An inventory management system is critical for any ecommerce business. However, inventory management systems come in many different forms. For some, the lifelong practice of spreadsheets and verbal communication has become such a formed habit it can be hard to envision how a centralized cloud-based system looks.
In an age where ecommerce has no slow down in sight, many small businesses are faced with the challenge of integrating cloud-based systems alone. Without much understanding of what these systems can do for your business or when you should be looking to incorporate these systems into their business, inventory management software can be daunting to navigate.
Here at Clearinity, we offer some solid tips on getting off the spreadsheets, getting yourself ready for centralized data, and all the glorious benefits that come with it.
The tale as old as time; spreadsheets as inventory management
Spreadsheets for inventory management is a common and appropriate way to start keeping track of moving product and your financials. With Google offering cloud-based spreadsheets, it has become a staple for many businesses just to do accounting and inventory management on Google Sheets. Since Google Sheets can store all the data in one place that many can access, it’s a great way to start inventory management. However, your business will outgrow that system quickly.
So how do you know when to start looking for an Inventory management software system? Five key pain points in your business growth will indicate it might be time to consider an inventory management software system.
- Managing customer’s orders is a challenge.
- There is a lot of manual counting occurring.
- You frequently run into “out-of-stock” issues.
- Multiple Spreadsheets or multiple versions: this occurs when multiple people have access to your spreadsheet and create new versions in addition to the original to format data that is essential for their role. Also, having to swap between spreadsheets is a red flag!
- When growth begins to sound scary and unattainable
Benefits of a Cloud Inventory System or IMS
Typically businesses that experience immense and exponential growth feel the pains of inventory management sooner. That doesn’t mean that any inventory management system is the right fit, though. Your stage of business is critical to the success of your IMS system implementation. Often immense exponential growth hinders inventory management and the people and processes in the company. That’s why we offer an eCommerce maturity assessment for all our clients. Through this assessment, Clearinity and the client can determine what to prioritize first when trying to transition the business to a cloud-based IMS system.
While Clearinity and the client tackle the people and processes, our team is diligently working with your team to help bring everyone together and educate them on why an inventory management system is beneficial. An inventory management system should bring these key changes to your business:
- Boost customer experience
- Never overstock, understock, or out of stock.
- Transparency and visibility when and where you need it
- Unite departments & workflows for increased efficiency
- Elevate your bottom line as your team is more empowered to make critical business decisions.
What to do to prepare for this transition
Are you tired of hitting out-of-stock statuses? Are your employees feeling strained and stressed? Perhaps you just want more time to do valuable money-producing activities rather than sit and watch your books. Then you are ready for an inventory management system. As you begin to explore your options, it’s time to start reaching out to companies like us who will support you in every step of the process and give you the expert advice you need to make the correct choice in the platform for your business. The fear of growth may be cumbersome, but being prepared for the transition can make it much more manageable.
So what can you do to prepare and make this transition as seamless as possible? We recommend looking at your SKU system, gathering your data points about your business to have on hand for our business consultants, and mentally preparing for the changes. Don’t worry if these tasks also seem hard to accomplish alone; our support team can help you ease into implementation with data prep and clean up as well.