In today’s business world, inventory management is essential to a successful operation. To ensure that inventory is tracked efficiently and accurately, businesses must utilize a quality inventory management system. But which one? It’s a big commitment. Three critical considerations are their barcode capabilities, software support, and providing recommendations.
First, let’s look at barcode capabilities. Barcodes are a great way to quickly and accurately track inventory. Some inventory management systems offer barcode capabilities, allowing for the scanning of items to keep track of inventory levels, sales, and other important information. Other systems may require the manual entry of barcode data, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors. The one key here when comparing capabilities is flexibilities. Don’t just look for what each barcoding software CAN do, but rather, look for what it CAN’T do.
If barcoding is not a concern for you and your inventory management needs, then apply this to other features of inventory software. Perhaps what you need most is excellent reporting and analysis of inventory. In that case, the rule of flexibility still remains. Can you get any report you need? Is there a report writer within the software? Dream up some nice-to-haves reports and then find a software company that shows you how to get it.
Ease-of-use is an important consideration when shopping for inventory management software. Reliable and user-friendly software will help your business streamline operations, maximize efficiency, and reduce the time spent on manual tasks. It will also help minimize errors and ensure that you have access to the most current information. With a streamlined and easy-to-use system, you can quickly manage your inventory, respond to customer inquiries, and maintain accurate records. Investing in software that is intuitive and straightforward will help you and your team save time and money, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.
Mostly importantly, if the software isn’t easy, your team might refuse to use it faithfully. When you don’t use an inventory software consistently across the board as intended for your business, the accuracy of the quantities and orders gets real wrong, real fast. It ultimately causes the entire implementation to fail. The scary part is that leaders in the organization don’t always find out till much further down the road. By then, misuse and/or lack of use of new inventory software has done some damage. You might even be worse off that when you started. For example, sometimes when the software doesn’t start giving employees easy and immediate benefits, they try in blend their old paper/whiteboard/spreadsheet methods with using parts of the software. Confusion results. Leaders finally realize something is off and at that point even consider scrapping the whole attempt at software, left feeling discouraged or even angry. It’s best buy easy-to-use software at the beginning. Perhaps even bring some of your ground level employees, including warehouse staff you might normally not even see, in on the software demos and shopping process.
Next, let’s look at software support. Many inventory management systems offer software support, meaning they provide the necessary software and support to help businesses implement and manage their inventory systems. This can be beneficial as it allows companies to get the most out of their inventory management system. On the other hand, some inventory management systems may not offer software support, meaning businesses must figure out the implementation and management on their own.
What you want to inquire about while you’re shopping for software companies is how many different ways they offer support, what kind, and what their average response time is for communication. Will anyone at the software company be assigned to your project, or will you just be thrown into the same general support options as their other clients? Will you get any type of consulting along with the training and support, or will they just point you in the direction of pre-recorded videos on their website?
When selecting an inventory management system, businesses should consider their specific needs, such as barcode capabilities, software support, ease-of-use, and scalability. As different businesses have different needs, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to inventory management systems. However, if you’re wanting a barcoding system, make sure there is massive flexibility built into the software. Include staff in studying the level of ease-of-use of each software you’re considering. The people who will be using it should have a voice at the beginning to prevent their voice being heard through a failed software adoption down the road. Finally, get as much detail as you can about the software companies options and style of software support, training and consulting.