Whether we’re talking about small business or large business, inventory management has never been easy. Maintaining the right levels of stock, avoiding overstock and dead stock, and implementing a cost-effective inventory control process have been major issues for businesses all over the world. These remain challenges to this day.

That said, many things have changed in inventory management in the last 10 years, as increasingly advanced web-based stock management solutions have appeared, and as the advent of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have made stock management more flexible than ever.

Cloud-based inventory management tools, many of them including features such as analytics, reporting, forecasting, tracking, and bar code scanning, have made inventory management more straightforward. This is especially true for small and medium sized businesses that do not have the resources to create dedicated inventory management teams and must handle most of the work themselves. Such solutions enable business owners and managers to manage their inventory remotely, even when they are traveling or are away from their office computer.

The major advantage of cloud-based online tools is that they do not have to be installed on computers. They can be accessed through Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox web browsers, across operating systems. This considerably reduces deployment costs and eliminates the need for periodic software and hardware upgrades.

Furthermore, cloud-based inventory management solutions are more flexible and scalable than the legacy software seen 10 years ago, making them more viable and cost-effective solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. For many companies, inventory management is going to be closely associated with cloud computing.