Inventory management software

Inventory management system is the process by which you track your goods throughout your supply chain all the way from purchasing to production and end-sales.

Inventory management software is one that enables companies from preventing its products from spoilage, thefts, minimize mistakes etc.

 It gives companies the option to plan ahead and makes them better prepared for market fluctuations. No matter how complex your stock is, a proper inventory management system will increase your effectiveness and it is undoubtedly one of the fastest ways to meet your expectation when it comes to a smooth operation process.

Benefits

Minimizing shortages and excess of inventory

Proper inventory management software will consistently provide accurate details to help you prevent any sudden shortages. Similarly, it enables you to keep the correct inventory so as to prevent any excesses either.

Higher Customer Retention

Customers are more satisfied with your overall efficiency and this leads to a higher customer retention percentage.

Helps you become more organized, saves time & money

Through a good inventory management strategy and keeping track of the products you hold vs. the number of products ordered, you will save a lot of time when it comes to time consuming processes like recounting, stock-taking etc. You will also reduce spending money on unsold or slow moving products. All these results collectively lead to a more organized functioning of the concerned departments.

Greater efficiency & productivity

Efficiency and productivity is tremendously improved while using inventory management tools like the barcode scanners. The installed automated process reduces the manual labour required for such services and your staff can now focus more on other productive activities.

Examples of Inventory Management Software

Barcode Technology

Barcode technology increases your cost effectiveness by printing labels on products and thereafter tracking the same. It greatly reduces manual errors.

Of course there are challenges too

  • Barcodes have a common problem of printing with a low contrast. Scanning when the light is low is one reason for this problem. Printing black barcodes on a white background can solve this problem to a great extent. Ensuring a well-lit area while printing also effectively reduces this defect.
  • Barcodes can be subject to a lot of distortion and damage. If the barcode is damaged due to wrinkles or plastic covering, important data is lost. Ensuring the correct packaging before distribution can prevent this from happening.
  • Holding the barcode reader in the wrong manner can lead to a lot of problems including unable to scan the data at all. Proper training and practice to hold the scanner in the prescribed manner is the only way with which such errors can be avoided.

RFID Technology

Barcode technology increases your cost effectiveness by printing labels on products and thereafter tracking the same. It greatly reduces manual errors.

RFID Limitations and solutions

  • The readings from the device could get affected in different conditions (liquid, metallic etc). If radio waves could bounce with metal, liquid surfaces can absorb signals sent from a tag. Using a RFID equipment that has a highly developed antenna, reader and tags could reduce this problem but the challenge still remains.
  • RFID can be costly. There is a steady pattern of prices dropping over the years but some business entities are still hesitant in using this tool due to the high pricing system.
  • The technology is not easy. Employees have to be carefully trained on the different tags, frequencies and how to use the RFID equipment.

Beacon

In simple words, a beacon transmits a single signal that other devices can receive generally through a coded radio signal. Beacons connect to the web through Bluetooth. In fact, Bluetooth occupies the core of the beacon system.

For example, beacons operate on electronic devices to alert a website (or an app) that a user wants notifications based on his location. This beacon allows the retailer to track the location of a user in real time and therein start the process of sending notifications based on his preference.

The intention of the retailer is to attract a user’s attention in the hope that it will lead that user to an actual purchase.

Advantages and Challenges

Advantages include greater engagement between the customer and the business which leads to accurately customizing the user’s preferences. This then leads to greater loyalty and also to a better plan for future product launches (for both new and existing products).

Beacons can provide better security by alerting employees to a potentially unsafe incident. Examples include when outsiders try to enter a secure premise or if a particular product or container is misplaced or damaged.

They can also provide valuable data related to the pattern in which customers navigate through their store or where problems happen frequently.

Disadvantages

  • There are many consumers who are absolutely irritated when they receive too many notifications leading them to uninstall the app itself.
  • Another challenge is when Bluetooth technology is still not enabled on many devices (though that scenario is fast changing).

Internet of Things (IOT)

IOT (Internet of Things) involves connecting the internet to applications (and devices) to capture data, communicate data etc through IP networks. Connection could be from machine to machine, through RFID devices, smart objects etc. These are not connections through regular devices like laptops or computers but connecting, interacting and exchanging data with home appliances, cars, bikes, industrial devices etc to the internet using IOT.

Some of the advantages are given below:

Cost-effective and higher quality of service

Managing tasks in an organized automated fashion without human intervention will automatically improve the process and reduce the costs involved. While the human force can employ their activities to other areas due to this reason, the service quality also improves.

Provides analytics for better decisions

This process sends you relevant information to keep you well aware of where you stand in terms of your business. Consequently, it will enable you to take better decisions in the future.

Time saving

All the advantages above contribute to a lot of time being saved. This will raise the company’s effectiveness in all areas if the saved time is utilized for a range of other productive ventures.

Some challenges that are worth focusing are given below:

Security issues

As more devices are connected to the internet, the chances of data being stolen are also high. Though there are updated security systems being created every year, this is still a constant battle that must be fought periodically.

The labour threat

Creatively, when humans are not required for a particular function due to IOT, they are employed for other tasks that can tremendously improve the quality of service. But gradually, as IOT usage grows, it is imminent that it will have an adverse effect in the form of hiring fewer human professionals. This is a fact that we cannot deny in the long run.

Corruption threat

Technology and our dependence on such developments are growing exponentially. It is now the dominant force in our lifestyle. As we all know, a bug in the system can corrupt the whole network or every related device in the process. This could lead to major delays and other negative issues. Again, though we have powerful contingency plans and processes in place for situations like this, it is going to be a continuous process.

If you are interested in professional assistance on how to accurately select, implement and optimize your inventory management system tools.

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