What is inventory management?

Inventory management is the process by which units of your stock flow through your business. It is not simply about moving your inventory from point A to point B, but also how well managed the inventory is whilst it s under your watch. Keeping control of associated time and costs along with staying on top of your processing and dispatch channels is vital.

How does it go wrong?

The bigger your business, the more staff it employs, the higher the levels of inventory it processes; the more likely you will run into inventory management issues.

When tracking isn t implemented effectively, time and expense can quickly add up. The most common problems occur within the supply and forecasting arms of your business and if not resolved quickly efficiency can quickly nosedive.

Breakdowns in communication

If you run the inventory management side of the business you will probably be aware how some time away from the office, an incorrect entry from another member of staff or errors in purchasing can mean you re left with limited or no stock. When this happens, your customers will waste no time in deserting you for your competitors.

As with many business problems, a breakdown in communication is most often the primary cause of inventory management failure. You may have a customer orders team which does not work in tandem with your finance administrators or physical store sales may be processed separately and by a different team to your online sales.

Cloud-based inventory management software is the key

Cloud-based inventory management software is becoming increasingly advanced and effective, with thousands of businesses every week now starting to make the switch.

The best packages on the market allow you to share your inventory figures and detail in real-time. This ensures that different departments, or even third parties including customers and vendors, can easily keep track of their part of the process without causing issues for anyone else. Different users can be given different viewing and edit permissions meaning you stay in complete control and have a high-level overview of your inventory management from beginning to end.

Simple, easy to use and highly effective

As software becomes more sophisticated, so the user interfaces are becoming more simple and painless to learn. Every area of your business can access the same centralized database and use the information to track orders, keep on top of costs and process transactions on the go, in real time.