Mobile applications take full advantage of the capabilities of mobile technologies and cloud computing to provide your business with powerful features that help you get things done faster. That said, mobile apps are not built equal, and when you are looking at something as complex as a multichannel inventory management system, choosing the right solution for your needs requires careful consideration. Here are some of the essential things you need to consider.
Platform – iOs vs. Android vs. Windows Phone
If you plan to grant access to your inventory control system to other employees, you have to know what mobile operating systems they are using. A versatile inventory control and planning solution works on both iOS and Android, and may offer support for Windows’ mobile operating platform as well. As a safety measure, you may want to choose an inventory management solution that is also available as a web-based, cloud app, which can be accessed via a Web browser on any mobile device.
Enterprise-grade multichannel inventory management software usually has more features than a small business product inventory software, and consequently, a steeper learning curve – in other words, only staff trained in dealing with inventory may be able to use it. This is why you want to consider carefully what features you need and whether you’re willing to sacrifice accessibility to get them. The best way to figure out whether an app has the right features/accessibility balance is to try it out before buying it. For instance, DataQlick offers a 14-day free trial that gives you plenty of time to discover all of its features.
Accounting System Support
Do you use QuickBooks Online, Xero, or some other accounting system? Do you want your mobile multichannel inventory app to pull sales data and past product performance for specific intervals from your accounting records? If yes, you have to make sure that the mobile inventory app you choose seamlessly integrates with your accounting app. Manually moving data between different systems can be a time-consuming and stressful process, which is why you want to look for automated data importing features.
Business Intelligence Integration
Another question you have to ask yourself is whether you want business intelligence incorporated into your inventory app. For many businesses, this makes perfect sense, as it eliminates the need for a separate business intelligence tool and aggregates data, making it easy to analyze. If you’re already using a separate business intelligence app, consider whether adopting a mobile cloud inventory app with built-in sales forecasting features isn’t more cost-effective and timesaving in the long run.
Last but not least, it’s important to look not only at the short-term costs of adopting a mobile inventory management app, but also at long-term ones. Since most professional apps of this kind feature subscription-based pricing, determine whether costs will increase over time, i.e. whether the initial price is only promotional (for the first billing cycle). Also, find out whether the app offers enough scalability in the form of data storage space and features to cope with the planned growth of your business without any additional software or hardware upgrade expenses.