How to evaluate different inventory control systems and find the right one?
When searching for a new inventory control system, wholesale and distribution companies should look for a solution that meets their specific needs. In addition, they should compare the features and benefits of different solutions as well as the costs and implementation timelines. But with so many options on the market, how can you choose the right one for your business?
1. Find out what are your exact needs
Before deciding to buy an inventory tracking management system, you need to understand your requirements first. Next, find out your challenges in managing inventory and the solutions you’re looking for. Ask yourself:
- Do I want to see inventory levels in real-time?
- Do I need to be able to track inventory across multiple locations?
- Do I need to generate reports regularly?
- Do I need to be able to integrate my inventory system with other software?
- Do I need to track inventory at the SKU level?
- Do I need to manage consignment inventory?
- Do I need to track batches and serial numbers?
Answering these questions will help you narrow your options and find the right system for your business.
2. Find the best out-of-the-box fit for your business
Once you know what you need, you can start looking for solutions that offer the best out-of-the-box fit for your business. To find the right solution, you should compare the features and benefits of different systems as well as the costs and implementation timelines.
When searching for an out-of-the-box solution, you should consider the size of your company, the types of products you sell, and your budget. In addition, you should look for a system that can be easily customized to meet your specific needs. You do not want to find yourself having to make too many changes to the system to get it up and running.
3. Look for a system that offers comprehensive inventory visibility
One of the most critical features of an inventory management system is the ability to track inventory levels in real-time. This is especially important if you have inventory at multiple locations. To get comprehensive inventory visibility, you should look for a system that offers real-time updates, alerts, and reports. In addition, the system should be able to track inventory at the SKU level.
4. Make sure the system can provide accurate forecasts
Another critical feature to look for in an inventory management system is the ability to generate accurate forecasts. This is especially important if you have seasonal products or are planning to expand into new markets. Accurate forecasting can help you avoid stockouts and ensure that you always have the right products in stock. In addition, it can help you improve your overall supply chain management.
5. Aim for improved and actionable inventory analysis
To make the most of your inventory management system, you should look for a system that offers improved, actionable inventory analysis. The system should be able to generate reports that show you how your inventory is being used. In addition, it should be able to provide recommendations on how to improve your inventory management.
6. Find a system that can be customized and flexible
While you want an out-of-the-box solution that meets your specific needs, you also want a system that can be customized to meet your unique requirements. Look for a system that offers a wide range of customization options. In addition, choose a system that allows you to add or remove functionality as your needs change. For example, if you decide to add a new product to your inventory, you should be able to add the necessary fields to the system quickly.
7. Choose a system that is easy to use and implement
In the search for cutting-edge features, don't forget to consider how easy a system is to use. If it's complicated and difficult for your team just to figure out the basics, then it's not worth spending money on. Remember, you’re looking for an inventory management solution to help you simplify your operations. Choose the intuitive, easy-to-use one over the complex one.
8. Make sure the system integrates with other software currently used
If you have other software applications in place, choosing an inventory management system that can integrate with those applications is essential. By integrating with other software applications, you can avoid errors and ensure that your data is accurate.
9. Look for a system that offers scalability
As your business grows, you'll need an inventory management system that can grow with you. Look for a system that offers scalability. This way, you won't have to worry about outgrowing the system or having to replace it in a few years. Scalable systems can save you time and money in the long run. They can also help you avoid disruptions to your business operations.
10. Consider the total cost of ownership
When comparing different inventory management systems, you must consider the total ownership cost. This includes the initial purchase price, as well as the costs of training, support, and maintenance. By taking the time to consider all the costs associated with a system, you can avoid paying too much for a system that doesn't meet your needs.
11. Choose a trusted implementation partner
Improved forecasting, actionable inventory analysis, customization, ease of use, scalability, and total cost of ownership are all important factors to consider when choosing an inventory management system. However, finding a trusted implementation partner is one of the most critical factors.
When you partner with a trusted implementation partner, you can be confident that they will provide the necessary support to ensure a successful implementation. A partner can also provide ongoing support and training for your team. This way, you can be sure that your team is using the system correctly and getting the most out of it.
If you're looking for a trusted implementation partner, contact Forgestik today. We would be happy to discuss your specific needs and help you find the perfect inventory management system for your business.
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