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.

Friday, November 18, 2016

3 Important Tips to Improve Warehouse Efficiency

This is a guest post by guest contributor Tom Reddon.



Are operations dragging in the warehouse? Are routine tasks seeming more and more demanding? Are workers struggling to get typical assignments done? Are projects taking longer than usual to complete? 

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, your warehouse operations may be having significant issues. But there is good news! There are several ways you can change the culture of your warehouse and enhance both productivity and efficiency in the daily grind. 

Here are three important tips to take into consideration to boost your warehouse efficiency.


Go For Constant Process Optimization  


We may not always realize it but we can always do the same task or job better and every day we should dedicate ourselves to finding ways to complete an assignment faster, swifter and more extensively. Dedication to process optimization can result in increases in efficiency and productivity while assuring the promotion of a transformative and progressive work environment. 

Process optimization is actually something many supply chain and procurement managers promote in material handling capacities. Through consistent analysis and on-going scrutiny of daily business processes and operations, staff and personnel can establish continuity in achieving results and then devise new approaches and methodologies to exceed these achievements while also determining ways that are easier, safer and more effective in doing so. 

It is important to always be looking at active processes and identify ways to improve them as this mentality will almost always bolster success.


Cultivate A Transformative Work Culture 


According to Chron, a positive work culture is vital to the success of any enterprise or business. For many, employees are more likely to succeed and get positive results if they feel respected, appreciated and have a sense of belonging. A strong team-oriented attitude in the warehouse is known to enhance communication and it has been proven that many incidents which hamper both safety and efficiency are often a direct result of miscommunication. Supporting a transformative and progressive work culture is a great way to drive efficiency while also enabling the workplace to be positive and supportive.


Look Into And Adopt Six Sigma Or Lean Manufacturing


In material handling capacities, Lean Manufacturing or Six Sigma Methodologies have become a highly commoditized trend. A by-product of a technologically-driven era, Lean Manufacturing merges traditional best business practices with the integration performance metrics and analytics that catalyze business in the modern day. Six Sigma champions the optimization of inventory, devises methodologies to improve efficiency and also identifies ways jobs can be less labor-intensive while also reducing risk. “Work smarter, not harder” is a great mantra to describe the ideologies of both Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing approaches.

With the recent emergence of such methodologies, many workshops have been authored and integrated into the workforce and virtually any employee can gain a wide range of practical knowledge to apply in their daily duties. Comparable to training for martial arts, there are multiple levels of expertise that one can attain. As a result, employees can earn various certifications that serve as a benchmark of expertise. For example, any Six Sigma Champion can assuredly be a boost of both productivity and efficiency in even the most dynamic and challenging of environments. 




Tom Reddon is a forklift specialist and blog manager for the National Forklift Exchange. He also sits on the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) Executive Dialogue team. 
Follow him on Twitter at @TomReddon

Friday, November 4, 2016

Cards: The Right Info At Your Fingertips

A little while back Megaventory announced its brand new User Interface. With the modern entrepreneur in mind, we came up with the idea of 4 dashboards - one for each of the major functions we address in a company: Purchase, Sell, Manufacture, and Inventory.

Depending on your business operations you can choose to access one, some or all of these dashboards. This helps simplify things by hiding unnecessary information and also protects certain data from unauthorized access. As Megaventory supports multiple users and restricts their access to specific parts of the application, you can also customize the application so that the right people see the right information. This helps you keep your data safe from prying eyes and also makes day-to-day business smoother: employees are not bothered by info that has nothing to do with their job.



Pre-filtered Cards

However, you can further customize dashboards using one key element of these dashboards: the pre-filtered cards.


The dashboards in Megaventory are made up of various pre-filtered cards. Each one of these cards is essentially a custom view that gives you access to a pre-filtered document or order list. You can create cards so that you can quickly revisit these lists without having to filter again. And once made you can also share them with other users on your account – and save them some work.



