Choosing the right system for inventory management is a challenging task. There is a diversity of inventory management systems in the market. This makes it tough to find a system that is suitable for your company.
Here are a few tips to select the proper inventory management system:
- Determine a budget:
Deciding on a budget is the first step to take when choosing a system for inventory management. Without knowing how much the company is able to spend, it is not possible to find the proper inventory system like inventory management software. By defining a budget, you can narrow down your search to determine what can be afforded and what not. This saves you effort and time you may otherwise waste while dealing with systems outside your range of budget. Cost of different systems can vary based on scalability, capability, and quality. You will be very much handicapped in your search, if you do not know your budget beforehand.
- Identify challenges of inventory
Just like wide variety of price ranges for inventory systems, there is wide variety in their functionalities and capabilities. Ensure that you are aware of inventory processes and about what challenges are presented by the current workflow. Based on this information, professionals of inventory management will be able to suggest solutions which can meet your inventory challenges
- Determine your integrations
Your company may be using a variety of software for running the business like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), accounting, Customer Relation Management (CRM) and many more. Hence it is vital that the inventory management system you have chosen should be able to integrate with other existing software. In case it doesn’t integrate, the purchased software will require manual entry of data into the system, making use of spread sheets. This process can take time, with risks like data loss and delay in data updates. The visibility and efficacy of your company can be much enhanced by selecting an inventory system which integrates seamlessly with other software in the workflow.
- Determine method of tracking
Tracking inventory items can be done by different ways. So it is good to know what method you will use. Tracking of stock can be done by using tags, barcodes, serialization etc. There are several different methods of inventory tracking like online inventory software, but some methods suit some inventory processes in a better way. Hence you should determine the tracking method before you begin search for an inventory system. All inventory systems do not have the capability to use all methods of inventory tracking, particularly systems in small to mid office market. Exerting force on your inventory tracking processes to fit the inventory system can be costly or problematic for your business. Thus you must choose tracking method before going in for an inventory system.
- Find information on all stakeholders
When you are selecting inventory management system, it will be useful to know how many users will be accessing the system. Pricing structure of many systems will involve extra cost for additional users. This information is useful when you are soliciting quotes for inventory management systems. Also, it is good to know who will use the system and their location, as this will help in setting up of the system. For example, your inventory system may be used by management, suppliers or customers. Such users may be located in various parts of the country or the world.
These are some tips on how to go about selecting inventory management systems.