How Inventory Management for Small Business is Going Digital
When you run a small business, proper inventory management should be at the forefront of your mind at all times. Though it seems small in the scheme of a wider business plan, the truth is that without proper inventory management, you really don’t have a working business. In addition to thinking about inventory management, you also have to think about how to make inventory management better. The best way to do this is to go digital. Of course, it is important to note that in the 20th and 21st centuries, inventory management has always been digital in some form or another. Unfortunately, some digital practices are not as useful as others, which can lead to problems for young businesses. For example, while you may be using a digital practice like an Excel Spreadsheet on your laptop, this isn’t the type of digital advancement that’s going to be good for your company in the long run. To really help your small business go digital, we need to look at modern technology like software solutions, integrations, applications, and more to really digitize the important process of inventory management for a small business. Still not sure how things can go digital in this area of the business world? You’re in luck – we’ll run through how inventory management for small business is going digital in the digital age.
How Inventory Management for Small Business is Going Digital
Inventory management is a key component of supply chain management in that it tracks the flow of inventory starting with manufacturing, moving to warehouse storage, and finishing with the point of sale. Of course, your inventory is whatever you sell to your customers: clothing, food, appliances, furniture, and everything in between. Inventory is so important because it is literally what will be held in the hands of your customers when they pay for and order something from your business. When inventory is managed well, the flow of product to the customer is much smoother and can lead to more sales and better relationships with customers as your business grows. With this in mind, you want to do everything you can so that your inventory management process is as efficient and useful as possible. This is where digital comes in:
Simple Ways Inventory Management for Small Business is Going Digital Every Day
Integrating Software Solutions
One of the simplest ways to improve inventory management for small business is to invest in inventory management software solutions and integrate them into your management process. There are tons of software system options to choose from and each come with their own set of advantages and features to help your inventory management system enter the digital age. Software options can do everything from keeping track of inventory and forecasting demand to analyzing current inventory data across various devices. The integration feature of inventory management software allows you to access inventory data from your tablet, laptop, and desktop. Finale Inventory offers some software solutions such as their cloud-inventory management software system perfect for small business models looking forward to growth. Finale also supports inventory management applications for warehouse management as well as multi-channel e-commerce practices such as barcoding, serial number tracking, multi-location integrations, and many more. In short, when you include software solutions with your inventory management practices, you enhance efficiency and productivity in one.
You already know there’s an app for just about anything, promising to make certain practices and promises easier than ever before. The case is the same when it comes to inventory management for small business. There are apps that help with payment options solutions as well as warehouse and inventory automation. What’s the use of having an app for that? For one, apps are able to automate certain inventory management practices, thus freeing up time and manpower for other important tasks. Some applications include Shipstation, Amazon, Quickbooks, and eBay for online marketplaces and product and stock listings. Finale Inventory can help you manage and sync inventory, monitor stock levels, predict demand, and more across different apps using different channels.
Digitizing Data Entry
Data entry is one of the most tedious parts of running a business. This is unfortunate because when a task is slow and, for lack of a better word, boring, the situation is ripe for mistakes to be made. When it comes to inventory management, data entry mistakes are something you want to avoid at all costs. When you have the wrong numbers entered for stock levels, reorders, old items, and over or understocked items, the inaccuracies can actually negatively affect your customers and by extension, your business’ success. The software solutions and applications mentioned above can help with digitizing data entry so that all pertinent data is automatically entered into the right place at the right time, both safely and accurately.
Automating Key Warehouse Processes
Automating key warehouse processes is as easy choosing an integrated inventory management system. Perfect for small and medium-sized businesses, these systems include features such as order management, warehouse management, and stock control. Having these three features in one system should not be taken lightly. With Finale’s integrated warehouse management system, your business is able to automate tasks such as purchase orders, split orders, re-ordering points, sales orders, quotes, invoices, returns, customer managed inventory, and vendor managed inventory. In addition, you can also automate shipments, split shipments, shipping documents, bills of materials, multiple warehouse locations, and much more. This means that when certain stock items are running low in the warehouse, when certain items are misplaced or hard to find, or when certain products need to be re-ordered in time to meet demand, your automated system can do each of these tasks for you automatically. When your warehouse and its key processes are automated, you no longer have to worry about doing these tasks manually, meaning there is less risk of error and inaccuracy. Further, by automating your warehouse, you and your employees are free to put your abilities and energies into different areas of your business, which can lead to further success.
Improving Productivity and Efficiency
When you allow inventory management for small business to go digital, you are improving company productivity and efficiency exponentially. Going digital allows tasks that were always done manually to be automated, freeing up time, labor, and money. You can save due to not having to pay employees to do now-automated tasks, which can, in turn, raise salaries for others while creating more focused jobs the business wouldn’t be able to sustain without a digital system taking care of important behind the scenes work. When your business has many laptops and tablets (personal or for the company) on deck, everyone has access to everything, which opens up another dimension of teamwork and productivity. What’s more, going digital allows workers to communicate better and more swiftly, allowing everyone to ask questions, get answers, and carry out directions and needs in a streamlined manner.
For many business owners, the idea of going digital can be a little scary. It’s true that technology is notorious for breaking down, being finicky at the worst times, or becoming obsolete a little too soon. Still, technology is also a way to bring your business into the 21st century where nearly everyone lives online and most tasks are done using a smartphone or laptop. Change can be difficult, but when you make the right changes for good reasons, you can strike a balance between tradition and the digital age that always leads to success.