Imagine a neat space where boxes full of inventory float in and out within a few clicks. The spreadsheets update automatically and without any outside interference. That’s the ultimate dream for most wholesalers no? It certainly sounds very stress-free. What if we told you that dream can become a reality?
Through inventory management software (IMS), you can:
- Improve the way you track, maintain, and order new stock
- View your entire stock and maintain optimal amounts of products
- Automate critical tasks and reduce the chances of human errors
The key difference between survival or extinction for your wholesale business is choosing the right solution. In order to grow their business, modern wholesalers need to adapt because e-commerce has changed the whole landscape. Vendors are now demanding better quality and shorter shipping time.
To meet these new demands, wholesalers need to up their game. And the best way to do that is by getting some good inventory management software. This article will go through everything you need to know about inventory management software for wholesalers. Go through all of the stuff written below and put yourself ahead of your competitions.
So, without any further ado, let’s just get into it.
What Does Inventory Management Software Do?
In simple terms, inventory management software is a tool that can automate certain aspects of inventory and even warehouse management. If wholesalers don’t carefully handle their inventory, one of two things will happen – either the business will start losing money on potential sales or end up holding obsolete or dead stock.
Inventory management software can handle the whole inventory process from quotation to fulfillment. It will keep a record of the customer, supplier, purchase order, shipments, and other processes. This will allow wholesalers to keep track of products that are selling and their quantity.
By automating their inventory management, wholesalers will gain an edge over their rivals as they can now predict future trends and plan accordingly. Forecasting future demand and supply will help adjust deliveries and reduce headaches related to overstocking and understocking.
10 Major Benefits of an Inventory Management Software
Inventory management contains a huge amount of internal management processes that are interlinked with one another. If even one of these tasks is inaccurate, it will affect all of the other processes as well, resulting in a possible loss.
Once you’ve fully implemented an inventory management software, all of your records and tracking processes will become automated, leaving behind little to no room for errors.
Greater Cost Savings
Fewer errors across the board mean fewer resources spent on fixing avoidable mistakes. You won’t have to worry about the expenditure on damage control. Inefficient management can also lead to revenue loss. With inventory management software, you can avoid obsolete stock or overstock situations.
Imagine getting a customer who wants to buy some specific products which aren’t in your stock. No business owner would want to lose potential customers like that. An inventory management software in this situation would have already warned you about the low or finished stock.
Not everyone should be able to fully access a powerful tool like inventory management software. You wouldn’t want the warehouse worker to go through your sales records right? This is where restrictions come in handy.
Inventory management software allows restrictions on users as per requirement. Every user will be able to access the software, but only within his/her rights.
Increased Operational Productivity
Analytics and reports provided by the inventory management software will tell you which items are selling fast. This will help you make more informed decisions and maybe spot a pattern that no one else has been able to.
Better Customer Service
The importance of happy customers can never be overstated. If your customers are satisfied with your products and service, they’ll leave good reviews and come back to buy some more. This will also help you build a trusted name in the marketplace.
Increased accuracy will lead to the right product being delivered to the right place. While the quickness granted by automated tasks will dispatch the items at a faster speed. Some software apps even notify customers about the status of their orders and their expected arrival.
As mentioned earlier, inventory management software apps allow you to move away from time-consuming manual work. Now you don’t have to make all those complex calculations or pay someone else to do it. Inventory management software will do it for you.
Smoother Stock Rotation
As all wholesalers know, maintaining the right balance in inventory is a challenging task. Those who don’t regularly check up on their inventory end up with excess or dead stock.
With inventory management software, you can get notifications for low stock levels or identify the re-order points for each and every stock. You can also pick out slow-moving items and avoid restocking them.
Manage Multiple Locations
Inventory management software can help you consolidate your warehouses and maybe even close out an entire single warehouse operation.
Don’t worry about the number of locations as the software will help you effectively manage all of them. You can apply the inventory management software to each one of them, take a look at the big picture, and make informed long-term decisions.
Thanks to better and more effective stock management, wholesale business owners will be able to cut costs and increase profits. Now you won’t have to spend money on unnecessary expenses and can accurately predict the future demand for certain products.
The inventory management software will grow with your business as you have the option to automate most processes and reduce overhead costs related to hiring more staff.
Why Wholesalers Need Inventory Management Software
Ask wholesalers about their biggest challenges and most of them will mention inventory management. Distributors have to deal with huge volumes of stock and it’s important to manage them as efficiently as possible. Inefficient inventory management might not immediately put you out of business, but it will make you lose money in the long run.
There are a lot of ways to manage inventory, but most wholesalers are still using spreadsheets with columns for product name, price, quantity, etc. Every time a sale is made, owners have to make an immediate deduction to ensure accurate inventory flow.
This method is very time-consuming and can result in major human errors. In order to enhance their business operations, wholesale business owners need to start using inventory management software.
Here’s what they can expect from SeeBiz Inventory:
● Clear Stock Visibility
Whether you’re managing a single product line or multiple categories, having easy access to all of them from one place will give you greater stock visibility and make day-to-day management easier.
With the ability to track products across multiple warehouses, you won’t have to worry about stockouts or dead stock.
● Easy Access to Sales Order Details
Wholesalers need to overcome another major obstacle; not being able to process customers’ orders in time. If you’re still receiving customer orders through email, fax, or messages, there’s bound to be a delay in shipping. This will eventually lead to customer dissatisfaction and your name in the market will become synonymous with the word “unreliable”.
Using inventory management software can easily solve this issue as most apps allow you to track sales orders in real-time.
● Automatic Stock Updates
Managing numerous orders in a day can be exhausting, especially when you need to manually update the stock as well. But with the help of inventory management software, all you need to do is sit back, relax, and let the system automatically update stock in real-time. This will allow you to easily track requirements and make informed decisions for your wholesale business.
