8 Reasons to Update Your Online Inventory Management System

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Filipino businesses are no stranger to the basic benefits of using an online inventory management system. However, not all systems are equal. Depending on your specific situation, you might find that some online inventory management systems are better than others.

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Here are some instances where you should consider updating your system:

1.) You want to concentrate on growing your business

Any system that you choose should ultimately make your work easier, not harder. An online inventory management system that is difficult for you and your employees to use without intensive training can be a liability. The more time and attention a system needs to be functional, the less of these precious resources could be used for activities that grow your organization. If using your current system is proving to be a distraction, perhaps it’s time to consider an upgrade.

2.) You’re not satisfied with your reporting system

Inventory data can be extremely valuable to your salespeople, marketers, warehousers, procurement officers, and management team. However, if the inventory management system is unable to pull the data each team needs or is unable to present the data intuitively, much of the value behind having the system becomes moot. If your team constantly tells you they need inventory data that the system is not able to easily provide, an upgrade may be in order.

3.) You’re constantly losing stock to misplacement and pilferage

Internal theft is an ugly reality of small business. Outdated online inventory management systems can make your stocks and even your workplace resource inventory extremely vulnerable to theft and misplacement, especially if the systems are not paired with an adequate tracking system. Internal theft alone can sometimes account for up to a third of losses in inventory value. In most cases, the cost of ignoring theft as a “cost of doing business” is far more than the cost of doing the system upgrades necessary to effectively deter theft and misplaced inventories in the first place.

4.) You want to reduce overhead costs

We’ve already touched on how an updated system can significantly reduce the risks and losses associated with stolen or misplaced inventories. However, they can reduce your overhead in many other critical areas as well.

Using a better system with real-time tracking can allow you to reduce the overall size of your inventories as real-time tracking reduces the need to have buffer stock. This can lead to savings in warehouse rentals as well as labor cost savings as warehousing teams can be made smaller. Your sales and marketing teams can also serve more customers since less time is needed to confirm stock availability, allowing more revenue over time for your labor expenses.

5.) You need to link it to your eCommerce site

Older online inventory management systems may not always be easy to integrate with today’s most popular eCommerce platforms. As online shopping begins to become more and more popular with Filipinos, the inability to integrate your existing system with your desired platforms can be a massive lost opportunity. In this case, the benefits of updating your system so that it could seamlessly interact with your eCommerce platform are clear.

6.) You want instant access to inventory data

Many older systems, particularly those that require considerable manual inputs, don’t give your team access to timely data. Given that commerce moves so much faster today than it did a couple of generations ago when computers became commonplace in local businesses, it makes sense to use systems that help keep you up to date. If your current system only allows you an overview of your inventory on a weekly or monthly basis, you will need to consider updating to a system that lets your business move as fast as the market it serves.

7.) You want to reduce human error

Human error is unavoidable, and the best we can often do in inventory management systems is to find ways to reduce the needed human inputs. Systems that require an inordinate number of steps to complete certain actions such as reports generation can be more prone to these issues simply because there are more areas where things can go wrong. Systems with subpar user interfaces can also be especially prone to user errors. If these issues apply to your current system, a new one might be worth it just to save yourself time and aggravation.

8.) You want better automation options

Sometimes, you’ll want your inventory management system to be easily automated to facilitate certain functions. For instance, you may want it set up to automatically order a certain item when stocks are detected below a set threshold. You may also want it to send a marketing email when stocks run low or as they become available. Other possibilities include automatically switching suppliers when another raises prices above a certain amount and recommending certain items to customers depending on their buying history. With the right system, the possibilities for inventory automation are as varied as your imagination.

Conclusion

Whether you’re in retail, manufacturing, or any other industry, keeping your online inventory management system up to date helps keep you in step and relevant. Updated systems not only help you expand your current capabilities, they help reduce waste and help keep you focused on the things that truly matter for your business.

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