There are three business industries that can be called extremely complex due to numerous processes they handle on a daily basis. Those industries are manufacturing, logistics and retail. Their productivity depends on many factors and impeccable synchronization of all departments and systems.
If any of the business management tools is not effective or smart enough, then this can severely influence the whole workflow and overall income. And speaking about the digital tools that any modern company dealing with goods manufacturing and selling needs, one should pay special attention to IMS (inventory management systems).
So let’s take a closer look at this software and find out what key features it should offer to help you boost productivity of your business.
What is an IMS?
Inventory management system is a software that helps to automate numerous processes and routine operations related to goods storage, tracking of their amount, availability, expiration date and many more.
Inventory management system collects loads of data, organizes it conveniently, generates various reports and analyzes the data to help you make better decisions based on real numbers and metrics. Thanks to IMS you can identify the current demand, track the stock levels and optimize goods delivery.
All inventory management systems (and they can be warehouse, retail and manufacturing ones) offer a range of advantages. Among them you’ll see the following:
- Better data visibility – all information is collected in one place, thoroughly analyzed and easy to access.
- Improved inventory control and forecasting – when you get precise info on what goods are sold out faster than the others, you can understand the demand and build a strategy to fulfill it.
- Lower risk of human errors – since the most processes are performed automatically, the employees will not need to control constantly changing stock levels and they will miss no crucial number. Also they will not need to perform tiresome manual data entry.
- Boosted productivity – automation grants you new possibilities and lets you see the bigger picture of how your company is doing. By partially unloading the employees, you make them ready to perform other crucial tasks rather than concentrating on routine operations.
- Higher delivery quality – if you know the exact number of goods available on your stock, then you can ensure uninterrupted and fast delivery. The better your delivery options and terms are, the higher are customer satisfaction and loyalty.
And these are the main ones but definitely not all advantages you can get. But now you may have a couple more questions – “What IMS should I use? Are there any good options?” If you research the market, you will see that there are many ready-made solutions like Backstore, Megaventory, etc. But unfortunately they may not be good enough for your business model.
Ready-made IMS may lack customization options and not cover processes crucial for your company. So you will have to spend additional time and money looking for third-party tools, APIs, etc. to extend the software functionality (if it is even possible).
So when it comes to a reliable IMS, we’d suggest you consider developing your own custom one. Such a solution will last you for years, it will grow and improve together with your company and it will not become a technical headache. GBKSOFT will take care of all functions and make your IMS a perfect fit for your business. On top of that, they can maintain your solution and improve it as long as it is needed.
Top 5 features every IMS needs
As we’ve already mentioned, IMS can change the workflow of your company. But to do this effectively, it should have a set of certain core features. Let’s take a look at them to get a better understanding.
#1 Barcodes scanner
It is impossible to imagine a modern IMS without this option since it makes tracking of incoming and outgoing shipments easier. Barcodes are used to transmit and enter the data electronically and they are machine-readable.
Therefore thanks to barcodes employees can easily check the orders and their statuses (i.e. if the goods are already packed, picked and sent).
#2 Feedback/ Reporting option
Who needs to keep loads of information in one place if it cannot be used to the company’s advantage? And that is exactly why every IMS needs to have a reporting option. The entered and saved data can be filtered according to certain parameters. Then you can select necessary criteria for analysis and generate reports automatically.
On top of that, the reports can have different formats. The information can be provided in numbers with text explanation or in visual elements like tables, charts, etc. You just choose whatever format is more convenient for you and can help you make data-driven decisions.
#3 Interconnection with other systems
New solutions should never pose challenges to their owners. So when you develop and integrate an IMS for your business, think about the ways it is going to be connected with the other solutions in use – CRM, ERP, logistics systems, apps for customer service, etc. Also consider the possibility of third-party integrations to extend the functionality and make your IMS extremely productive and feature-rich.
For example, you may need to connect your IMS with a third-party accounting system for better control of crucial assets.
#4 Automatic restocking
With IMS your stock may not unexpectedly end up being empty. This software can control the stock level and arrange automatic restocking. Here is what you do – you set up the limit of goods number. Once that number is below the set limit, the IMS places an order with your supplier automatically. Minimum involvement from your side, maximum productivity from the side of this smart solution.
#5 Integration with cloud
The most important trend of 2021 is to bring the technologies to the cloud, because it is more secure, convenient and affordable. Supply chain management implies work with an enormous amount of data. So why store it locally? The cloud can help you arrange everything more efficiently and provide secure access to all necessary data from any device and anytime.
If you are involved in supply chain management, then you definitely use some digital tools like CRM or ERP. But are they enough for your business? Is your productivity on its highest possible level? Or maybe you’re still struggling to arrange many processes?
These days it is not enough to have a reliable CRM and ERP, and it is utterly unproductive to keep all indexes in Google Sheets. That is why you should consider getting an inventory management system or even build your own custom one fully adapted to your internal processes.
IMS can become your irreplaceable digital helper able to lead your company to a whole new level. The future belongs to technologies, so it is the right time to start using them.