Small businesses are going through a tough time with the current state of the economy. Keeping costs low and profits stable is tough business, but small business owners are a nifty lot. They’re daring to be different, focusing on techniques as varied as viral marketing, pop-up stores, and community outreach to keep their consumers interested. However, some spheres of management never go out of style. Take inventory management as an example. There’s nothing like a good spring-cleaning of your stock room to help those falling overheads! In this post, we’ll talk about how a small business inventory control software can help your company out, and make it quicker, more efficient, and ready to improve that bottom line!
Inventory management isn’t just about keeping track of your products. You also need to be aware of how much you’re selling, what you’re using up the most, and when and how often you need to reorder stock. If you’re not using an automated solution to keep stock of these things, this can sometimes seem like a trial and error. You simply can’t answer these questions without access to proper historical data. This is where inventory control software comes in.
An inventory management software can eliminate all the guess work and bring in more accuracy along with letting you exercise more control over your business. Just because you run a small business doesn’t mean you can do with software with limited functionality. Just like any other business, you also need to ensure that your stock contains the right amount of items for your consumers or employees, and lets you know which of your products are sold or used up the most. This will allow you to adjust product levels efficiently.
Inventory control software and small businesses
There are many challenges that small business owners face when they are starting out, such as finding customers, managing inventory, and securing finance. Inventory is the heart of every business. As the small businesses grow, they believe they need more and more expensive inventory management solutions to get them to the next level. However, that is simply not true! There are plenty of robust and affordable systems out there which grow with your business and are extremely flexible.
Small business owners are on the lookout for simple solutions that aren’t time consuming and don’t take much effort to set up. They also want software that’s easy to evaluate to see if it fulfills their business requirements. A software capable of handling the dynamic needs of small businesses would mean a quick and effortless setup, only a small initial investment, and an easy to use interface. Thus, it can help you kick start your operations with minimal efforts.
A simple, cost effective and user friendly inventory solution is all you need to automate the entire inventory cycle whether it is staying on top of stocking demands or moving items between locations. Below, we’ve listed three major ways a small business inventory control software can be a huge win for your organization, seamlessly growing with you and propelling you towards greater efficiency.
Automated processes save a lot of time and free up valuable human resources.
Automating inventory processes to lower administrative burdens
Using Excel spreadsheets is not only old school but it also doesn’t work. It poses a lot of limitations in tracking inventory. Some of the problems include: it is too time consuming, slow to update (which means data is almost always old), doesn’t grow with your business, prone to errors (typos and other errors), doesn’t give an overview of how your products are performing and doesn’t integrate with other systems like point of sale or accounting software.
Using inventory control software will automate all your inventory processes with the help of barcode technology which will cancel out errors from your record keeping. It also aids in improving your productivity because when you know that your inventory records are accurate, you will not have to go through those time consuming physical checks too frequently. They are surely right when they say time is money.
Barcode scanning lets a business process a large number of products and integrates data from POS systems and cash registers. The incoming inventory gets updated automatically in the central inventory system. This means the ordering and purchasing information is always ready to be used by the management. This way you will always be aware of the current stock levels.
Providing insights into consumption for increased efficiency
Robust inventory management needs to include a huge variety of reports so you can access crucial inventory data. Thus, you need tools that analyze historical information and latest trends, leading to accurate forecasting. This in turn helps increase predictability and facilitates the management of stock levels.
Exercising strong control over the cost of goods purchased from vendors is crucial for tracking profitability. The prices of vendors keep changing constantly and with the flow of inventory in and out of the business, an inventory control system for small business lets you track all stock-related activities going on in your organization.
Keep yourself prepared for a sudden changes in consumption by monitoring trends
These analytics free up your time and still manage to extract all the important indicators that help you measure your productivity. With such insight into your inventory, you can make faster and better decisions. You will be amazed at how much time you’ll be able to save! The analytical tools will tell you all you need to know. You can:
- Log custom details for increased flexibility: Drill down into product types, individual specifications and inventory groups, and and add all the custom fields you need.
- Get your hands on the data needed: Have access to real-time and accurate data, even when you’re on the field.
- Create reorders: Exercise stock control by automatically reordering popular products through the creation of purchase orders.
- See your star inventory for each season: Identify your best-used inventory, so that you can stock up on it when the demand historically increases every year.
- Look out for cost comparisons: Figure out which suppliers are offering the best deals, and engage with them right through the system!
By managing negative trends and opportunities, retrieving historical data to predict consumption progress, and tracking the status of your inventory, you will become more proactive and be able to plan ahead much more effectively. This is perhaps the fastest way for small business owners to fulfill their customer as well as employee expectations.
Lowering overheads and improving ROIs for a more cost-effective approach
Inventory management can end up being a substantial expense for a lot of businesses out there. Small businesses in particular don’t have the leisure of spending extra money on idle inventory – especially all the expensive warehouse space it takes up. Of course, there are also costs associated with letting products expire, go redundant, or become misplaced as time goes by.
Good inventory systems let you adjust requisitions in line with spikes or drop in consumption, enabling a much more streamlined management style. Lean inventory management is indubitably crucial for small business as it means that the fat of wasted, dormant or overstocked products is trimmed to maintain a fluid supply chain. By tracking the actual stock supplies, business are able to re-order from vendors at the right time or adjust the order frequency in a manner that suits their business. They can even track vendor histories and by doing so, keep an eye out for deals they might have made in the past that could be leveraged for a discount or concession now. In addition, with proper reporting and analytics, you will also be able to identify opportunities to reduce costs and optimize efficient workflows. In this way, an inventory control software for small business can enable your organization to make huge savings, setting you up for success!