What is stock inventory software and why is it useful?
Becoming increasingly popular in the retail sector, wholesale and service delivery inventory management systems have undergone some major advancements.
The retail sector has to contend with many challenges ranging from fluctuating product demands to hoards of inventory. For this reason, they must opt for a robust stock inventory solution to iron out daily operations.
Such software offers a centralized database for you to store data regarding all the inventory that your business holds. You can later access it whenever and wherever you want.
It doesn’t matter how diverse your asset base is, stock inventory software is a valuable addition to your business. It helps improve your performance in the following ways.
1. Automation of manual tasks
Employees often spend countless hours trying to update data entry forms. The use of cloud based stock inventory software automates this data entry process via asset label scans. Automation ultimately sets up more reliable and accurate results for you.
Moreover, it saves you valuable employee hours that could be spent elsewhere.
2. Seamless integration with existing applications
Businesses already use various applications to carry out their daily tasks. The stock inventory system smoothly integrates with such existing applications to make collaboration easier. This also translates into updated data from all ends, thereby maintaining data integrity.
3. Maintaining an optimal stock balance
In struggling to maintain an optimal stock level, many firms often end up tying their storage space and resources. An automated procurement module lets you tackle this issue by keeping your stock balance optimum at all times.
4. Logging multi-dimensional data
Equipped with numerous features, the inventory system tracks every aspect of your data. This enables you to perform data analysis at any point without compromising on quality.
5. Enabling informed decision making
Real-time data provides you with all the statistics you need for devising future business strategies. Estimates of profit margins and revenue rates about certain inventory items help firms make the right purchase decisions.
Key features of stock inventory software
In order to make the best use of software, you must first know its primary functions. Same is the case with stock inventory software.
It comes saddled with the following features to benefit its users:
- Creating unique labels: With the option to choose between barcodes, QR codes or RFID tags, you can create identification labels for all your inventory items. Such labels help to track item check-ins and checkouts and update your database instantly.
- Categorizing inventory items: With this feature, you can add as many custom fields and tabs as you wish. These may include price, type, vendor or purchase details. Filtering records by such fields enables faster search and lets you run and track tasks by item categories.
- Monitoring usage history: Failure to monitor asset utilization may lead to poor overall performance in the long run. With stock inventory software by your side, you can keep an eye on trends in asset usage over time.
- Setting stock threshold levels: Stock inventory software can set minimum stock threshold based on previous consumption patterns. It automatically reorders more stock when your inventory reaches this threshold. This prevents outages and ensures hitch-less workflows.
- Generating purchase orders: Based on the stock threshold, the system generates automated purchase orders. It then sends these to your suppliers for timely replenishment.
5 ways to make the best use of stock inventory software
According to a survey, only 63% of inventory operations are accurate. The principal factor behind this is the incorrect use of inventory management applications.
Before you hastily end up picking a stock inventory system, you must know how to make it work for you the right way. Here are our 5 tips!
1. Choose the software model suited to your practices
Any business owner must be well aware of their inventory flow. Such information helps to choose a suitable inventory management model.
For instance, continuous and periodic review systems need different kinds of inventory management software.
For continuous review systems, you need software that reorders the same quantity of new stock every time you reach the threshold.
In the periodic review system, however, the software reorders stock based on past utilization patterns. Therefore, it helps to pick software that is consistent with your inventory management and reordering practices.
2. Link quality control to procurement decisions
When it comes to procurement, you can’t compromise on quality. All received goods must be carefully checked for any signs of damage and reported back to the vendor.
Any discrepancies in the model number, color or make should be logged in the stock inventory software. The software shall highlight if the merchandise is consistently below your quality standards.
This means you should either return the low-grade items or switch to another vendor in case it puts the quality of your stock in jeopardy.
3. Establish smart labeling practices
You can also design asset labels suited to your needs with stock inventory software. But, what information to include on them?
Here are some options you can consider:
- Procurement details: Some equipment items need high upkeep as compared to others. You can record the year of purchase on the label. Using this information, it becomes easy to generate depreciation records and maintenance schedules.
- Location IDs: Organizations running operations from multiple offices can add GPS coordinates or location IDs on asset labels. For instance, a printer placed in the New York office can have NY followed by the department code and Asset ID on it.
- Manufacturer’s code: Owning merchandise that needs rigorous maintenance means you have to contact the suppliers quite often. In such circumstances, you can record the manufacturer’s ID on asset labels to make communication easier.
4. Be more agile with minimum stock levels
Most businesses stock up extra inventory in case the new stock takes time to reach. However, it is not a good idea to keep this quantity fixed.
Peak seasons may help decide what optimum quantity you should keep as a backup. If you deal with perishable stock items, it is advisable to keep your minimum and maximum stock levels the same. This way you can rule out the possibility of dead stock.
5. Enter received shipment details promptly
Owning stock inventory software adds value only if you use it the right way. One such way is to use it to log in details of new deliveries as they come in.
You may forget to clock in this information if you’re caught up between receiving shipments and dispatching goods at the same time.
However, dispatching a product before you record it in the system can complicate inventory tracking and lead to major disasters.
Therefore, it is key to enter shipment details in your stock inventory system as soon as you receive your shipments.
Training your employees is key!
Implementing a stock inventory system guarantees surefire success if it blends well with your business practices. For this reason, it is essential to train your employees on how to utilize the software.
You can assign your employees daily tasks concerning different features of the software and monitor their progress with time.
This allows you to measure how well the software is being used and what needs to be altered in its implementation. Building a well-informed team is a real challenge when it comes to stock optimization, but it does pay off.
With adequate training, you can really pack a punch on your inventory management practices.
EZOfficeInventory is the leading stock inventory system. It allows you to track, maintain and report on your inventory from anywhere, at any time. We offer a free 15-day trial – no credit card required!