7 Factors to Consider When Choosing Inventory Management Software
No matter the size of your business, if you hold a lot of inventory you’re going to sell to consumers, then you need inventory management software. If you still insist on managing your inventory manually by using paper, pens, and Excel spreadsheets, that means you are ready to face a variety of risks such as inaccurate records, inventory shrinkage, overstock or shipment delays. If you are currently considering to implement an automated inventory solution, then you need to pay attention to these following important factors.
1. Your Requirements
Before meeting a vendor, you need to understand your needs first. Figure out the obstacles you face in your inventory management and the solutions you expect. Do you want to be able to monitor the shipping status of your goods? Do you just need to keep track of your inventory levels? Communicating your requirements in advance helps you get the best deal faster.
The cost of the software usually depends on your requirements. It will be great if you can find out the market price of the software, so that you can determine whether the price offered by a vendor is worth it or too expensive.
Before deciding to invest in inventory management software, you need to make sure that your business is ready for the big plan. Take a look at your budget and ask yourself; is this the right time to invest in technology? Cloud-based inventory solutions are perfect for startups, SMEs, or those with low budgets since they are way more affordable than the conventional ones.
If you have very complex requirements, you might need to customize your inventory management software. Hence, make sure that the software can be customized to your specific needs.
If you are currently using an inventory management system and you want to add another one that offers different features, then see if the new system can be easily combined with the existing one.
4. Ease of Use
Usability is most often overlooked by business owners, while in fact, it determines how effective the implementation of inventory management software in your business. If it takes hours for your staff just to learn the ins and outs of the software, then it’s probably not worth buying. You are looking for a solution that can help you simplify your inventory management, so choose the user-friendly one instead of the complicated one.
You may not need automated solutions other than the inventory management software, but you will most likely need them in the future as your business keeps growing. Currently, most of startups have used up to four apps to streamline their daily operations. Therefore, you have to make sure that the software you choose enables integrations with other systems. Inventory management systems are often integrated with warehouse management, accounting, eCommerce, and purchasing systems.
Another important point to consider when choosing inventory management software is the flexibility. See if the software you are considering is compatible with mobile devices, how many users can use it, whether it is a web-based or on-premises , and so on. Flexibility is crucial especially if you have multiple stores or warehouses that are located far apart from each other.
After buying inventory management software, you certainly don’t want to be left out in the cold and struggling to use it. When you can’t find your purchase transactions or when your staff don’t know how to set up low-level stock alerts, you will expect someone to provide the solution as quickly as possible. Thus, check if you are going to receive complete support in the form of training, warranty, and assistance.