What features should an inventory management software always have?
- Basic inventory control
- Adaptable / easy-to-use user interface
- Inventory trend analysis
- Integration capabilities
Every business in the Philippines has an inventory management process. Even companies that fall under the same industry will almost never have the same inventory procedures. Some of them still do it manually, while others go as far as integrating it with their point of sale systems. The Philippines is full of companies that rely heavily on proper inventory management processes without even realizing it. That being said, some companies fail all because of a lack of prioritization of inventory management!
There is a good amount of inventory management practices that can be found on the Internet. But sometimes the best practices and must-dos aren’t enough. When that happens, an inventory management software is usually the fallback. Take note that inventory management can be done without such software, but integrating it into your system will make everything a lot easier.
Not every inventory management software is made equal, however. When choosing one that you’ll implement, you have to look at the things that it will bring you. For you to ensure that you have a great inventory management system, take a look at the features that it has. Make sure that the inventory management software that you get would at least have a few of the features presented in this article!
Basic Inventory Control
This feature is composed of the very essentials of keeping track of your inventory. It gives the user a sense of “truly” managing and controlling their inventory from start to finish. One of the things included here is inventory tracking. Your inventory management system should be able to track down your inventory in every stage they go through, from receiving and manufacturing to filling orders and the point of sales. You should have an idea of where they are in the supply chain as well as their status and estimated time of arrival to certain phases.
The better a software is at tracking inventory, the more capable it is to influence your inventory management process. RFID tags, barcodes, serializations and more are used in order to track them down. Take note however that not all software has inventory tracking capabilities that are very advanced. Make sure that you get the software that is capable to track down products to the level that you want!
Adaptable / Easy-To-Use User Interface
Inventory management systems are supposed to make your lives easier. An application that is complicated to use and hard to learn is definitely not a good investment. There will always be a learning curve in understanding the capabilities of a software, but if it’s too steep, then it’s best to invest in another inventory management system.
At the very least, the inventory management software should include a training module for new users. Some software have multiple resources to help people new users learn the ways.
At the end of the day, the best way for you to see if an inventory management system works for your business is to try them out! Take advantage of the programs that offer free trials so that you’ll be able to experiment as you please!
Inventory Trend Analysis
Keeping track of supply is one thing, forecasting demand is another. Many inventory management software pride themselves with their forecasting capabilities — something that is very important for a lot of companies. With that being said, the predictive capabilities of a software are not always indicative of its overall effectiveness. Sometimes, predictions can be inaccurate which can lead to even more problems. Choose an inventory management software that has a reliable demand forecasting feature to lessen the risk of over-/undersupplying!
Most software are standalone, meaning they can work on their own throughout the entire inventory management cycle. Some of them, however, have the capability to integrate with other systems that are relevant to the selling system. One of the most prominent options for integration is the point of sales system. In the Philippines, most inventory management systems used are integrated with this. It makes selling products and tracking inventory way easier.
That being said, not all companies do this. Even though it works for a number of them, there are a few of them that oftentimes get in trouble because of the lack of collaboration between the two systems. Keep in mind that it’s certainly possible to have both the point of sales system and the inventory management system as separate entities, but integrating them with one another will lead to a smoother process and more convenient management of inventory and sales!
An inventory management system is something that companies use in order to make their overall inventory process easier and smoother. It can sometimes be integrated with the point of sales system in order to further increase the convenience and the influence of the system. If you’re planning on using an inventory management system, take into consideration the 4 features mentioned in this article to get the best software for you!