An inventory management system is how businesses keep an account of their inventories. It enables them to plan and determine the amount of inventory stock they need to keep at any given time.
In the current hyper-competitive market space, practical inventory management is usually ignored, but it is a vital factor in any eCommerce business. It is vital that you keep the inventory management system cost-effective, efficient, and accurate.
If you lack all these components, you run a great risk of missing to meet your clients’ expectations and losing money in the long run. Find out more about the importance of inventory management for online businesses through this post.
What is inventory management?
Inventory management is the act of tracking all the goods a business or brand has in store. It involves activities such as making new orders, restocking, storage, and inventory forecasting. Strategically, inventory management becomes more challenging as the units sold increase.
Also, inventory can grow when new or more products are added to the market and sold. Practical inventory systems can help organize and manage inventory, which is a crucial part of supply chain management.
Here are common benefits that ecommerce businesses can enjoy after implementing proper inventory management.
- Practical inventory management makes scaling up a lot easier.
In physical stores, order fulfillment often ends at the checkout point unless the product is brought back for a replacement or return. However, for online businesses, the process starts when an order is placed online.
The required products must be located in a physical store or warehouse, packed correctly, dispatched, and delivered to the client. If you bring a lot of inventories without proper automation, you might be faced with a bigger problem.
By knowing different locations of your stock-keeping units, you are able to get the ordered product from whatever location they are, which is closest to the delivery place.
One of the most convenient and fast ways to use space and the current inventory is to implement the ship from store logic. With it, you can turn every warehouse or store into an order fulfillment center with an inventory management system.
- Ensures optimum stock levels and free up working capital.
When you implement sound inventory management, you will rarely face understocking overstocking problems. Using your stock history and forecasting, you effectively identify when your stock level and adjust appropriately.
Also, by adding product software to inventory management, you can automate the process of making orders from your vendors by automatically sending the purchase order to the vendors any time the stock falls.
Furthermore, maintaining an optimal level of inventory frees up your working capital as much as possible. It also enables you to track fast and slow-moving goods.
- Good inventory management gives you a clear picture of your business health.
The health of any business is gauged based on its cash flow and revenues. For instance, you may be making good sales, but you have a lot of dead stocks. Or you may have less stock and end with no sales.
Regardless of the side, you are on, you are still losing out. A significant aspect of inventory management is that it shows you clearly how your business is doing.
You might employ an aggressive sales campaign, but the results show that your products are collecting dust in stores. In such situations, you are advised to sell the products quickly and save on time and money.
- Gives you insights into customers’ behavior.
By monitoring and examining how much product inventory is shipped compared to those that are unsold, stuck in any stage of the supply chain, or in storage, you get data-backed insights into what most of your clients prefer.
Furthermore, any notice of increase or decrease in inventory after product launch can give you the required feedback for product satisfaction and promotional campaign. Doing this can be helpful in both inventory control and tracking, which are all beneficial to small businesses.
If you implement practical inventory management, it can be extremely helpful in the proper running of your business. As a business person, it is imperative to make better choices that can scale the growth of your venture to greater heights.
Effective inventory management saves you money, gives you insights into your customers’ behavior, maintains your working capital, and improves customer service.