Using the cards: an example – taking Quotes

Your sales team is going door-to-door talking to potential clients and taking sales quotes – which they enter directly into Megaventory via their smartphone or tablet. Your team can set and they will be able to see the “Sell” dashboard with cards like: All Quotes, Quotes of this month, and maybe Sales Orders if it is their responsibility to create Sales Orders as well.





Processing Orders

Another team is sitting at their desks in your headquarters, verifying sales quotes and turning them to sales orders, opening new orders for walk-in customers, and shipping any order that is ready. It might be crucial for them to see information like what invoices are to be paid next week and which orders have yet to be shipped.





Monitoring Everything

And then there’s you, the manager. With Megaventory you can have a total overview of all these processes – as well as some others which no one else has access to. That way you can be in total control of your business. Is this awesome or what?




Summary

So, that was a quick overview of how you can use the pre-filtered cards to save up a lot of time in your day-to-day business and make your team efficient by showing them only the information they need. The possible combinations are countless and we are certain that you’ll find the ones that suit your unique business.

If you have tried out Megaventory’s cards let us know in the comments below or tweet us!

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



Thursday, October 6, 2016

3 Easy Ways To Extend Megaventory With Zapier






Certain visitors to our Megaventory site have been asking us if we support specific additional features other than those included in the long list of our Megaventory Features section. Even seasoned Megaventory users who have been using the application for some time now may also be curious about what else they can do with it to power up their business even more. In any case, there’s a lot of value hidden in our application’s integrations. 

Zapier, in particular, is a pretty cool service that connects the apps you already use every day, saving you time to transfer information from one application to the other - so you can focus on your most important work. Today we picked three special zaps which we think can make a difference in your day-to-day business operations.



Send Handwritten Cards


People like to feel that you care about them and that’s what thank-you notes are for. While an e-mail might get lost in the junk or seem “too easy” a handwritten card will surely get noticed. It shows that you care enough to put your personal effort. With Thankster, you can easily create and mail postcards that look genuinely handwritten by you.


A very easy to setup zap is to automatically create a contact on your Thankster Addressbook each time a new Client or a new Supplier is added on Megaventory. Or, an even more impressive task is to automatically send new Clients and Suppliers a handwritten card. What an awesome idea to make your customers or your suppliers feel appreciated, right when the professional relationship is starting!




Connect your ERP with a CRM


A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software collects and manages all of your customer data in one place and that allows your team to collaborate better. It usually also includes the capability to reach out to your customers directly (via email, phone, SMS etc) and adds a whole new layer of business intelligence. There are a ton of CRM solutions out there but a strong and upcoming solution is Pipedrive. It is built for salespeople who need to put in serious effort to turn leads into sales - and it’s the CRM app we personally use and love.

With Zapier you are able to easily connect your Megaventory account with your Pipedrive CRM. So, when a new Client or a new Supplier is created in your Megaventory account, a Person or Organization can automatically be created in Pipedrive - complete with all the relevant details such as email, address, phone, etc. That way, your sales team is always up-to-date and you get to save up precious business time spent doing data entry. Plus, it helps you prevent common gaffes, like forgetting to update your Pipedrive account as well.




Update Spreadsheets


Not everyone you work with can or should have access to your Megaventory account. However, you may still want to share some piece of information with them, without having to constantly download and send the files yourself.  Google Sheets offers collaborative spreadsheets online can be a great solution for the task of sharing information across people

Now, if you combine Megaventory with Google Sheets using Zapier you don’t even have to fill the spreadsheets in yourself, as Zapier can automatically update a specific spreadsheet when a new Product, Supplier or Client is added in your Megaventory account. So everyone has access to the right amount of information in near real-time with minimum effort by you.



Whatsmore, if you push such information via Zapier to an online spreadsheet other applications can also read it from there. That way you can extend your workflows even more! With Zapier the possibilities are literally endless – just take a look at the long list of integrations they support. 

