One of the biggest challenges with running an online business is the need to effectively manage your inventory. The problem is, as your business grows, this challenge only amplifies. Realistically, in order to sell on more channels and ultimately grow your business, the use of an inventory management system becomes a fundamental necessity.
Ask yourself this - do you have to log in and out of different selling channels to list your products and process orders? Are you having to manually adjust your stock levels on each platform every time you make a sale? These are common bottlenecks that arise as an online business grows, and more often than not result in human error. This then leads to disappointed customers and at best, a bad reputation. At worse, you could be prohibited from using marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay altogether.
Now while this in itself highlights a few reasons why you should seriously be thinking about using an inventory management system, below we have compiled a list of some other key advantages;
Simplified inventory management
Perhaps the biggest benefit of using inventory management software is that it makes the process of managing your inventory a whole lot easier, saving you both time, money and sanity. The bottom line is, inventory management is always going to be a challenge, after all your stock levels will always fluctuate and supply and demand will continuously change. What inventory management software specifically does to simplify this, is automate the key business processes and help you make smarter decisions, in turn increasing both efficiency and profits.
SEE ALSO: Inventory Management Techniques
With the ability to automate your key business operations, you will be able to more efficiently and accurately fulfil tasks such as managing your stock levels, updating your listings across all of your selling channels and processing orders, which will in turn reduce your costs and maximise profitability.
Increased productivity and efficiency
By streamlining and automating the day-to-day manual tasks that are required when running an online business, an inventory management system can save you countless hours, enabling you to increase productivity and efficiency while focusing on maximising the growth of your business. You will also have the ability to manage your stock, process and dispatch orders, print shipping labels and create & update listings, all from the same dashboard.
Fewer mistakes such as overselling
By synchronising all of your online marketplaces and webstores, you can be sure that your stock levels are adjusted each time you make a sale, in turn reducing the chance of overselling.
Avoid stock-outs and excess stock
When it comes to managing your inventory, trying to maintain the right balance is a challenging task. After all, having too little stock can lead to a stock-out, unhappy customers and potential loss of sales. On the other hand, having excess stock can take up valuable warehouse space and incur unnecessary charges. Either way you look at it, this all comes at a cost to your business.
Fortunately, with the use of an inventory management system you can track low stock levels and set up automatic re-ordering points for each product, which in turn avoids the occurrence of stock-outs. Additionally, you can also set up these re-order points and replenishment parameters, while also forecasting product demand, further reducing the risk of ordering too much stock.
An all-in-one solution
Any reputable inventory management system will also include shipping management, listing management and order management functionality, and will specifically streamline the entire selling process, from listing the products and fulfilling orders, right through to printing the invoice and marking the orders as shipped.
Learn more about how an Inventory Management System such as Linnworks can help you maximise the growth of your business.