What factor allows you to successfully meet your order needs? It is not just your managerial or production processes, but effective inventory management as well. Streamlined inventory management is a cornerstone of efficient business operations. It allows you to keep a check over your procurement costs, fulfill orders on time and maintain the right quantity of stock. If you do not have a well-designed inventory management strategy, then chances are that you will end up frustrating your customers because of delayed orders.
Handling inventory, however, is a daunting and time-intensive task. Asset management software is a tool used to develop a better inventory management system that helps you track and maintain your inventory in an efficient manner. Use of a cloud-based platform, for this purpose, is ideal as it allows easy management of inventory based in several locations. Different authorized users can manage inventory as per business needs without facing delays in operations. Using the right asset management software helps avoid costs associated with inventory distortion.
Let’s explore the factors that need to be considered when deciding to choose the right asset management software for smooth inventory management:
- Budget and costs: The decision to buy a particular asset management software is heavily influenced by the budget of your business since the solution requires continuous payments depending on your payment plan. The software’s flexibility in terms of customizability of features and your costs are some other factors involved. It is in your best interest to analyze your budget beforehand so that you make a wise decision while going for a software. As you prefer buying the premium or advanced version of a software, you would need to allocate a higher budget to the software. As an example, imagine that you are a K-12 institution- then software that offers valuable integrations, a secure channel for inventory management and can be tailored to your school needs will be highly beneficial. If you have a limited budget, then you can go with a software’s basic yet important features, such as vendor management, asset register, purchase orders and more for accessibility and convenience. In this way, you can fulfill your business needs while also controlling costs and remaining within the set budget.
- Data security: Having an asset management software that secures your database is vital for inventory management. It should come with a mechanism that protects sensitive data while maintaining its confidentiality. With only certain users allowed access to your inventory data based on their roles and department, you can add another layer of security to avoid leaking valuable information. If the software you are using fails to restrict access, then it can make your data vulnerable to theft and misuse. Data theft is common, and is typically hard to detect unless in case of a serious consequence. The basis of an asset management software is a well-built asset register where assets can be tracked using QR codes and barcodes, and you can maintain a trail by keeping track of the history. You can identify an asset’s custodian and increase transparency to your processes since every asset can be tracked. This means you can always check who made changes to data and who had access to it, which improves its security and develops transparency.
- Business needs: Before opting for a software, it is important to analyze your business needs, which also encompasses your short and long term goals and business processes. To analyze whether you are fulfilling your business needs, you would need to have a higher visibility of your inventory. Let’s say, you need to see how much you have invested on your total inventory, what is its count, condition and custody to see if you are meeting your cost management goals. So, an asset management software that allows you to conduct audits will be the right choice for your business. You will be able to conduct location and custody audits, specify the auditors and flag inventory items that are encountering issues on site. It is important to see in what direction your business is headed to make a wise decision and realize the need of the hour. Without knowing completely what your business needs and wants, you will not be able to take decisions directed to streamline your inventory management.
How is asset management software a suitable investment for inventory management?
Employing the best inventory management techniques is the key to saving costs and maximizing warehouse efficiency. Asset management software helps ensure detailed record-keeping and automated management of inventories which improves the overall business efficiency. According to MarketsandMarkets, the asset management system market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 10.3% by 2025. Here are some major advantages of using an efficient asset management software to automate and enhance inventory management processes:
- Efficient mass actions: When dealing with inventories, you are likely to come across items in bulk which require the use of an application that allows mass actions. This includes the capability to carry out different varieties of actions on your inventory without having to change tabs or applications. Such as, you might require a combination of different inventory items for a task. For this, you can create a bundle to add varieties of inventory to the list and check them out together for use. Similarly, you can select multiple items in your inventory to send them for service or retrieve them after use. This makes it easier to deal with several inventory items efficiently without having to individually select each.A central asset repository makes it convenient for you to take these actions- you can select items directly from the repository. Several items can be reserved beforehand for an event, saving your employees valuable time and efforts. A single click expedites the process which speeds up the entire process.
