If you don’t know the gross profit of a finished good, you stand to lose money. It might sound a little silly, but we often hear from businesses that are operating at a loss because they have no visibility on the true costs associated with the manufacturing, storing and shipping of their products. Then there are the teams that are wasting time manually processing orders or using Excel to keep track of their stock. Lost orders, slow deliveries...all culminating in a less-than-ideal customer experience.
Whatever the case may be, if your business is double handling data, or using manual processes like Excel to track inventory - you’re likely wasting time and money on processes your competitors are automating.
It may sound daunting at first if you’ve never considered implementing an inventory management system. But in reality, inventory management solutions in this day and age are intuitive to use and are packed with features and benefits, which when implemented well, provide excellent return on investment.
If you’re serious about the growth of your business, you’ll need systems that can support it both in the short- and long-term. Take for example Amazon, who’ve built an empire on good inventory management and supply chain logistics.
Say what you will about Amazon, but they do get one thing right. They get orders to customers on time. They know exactly what’s in stock and how to get it to its destination, fast. All while keeping the customer informed every step of the way. A streamlined and automated inventory management system behind the scenes drives Amazon’s enviable efficiency and enhances the customer experience.
You may not be (or aspire to be) the next Amazon, but there are so many ways inventory management can help your business - big or small. These are the top four reasons why we’re so passionate about helping our clients streamline and automate their inventory management processes.
1. Better inventory management can help reduce costs (and recoup lost revenue)
Inventory management platforms empower you with the insight into what stock you’ve got on-hand, and when to sell it. With visibility of all your stock and the ability to forecast sales, you can make informed decisions about when to get materials in and products out the door. No more forgotten boxes, or spoiled perishables!
Too often, we hear of businesses who don’t even know the actual gross profit they’re making on a product. Inventory management systems assist you in understanding your costs right across the supply chain, and can even be integrated with your existing systems to provide rich, actionable data and insights. After all, knowledge is power - and this can save you a fair few dollars.
2. Better inventory management drives a better customer experience
In an ever-growing cutthroat competitive landscape, experience counts for everything. Fortunately, the customer experience you provide can be curated and controlled. A large part of the customer experience - especially in the case of eCommerce - is keeping the customer informed at every step of the journey with your brand.
This all begins with having full visibility of what stock you have, what’s on backorder, and so on. The customer then wants a seamless experience from the point they’ve handed over their hard earned dollars to you. They expect messages and/or emails notifying them of expected shipping times, when the product has shipped and a reminder on the day it’s expected to arrive - at a minimum.
With an inventory management system in place, you can support all of these processes to exceed your customers’ expectations.
3. Inventory management streamlines the supply chain
With manual processing of data, you inevitably have human error. With that comes blind spots, and delays in updating important information. Without real-time data on the status of your inventory, it’s easy to make mistakes. Perhaps it’s double ordering a product, shipping a product twice or contacting a customer who has already been contacted.
Inventory management systems ensure that you know what you need to know, when you need to know it. With the ability to provide customer-specific information and automate routine processes to ensure you maintain essential stock - you can cover all bases right across the supply chain.
4. Inventory management empowers your people
Your business thrives when your people are doing what they are best at - not simply doing their best. To get the most value out of your business, an inventory management solution can free your people from maintaining spreadsheets or laborious data entry. This enables them to focus on customers, innovation, creative solutions and more - the activities that drive real growth.
Let’s also not forget about you. When was the last time you took a holiday? Not a weekend away still checking your emails and checking in on customers and processes - a proper holiday. With a well-implemented inventory management system, you can feel confident your systems are running the show when you need to take a step back.
There are hundreds of inventory management solutions in the market. Over the years, our team has worked with many of them as we’ve prototyped and tested cloud-based inventory management solutions for our clients. But time and time again, we come back to DEAR Systems (DEAR) and we’re now one of Melbourne’s only agencies that partners with and specialises in DEAR implementations. Why?
BlueRock Digital and DEAR in action
We helped outdoor adventure group Emprise merge two legacy operational systems into one seamlessly integrated platform. The project included replacing the business’s expensive ERP system with DEAR, driving a $1M saving to the company’s bottom line and supporting the business as it grows. With DEAR, Emprise now benefits from streamlined operational processes and smooth integration between key business functions. You can read the full case study here.
If it’s time to mature your inventory management processes, we can help. Book in for a free consultation with our Systems Integration Specialists to learn more about how digital solutions like DEAR can support your business goals.