Imagine this. The biggest sale of the year is happening and you are struggling to catch your breath. Orders are pouring in and inventory management seems to be a battle close to defeat.
Among the countless orders, was one particular gift package from a loyal customer. You have packed a gift package and send it off to your logistics team for delivery to customer. It is shipped and all is well, you presume.
But, few days later, out of the blue comes a shocker. The customer has vented out on social media how poor your business is in sticking to delivering goods as per orders. You come to know from the customer’s social media entry that the gift package contained something that the customer never ordered for. The actual package never reached them! You not only lost a customer but are also under negative social media glare.
Now let’s breakdown the scenarios where things could have gone wrong.
Your aisle mapping is messed up. Warehouse personnel have a huge chance of picking something that is placed in a wrongly labeled bin
The item descriptions are not properly detained in the warehouse management system
The inventory management system is not synced, which must have led to ordering a product which was out of stock.
All these situations put together can lead to many situations like the one above.
Above all, there could be manual systems which may not update inventory records on time leading to poor inventory management. How can this be fixed? How to track inventory for small business even when order volumes are swelling by the minute?
Getting it Right with Automation
Automation and Robotics has taken over every form of operational process. Why should inventory management be an exception. Automated Inventory Management is the best forward for small businesses that want to stay sharp on its inventory details as well as pace ahead with operational efficiency.
The software can take away the burden of several manual chores, combine them into a single automated task that improves the overall efficiency with operations are carried out. In other words, it is the best way to keep track of inventory and sales without having pore over tons of ledgers and accounting statements.
Here is how an inventory management system helps track of inventory for small business:
Real-time stock levels
An automated inventory management system can give you a pulse of how much stock of each SKU is pending in each aisle or bin at any given point of time. Most often they come with simple & interactive dashboards which makes finding relevant information without having to dig deep inside the software.
The real-time stock level helps you plan for order processing or additional stock procurement with accuracy. Solves the issue of misplacing products into different packages.
Stock level alerts
What if you do not have stock to last for more than a week? An inventory management software can alert when it is time to raise purchase order to a vendor to supply replenishment. Advanced solutions can even trigger automatic emails saving you the trouble.
Multiple Warehouse management
As a eCommerce business with business spanning across geographies, it is pertinent that you have all your warehouse information and stock levels compiled under one roof. If you think spreadsheets are a good choice, think again.
Warehouse Execs swear inventory and sales tracking using spreadsheets to be a nightmare since the formula get messed up, sheets get deleted or the sheet crashes taking the entire record down with it. Whereas a software solution is a breeze through given its modular structure which does not crash often and can be used to process endless number of entries without interruption.
Good inventory management cannot be achieved with manual processes. A systematic approach to routines is a must. Especially with orders coming from multiple sources and locations, eCommerce business owners do need an inventory management software that can not only automate tracking of inventory but can also contribute in terms of intelligence. Consider it as a beginning to optimize your costs for inventory.