All You Need to Know about Warehouse Inventory Management Software
Inventory is the key to any manufacturing facility. The way you manage your inventory directly impacts your production process, inventory-related expenses and the speed your customers' orders get fulfilled. All this makes inventory management software for warehouses an indispensable tool in everyday business operations. If you are a manufacturer struggling to organize your warehouse inventory or simply looking to improve your overall inventory management activities, read this blog to learn how warehouse inventory management can help you achieve your goals. But first, let’s have a look at what inventory management software for warehouses is.
What is warehouse inventory management software?
Inventory management software for warehouses is a tool that helps managers track ready-made goods, materials inventory, customer orders and order fulfillment to/from customers and suppliers. It is a control console that businesses of all sizes use to effectively track their stock levels and gain better control over their inventory. It is also the tool that helps match customer demand with product supply.
Simply put, it is a system that ensures your inventory levels are in alignment with your customer demands.
What are the must-have modules of inventory management software for warehouses?
While many software providers offer a level of customization when it comes to building an inventory management system from scratch, the majority of these systems come with a set of pre-selected features that match the needs of an average manufacturer or distributor. Below are the common components of a standard warehouse inventory management system.
1. Real-time inventory management
This feature is responsible for keeping track of goods or raw materials in your inventory. It allows you to see which goods or materials are running low, helping you avoid understock situations.
2. Order control
The order control feature ensures you have enough goods in your inventory to meet customers’ demands. It alerts you when your inventory is low on a certain product/material, helping you stay one step ahead of your inventory levels.
3. Inventory reporting and analytics
This valuable tool allows you to gain analytics concerning your inventory. You can view which products bring the most/least profit and use this data to make smart decisions when it comes to restocking your inventory.
4. Synchronization with multiple warehouses
If you store your ready-made goods or materials in multiple warehouses, inventory management software synchronizes the data, ensuring the most accurate stock levels across all warehouses.
5. Synchronization with e-commerce
The data between your online store and inventory are synchronized, so you never bump into situations where you have to cancel your client’s order because of the unavailability of the product they ordered.
Benefits of using warehouse inventory management software
As with any other business software, inventory control software positively impacts overall inventory organization which further improves the effectiveness of your business processes. Below are some of the major benefits of inventory control software.
- Saves money on labour, storage and fulfillment
Warehouse inventory software is a great optimization tool that will help you speed up shipping and deliveries resulting in improved efficiency and reduced labour, storage and fulfillment costs.
- Invaluable automation tool
Warehouse inventory software will help you automate manual processes such as order picking, packing and tracking, significantly reducing the time it takes to fulfill an order and reducing any potential human errors.
- Speeds up shipping and deliveries
The way you manage shipping and deliveries directly influences the speed orders are fulfilled. The math is simple here: the faster you fulfill an order the happier your clients will be and the more the chances of them coming back to you. Inventory system management software will dramatically improve your order fulfillment speed, enabling you to increase output.
- Improves accuracy of order fulfillment
What can be more annoying than dealing with a wrong order? The majority of problems with orders stem from disorganized inventory. Inventory management software for warehouses will help you achieve impeccable order accuracy and ensure you never have to deal with wrong orders.
- Improves customer loyalty
Poorly managed inventory can lead to several minor issues which, when combined, can accumulate into huge problems, impacting your overall business efficiency. Implementing inventory management software for warehouses will smooth those imperfections out, bringing you more loyal customers and helping your business run like clockwork.
- Improves overall operational efficiency
The warehouse is the backbone of any business, so managing it right is important to ensure the efficient functioning of your business. Implementing warehouse inventory management software will optimize your warehouse processes leading to better business performance.
Tips for choosing inventory management software for warehouses
The majority of inventory management systems come with features that were pre-selected based on average business needs. However, this does not mean that you need to adapt your business to the software. Many vendors, like Vestra Inet, offer customized solutions built exactly to your business requirements. In general, the following are the aspects you need to consider when shopping for inventory system management software:
- Your business requirements. Start your research by knowing exactly what you want to achieve with the new software. Most vendors work in a specific niche and more or less know what their clients look for, so they can offer a solution that meets industry-specific requirements.
