How to Choose the Right Inventory Management System

June 1, 2022

The path toward unlocking maximum benefits from your inventory management system starts with choosing the right tool for the job. Read on for some useful tips.

Effective inventory management is a critical aspect of the success of businesses regardless of their size or industry. Yet, 43% of small businesses still don't track their inventory. This oversight not only results in financial loss but also directly impedes operational efficiency, ultimately translating to dissatisfied customers.

How to Choose the Right Inventory Management System

Investing in a robust inventory management system (IMS) is one of the best ways to mitigate these challenges. Inventory management software will help you stay on top of stock levels, orders, sales, and deliveries and minimize costly errors and delays. With a comprehensive system in place, you will have real-time control over your inventory, resulting in stock level optimization, fewer stockouts and stock obsolescence, and streamlined operations.

In today's dynamic market, the myriad of IMS options available can make selecting the best inventory management system a daunting task. Fortunately, all you need is the right approach to circumvent all the challenges that come with choosing the software that best suits your needs.

This article discusses the important factors to consider when choosing the best inventory management software for your small business. But first, let's explore why your business needs a proper stock-keeping process.

What Is Inventory Management?

Inventory management is the strategic optimization of the flow of goods in your business. It entails monitoring inventory throughout its lifecycle from procurement to production, storage, sales, and delivery.

The primary goal of inventory management is to ensure your business maintains optimal stock levels. With the right stock at the right time, you can meet customer demand effectively while minimizing costs, delays, and errors.

Effective inventory management is also critical for business growth because of its relation to a company's cash flow. For instance, overstocking ties up capital that could otherwise be used to improve other aspects of your business. Conversely, understocking poses the risk of missing out on sales opportunities or facing dissatisfied customers, both of which ultimately result in lost revenue. With the best inventory management practices, you can optimize your cash flow and maintain a healthy business for the long term.

How to pick the best inventory management system for your small business

Choosing the right inventory management software for your business is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your overall success. Here are a few tips to help you through this selection process.

1. Be Clear With Your Requirements

Before hitting the market, it's important to have a clear understanding of your specific business needs. To do that, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What type of inventory does my business need to track?
  • How many inventory items does my business have?
  • Is real-time inventory tracking necessary for my business operations?
  • Should I track inventory across various locations?
  • Do I need to integrate my inventory management system with other software solutions?

These questions help you establish your specific business needs. This will make it easier to find the best software for inventory management for your business.

2. Consider the software's usability

When choosing an inventory management system, you'll want to find software that is user-friendly. After all, the last thing you want is for your inventory management system to create more challenges than it solves.

The best inventory management software is one that not only meets your needs but is also easy to learn and use. Fortunately, many options are available and relatively easy to use. However, if you have no prior experience with inventory software, some may seem more complex. In such a case, conducting thorough research on the features and functionalities is crucial to finding the best solution.

To gauge how user-friendly a particular inventory management system is, reading online reviews from other users can provide valuable insights. Additionally, consider requesting a free trial of the software to see if it seamlessly aligns with your business operations before finalizing your decision.

3. Consider the system's flexibility

Another important factor to consider is the extent of customization provided by the inventory management software. In other words, you'll want to find software that can be adjusted to fit your specific business needs.

The level of customization offered by an inventory management system can differ significantly from one provider to the next. Some systems offer little in the way of customization, whereas others offer a diverse range of customizable features.

When assessing potential inventory software solutions, it's best to ask the vendor about how customizable the software is and the range of options available. Of course, the more customizable, the better it is for your business.

4. Check the pricing

The cost of software is a crucial factor when determining the best inventory management system for your business. As previously mentioned, there are tons of different options in the market, with some being expensive and not delivering significant value, while others are fairly priced and adept at meeting your business requirements. It's essential to weigh the cost of the system against the benefits it provides.

When selecting the right inventory software, prioritizing an option that offers a balance between cost and functionality is key. You need to opt for software that not only meets your budget but also accomplishes the specific tasks at hand. While proper inventory management software may be a significant investment in the short term, your business will thank you in the long run.

5. Consider the tech support available

While inventory management software may be user-friendly or feature-rich, there'll always be a learning curve to the software. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a software solution that you can't use because you don't know how to operate it.

As such, it's essential to consider a software provider that offers excellent customer support. Be sure to find out what kind of support is offered and gauge how responsive the support team is. The best inventory management software provider will offer 24/7 customer support, ready to assist in case you run into any problems.

Additionally, explore the available support channels, including emails, phone support, and live chats, to ensure convenient access to assistance in a way that aligns with your preferences. Evaluating the provider's commitment to continuous support is crucial for the seamless and effective integration of inventory management software into your business operations.

Transform your inventory management process with the right IMS

As technology continues to evolve, the importance of upgrading your inventory management software becomes increasingly apparent to remain competitive in the dynamic market. Nonetheless, investing the time to evaluate and select the best inventory management software positions your small business for long-term success and operational efficiency.

As a small business owner, the inventory management system you settle for will play a huge role in determining how smoothly your business operates and its success. By considering the tips above, you're well-equipped to make an informed decision.

Britecheck is a market leader in mobile-based inventory management systems. Register to try our inventory management app today and experience the most efficient and easy-to-use inventory management system available.