Inventory management software is crucial for companies that possess vast amounts of inventory. However, supply chain leaders must ensure their company’s inventory management software includes some key features so the tool can help their organization as much as possible.
Inventory management software’s ability to track and manage the overall life cycle of products can increase overall efficiency. It can also reduce costs and improve customer service.
Here’s a list of the features to look for when purchasing inventory management software.
1. Alert management
Retail companies must ensure their products remain in stock so their customers don’t attempt to order an item, find the product is unavailable and turn to one of the company’s competitors.
Some inventory management platforms offer alerts that notify staff of low inventory quantities. Users can also implement alerts for food or beverage items to avoid product expiration.
2. Inventory tracking
When an order for a product comes in, warehouse staff must be able to quickly locate the item. Inventory tracking helps warehouse workers learn the location of a specific item and find it quickly.
Lack of access to this information can lead to wasted time as workers search for items.
3. Reporting and analytics
Reporting and analytics capabilities can help companies save money. For example, variance reporting highlights system inventory levels versus physical, on-hand inventory, identifying potential theft.
Variance reporting also helps prevent the company from continuing to sell products that are actually out of stock.
4. Inventory forecasting
Forecasting functionality can help ensure that a company doesn’t overstock or end up with low stock levels. Inventory forecasting can help ensure that cash is not tied to stock that likely won’t be sold for some time.
Inventory forecasting is very important for companies that stock food and beverages, as overstocking products without calculating projected demand can lead to expired products and loss of revenue.
5. System integration
Many companies use an accounting system or full ERP software, so an organization’s inventory management software must support integration with external systems.
This integration will help eliminate duplicate data entry and save users time, since they won’t have to enter data in more than one place.
Reda Chouffani runs the consulting practice he co-founded, Biz Technology Solutions, Inc. He is a healthcare informatics consultant, cloud expert and business intelligence architect who helps enterprise clients make the best use of technology to streamline operations and improve productivity.