- Level of customization. The software you choose needs to be flexible and customizable to meet the ever-changing needs of your business. Ask your provider about the level of customization they offer and whether they can easily adjust the system to make sure it aligns with your business needs.
- Price. Set the cost of the software clear at the onset of the talks with the vendor. Ask them about the initial software price and the ongoing maintenance or any software additions that might be required further in time. You need to clearly understand what you are expected to pay for owning the software.
- Integration with other systems. Many business owners rely so much on their old software that they simply cannot part with it, so many times they ask for a solution that acts as an addition or an enhancement to their existing systems. Ask your vendor if he can build an add-on that can easily adjust to the existing software your business relies on.
Warehouse Inventory Management Software FAQs:
1. What is the difference between warehouse management and inventory management?
Both systems share one common concept - they are both used to track the movement of goods from the moment an order is placed to when it is delivered to the consumer. However, the main difference between warehouse and inventory management systems is that the latter is also an analytics tool that allows companies to forecast sales and demand. Inventory management software is also a broader concept. It is used for tracking all warehouses, while software for warehouse management is a specialized tool used for tracking stocks within a warehouse. Software for warehouse management facilitates order picking, packing and shipping, whereas an inventory management solution is a broader tool that focuses on maintaining inventory levels to meet the projected demand.
2. How do I know if I need warehouse inventory management software?
One thing that might be holding you back from looking for new software for your business is the change that will come with bringing in the new system. Implementing new software into your routine business operations is never easy. You know that you will have to adjust to the change and that the entire workflow will require some time to settle. However, inventory management software is not always a choice but a requirement. Implementing new technology is sometimes imperative for a business to stay afloat and thrive. Below are the signs that indicate your inventory needs a technological upgrade:
- Frequent order errors. If you see an increase in orders that were returned by the customers, this means something in the fulfillment process is not working and is in need of better tracking.
- Long order fulfillment times. If your average order fulfillment cycle time has recently increased, you need a solution to speed it up. No customer likes to wait for their orders longer than it is stated on the website.
- Employees struggle to fulfill orders on time. Once a new order is in the system, your employees move on to assemble it. Finding the right item in the warehouse should be easy as 1, 2, 3. If it’s not, order wait times will inevitably increase.
- The number of orders is growing. Selling more comes with greater responsibility. If you notice a spike in order volume, you need to make sure you can massage and control it properly to eliminate the risk of missed or wrong orders.
3. What is the difference between custom vs. ready-made inventory management software for warehouses?
As mentioned earlier in the blog, the majority of warehouse tracking systems come with features that were pre-selected taking into account average business needs. These include real-time inventory management, order control and inventory reporting and analytics. All of these features constitute the core of effective inventory management and are certainly important. However, not all of them can be of use for a certain business in certain circumstances. That's why many businesses often opt for a custom solution where everything is tailored to their specific needs. A custom inventory management solution usually comes with standard features that can be customized to meet the ever-changing business requirements. A custom system is often a preferred solution among businesses thanks to its flexibility. You can always add new modules as your business grows.
4. Why opt for Vestra Inet's custom warehouse inventory management system?
Vestra Inet has been delivering custom software solutions for over two decades. We work with clients in the industrial and commercial sectors, so we know all the specifics of the industries and know how to craft a solution that enhances the operations of a manufacturing or distribution facility. We pride ourselves on crafting efficient inventory management solutions and warehouse tracking systems that help our clients grow their operations and increase their profits. We listen closely to our client’s needs to ensure we build a system that meets all our client's requirements. By providing one-on-one guidance and consultation every step of the way, we ensure our clients feel confident in the choice they made.
Implementing inventory management software may sound like a huge endeavour. It does require time and some internal process restructuring, but the benefits that come with it way outweigh the time and monetary investment you’ll need to make. If you are still on the verge between investing in new software or sticking to old inventory management models and leaving things the way they are, book a free consultation with one of Vestra Inet’s software consultants today to learn more about custom software solutions for industrial and commercial businesses.