Your Guide to Software Selection

Cloud-Based Inventory Management – What is it and Top Solutions

For almost every business, whether it’s a small local business or a big enterprise, inventory management is the “meat and potatoes” of corporate life. It may not be as glamorous as PR or as fast-moving as digital marketing, but it’s the process that keeps everything moving. Without a close eye on your stock, there’s no way to tell what you need, what you’re selling or how much money you stand to make.

Inventory management deals with the movement of stock, whether that be into the company or out to customers. It has a direct impact on spending because stock counts let businesses know which raw materials are required for production, in order to meet demand. While maintaining accurate records is no easy feat, inventory management software is helping to streamline the process.

Cloud-based inventory management is a fairly new development. However, it’s quickly becoming the optimal choice for businesses because it offers scalability, automated scheduling and real-time tracking. Cloud-based software is a cheaper option, as there’s no need for onsite servers. These systems are both lightweight and low maintenance.

This article explores the benefits of cloud-based inventory management and what it can do for your business.

Fully Scalable Software

Twenty years ago, businesses had to make tough decisions about their operational software. They could buy for their size and anticipate the need for an upgrade. Or, they could overstate their requirements, opt for a “baggy” inventory system and hope to grow into it later.

Fortunately, cloud-based software has changed this by making inventory management systems fully scalable. As these solutions are virtual, they can be upgraded at any time.  Functions may be added, removed, expanded, altered or combined with other products.

Easy, Stress-Free Setup

Inventory control is such an integral part of business, particularly for warehousing and distribution companies, that any amount of downtime is a big problem. Cloud-based inventory management promises quick, simple installations because there are no physical requirements.

Usually, upgrading or installing a new system is as easy as logging into a centralized facility. All aspects of the inventory solution are managed from the same place, so there’s no need to set up software on individual computers or set up specialized hardware. The result is minimal downtime and disruption.

Real-Time Visibility

Accurate, simple stock control is one of the biggest benefits of cloud-based inventory management systems. With this software, you can access real-time data on stock numbers, and there’s no need to manually source or collate reports. All reports and counts feed into a central database.

User-friendly dashboards make it easy to get a snapshot of the business at any given time. Plus, with tools like QR tracking, you can proactively measure inventory as it moves through departments. And the more automated the system is, the more errors are reduced.

Reliable Forecasting Tools

These days, it’s not enough to know which three products are your biggest sellers. You’ve also got to know in what month each of them moves the fastest, whether sales are affected by public holidays and if demand is likely to change from year to year.

With cloud-based inventory management, up-to-date reports help you make strategic decisions about the future of your products. You can identify the best times to change those products, redevelop your marketing strategies and introduce new services.

Get our Inventory Management Systems Comparison Matrix.

Always Safe and Secure

With cloud-based inventory management, businesses get to enjoy maximum security. Data is significantly safer than it is in a traditional system because everything gets automatically backed up. Every piece of information that passes through the software is stored in a cloud database.

If you accidentally delete a file, or if hardware malfunctions prevents access to critical data, regaining access to it is just a matter of locating it in the cloud. This is a huge asset, because around 20% of businesses don’t routinely back up their files. Without the cloud, there’s no getting them back.

Some Top-Rated Cloud-Based Inventory Solutions

3PL Warehouse Manager

3PL Warehouse Manager, by 3PL Central, offers real-time inventory management on a fully scalable basis. With a variety of enterprise-strength WMS functions, the software is perfect for keeping your warehouse running smoothly.

It provides turnkey EDI integrations, automated tools for streamlined packing routines, barcode scanning and the option to combine inventory management with other online platforms. 3PL is best suited to third-party logistics companies and warehouses looking to grow in a safe, steady manner.

Unleashed

Unleashed is committed to helping businesses see more. This provider delivers powerful cloud-based technology with a focus on visibility and transparency. The inventory management system from Unleashed allows you to monitor stock in real time, across multiple locations.

This extends to international operations, so it’s a great choice for larger companies. With so much activity to supervise, it can be difficult to spot opportunities for optimization. Fortunately, this inventory system uses sophisticated BI tools to guide you towards bigger, better decisions.

Rapid Response

Rapid Response from Kinaxis provides cloud-based supply chain, sales and operations planning all in one expandable system. This software has been designed with discrete manufacturers and inconsistent supply chain networks in mind.

So if you work within a volatile or unpredictable industry with rapidly shifting levels of demand, this might be the right solution. For instance, automotive, life sciences and A&D companies are big supporters of Kinaxis software.

Bindo POS

With Bindo POS from Bindo Labs, you can enjoy a fully mobile cloud-based POS system. The goal is to help brick and mortar stores establish workable eCommerce operations as quickly and simply as possible. It uses barcode scanning technologies to log and track products.

If you need to identify an item, just scan its unique barcode. If you want to monitor and forecast customer demand, add loyal followers to the database. And if you establish inventory parameters, the system will handle purchase orders before you even know stocks are running low.

Why It’s Time to Upgrade to Cloud-Based Inventory Management

While there’s nothing wrong with hard systems and tangible technologies, they can feel awfully clunky when compared with sleek, weightless cloud solutions. Yes, this means an upgrade and additional expenses in the short term. However, the rewards are worth the effort. Your business will be treated with smoother, more accurate supply chain processes, fewer errors and a higher degree of security. As your supplier relationships bloom, you’ll start to save money and tighten the ship. Before you know it, your company will be running like a well-oiled machine.

Get our Inventory Management Systems Comparison Matrix.

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