Online retailers, who are evaluating a small business inventory management solution for the first time, realize the need to automate their order and inventory processes. Automating with online inventory management not only alleviates the headaches and inaccuracies associated with the manual efforts, but it positions businesses to continually grow their brand. Multichannel selling significantly complicates small business inventory management, as well as other processes. Accurate inventory data is critical to delighting customers and driving growth.
Information is essential. Smart and effective tools like real-time cloud based business intelligence reporting and interactive dashboards, are a necessity to help you manage and grow your business.
Visibility into your inventory and forecasting is critical to a healthy operation. You need to be able to track inventory across all sales channels – your eCommerce store(s), offsite fulfillment centers or shopping channels like Amazon, eBay or any of the many marketplaces available – from one dashboard. Multichannel inventory management makes this all possible.
The last thing you want is to have too much inventory on hand and too few orders coming in, leading to reduced margins. Excessive inventory ties up the cash you could have used to invest in new products, enhance your eCommerce store, or boost your marketing efforts to drive additional revenue. At the same time, not having enough inventory on hand results in stock-outs, backorders, cancellations and lost customers. It’s a balancing act and it is a major issue for all companies, especially for small business inventory management prospects.
With intelligent insights into your inventory across all channels, you can see what’s being sold by sales channel, track trends and costs. More importantly, you can rest assured the ‘available to sell’ levels that are synced to each channel are accurate.
To execute effective inventory management, you may also need to:
• Manage inventory products made up of other items and sold as a set or group with a special price.
• Manage continuity programs like a “fruit-of-the-month” club, where you determine what is shipped and when.
• Account for the inventory a particular sales channel requires you to allocate, yet isn’t physically segregated from the rest of your inventory. Multichannel inventory management can help with this process.
The bottom line is that you need to have an accurate view into what inventory is actually ‘available to sell’ to avoid stock outs and disappointing customers. This information will help you determine what products are selling, what periods may require more inventory, and ultimately give you ‘the big picture’ on how your business is performing across all channels. You will be able to see all of your inventory at a quick glance without having to log in to multiple systems and/or weeding through various spreadsheets!
To learn more about managing your inventory, check out Inventory Management Intelligent Insights eBook.