Efficient inventory management is becoming even more critical as omnichannel awareness increases due to the COVID 19 crisis. What should you pay special attention to when you are looking for a new warehouse management system? We highlight some of the most important things to consider before making the final decision.
#1 Integration with your ERP system
If you really want to ease your workflows, it is important to clarify whether inventory management can be integrated into your ERP system. If your ERP solution is old, it is worth considering investing in a warehouse management system with associated ERP system. The interaction between the two systems ensure that your inventory and finance match. If the total solution shares database and processes, both the warehouse and accounting are updated automatically when there are changes in, for example, the bookkeeping or inventory counting.
#2 How soon will you benefit from the system?
When you research different inventory management solutions, you should be aware of how much the system requires of your current setup. How long does it take to implement the system? And will you be able to use the solution from day one? If you want to improve your current processes, it may require that you adapt your barcodes and item setup to the system. In addition, the user-friendliness of the module must be top notch. Your employees should benefit from the solution after a brief introduction. It must be intuitive and easy to go to for both current and future employees, if you really want to experience a value of the solution.
#3 Invest in hardware that does not become outdated
Hardware is an important part of the optimization of your processes. It is essential to invest in hardware that does not quickly become outdated or need to be fixed numerous times in order for you to keep track with your inventory. You should e.g. investigate if you need hand scanners or smartphones to read the barcodes. Check with your potential WMS provider about the hardware and decide if the hardware meets your requirements for long durability and robustness.
#4 The solution must be worthwhile
The right warehouse management system optimizes your current processes and makes your business more efficient. If you do not see an immediate improvement, the return on investment will not be significant. The solution should ensure that you have the necessary insight into the inventory in order for you to deliver the correct orders as quickly as possible. The customer experience is in the center of attention, and here efficient processes make the happy customer return to your business. A POS and inventory system allows sales assistants to provide a better service as they can rely on inventory data and more easily order or suggest alternative items to the customer.
Features that boost your inventory management processes
#1 Alternative item
When an item is not in stock, the inventory management system makes it easier for you to find an alternative item to suggest to the customer. In this case, sales assistants can e.g. utilize Mixed Reality directly in the store.
#2 Locating items
Employees save a lot of time and frustration by being able to locate items easily and quickly in the system. It results in faster expedition and reduced delivery time. It also reduces the risk of items disappearing in stock.
#3 Follow each product
Be able to follow the product’s serial number from the time the item is received on a purchase order until it is sold on a sales invoice, booked in a repair order, or transferred to a virtual storage. Despite the fact that the products change location, you do not lose track of either location or stock status.
Stocktaking is a fixed part of the maintenance of the inventory. With the right inventory management system, you can easily perform inventory counts in a short amount of time. Equipped with tools like RFID you can e.g. count all items in the inventory and in your store in less than 30 minutes.
Want to learn more?
Do you want to learn more about POS systems, omnichannel and optimization of inventory management processes? Contact us today for a noncommittal talk with one of our consultants. We can help you transform your retail business.