficient as possible. Equally, if you expand your customer base or launch new products, it can offer the same assistance.
The value of software products, such as an inventory management app can often be overlooked. In the past, software had limited capabilities and was difficult to use. Understandably, this was off-putting and as a result, a lot of distributors have avoided software. This was due to concerns that it would be too complex and that they may not gain the benefits from it.
Today it’s a different story. Inventory management software integrates into existing business processes. It can fit around your business, instead of your business fitting around the software. While some business’ processes can be complex, expert software providers can simplify the process. They can deal with even the most complicated requirements, giving you instant results and long-term returns on investments.
Now that you have heard the benefits, perhaps it’s time to consider integrating or replacing your current inventory management software. Then you too can start seeing the benefits!