The ability to efficiently and accurately track and manage your inventory can save you time, money and a whole lot of headaches. In today’s competitive market, having the right inventory management tools is essential for business success.
Inventory management software costs, on average $148 AUD per month, with specialist software available for more than $740 AUD per month. So, it’s important to ensure you choose the right software for your business. Here are 11 essential questions to ask before investing in inventory management tools:
What’s the budget?
Your budget is the best place to start when deciding what inventory management tool is right for you. Plenty of options exist with different features and integrations, so having a clear understanding of what you can afford will help narrow down your choices.
What features do you need?
Are you looking for basic tracking capabilities or something more comprehensive? Do you need to manage large quantities of stock across multiple locations or just track inventory levels in one warehouse? If you’re unsure of what you need, think about the tasks you want to accomplish and the features that would help.
What integrations are needed?
Integrations like POS systems, ordering platforms, delivery services and more can help streamline your operations. Check that the software you choose is compatible with any other systems you use in your business.
For example, with Square For Retail, you can integrate your sales, inventory, customers and staff all in one place. This makes managing different aspects of your business easier from a single platform.
What challenges need to be managed?
Think about specific challenges you face with stock control and pinpoint the features that will solve them. For instance, do you need a system to help reduce costs and improve inventory accuracy? Do you require automated notifications when stock levels reach certain thresholds? Or do you need real-time visibility on shipments and deliveries?
Not every inventory management system can cover all of these needs. So, it’s important to know what challenges you need to address before choosing the right tool for your business.
How many users can access it?
Depending on the size of your business, you may need more than one user to access the inventory management system. Most products allow several different users to log in and make changes as needed. Make sure you check how many users can access the software before investing in it.
Who’s using it?
You need to make sure the tool is easy to use and understand. Check out user reviews and ask for feedback from existing clients to get an understanding of how intuitive the software is.
User-friendliness is key when it comes to selecting inventory management tools. If your staff are struggling to use the software, they won’t be able to take advantage of all the features and functions, costing you time and money.
Does it access the Cloud?
The cloud is fast becoming the norm for businesses, with 61% of businesses%20or%20two%20(32%25).) using the Cloud as of 2022. Having access to real-time data from anywhere at any time can help you make informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition.
Can you use it offline?
Having the ability to use your inventory system offline is a must if you’re operating in areas with poor internet connections. Check to see if the software allows you to continue working when the connection drops and how it synchronises data when reconnected.
What features does it have?
Does it offer sales processing? What about direct forecasting, tracking, and stock allocation? Understanding the features offered by each software package can help you make an informed decision. Barcode scanning, automated order fulfilment and purchasing are just a few features you might want to look for.
Does it meet your reporting needs?
Accurate reporting is essential for successful inventory management. Make sure the software you choose includes the kind of reports you need to make more informed decisions about stock and pricing.
Does it offer real-time data and metrics?
Real-time data and metrics are essential for staying ahead of the competition. Make sure the inventory management tool you choose gives you access to vital information like stock levels, sales trends and performance insights.
Square For Retail offers comprehensive real-time metrics, including stock adjustment levels, sales history and more. Square For Retail integrates powerful inventory management tools with reporting and analytics, making it easy to manage your business end-to-end.
*This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.