Megaventory Blog - Online Inventory Management Software, Order fulfillment and Control System
This is the company blog for megaventory, an online software that helps small businesses that buy, sell and manufacture physical products to manage sales, purchasing, manufacturing and inventory. We blog about new features and updates but also about enterprise software, small businesses, cloud computing and the industry in general.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Why You Should Integrate Online Tactics Into Your Brick and Mortar Retail Shop

This is a guest post by guest contributor Mitch Pazanski



Shopping at traditional brick and mortar stores might be a lot of fun, but shopping online can be far more convenient. When we’re slumped on the sofa after a long day at work, we can just pop online, do a bit of searching and make a few purchases.

It’s so much easier than getting into the car, driving through the traffic and finding a parking spot before we’ve even arrived at a physical store.

The numbers are in: Over 70% of shoppers think they’ll find a better deal online, while 60% of American shoppers don’t like shopping in crowded stores.

However, not all is lost. 56% of online stores still have a brick and mortar store because they know people continue to enjoy the brick and mortar shopping experience. As Forbes points out, brick and mortar stores don’t need to die - they just need to evolve.

Let’s take a look at why you should integrate online tactics into your brick and mortar retail shop.


The Millennials Are Here, And They Want More Buying Options



Millennials have grown up during an epoch in history that is defined by technology. Consequently, they’re the group of shoppers that are using tech the most. They have grown using brick and mortar stores and online eCommerce stores - and expect to be able to enjoy the best of both these worlds with every shopping experience they have. This is why improving and expanding your business with online tactics is essential, if you are to keep the millennial shopper happy. They use numerous devices to make purchases, with their mobile phones now essentially acting as digital wallets. Moreover, Generation Z are hot on the heels of the millennials - and they’re growing up fast.




Once Online, You Can Understand Your Customer Better



One of the problems faced by a brick and mortar store is that you don’t really get a good chance to understand your customers needs extremely well. According to a survey carried out by RetailDive, no more than 43% of customers are willing to share information after they’ve made a purchase in a physical store.

This means you still don’t know over 50% of your customers. As such, you can’t personalize their shopping experience.

Online is a different story. You can use Artificial Technology to better understand your customers and their buying habits. This is important. Faced with so many buying options and sales channels, the 21st-century shopper is becoming harder and harder to understand.

AI presents you with data on consumer habits that you can then analyze and make good use of. This will help you to keep up with your competitors who are also trying to understand their customer. You can understand your own performance metrics online better too, including what your customers are searching for once they’re in your online store.




Enhanced Customer Experience


For your customers to like your brand, you need to treat them well by delivering a personalized experience. As mentioned above, AI can help with that.

AI also enhances the customer experience in ways that help to build your online presence, thus bolstering the reputation of your business as a whole. The more personalized you make the shopping experience, the more likely it is that a customer will be satisfied and retained.

Chatbots can help. Nothing more than a piece of software which chats to your customers, chatbots are on-hand to listen to the customer and offer them relevant information that improves their experience and nudges them towards a crucial sale.

The best thing? Chatbots learn the habits of your customers and know them far better than you ever could.


Your Customers Can Order Online And Pick Up In-Store


One of the best online tactics you should integrate is in-store pickup. Why? It’s booming. It’s been popular since US and UK customers were quizzed about it back in 2012.

Another reason why you should integrate this online tactic is because it’s worth noting that people like to research their options online. It saves them time, it means they can easily reserve a product, and even if they don’t buy, they might head on down to your store anyway.

If you go down the route of adding in-store pickup, you’ll need to keep on top of your inventory, both online and offline. There are inventory management apps that help you synch and monitor your product across numerous sales channels. As soon as you sell a product, the apps automatically update your inventory.


To recap, unless you integrate online tactics into your brick and mortar store, you’ll miss out on a huge chunk of your targeted audience. The tactics don’t take long to master, and once learned, they will help you expand your business.


Mitch_Pazanski.png

Mitch Pazanski is head of the art department at MightySkins, a company that leads the internet in custom designed skins for your devices. He helps design the DJI Mavic skins offered by the company.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

New feature: Romanian language in Megaventory



We're once again excited to announce that we've upgraded our language package with a new language: Romanian! You can find the live version either from the gear icon in your Megaventory account or here.

Both the application itself, which offers the possibility of running a business, as well as the website containing detailed information about the features of the system are translated and accessible to all Romanian speakers.