● Reorder Levels and Alerts
The most irritating thing for customers, besides receiving a defective product, is not receiving their order on time. Wholesalers are humans too and can miss out on re-ordering products on time while processing multiple orders in a day. And when they do procure a product after customers have already placed some orders, there’s a big chance for delayed order fulfillment.
With inventory management software, you’ll get automatic stock level updates and experience the inventory lock feature that sends alert messages for stock reorder. This will wholesale business owners to avoid the wrath of unsatisfied customers.
● Contact Management
For wholesalers, contacts are their most important asset after inventory. Inventory management apps make it easier to handle numerous contacts, build new relations, and strengthen your business.
For example, you can categorize a contact as a vendor or customer in SeeBiz. By creating a contact, you will get all the information related to the buying and selling process.
With this feature, you’ll be able to generate invoices/sales orders for your customers and bills with purchase orders for the vendors. You can add and import as many contacts as you need based on your business requirements. You can even prioritize a contact for certain items.
Main Features of an Inventory Management Software
“A place for everything and everything in its place”. This is the best way to describe an inventory management app. Key inventory management system specifications include providing a way to store, organize, manage, and analyze inventory data. System requirements include:
- A simple user interface that doesn’t involve complicated processes.
- Automation for eliminating manual tasks related to inventory management.
- A fast and secure database that manages data in real-time.
- Increased inventory management and control.
- An option to monitor daily warehouse or storehouse activities.
● Inventory Management
This the heart and soul of the inventory management software. It provides the necessary centralization of the most fundamental warehouse functions.
With this feature, wholesalers will be able to view inventory details such as stock levels, product history, location, etc. All parts of your system will use this data to run various functions. This will also allow your team to collaborate with each other at a much higher level than if they were dealing with individual systems.
● Inventory Tracking
The ability to track the status of products in the supply chain is a big part of the appeal of inventory management software. With this feature, wholesalers can eliminate numerous manual tasks. For example, the system will automatically generate a tracking number after creating an invoice.
Inventory tracking lets wholesalers better manage customer and vendor relationships by sharing what’s left in stock or how long a certain product will take to arrive at its destination.
● Inventory Optimization
With inventory optimization, wholesalers can take their inventory planning to the next level. It’ll add some much-needed sophistication to their basic inventory plan. Outdated ordering formulas and processes can now make way for modern features like automated reports, inventory trends, and insightful reports.
This complete optimization will allow wholesalers to achieve a closer match in supply and demand.
● Inventory Alerts
Alerts and notifications can be triggered through various modules. These notifications can help reduce waste, optimize inventory financials, and manage customer expectations. Wholesalers can get automated emails or SMS messages that notify them about shipment and supply chain delays. This also gives them more operational control over sales forecasting, shipping logistics, and manufacturer management.
● Order Management
Most inventory management apps also come with features that can help manage sales orders. These tools will let wholesalers adjust pricing, send quotes, track orders, and handle returns. They’ll get detailed information related to the quantity, type, and price of goods or services agreed by both parties (seller and buyer).
A good inventory management system always comes with order management tools as it’s an important feature that can increase and maintain customer satisfaction.
● Multiple Warehouse Management
Wholesalers usually have multiple warehouses to store their products at different locations. Regardless of the warehouse location or the channel processing orders, the multiple warehouse management feature lets wholesalers handle data very quickly. They can use a single platform to manage inventory across multiple warehouses. This makes it easier to find the nearest store to ship products to customers when an order is received.
How to Tell if You’re Successfully Managing Your Inventory?
The numbers don’t lie. The best way to measure the performance of the inventory management software is by comparing the data from before and after.
Do you see the numbers of mis-shipments, mis-picks, or obsolete stock decreasing? What about the occurrence of out of stock items? Has the amount of dead stock around the warehouse decreased?
If your answer to these questions is yes, inventory management software has been a resounding success for your wholesale business. Now you can expect better customer reviews, improved client loyalty, and a boost to your reputation in the industry.
Here are five signs your wholesale business has deployed an efficient inventory management software:
No Excess Inventory
If there’s little to no excess inventory, it’s a good sign that your business is under a highly efficient inventory management system. However, if there is inventory stock lying around the warehouse and collecting dust for quite some time, you’re probably suffering from an excess inventory problem.
Older products in storage with no potential are taking up valuable space that could be used for newer and trendy items. Plus, the older stocks’ value is decreasing day by day.
High Inventory Turnover Rate
A high inventory turnover rate is always a good sign, whereas a low rate usually indicates poor sales. All those older products will soon diminish in popularity and value, forcing you to sell them at reduced rates. If they remain at your warehouse for an extended period of time, you’ll end up spending money to get rid of them.
Reduced Employment Costs
A good inventory management system saves a lot of time, especially in warehouses where a significant amount of time is wasted. Inventory management apps will do most of the work so that employees don’t have to.
Improved Brand & Business Reputation
Customers rarely shop from businesses that are unreliable or unpopular. A business that is trustworthy, reliable, responsive, and transparent will always have an edge over its rivals.
When an inventory management software is properly implemented, products will be tracked from door-to-door in order to provide a professional, streamlined delivery.
Reduced Inventory Costs
Those who have been managing inventories for years know how they tend to cost far more than they need to. From employee salaries to human errors, even a stray point on a spreadsheet can lead to huge losses.
By making sure everything is well-organized, inventory management software tends to save lots of money for the owner.
Inventory is one of the biggest assets for a wholesale business owner. So, in order to save money and make more money, it’s important to protect, nurture, and guide it in the right direction.
To get a head start over your competitors, sign up for SeeBiz Inventory’s one month trial.