Tips For Keeping Track Of Your Temporary Warehouse Inventory

5 Tips To Selecting The Best Temporary Warehouse Inventory Tracking Software

The era of using log books and spreadsheets for inventory management is long gone. Paper-based inventory management can produce costly mistakes and errors that can hinder the profitability and growth of a company. Companies that still search for spreadsheets of their inventory data on shared drives are placing their companies at risk, particularly in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace. Software companies are fortunately meeting the industry’s challenges. With seamless inventory management being offered by the right system, a company will be able to get into position to grow rapidly through adding value for customers and cutting unnecessary expenses. With so many different systems and options to choose from, it may be hard to find the best system that combines ease of use with functionality. Good Systems can definitely help. The following are 5 critical questions that you should ask when you are evaluating an inventory tracking and management system.

Choosing Inventory Tracking Software

Each system provides similar core functionality. However, it is very important to understand how this functionality translates into your business processes. The questions will reduce the confusion and have each of the solutions put into perspective for you. Will I have real-time visibility into order status or stock levels? With the speed that modern business operates at these days, companies need to have real-time visibility of order status and stock levels. Look into the way the system actually works. Will your staff be going to one location to get information, or will multiple systems have to be consulted to get the answers that you need? Is the information accurate? Is the system data in real time by manual data entry required? Manual data entry may be inaccurate and error-prone, even when real-time visibility is promised by the company. Remember that typically cloud-based systems provide superior visibility into stock and inventory levels.

Without up-to-the-minute, real-time information on inventory and stock, your business units will have to use guesswork to make business decisions. It will result in your company struggling with late shipments or out-of-stock inventory even once the system has been put into place. Under- and over-stock issues are also common in systems that don’t provide real-time data for inventory. Is the flexibility offered by the system to support our future needs? Numerous systems, particularly custom inventory management systems, do not provide enough flexibility to support modern businesses. For instance, if the needs of your business change, will the system support creating new product families? Can variations be created of the same product through the use of unique SKUs? Is data on your inventory linked with manageable product families to allow you to source products? Can unique batch and serial numbers be generated for products? Frequently with systems that are not based on pure inventory management or with custom solutions, you are going to need to get in touch with the supplier with whatever changes you have for the product family. Not only is that inefficient, but limits future updates for the solution and is expensive.

Does the reporting system support accurate and quick business decisions? Real-time information is essential but generates timely and accurate reports where and when you need them will enable your company to make better business decisions. Building a reporting requirement list for your business. Which reports are you going to need? Review the timing and schedule of your reports. Will you need them generated automatically, or will you access them on an as-needed basis? Is the data that the report uses pulled in real time, or will you be reviewing reports from the previous day? Will I be able to create both enterprise-wide and site-specific reports? How about specialized reports such as Job Costing and Bill of Materials? After you understand what your reporting needs are, review all of the reports that accompany the system. Ask your supplier about reports that do not come standard. Numerous companies limit access to data and reports unless you pay to have extra modules.

Are enterprise-wide integrations offered by the solution? System connectivity, or enterprise-wide integration, is essential for modern software systems. Also, with some systems, it is among the most problematic and weakest features. Identify what your system integration needs are and review what the solution offers. Ask your vendor about any potential gaps that you notice. It is important to eliminate as much of the manual data entry as you can. Integrations should include organizing and pulling product data automatically from other systems in order to eliminate errors and save time. Remember that your current integration needs might not reflect what your future needs are. Search for systems offering Application Programming Interface (API) functionality. When you have the right system, it will allow you to configure the system’s API in order to support your very own integration paths. That will eliminate needing to have custom integrations and in the future save you money and time.

Is the solution’s support right for my company?

For many businesses, the support that is offered for the software solution may mean the difference between shelfware and an effective solution. To find out what support resources your solution provides. Is there documentation or a forum that can be used, or you will you have to rely on helpdesk that is located in another country? Do they offer a support ticket system to track issues, or are you going to have to hope for the best whenever issues arise? Look at cost of support as well. Does it include the license fee or are there any additional costs? Frequently, the support costs can significantly increase the software solution’s overall price.

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