Available Languages


From now on you can manage your inventory in one of the 8 available languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Greek, Arabic, and Romanian). Also, we will like to remind you that any admin user can localize their Megaventory account both to the language they prefer but also to the specific industry terminology - or indeed the preferred terms used in the particular business.

It is highly important for us to help you manage your business operations in the language you feel most comfortable. So, if Megaventory is not yet available in your native language, send us an e-mail or tweet us!


Why try Megaventory


Megaventory serves clients in more than 40 countries around the world specializing in companies across many industries, in retail, wholesale, manufacturing or even services. If we can help so many business owners, we can help you too!

The platform is constantly upgraded and expanded, providing access to the latest available technical how-to. In a constantly changing global market, you need to be at top of your game.

Megaventory can be integrated with various applications like Magento and WooCommerce and prices start just from USD 9.90 per month!


Now that it is available in Romanian, shouldn't you give it a try?

Sign up for a free trial of Megaventory in Romanian today!


Get started now » Signup is FREE. No Credit Card Required

Friday, September 22, 2017

Selling or Purchasing on Consignment using Megaventory



Selling on consignment is a useful arrangement that allows a supplier and usually a retailer to create a “win-win” situation, where they both share part of the risk of holding inventory.

Consignment occurs when the consignor (the supplier) sends goods to a consignee (the retailer), who later sells them to their clients. The goods remain under the legal ownership of the supplier and the retailer is required to pay for them only after they have been sold to customers. Any leftover stock can be returned back to the supplier without facing any monetary penalties.



Consignment Accounting


From an accounting point of view, when the consignor sends goods to the consignee, there is no need to create an accounting entry related to the physical movement of the products. It is usually sufficient to record the change in location within the inventory record keeping system of the consignor.

At the same time, the consignee should keep track of the products in their own inventory management system to be able to easily create a purchase invoice for the consignor when some of the received products are sold.




What is in it for the consignor


The business owner that decides to sell on consignment can have some great benefits from a consignment arrangement. As long as logistics are considered, the inventory costs are reduced because less storage space is needed, which can be a great relief for their budget. At the same time, manufacturers can easier sell their products and reach a wider customer audience. Store owners are usually reluctant to purchase products from less widely-known brands, and a consignment arrangement might ease their fears that they may get stuck with an unsellable inventory.

Nevertheless, certain disadvantages of this model should not be overlooked. Lack of visibility on products, especially slow-moving or dead ones, can have a negative effect on the finances of the consignor. The retailer is not pressed to move the slow moving products by applying sales and offers and the supplier might end up with large quantities of antiquated and unsellable inventory.

In other words, it is a risky arrangement, a double edge sword, that can allow a new brand to get into more retail channels, but at the same time, if the retailer is not actually selling the products, your inventory investment as a consignor might not generate a return.



What is in for the consignee


The retailer who chooses to purchase products on consignment can see great profit in this model. Without the risk of paying for the stock they replenish, consignees are able to offer a wider selection of products.

Even if cash flow is slow in a given period of time, they can still have products to sell on their shelves.





Make the most out of consignment


While selling on consignment can be a highly beneficial situation for many businesses, it can have some serious disadvantages for the consignee if the arrangement has not been made on solid ground.

One such example is to have a common agreement (or not) on who is responsible for destroyed or returned products. This needs to be clear for both parties before suppliers bring their products to the retailer’s warehouse or store. Even if the original price of the products is relatively low and this seems unnecessary, a clear arrangement will reduce misunderstandings and conflicts.

In any case, the consignor and consignee have a great opportunity to support each other in a highly antagonistic business world. If both parties are feeling positive about the agreement, they can even take it a step further and follow a common marketing plan to increase sales against their competitors.

In order to enable this setting in place, an inventory management system can help achieve the desired level of transparency between the two parties that will assist the growth of their collaboration.



Consignment in Megaventory


Handling consignment sales in Megaventory is super easy.

From the consignor' s perspective you just need to create a Sales Order where the goods are shipped out in one stepped and you create invoices in a second step as required. 



The consignee's approach is similar with the only difference being that they create a Purchase Order. 

At any point then it is possible to create a filter which shows the number of orders which are to be handled with consignment and their state.



Once the bookmark card is available it can be used to filter just the Sales Orders which need processing under consignment.



