“Yes, we have that part in the BOM! We’ll grab it from the back.” Five minutes later: “So it looks like we’re all out.” Sound familiar? Chances are that you or your purchase team have been in this situation, either as a customer or a shop owner. You know that it can cause setbacks in customer loyalty and sales. If you’re tracking inventory manually or through Excel, mistakes are bound to happen and could get worse as you expand. You may be thinking of shifting to inventory software but all the options out there may be overwhelming you.
Upgrading to inventory management software makes keeping track of your inventory easier, putting less strain on you and your employees. These systems electronically keep track of all the items you sell, allowing you to locate items quickly and restock them before you run out.
The benefits include:
- Being able to manage your inventories in a simple way.
- As the data entry is automated, chances are little that there will be an error.
- Helps to maintain an equilibrium point or balance by setting maximum and minimum stock levels.
- Enables you to cut costs, maximize sales and profits.
Read More - Inventory Management: Ultimate Guide for SMEs
But before choosing inventory management software from a pool of software solutions, you should check whether they have the relevant feature for which you need a solution for your business.
So here are 6 Must-Have features for an inventory management software-
- Will Grow With Your Business.
- Maximum And Minimum Inventory Levels.
- Compatibility with Existing Software.
- Inventory Trend Analysis.
- Reasonable Price.
User-friendly inventory management software should have the following features:
- Easy to navigate
- Load information quickly
- Be simplistic
- It’s not overloaded with features you don’t need
The system should also include new user training. If you’ve never used inventory management software, getting started can be intimidating. So exploring something as complex as an ERP is out of the question. Explore the training features before you purchase the software. Do they offer videos and directions for new users? Can you reach out to a live person for help?
Of course, the term “user-friendly” is different for each organization. The only way to know for sure whether you like software or not is to try it out. The good news is many programs offer a free trial so you can experiment for the right fit.
2. Will Grow With Your Business
When you first sign up for inventory software, you might just be looking for something to streamline your inventory. But as you are done achieving that you may realize that your business needs optimizing further. Will you be able to upgrade the software? If not, you and your staff will have to relearn a whole new system in the future.
For example, you may need a system to optimize your production process since your sales have increased or you may want to add new users to the system.
A platform like TranZact provides just that. The basic version which is free provides an integrated system for any SME to optimize its operations. The advanced version further provides production planning modules to users.
3. Maximum And Minimum Inventory Levels
Accurate inventory levels prevent under-stocking by ensuring that staff has the right signals to reorder inventory. Also, it prevents overstocking and the chances of inventory getting damaged or wasted. When inventory reaches the minimum level there are reminders given to reorder stock. Similarly, it doesn't let Businesses dealing with stock have tracked their inventory accurately, to keep ahead of the competition. Stock control helps to keep a constant flow of satisfied customers. It also improves the working environment and flow of businesses. It results in more sustained growth continually.
Read More - The Importance of Accurate Inventory Levels
4. Compatibility with Existing Software
Most businesses use multiple types of software at once. Ideally, your inventory management software will be able to integrate with your existing business software. This allows your two software systems to share information, sync, and generally “play well” together. Compatibility is necessary because it’s a huge time-saver – why spend time transferring data between systems when you can avoid it altogether? Thus providing integration with software like Tally Excel or Google sheets can be a huge lifesaver.
5. Inventory Trend Analysis
One of the biggest features of inventory management software for small businesses is the ability to tell you how much you have left of each product. However, some systems can also help you predict future inventory needs. Data analysis uses information from your inventory cycle to help you make better business decisions. For example, it can track your historic sales to predict when you will get a surge of purchases, so you can buy extra inventory and prepare better for your peak season.
6. Reasonable Price
The amount you spend depends on how many features you need. You should never invest in software with unnecessary modules which you feel you might need in the future. With the future being highly uncertain because of COVID you should invest in an easy-to-use and economical software which you can upgrade if you need more features.
Very often, as a simple medium, small business owners use spreadsheets to record and calculate inventory data. But the bottom line is that these spreadsheets are not specialized in dealing with the inventory tracking process.
On the other hand, an inventory management system is solely dedicated to keeping the record and forecasting trends that are necessary to make informed business decisions. TranZact helps SMEs manage inventory through their integrated business operations platform. It is the best choice for SMEs because of its seamless integration with Tally, Google Sheets, and dozens of other solutions. Also, it provides an enormous library of training and support resources 24*7.
Effective inventory management is about having the right product/raw material in the right place, at the right time. Now that you’ve seen all the inventory management mistakes you are probably making, it’s time to take action.
Make a wise choice!