Why Do You Need a Custom Web-Based Inventory Management System?
Products and materials counting and storing remain an important part of the workflow for the businesses involved in wholesale, retail, and distribution. Meanwhile, the inventory management processes have changed over the past ten years and today require a more comprehensive and technified approach. That’s happening due to a number of tendencies – quick growth of e-commerce businesses, the emergence of omnichannel retail, and the expansion of business relationships on the national and international levels.
With a growing number of digital inventory management solutions, large and medium companies manage to effectively upgrade their product stocking and distribution workflows. For example, Amazon has largely automated its warehouse management with the latest digital and robotics solutions to an alarming level. Meanwhile, small businesses stop seeing manually performed inventory management as a viable option and prefer switching to special-purpose software. This helps them significantly alleviate the inventory management processes and increase their competitiveness in the market.
In this article, we’ll look into different inventory management systems and explain how to build an effective web-based inventory management solution.
What is a Web-based Inventory Management System?
The web-based inventory management system term can be explained by splitting it into two parts. A set of processes which is an inventory management system and the technology used to support these processes in the digital format which is web-based. Let’s look in more detail at the two.
Inventory management system is a set of stock monitoring and managing processes that help keep track of all the materials and product movements in stock. This system is widely used by product manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers and can be performed in different formats – from specialized software to simply paper-based documentation.
Web-based solution is a type of software that is accessed over the internet using the HTTP connection. Web-based applications can run in a browser or they can be client-based solutions with part of the program installed on the user’s desktop for quick access. Web-based applications use external servers and don’t depend on device memory. This makes them easy to access and share data, simple to scale and maintain, and highly performant solutions.
Key Features of Web-based Inventory Management System
When using web-based inventory management systems, companies discover new opportunities in effective stock management for themselves. Moreover, they can put into operation the systems with properly selected features so that they would entirely meet their business needs.
While there is a wide range of functionalities that can be added to web-based inventory management systems, let’s consider the key ones.
Inventory control involves a variety of activities that largely depend on each company’s requirements. This can involve picking and packing products at certain warehouse locations, receiving up-to-date info about inventory levels, support of cycle counting inventory strategies, shipping and location management, order receiving and preparation for shipment, and many others.
Often, inventory control systems include barcode and RFID scanning and reading technology. It allows quick finding of the necessary products in stock and provides inventory managers with additional info about a particular product such as lot number, customer shipment, purchase order, and more.
Apart from precise product tracking and management, inventory software should also include inventory-related documentation processing features. This can involve bills of lading handling, invoice management, proper order placement, and many others.
Improved Analytics and Forecasting
Inventory management systems hold large amounts of inventory data and it’s great when this data is processed and analyzed well. That’s why modern inventory systems are empowered with AI technology that can effectively process the data and bring back precise analytics reports to inventory managers.
With AI-enhanced analytics, inventory managers can quickly find out which products are more popular and run out of stock faster, how well the products are stored and rotated, calculate and place more profitable product orders to manufacturers, and much more.
Given this, AI technology can largely automate the order placement processes and send notifications as soon as any products run out of stock or when their expiry dates are almost over.
For large companies, presenting data in a proper format across various departments, to their customers, or to their business partners can significantly increase their business efficiency and performance. Therefore, when selecting a proper inventory management system, managers should make sure that the data display can be simply adjusted depending on the interested party.
Moreover, these systems should provide role-based access to the users. This way, companies safeguard their data well within the organization, preventing unauthorized access.