Top Factors To Consider When Buying An Inventory Management Software
By Shaun Williams
If you've got a thought of automating your traditional inventory management techniques, then the best thing you can do is investing in inventory management software. There are tons of inventory management softwares available in the market, but choosing the right system for your business is a significant activity. The right inventory management software can promise growth as well as longevity for your business.
There are a range of factors that you should consider before making a purchase, such as the cost, customer service provided by the manufacturer, scalability, etc. It would help if you also consider the scope of future expansions for your business while choosing the right software so that you don't have to worry about purchasing new software in the future.
Let's take a look at some of the factors you should review while purchasing an inventory management software.
While looking for inventory management software, you should make yourself clear about your business's needs. Consider parameters such as company size, the functions that the software needs to perform, and then select the inventory management software that can fulfill all these requirements. As mentioned earlier, there are many softwares available in the market, and all of them offer a different number of functions. And, as the number of tasks that a software can perform increases, so does the inventory software cost and complexities.
Therefore it is advisable to buy a software that has functions that you need. Don't invest in software that comes with additional functions that you don't require. Investing in such software will only lead to higher costs and increased complexities.
Ease of use
The usability of inventory management software is a crucial aspect. Your software should be easily accessible and less complicated. In other words, you can say that it should be user friendly. A software is only efficient when the user is able to learn to access all its functions, ASAP. Easier it is to learn the features, more time you will save, and sooner you can start reaping its benefits.
Automatic Stock Replenishment
This is the prime function that every inventory management software should perform with efficiency and accuracy. The software should keep track of stock, demand, and should evaluate the required optimum stock levels needed to meet that demand. Further, the software can make suggestions in the catalog of items needed to get ordered. Your software should be capable of preparing a reordering schedule for restocking with required extra inventory while accounting for the lead time of the vendor.
Every inventory management software should have a feature of stock replenishment alert, which will generate a notification as soon as the stock of the particular product falls below an optimum level. This feature will help you in reordering that product considering the lead time before running out of stock. Click on this list of free and open-source inventory management software before buying inventory management software.
Detailed Evaluation and Reports
Past and present records, as well as future demand forecasts, are crucial parameters every business should analyze and maintain to evaluate the performance of business along with getting the knowledge of how trends change. Proper maintenance of these records will help you know your customers, and their changing tastes, allowing you to serve them better.
Employing inventory management software can ease your task of maintaining these records. Out of tons of softwares available in the market, you need to select a software that furnishes you with detailed reports with key matrices and enables you to customize these reports so that you can delve deeper into the specific data that stands crucial for your business.
Easier Integration with Other Softwares
With the advancement in automation, companies are employing a range of additional software for performing other functions apart from inventory management such as warehouse management software, ecommerce, accounting, shipping software, and so on. For better integrity and saving time in business, all of these software need to function in conjunction with each other.
If one software can communicate with the other, they can execute certain functions in less time. Therefore, it’s important to ensure, before buying, that your inventory management software can be integrated with other software in the company.
Scalability is the ability of any system to cope and function well under increasing workload or business expansion. A scalable system holds the ability to maintain or even improve its efficiency and functioning when met with fluctuating demands. In context to your business, you can't be sure of what features you might need in the future or while expanding your business.
So, the inventory management software you're selecting should be scalable enough to accommodate the new functions and tasks in its list of services. In case you don't have scalable software, you might end up with the requirement of buying a new system in the future when your business expands. Therefore you should add this in the list of factors to watch for while selecting inventory management software.
Support and Training
Read customer feedback about the type of customer service offered by the companies providing inventory management softwares before making a decision. Good support and training provided by the companies after buying the software is a must. Instead of challenging your ability to learn to use the software on your own, it is advisable to take help from the vendor.
Seeking support and live training on learning the usage of the software will help you learn faster and save time. Also, excellent customer service is required when you want to add extra features during expansion or when some error arises in the software. Without bothering your software engineers, you can take the help of the software manufacturer.
Investing in inventory management software is a crucial decision, but what is more important is to buy the right one. Considering the type and needs of your business, you should purchase inventory management software. The right software won't only fulfill your needs for today but will also stand for you when your business is growing and needs more. So, in the end, think wisely considering the budget and the service you require while buying inventory management software.