You look at this and say, “inventory management, that’s for large warehouse and distribution applications, not for a small company such as ours”. In your mind you picture hundreds of pickers and packers running to and fro across a 200,000 sq. foot warehouse and think to yourself they need inventory management control, we are a small company and only send out 20 or 30 shipments a day. Plus we can’t afford to shell out thousands of dollars for this technology, right?
Well not exactly, if you run through your process you may realize how inefficient the system you have in place actually is. Firstly when your sales reps place an order, they may or may not know if the item is in stock and when it will arrive. A pick ticket is then printed and someone must then collect all the items on the list and manually check them off, How can you know for certain the right item was in fact picked and not a similar one. How can you confirm the correct quantity was in fact collected? Then comes inventory count, how do you know when stock is running low? What if your stock is out, it may take a few weeks before the vendor’s shipment arrives and then forwarded to the customers. How do you maintain the balance of not overstocking or running out?
Let me suggest the following scenario. When Sales Reps initiate an order they access a program that can tell them if there is any in stock, and how many are in stock. If there are none available, the Vendor will automatically be notified which allows a backorder to be placed and the customer will be provided with an accurate estimate as to when their product will arrive. That same program will post the order on a digital handheld scanning device, which allows the Pickers and Packers to accurately scan the right items and quantities without error, while at the same time updating the inventory database. What if this information was automatically updated to your QuickBooks?
That is what inventory management software can accomplish for you. Not only will inventory control streamline your process, but it will pay for it-self and help save you money. Here are a few instances:
- You may be able to responsibly maintain lower stock levels, as once inventory levels drop below a low stock target it will automatically trigger a vendor re-order.
- You may be able to reduce labor hours as orders can be processed in a more timely and efficient manner.
- The scanning capabilities will reduce and eliminate manual errors costing you extra expedited shipping charges, as well as unhappy customers.
- Inventory management will allow you to grow your business and customer base without being overwhelmed, as you will have an organized process in place.