It's that simple and user-friendly!



Conclusion


Consignment is an important model, cost-effective, potential, risks too. When handled properly it can be an efficient tool for business growth. It has its pitfalls but it's also worth exploring. Are you interested in becoming a consignor or consignee?

See below how you can start an account to streamline the process! 

Get started now » Signup is FREE. No Credit Card Required



Monday, September 4, 2017

New Feature: Batch & Multi-Level Work Order Actions

You asked and we listened. Work Orders have become more powerful than ever with the ability to manage multi-level and batch work orders with the click of a button.




Work orders are an essential communications part of manufacturing businesses. They inform your operations team that certain products are needed and give the green light to production.

Megaventory Work Orders, though, are so versatile that can also be used by non-manufacturing businesses that need to track processes like unboxing, repurposing product’s parts into other products, maintaining and repairing damaged inventory, and many other tasks.

With the new upgrade, these tasks become much easier to perform, saving you valuable time and preventing duplication of effort. 

So, how the updated work orders can help you?


Multiple actions with the hit of a button


Let’s imagine the story of Carol who is creating cakes for her bakery. She buys flour and other ingredients in large sacks that come in different sizes and weights but the ingredients in her recipes are in grams or ounces. How can she measure what she has available for production without doing a mathematical equation every time?

With Megaventory, it’s a piece of cake (no pun intended).

First of all, Carol needs to create a Work Order that will turn the product “5kg sack of flour” to the product “1g of flour”. In that way, the first “material” will create 5,000 finished products. And she will continue to do so for the other ingredients.

The next work order will be to turn the finished products she just created to another finished product, the “cake”. By creating a Bill of Materials, which is basically the recipe that guides Carol on what ingredients to use and in what quantity, she can easily do this Work Order again and again.

With the new upgrade, you can do all the above actions automatically with the hit of a button. 

As shown in the following screenshot, when you click on the gear icon next to the work order number, a list of available options pops up. If production has moved faster than how often you update your Megaventory account and ordered products are already finished you can now click on Allocate Components AND Receive Finished Goods or Allocate Components AND Receive Finished Goods AND Close Work Order. This is also helpful if you are unboxing items to sell them individually and the time between the creation of the work order and its completion is seconds.






Simultaneously update Batch Work Orders


On top of being able to perform multiple actions with one click, the user of Megaventory is now able to simultaneously update batch Work Orders. To do this, just select the orders you want to update and then click on Batch Update.




After that, the following a pop-up window will show up and prompt you to select the actions you want to perform. While here, it is also possible to rearrange the order in which the following orders will be completed.




Every one of the above actions will have an immediate effect on your inventory. If you receive the finished goods, this will automatically update the available stock of the related products and allow you to fulfill a pending sales order. If you select to allocate components, these will not be available to be used in other work orders.

In other words, what the batch update does is that the appropriate action will be applied to all the selected work orders or if there is not enough stock, it will stop and inform you so.

Back to the story of Carol, our baker can use this advanced feature to simultaneously unbox all of the ingredients needed and create her cake.

The above functionality can also help businesses that manufacture more complex products such machines, computers, and so on, where calculating mistakes can cause serious delays and problems in production. And since there is no theoretical limit to the levels of manufacturing you can include the production flows that can be designed can be very detailed.


But why use a work order software?


If you are not using an ERP system already, you may think that you are good with your pen and paper, or spreadsheets. Such techniques can result in production mistakes and the truth is that nothing is worse than telling a customer that their order will be delayed. 

Such incidents can jeopardize your chances of acquiring regular customers that do repeating sales from you. At the same time, the more you delay finishing an order, the more inventory you need to keep in your warehouse or factory, which actually costs you money.

An inventory management system will help automate your work orders so that you can meet the demands of your customer more easily. It will help you know what you have in stock so you don’t run out of inventory when you’re making products. If you do run out, the multilevel manufacturing module will allow you to identify which manufacturing step can't go ahead and you need to buy stock. 

And don't forget that with Megaventory you can create purchase orders in just a few clicks!

Using Megaventory for managing your manufacturing work is much more affordable than other online software solutions in the ERP industry. It’s a great fit for small and midsize businesses because of its price and flexible feature set. With this added feature?

Sign up for a free trial of Megaventory today!


