Picking an Inventory Solution
With the right inventory management solution in place, businesses can flex and adapt quickly regardless of market conditions, challenges or shifts in their business models. These 8 tips by Oracle NetSuite will help you pick an inventory management solution that positions your business for success.
1. Examine key pain points you are currently experiencing. Excessive storage costs, low inventory turnover rates, stock-outs and more can add up to substantial financial losses. Figure out your pain points and see how these can be avoided or mitigated by using a flexible inventory management system.
2. Evaluate the amount of time your staff takes to manually check inventory. Reduce hours wasted on physical counts and lost to human error with a new solution that can automatically track inventory from its point of origin to when it’s in the hands of the end user.
3. Prepare for future expansion. A business that’s just starting out, moving into a new market or taking on a new product line should select an inventory management solution that provides only what the company needs at the time. This translates into lower upfront investment and less user training. However, as the company starts to expand, its inventory management must be able to grow and evolve right along with it. By preparing for future expansion while keeping complexities to a minimum, flexible platforms leave the door open for changes.
4. Determine your current solutions’ limitations. Are you struggling with complicated, time-consuming inventory reconciliation processes? Do you constantly have to manually change inventory levels after physical counts to reflect actual in-stock positions? If so, you’re probably already losing money and customers.
5. Decide on what your company truly needs. Think about what you would like on the “wish list” right now if someone asked what a new inventory management solution should support. Today’s cloud-based software systems can be tailored to your exact needs, so really think outside the box as to what your business needs.
6. Brainstorm with your entire team Have a discussion with your sales and marketing teams, talk to your warehouse manager and run a few customer focus groups to figure out where new opportunities exist. Collaborating with all these stakeholders will help you optimize inventory management in a way that allows you to better meet the needs of your business.
7. Establish a unified inventory system for the entire team. With leading cloud inventory management software, information can be readily shared with all users and stakeholders across multiple business units and locations in real time. That leads to better decision-making around purchasing and fulfillment and helps you come closer to striking the perfect inventory balance.
8. Make sure to walk, crawl, and then run. Using a step-by-step approach during the software selection and implementation process, companies can ensure they’re not only building their inventory management approach on a strong foundation, but also setting that system (and company) up for future success. Start by figuring out your current inventory management limitations and developing a clear vision for the future.