So, have you used Zapier to extend Megaventory's possibilities? We'd love to hear your stories, so make sure to leave a comment with your favorite (or not so favorite) zaps!



Monday, September 12, 2016

Megaventory Now Supports Serial Numbers for Advanced Traceability


We are excited to announce that we just launched our new Serial Numbers feature. It’s a feature quite a few of you have asked for and it significantly improves the existing functionality Megaventory already offers. Essentially, it’s a way to allow Megaventory clients to track the movements of individual items in their inventory – potentially it can be used to track the location of each and every product owned by a business.


How it works


1. We tried to keep the new elements required to implement this feature to a minimum in order to make it as easy as possible to use it. Essentially, there are just two things to keep in mind. Whenever you create a product, you can choose whether it is to be serialized (ie each item with that product code will be assigned a serial number) and-if applicable- add the serial number character length.


2. Megaventory will ask for the serial number every time you create a document including this type of product.


That’s it! Once you have done that, you can then trace these products throughout their lifecycle in your inventory, from purchasing from your supplier to selling to your clients by using the new Serial Numbers module.


There are a number of reasons why a business should want to adopt serial numbers in their processes.


Serial numbers means protection


Some products are more valuable than others and you may want to trace them accurately for the purpose of fraud, theft or loss. This means that having a serial number associated with specific products can deter either a malicious employee or an external party to try to get away with theft hoping it would go unnoticed.

For example, a Megaventory client in the industry of airplane leasing and repairs uses the Serial Number feature to track certain plane parts and other expensive aviation components. That way, they have full insight of these particular items current status, availability or repair needs. 


Serial numbers means accuracy 


Another reason a company may want to adopt serial numbers for its stock is for after-sales quality and to properly service warranty claims. If a product has a serial number it’s possible to track its history both before entering the company as well as within it when additions or repairs are made. Also, when that item is sold to the end-user and it needs to return for service or maintenance the full product history is available.

Another Megaventory company selling consumer electronics already uses the Serial Numbers module to track the exact item they have sold to their customers. That way they can make sure that the warranty claims made are for the correct particular item.


A final note


Much as using Serial Numbers is powerful – and very user-friendly in the way we have implemented it, it does add an additional level of complexity to your business process. This overhead even if trivial for individual items it adds up when considered for the entire business product range. As such it makes sense to use it for the types of products that really need it – such as the most expensive and longer lasting ones (ie those likely to need repairs).

The Serial Numbers feature is available in all pricing plans and for all accounts, both existing and new ones :)

We are looking forward to receiving your feedback on our new feature!


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

News from the Megaventory development front



Since last February a large number of improvements were made to Megaventory.


Faster loading


If you have a lot of transactions on a regular basis and you’ve noticed Megaventory taking longer than usual to load pages we’ve introduced a super easy way to speed up your account.

If you visit your Account Setup page you now have the option to uncheck an additional feature. If you don’t want to limit your users from specific Clients or Suppliers you can uncheck this box and you’ll see a significant speed boost in load times as less checks need to be made when pages load. The boost will be more pronounced if you have many Suppliers and Clients in your account.





Inventory transactions and invoices


If you want to see all the transactions and invoices you have with a certain supplier or client you can now click the icon in the following snapshot and a handy pop-up with all the related documents will appear. You can find this under the Gear icon in the list of Clients and Suppliers respectively.




Technical improvements


Since February, in general, we have made more than 100 different design optimizations, technical improvements, and bug fixes. These are all part of our ongoing commitment to keep improving upon Megaventory and making it more useful by the day. 

Remember these are all implemented exclusively in the new interface. If you’re among the few left still on the old UI contact us to arrange your switch to the new UI so you can benefit from the constant upgrades.

Online presence


We’ve boosted the quantity and quality of posts both in this blog and on our social media channels – make sure you follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook Page. Oh and we're also on Wikipedia now! 


Stay tuned – we’re preparing one major update to go live in the next few weeks and at least two more specific feature expansions.