Now, how do you find the right inventory management software? First of all, you should use the solution that best fits your use case, regardless of where you find it. (Unless you find it on the ground outside—you have no idea where that’s been.)
Use case and individual needs will vary business to business, so it’s not one-size-fits-all, but there are at least four top features we can recommend as must-haves for any solution you choose:
Complete visibility from any location
Inventory isn't just something for your warehouse manager, service manager or techs to worry about. Your entire team needs access, and they need ways to access outside the office, such as a mobile app or online portal. This is especially important for field techs that leave the office to do their work. An inventory system that won’t let them update on the go will be prone to error, and at risk for loss.
You want to keep your team “shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone,” but you also want them to mind their surroundings, so to speak. It’s not very easy to be focused and split your focus at the same time, and a lot of things tend to fall through the cracks as a result. Without a way to organize and track everything that needs to be done, and remind team members that it needs doing, productivity can take a serious dive.
Workflow automation helps solve this problem by allowing you to input tasks into a central system that tracks everything. It allows you to create unlimited automatic workflows that trigger alerts, such as when stock levels reach a set threshold or when the lifespan of a product reaches a certain age. And it even allows you to automate certain tasks, taking them off the plates of team members.
It’s like the world’s most helpful (and proactive) to-do list, and your team will thank you.
Easy quoting and invoicing
Your sales and accounting teams both benefit from effective inventory management. Sales will be able to build quicker, more accurate quotes and include discounts that still leave them with a commission and you with a profit. And once a sale is made and/or installation is completed, automatic invoices are sent with detailed, accurate information. Should a customer have a question about a charge, accounting can easily pull the information and address the problem.
That is, as long as the solution you choose has the proper functionalities in place.
Inventory can be a huge financial boom or a bust depending on how effectively it’s managed. Accounting and leadership need accurate, real-time data to calculate inventory value, profit margins and more so they can make informed decisions and, in turn, ensure and increase profitability. Without timely profitability reports, they don’t have any of that.