Get started now » Signup is FREE. No Credit Card Required



Monday, August 21, 2017

New Feature: Invoicing And Inventory For Multiple Companies Under A Single Account

Control how your team accesses different invoices when using your online inventory management system.



If you are already using Megaventory (or even if you just have a business with more than one employees), you may be by now familiar with the need to restrict users to specific processes and modules within the software. Because we understand your need for privacy settings and varying access levels for individual team members, one of the very first developments in Megaventory was the ability of administrators to grant different levels of access to their accounts.

The usefulness of this feature can be illustrated in the following example of a franchise chain:

A franchise store owner may have access to issue orders and view reports of his store but will be denied access to stores of other franchisees. A Sales manager of the franchisor company may have access to sales reports from all the franchisee stores. Each franchisee store may use Megaventory to send their Purchase Orders directly to the main warehouse of the franchise company.

Impossible to handle all that without very granular levels of access, right?

As this User Access Permissions module has already lifted a great weight from the shoulders of a lot of you, we decided to give this feature an upgrade. With the new and enhanced User Permissions module, you are now able to grant each user different access levels to various accounting documents you issue as a company.

So with this opportunity let’s see the detailed user permissions you can provide to your business in Megaventory in an example with three steps - with each step introducing additional complexity. 


 

Scenario #1: Invoicing Based On Location


If your company has more than one sales points you can grant access to different users accordingly. In other words, your employee in Boston will not be able to handle work related to your shop in New York such as see that location's inventory levels, sales and purchase orders, relevant reports, etc.

This setting, apart from keeping your company's information secure, will also save up valuable time to your team members. For example, when loading the available accounting documents to fulfill an order, the user will only see the documents related to their location with no need to filter out irrelevant entries.



So, in the example above, we have visited the User Acess Permissions page for the user EmployeeA. As you can see, the user has "Read and Write" rights to Location A regarding stock transactions and invoicing. In other words, they have the right to view and create documents and invoices regarding this location only. At the same time, the permissions for Location B are set to "None" and the user has no access whatsoever to documents and invoices related to that location. 

 

Scenario #2: Retail vs Wholesale Invoicing


Another possible scenario where user permissions come into play is when a business is selling at both retail and wholesale prices. That's a typical evolution of a company as it grows - to expand into B2C apart from B2B (or vice versa) - and that can be supported in Megaventory as well. 

In this scenario if your customer is an individual or a company entity, a different price list should load when you create a sales order. On top of that, you may have different people to manage B2C and B2B sales.

So in Megaventory, you can create two different types of invoices - one for retail and one for wholesale. Following that, you can grant access to both of them to a user that handles wholesale purchases and sales. Alternatively, you can choose to limit a user so that they can do either and not both.



In the above image the user has access to both types of invoices. In a different example where they have access to one of them only, the drop-down menu would show just one option.

 

Scenario #3: Multiple Companies Under A Single Account


With the Megaventory inventory management system, you can - to a certain extent - manage different companies with a single Megaventory subscription. Setting your account like this makes sense if two (or more) companies share a common inventory or you need to cut down your expenses across various projects (is there really a need to pay for a separate ERP system for every new venture you have going?). 

So, to follow up on our previous example, here's what you can do if your business grows and you'd like to have a separate company for a different product line or region - but still serve both entities from the same stock.

With our new upgrade, you are able to grant permission to each employee to issue a different invoice depending on the company they are working for. So, the employee that works in company A will only see an invoice format for company A when trying to fulfill a sales order in Megaventory. Similarly, the same employee will have no access to the invoice format of company B. 
















In the example above, EmployeeA can issue an invoice for Company A but cannot issue one for Company B. So if you have created an invoice document type for Company A complete with address, billing and other such information that will be the only one appearing in dropdown menus for EmployeeA. 

Thanks to this setting, you can host the invoicing processes of both companies under the same Megaventory account. That way, chances to make common accounting mistakes - like issuing an invoice with the accounting details of the wrong company - are eliminated.



We hope that this upgrade will come in handy for a lot of you. Your feedback is valuable, so if you have any comments or suggestions on what you would like to see supported in Megaventory, leave a comment below or tweet us

You can also get in touch with any questions at support@megaventory.com. We are happy to walk you through the details to help modify your User Access Permissions to take advantage of the new features.

And if you haven’t tried Megaventory, maybe now is a good time to upgrade your inventory management system? 

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