- Automated inventory procurement: Efficient procurement is an essential part of business operations. Procurement can pose challenges to your business, such as vendor management, quantity and quality control and more. A dedicated asset management platform will allow you to perform a variety of actions, including these, by automating the procurement process. You can quickly create a request through the cloud based platform online to procure an item. This makes it easier to track your orders, and make sure they are made available on time. Moreover, entering vendor details everytime you place an order is tedious and frustrating. With the asset management software, you can store vendor information which reduces time needed to procure a new inventory item. The system will update automatically once an item has been procured, providing you a holistic view of all your assets. Also, you can wisely decide whether to procure a new item or not depending on the current stock level. You can get a quick glimpse of your inventory statistics and analyze if you are running low on essential inventory items.
- Reduction in inventory theft: Inventory losses make a huge part of revenue loss every year. It is reported that employee theft is responsible for 42.7% of inventory losses in the US stores. Inventory theft increases hassle for businesses since it directly impacts the annual profits.However, it can be reduced through seamless inventory tracking. Asset management software allows you to tag each item using barcode or QR codes. So, at the time of procurements, audits or check ins or checkouts, you can scan the code to get essential information, such as the item’s location, custody and quantity. By scanning items, you can mitigate thefts and reduce the effort of manually checking each item for information which helps save costs and time. Also, asset management software makes it easier for you to carry out audits so you can see who is managing a particular inventory item. In case an item goes missing, you can track its last location and ask the person in charge to ensure transparency and accountability. By having a complete trail of actions taken on an item you can ensure that your inventory item remains with authorized individuals only. This means you never lose sight of your inventory.
- Mobile inventory management: Staying updated with item movements in real-time is crucial to keep track of your inventory and costs. Having a detailed record of tasks remotely performed helps your team know if the deadlines are being met. Such as, if you create a request for a new piece of equipment, then you can update it with time to attach any document to mark its progress. You can enter the date of delivery, vendor information etc., and edit them if you feel a change needs to be made. This makes it convenient to make edits to your previous requests as need arises using the mobile app. Asset management software allows you to respond to emergencies, and you can do it using your smartphone. When visiting a warehouse, your inventory manager can cross-check the data entered in the system with the physically present inventory, and add or alter its information. Mobile inventory management makes it easier for you to scan items on site and perform other actions on them like sending them for maintenance. On premise inventory management is difficult since inventory is mostly based in the warehouse. By installing the mobile app on smartphones, all employees can easily handle inventory, keep a check over its count and ensure that it is well-maintained. The best part is that you do not need to have a big device on you to complete these tasks.
- Detailed reports for data analysis: In-depth quantitative data analysis is critical in decision making. Asset management software allows you to generate reports for quantitative analysis, so that your team stays updated and utilizes the numbers in doing smooth inventory management. The reports serve as an important collateral in upper management meetings to showcase how well the team has been controlling inventory related costs. You can decide using different varieties of reports what steps have to be taken in future since the reports display all the costs associated with inventory. Complete information of every inventory item is displayed, including its vendor, date of purchase, location and quantity that gives you a holistic view of the total inventory.
Additionally, you can create separate reports for both excess inventory and low inventory. So, any items that lie in the pre-defined thresholds will appear in the reports so you know whether you need to acquire new inventory or not. In this way, inventory counts are well-kept and remain in check. You can also create graphs in reports for better data display- this gives you instant visibility of your business operations and conveniently presents important information. These graphs are easy to understand and analyze which improves productivity.
Inventory management streamlined using all-in-one platform
Inventory management is an elaborate process that requires placing orders, maintaining stock levels and tracking items. By making use of asset management software, you can benefit from enhanced inventory management by making use of enhanced user, asset and maintenance management. By staying updated with inventory related statistics, you can get real-time information that is necessary for dealing with unexpected emergencies and improving your overall productivity. In short, inventory management is a vital part of business operations that needs to be paid special attention to, and you can maintain it well using the appropriate tools. Cloud based technology is the best tool to do this.
Author bio: Rida Fatima is working as a Technical Content Writer for EZOfficeInventory, a leading cloud-based asset management software. She specializes in writing technical blogs for the company aimed at spreading knowledge about the usability and viability of its products. With a great interest in the tech industry, she is excited about how technology continues to evolve and be a significant part of business operations. Apart from professional work, she loves writing poetry and photographing nature.