Everyone by now has an understanding of “the cloud”. And that it can without a doubt serve as a crucial efficiency tool for all businesses. It is a virtual space that stores data, information, and applications. In 2020, all data in European countries were already in cloud storage and 43% of that information was highly confidential.
So, what part of a business needs a high level of organization and is only correct about 63% of the time? You’re right, it’s Inventory! Poor inventory management results in a monetary loss of the size of the GDP of Australia, so there’s only one solution: Automate as much as possible to reduce human error. Master supply chain management with the right web-based inventory management tool for your company and take advantage of other benefits. Keep on reading to find out what advantages you can expect.
Wait, so what is web-based inventory management?
First of all, inventory management describes the process of monitoring and managing stock levels and keeping track of all product movements. No matter if you are a manufacturer, wholesaler, or independent retailer, you need a system to keep your inventory updated. Not just for managing internal or external logistics but also to avoid confusion if something goes wrong. There are countless risks out there that could impact your business, from human error to natural disasters.
As opposed to a cloud-based service, managing inventory manually or with hardware on your computer could disrupt the company’s workflow. Just imagine you just typed in your data in an Excel Spreadsheet, there’s a power outage and you didn’t hit “Save” in time. Or you notice an item is missing in your list and you have to go back into the warehouse and start counting again. Situations like that stand in the way of productivity and web-based inventory management is here to solve these kinds of problems. Especially small businesses trust the pen-and-paper approach and miss out on gaining a competitive edge over bigger players. If you want to grow your business, inventory management programs are decisive to its future success.
How does that tie in with the cloud? Basically, specialized SaaS-Providers (Software-as-a-Service) host web-based inventory management systems in remote data centers, removing additional costs for businesses as well as reducing the risk of low-data levels that come with hardware equipment. The providers frequently update, optimize, and upgrade these software programs, and most of them offer 24/7 support to cater to worldwide companies in different timezones. The only thing you need is an internet connection.
Still not sure if this is something for you? Then read these 8 benefits of web-based inventory management now!
1. Review and Manage Workflows
Did you know that as many as 1 in 4 employees want to quit because of inefficient processes? Have you noticed workers leaving your business because of organizational issues? A web-based inventory management system can improve operations by up to 80% within the first months of implementation (Source: Multisoft). It makes collaboration between teams easier because everyone is knowledgeable in the same tool and can work simultaneously on it. Managers and supervisors can monitor better who did what which resolves/avoids conflicts and confusion about checked tasks. Spent the hours lost on manual labor to fix issues on more important, strategic work.
2. Reduce Error Rate
What advantage does an algorithm have over the human workforce? It never gets tired, even after working 24 hours in a warehouse or factory. Managing your inventory with intelligent software can prevent human mistakes like duplicate or forgotten product entries. Especially when you connect barcode scanners with your inventory management software, workers can fulfill their tasks more efficiently and precisely.
3. Protect Your Data
For most businesses, the biggest concern about the cloud is if the safety of their sensitive data is guaranteed. Short answer: Yes. Servers update around the clock to ensure working authentication processes, access control, encryption, and defense against cyber attacks. A 2021 Survey found that 91% of organizations said that a single hour of downtime results in over a 300.000$ loss. The industry standard for uptime is 99.99% which prevents massive losses like that. Moreover, your changes in the web-based inventory management platform save automatically with no capacity constraint. Even if something happens with your physical equipment, you can recover your data easily from the cloud. No manual backup is required. Accessibility, security, and flexibility are the 3 key pillars of web-based inventory management.
4. Trace Your Stock Levels in Real-Time From Anywhere
Normally, you don’t have any control over hardware from outside the office because it’s obviously stored locally on the equipment. You can avoid stock-outs, meet customer demands, and work remotely by accessing an inventory platform no matter where or when. Also, if you handle your inventory manually, everyone can only access it at one location during working hours. The web-based inventory management software is stored at an offsite location, so the only thing you need is your smartphone/laptop/tablet and an internet connection to check the status of your inventory.
5. Low-Cost Due to Scalability
The majority of web-based inventory management companies offer a monthly or yearly subscription determined by size. A lot of them offer a Freemium version so you can try the software beforehand and decide if you like it. The pay-as-you-go or pay-what-you-use approach also ensures that if your business needs to scale up you can easily add storage. These inventory systems are literally made for exponential growth to fit every business profile. Hence, there’s no need to invest in any expensive hardware, facilities, utilities, IT Teams or build fancy data centers.
6. Integrate Your Web-Based Inventory Management Software with Other Applications
According to Skyhigh, the average employee uses up to 36 cloud-based services in a day. This makes integration features a must-have for web-based inventory management companies. Since they rarely work alone anyway (for example to connect inventory with websites to show stock availability), SaaS Providers offer numerous integrations to choose from. Additionally, connecting your inventory system with an accounting application improves the quality of your invoices. Keep up with industry standards when billing clients or suppliers because of transparent invoicing features.
7. Improve Customer Service & Satisfaction
Nowadays, people are used to and expect fast service at all points of the customer journey. Since you optimized your company’s workflow with web-based inventory management, accuracy is increased which speeds up the delivery time. Therefore, products reach their destination faster – which provides a better customer experience.
8. Stay ahead of the competition
The most important part of adopting cloud-based inventory management is having a competitive advantage – as not every company uses one yet. Stay ahead of your industry competitors by implementing the necessary technology and make yourself ready for Industry 4.0. Companies like Amazon and Google are already investing heavily in smart warehouses where robots do most of the work. They can only do that with an online inventory program as a basic requirement. Finally, about 66% of retailers are going to invest in web-based inventory management in the future, so you should jump on that train too!
Implement a web-based inventory management software now!
There is no doubt that businesses need web-based inventory management to succeed in the future. If you’re a startup, you actually have it easier than big companies that use complicated hardware. Even if you need to switch from a manual to an online approach, you invest time in your company’s future. Think long-term and not short-term!
How can Megaventory help?
We can’t wait to show you how it can make your life easier, and your business run smoother!
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Svea Schüler is a Digital Marketer for Megaventory, the online inventory management system that can help medium-sized companies synchronize stock over multiple stores. She believes content and social media marketing are the best solutions to create awareness and secure long-term customer satisfaction.