Inventory management is a crucial part of the supply chain management, and perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of any business. It is curious how, playing such an important role, inventory management can still be such a mysterious field for some business owners. Some common mistakes can be obvious when pointed out, but actually, have complicated solutions or ones that are difficult to implement.
Today we’ll look at two of the most common problems that arise from poor inventory management, and how your life can be made easier by using an inventory control app.
We should point out that an inventory control app can be much cheaper and easier to put into practice than a full POS system or any desktop inventory management software. Furthermore, it may not only serve as an alternative to these systems, but also as a complement and a way to integrate them.
Once acquired, an inventory control app should be easily accessible to all your collaborators. In a mobile world such as the one we live in nowadays, almost everyone carries a smartphone everywhere, so each one of your employees can carry the app in their pocket. This makes inventory management much easier by allowing people to do it from any place.
Problem 1: Having Disparate Inventory Management Systems
One of the problems that companies face themselves with is that their inventory data is spread out across multiple systems, leading to duplicate or inconsistent entries. This may happen due to lack of planning, or maybe because the first system that was used became insufficient to cover all of the business’s needs.
In situations like these, it is best to take a step back, redo your strategy and try to integrate the data contained in all the different systems. Inventory control apps, for example, allow you to import data from Excel or other sources. If you own a web store, they can also integrate multiple eCommerce platforms like Shopify, eBay or Amazon.
Gathering all the data in one place will make your life much easier and has the potential to greatly improve your business. It allows you to have a much clearer view of where your sales stand at and have greater control over stock numbers. This reduces the risk of ordering too much or too little products. By keeping a closer control over your sales you will be able to manage stocks much more accurately.
Problem 2: Having Limited Access to Inventory Data
As your business grows, you will probably expand to have offices or stores in multiple locations. You may even have an online store or have some of your employees do outside sales. As you may imagine, it is not practical to manage a complex business such as this with isolated systems that cannot access the data contained in the central system.
You would need to have your personnel individually register data from each of these sources and regularly assemble and compile all of this data into the main record. This task would soon be insurmountable as your business grew. Then again, a business managed like this can only grow so much.
As you are starting to see, an inventory control app can be a great solution for this conundrum. Since each of your employees probably has a smartphone already, they would just need to install the app in their terminal. This way, each point of sale can enter the data to a single, integrated system as soon as a transaction is carried out. This allows you to have live, up-to-date and accurate information at all times.
Obviously, this solution also saves everyone precious time that they can then dedicate to more important tasks. Not only that, but entering each data chunk automatically and individually is much more accurate than assembling a large amount of data later on. This method is much more prone to human error, and this may affect your decisions later on if they are based on incorrect data.
Having multiple, disparate systems to manage your inventory is time-consuming, inefficient and may keep your company from growing. A simple solution is to integrate all data with an inventory control app. This will give you more accurate data faster, and accessible from any mobile terminal.
With an inventory control app, the costs of managing different inventory systems will be reduced and you will be able to spend more time laying out strategies to improve your business.