Inventory Management Software as a Service
As the owner of a small and medium-sized business, it’s understandable that you want to keep your business overheads as low as possible. However, in this age of cloud applications and software-as-a-service, there’s simply no excuse not to embrace software and technology at every turn in your business.
Right now, you’re probably using email, calendaring, tasks and collaboration applications for free. Your business absolutely depends on these applications. But if your business deals with products, or if you’re a wholesaler or distributor, then you can add inventory management software to this list.
What Can It Do For Me?
As you know, inventory management software does the heavy lifting in the background to ensure that you have sufficient quantity of your goods in the right place at the right time, and at the right price. To do this it manages your customers, suppliers, products, sales orders, purchase orders, shipments and invoices to name a few. Furthermore, if you have specialised requirements it is able to keep track of batches, expiry dates and raw materials.
How Much Will It Cost?
EMERGE App is one example of a web-based inventory management solution for small businesses like yours. It even offers a free account if your business needs are modest or if you want to evaluate the software before committing to it. Paid subscriptions start from just $29.90 a month for one user. That’s the cost of your coffee over two weeks.
Things to Look Out For
Having a free or cheap plan is one thing, but ensuring that inventory management software fits your business is another. After all, if you and your employees are using software for eight to twelve hours a day, you want to make sure that it has a user-friendly interface, a smooth user experience and no quirky annoyances in its workflow. Also, it’s a bonus to have a quick onboarding process with little or no training required.
Getting started with an inventory management software means that you need to import your customers, suppliers and products for a start. For those coming from pen-and-paper, spreadsheets or even another inventory management solution, you’ll have to manually enter your data or export them into a compatible format for the new software. Thankfully, you only need to do this once.
Help and Support
If you need a helping hand, the inventory management software should offer extensive tutorials, training videos and FAQs. If you need personal attention, web chat and email should be easily accessible at all times. At times, paying customers typically enjoy extra attention in the form of mobile chats and screen sharing via Skype or Google Hangouts, for example. So it does pay to be a paying user.
Some Benefits of Inventory Management Software
At its very core, your inventory management software should be intelligent enough to save you effort and money with time-saving tips and efficient workflows. For example, calculating landed costs is viewed by some business owners with the same enthusiasm as visiting your local dentist. Software such as EMERGE App automatically distributes landed costs in proportion to the products in your purchase orders.
Also, traditional businesses like yours often have multiple sales channels. You have your brick-and-mortar presence, an e-commerce website built with Shopify or WooCommerce, and perhaps a couple of online stores at marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. A competent inventory management solution should be able to bring all your sales orders from these channels into one place for fulfilment, shipment and reporting.
With the arrival of cloud applications and mobile apps, there’s no better time to embrace and use technology in your small and medium-sized business. If you’re dealing exclusively with products, you should use inventory management software to leave your spreadsheets and pen-and-paper records behind. You can expect a boost in efficiency, productivity and cost-savings in general.
So when are you adopting an inventory management solution?