business team looking at reports for inventory planning and inventory management

When is the right time to implement inventory management software?

This year alone e-commerce sales have grown 76% percent since last year

With our global circumstances making health and safety a priority when purchasing products, we will continue to see our e-commerce marketplaces expand in size. It will become more important to provide exceptional customer experiences to keep up with the increased competition and higher demand. 

How you manage your inventory will not only determine your scalability, but it will ultimately shape your consumer’s loyalty to your brand.

If you have been on the fence about investing in an inventory management system, you may wonder if now is the right time? 

Do you have the capital? Do you have the people and processes to support technology? Are you, as a leader, ready for the changes this will create in your organization? 

These are all great questions to ask yourself around when the right time is. The truth of the matter is that when we examine the timing of our investments, we must consider our consumers and their habits. 

As we pass the halfway point in the year, we recognize that many of our clients and their customers are gearing up for the holiday shopping season. The winter holiday season creates additional complexity for many e-commerce business owners such as risky weather, increased stock levels, higher demand, and increased requested time off from staff. Implementing new technology in August or after the holiday season in January or February will provide ultimate success. 

Why August is your opportunity to invest in Inventory Management Solutions

In August you are nearing the end of quarter 3 and wrapping up any additional summer inventory. Your employees are present and not overwhelmed with the increased duties and responsibilities of the holiday season. It is an ideal time when both your inventory and employees have the capacity to make large changes. 

Implementing a cloud-based inventory management system takes, on average, 12-16 weeks. Beginning the process in August provides the perfect opportunity to have your employees trained on your chosen Inventory Management System before the holiday rush hits. In addition, it also makes data transfer easier as there are fewer products than in a high demand season.

If not August, when? 

If you truly are not ready to take the plunge now, January or February is also a viable option for implementation. In the early parts of the year, your team and yourself have plenty of time to adjust to changes. We find the biggest hurdle to technology implementation is how long it takes for a team to get comfortable with a new solution, not how long it takes to flip the switches. 

In the early parts of the year, you will also be closing out any additional holiday or seasonal items and preparing your inventory to be lean again for a few months, making data transfer easier. As mentioned earlier, more products often mean longer implementation time. Having a lean inventory will make the process more efficient and timely for your business.

You may also want to consider when your competitors are enlisting in inventory management services. Many implementation specialists become booked out around these downtimes in between holidays and seasons. Planning ahead of the peak times for Inventory Management System Software implementation will mean you get the attention you need and deserve while making this major transition.

We are ready. What are our next steps?

You have sat down, looked at your numbers, talked with your team, and have decided to go through with implementing an inventory management system. Congratulations! You are making the biggest change to your business thus far. 

So what now? What should you be prepared for and who should you be talking to?

Investing in such a large change in your business can seem daunting and overwhelming. It is even more overwhelming when choosing an inventory management solution as there are a lot to choose from. You should be prepared to discuss your needs and wants with an inventory management system software implementation specialist or firm. The company you choose to support you through this transition is as important as the timing of your implementation to your success. 

Clearinity as your Implementation Specialists 

At Clearinity we have made the process easily achievable with our 4-Step Clearinity Process. We provide the research, guidance, and implementation of an inventory management system that is right for your business. We also provide support for your team after your implementation is complete. We base our service in education, which means you will walk away fully empowered.

We welcome you to take our e-commerce maturity assessment. This will provide Clearinity and yourself some clarity about where your business needs the most focus. It is also one way in which we communicate with you along your journey. 

After you have completed your assessment we set up a call with you and Conrad, our founder, to review your company’s results and go over some more details about your business. We understand each business is unique and in turn, faces unique problems. Our step one is discovery. During discovery, we will discover the individual pain points in your business and discuss timelines of final projects.  You should be prepared for a 12-16 week engagement at a minimum. 

With more companies moving forward with cloud-based inventory management systems, we hope you consider your implementation soon. You will increase revenue, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as create a streamlined process for your staff and yourself. Remember timing, as well as who you choose to be your guide on this journey will determine your long-lasting success with implementation. If you would like further information on Inventory Management Systems, read our “ Benefits of Inventory Management Systems” article.