Melissa’s Take: Systems Upgrades

System Upgrades – A Real Example

Clearinity deals with systems all day and the best way to change them. Before I worked with Clearinity, I worked at the Colorado Park Service. While I was there, I had the opportunity to go through a system upgrade where the Parks were going to replace the computer systems they had for many years prior. When we heard about it, everything sounded great on paper. It was going to do all of these things that we needed and make life a little easier for us! It combined hunting and fishing with camping and park passes – something that required two separate systems before. They rolled it out at the beginning of the year and it was a total fail. You could tell that whoever made up the system has never worked on the front lines of any park service, or never worked at a highly-frequented park, or both. The whole system needed the internet to function, and the internet isn’t a “thing” for many of the individual parks. You had to electronically do every day pass and print it out. Each day pass took 30-60 seconds to print. If you multiply that by an average of 2 million visitors per year, you don’t have enough time in the day to process everyone who wants a day pass. It would have been good for the creators of this system to go and talk to people that will be using every day, to use the systems themselves, to see what works, and not just do what looks best on paper.

Inventory Systems For Your Business

If you own a product-based business, your inventory is what will make-or-break your company. However, the system you pick matters! Also, HOW you start using a new system matters too! In this blog, we will be answering some questions like:

  1. What is Cloud Inventory?

  2. Is it ever too late to start?

  3. Is it ever too early to start?

  4. What are Clearinity’s Recommendations? 

As I have worked for Clearinity, I have learned that Cloud Inventory is something that pushes companies to the next level. You have to have some sort of solid cloud inventory to grow and push businesses to the next level. 

What is Cloud Inventory?

Before we get into it all let’s explain what is Cloud Inventory? In an informational post on our website (Found here) it says:

 “Cloud Inventory” is a generic term that is similar to the following acronyms:

  •  SCM – Supply Chain Management

  • OMS – Order Management System

  • WMS – Warehouse Management System 

To be considered a full Cloud Inventory product, it must:

  • Be in the Cloud

  • Support Purchase Orders

  • (POs), Sales Orders (SOs), warehouse intelligence, and fulfillment

  • Have enough reporting to assist in accounting or have a direct accounting integration

So pretty much THE ULTIMATE INVENTORY ORGANIZER!!!!! Sorry I get really excited about organizing.

 Tool Late? Think again!

So now that we are all on the same page what happens when you don’t start with a cloud inventory/organizational system? I see this as a five-step decline:

  1. Start off not needing it, or so you say, you can always use organizing 

  2. Start feeling like it is a needed thing

  3. Start thinking it’s a needed thing, so you might research

  4. Too late and unorganized

  5. Have to hire Clearinity to help (or someone else)

Conrad helped me learn the importance of a cloud inventory system by having me “do”, which is a way I learn best. Conrad taught me by having me “play” with different cloud inventory systems. It really helped when I applied my own small hobby of leather tooling to each of these systems.

I learned:

  1. What I wanted

  2. What I did not want.

  3. What I needed personally for business organization

  4. What I could live without.

I learned early and in a real way that a cloud inventory system is important and can help your business. By being a part of what Clearinity does, I have also learned a few things from clients! 

  1. It’s really important to start early. Starting early and finding out what you want and need is a great start.

  2. Do your research. Every system is different and has challenges. Clearinity is really great at helping with this part!

  3. Talk to your employees! Having your employees learn what they like and don’t like can help you. If they know the system or helped choose and create it can be a great benefit to you.

Start Early

Now let’s look at the flip side. What happens when you do start a cloud inventory/organizational system early? It will look more like this:

  1. Start good habits

  2. Start learning the process

  3. Learn through trial and error

  4. If you do need Clearinity, you won’t need too much help

Since I am a huge fan of preparing for the future, this preparation makes me feel less anxious. My favorite quote about that is


“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” - Benjamin Franklin.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin.

Preparing is so important in all aspects of our life. How are you preparing your business for the future? When I think of preparing for the future, I always think of the TV show called Doomsday Preppers. If you haven’t watched the show it is very interesting. In each episode, they take 2 people or families and show what their preparations are. Then, in the end, they rate them by how many months they would last if a doomsday occurred. It’s so interesting how each person is different. Each person thinks it will happen differently and plan accordingly.


doomsdaypreppers.jpg

Some of the questions that the Preppers ask themselves apply to your business too.What is the worst-case scenario for your business? What are things you can do now to stop that? For example, I am apprenticing with a gentleman right now to be better at tooling leather and making my own patterns. With leather and patterns, you need to know where they are and how many you have. I know this is a very small scale compared to what most of you are doing, but you will get the idea. Now he has all these patterns, sides of leather and patterns cut out of leather so a project can be done. If he puts them all in different places and does not write down what he has and where they are he might remake things, order more leather and not use his time efficiently. Time is money – we all know that. Doing something in a good, efficient way is the best thing. Also if he doesn’t have an organization system with all his orders going in, orders can fall into the cracks, clients get angry and the business gets bad reviews  – all translating to lost revenue.

Recommendations 

Finally, what are some cloud inventory apps that you can use or that Clearinity would recommend?

As always, start by using your resources. We have a whole page dedicated to our favorite inventory apps right here!

In the end it’s always good to consult the pro. You are always welcome to schedule a meeting with Conrad to see how we can help.