When it comes to data and analytics, there’s no question that accurately tracking your inventory is essential for success. Inventory management systems play a key role in tracking inventory and sales.
When you track your products right, you can benefit in a lot of different ways. For example, if you’ve been tracking products, you likely know the sale volumes for your products. This is helpful when it comes to deciding which products to keep on your retail shelves or what’s needed for your online ecommerce store.
One of the best ways to track, predict and reorder products is by using an inventory management system. Now, inventory management systems can vary when it comes to features and capabilities. Furthermore, there’s a number of different systems that you can use to get the results you need.
First, let’s briefly go over what inventory management is.
What Are Inventory Management Systems?
Inventory management systems track goods through your entire supply chain or at least the segments your business operates in. That can cover a lot of different areas pertaining to your inventory, such as
- Production To Retail
- Warehousing And Shipping
- Stock Movements
Inventory managers focus on different parts of the supply chain. Most small businesses are focused on the end of the supply chain, which includes ordering and sales. With larger companies, the focus is on the whole supply chain.
In a nutshell, inventory management systems (IMS) allow business owners to see all the movements of their inventory. With real-time reports and data tracking from your inventory management system, it allows you to make important decisions that will have short-term and long-term impacts on your business.
Inventory Management System Features
Not all inventory management software is created equal. Before you choose an inventory management system for your business, you need to make sure you talk to an expert to understand everything that’s included with the software.
Furthermore, each industry has different needs, goals and focus points. Ecommerce inventory management is different than retail inventory management or warehouse inventory management.
Let’s take a look at the basic inventory management system features that are included with most software.
- Accounting Tools
- Reporting Tools
- Inventory Forecasting
- Inventory Alerts
Next, let’s take a look at manufacturing inventory management.
Manufacturing Inventory Management
The manufacturing process includes both bills of materials and work orders. The point of process in your inventory management at this stage is all about tying work orders and bills of materials together.
- Automatic Reordering
- Inventory Levels (Finishing Products And Parts)
- Materials Tracking
- ERP Integrations
- Maintenance Software
Having the ability to track the materials you need to complete orders and what you’re working on is vital to accuracy and efficiency. It’s near impossible to run a successful manufacturing businesses without an order management system. If you have a small business, it’s possible to track everything by hand. For larger companies, they can’t afford to not be efficient.
The big key question, what do you need to track?
Do you need an inventory management system to tie into your warehouse management? Do you need to add automation to your reordering? Do you need to track something else?
Warehouse Inventory Management
If you want to accurately and efficiently manage your warehouse, you need a warehouse inventory management system. With over 1 million cubic feet of warehouse, Thill can speak first hand to the importance of managing your warehouse inventory.
Warehouse inventory management systems usually include features such as;
With your warehouse inventory management, you’ll be able to find products quicker and you’ll reduce human errors. You can optimize your warehouse for efficiency, strategically placing product so fulfillment is faster.
Warehouse management software is a vital tool that every business should invest in.
Retail Inventory Management
Retail inventory management software allows retailers to operate a profitable business.
The right inventory management system for retailers allows you to keep the right products ordered and those products stocked on your shelves.
Key features for retail inventory management software usually includes;
- Automatic Reordering
- Barcoding Support
- Inventory Forecasting
- Order Picking
Choosing The Right Inventory Management System
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the right inventory management system.
First and foremost, you need an IMS that is specialized around your specific needs and goals. Inventory management is crucial to operating a successful and profitable business of any kind. Proper inventory management is import to delivering a great customer experience.
The right system for inventory management can be a game changer for your company, it’s a decision you should never rush to answer.
If you want to speak with one of our inventory management experts at Thill, you can reach us at 1-920-967-9201 or you can use this contact form. We’re always here to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to give us a call.