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Inventory Management Software: Avoiding the Pitfalls

Inventory Management Software: Avoiding the Pitfalls. Inventory management software is at the heart of every retail business.

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Inventory Management Software Avoiding the Pitfalls

Inventory management software is at the heart of every retail business. Thus, it is prudent to ensure that the company is steadfast in its implementation. And in equal measure, they should be wary about a few pitfalls that they ought to avoid.

1. Lack of Inventory Management Software User Training

Inventory management is inherently a complicated subject that requires experience and honed instincts. Despite its name, inventory management does not necessarily revolve around inventory.

Other aspects that affect lists, such as those that affect the inventory status, such as purchases and sales, are part of the whole inventory management paradigm. This is the reason why inventory management, and incidentally the inventory management software, is too broad in scope.

The common pitfall that businesses fall through when it comes to training is the sheer confidence that they have in their staff’s ability to adjust with a new system put in place.

There should never be an assumption that the operating units will hit the ground running. The main barriers include technological challenges, resistance to changes, and lacking consultation.

Although computers and computer systems have been around for a while, we cannot dispute the fact that there are still some people that are reluctant to work with software.

Especially in the blue-collar jobs in which productivity is often translated from the amount of sweat you produce, it can be quite a challenge to get the inventory staff on board with new software, or software in general. This is why there must be a balance within the inventory staff. It is necessary to have a balance between the tech-savvy and the maturity.

Change is never an easy thing to introduce to a workforce that has known to do one thing the same way for a long time. In which case, they need to be given a long enough time to adjust before transitioning.

Consider having a part of the inventory pipeline migrated into the new system while leaving out a majority of the operation the same way. Then, bit by bit, introduce unique aspects of the new inventory management system, until the entire set up has staff acclimated.

Finally, one of the reasons that new inventory management software fails to launch as it was intended is because there was not enough consultation done with the people on the ground.

Since they are the ones who would be working intently with the software, their say must be paramount in the decision process. This is one of the most commonly left out aspects in most business software decisions.

To ensure that everyone is on the same page, all the stakeholders should be part of the product demo and the training. Software companies usually showcase their product if you ask them to.

During these product demonstrations, everyone must be there to witness. Functions and features should be shown, and the team has to approve that these are indeed essential in their job.

1. Losing the Inventory Management Software Forecasts

Artificial intelligence has evolved from a thought study into a full-fledged scientific branch that has business merit. With the advent of machine learning, decision support systems have never been as smart as they are now.

The inventory management system is no exception to the wonders of AI, and it would be wasteful if the business turns a blind eye to this opportunity.

There are quite a lot of areas aside from the obvious ones when talking about forecasting and decision support in inventory management systems. The most obvious one is probably the digital equivalent of the merchant instinct. To understand this a little bit, we first have to talk about how merchants did their business before.

Similar to the modern traders, olden time merchants would buy supplies from suppliers, sell their products then buy a certain amount before the day ends. The crucial decision here is the time when the merchant decides how much he should buy. Of course, as the able merchant that he is, he would look at the remaining stock, count how much he sold, consider the season and how many he can carry in his cart, then buy the number.

The summary of that decision is what is called the merchant instinct. On many levels, the same is still applied by the modern merchant. However, as has been mentioned, this whole process can be done algebraically using an algorithm ultimately designed by a machine or artificial intelligence. The way it works draws parallel to the same merchant that we talked about.

The amount of stock left and what has been sold can be deduced from the sales record and the current inventory. Here is where artificial intelligence shines. The season could be a derived function from previous sales as you might expect, but that is not all.

Several studies show that trends can be formed from other factors as well. Some of these factors include seemingly unconnected entities, like the weather, days of the week, and others. And finally, using the same merchant example, the final decision on how much product to purchase would depend on the report of the system.

As was hinted at, the merchant instinct is not the only aspect of inventory management where AI can be of help. Supplier profiling is the process of deducing the essential facts from individual suppliers based on their punctuality on their deliveries, quality of their shipments, and the precision of the purchased supply.

This is extremely important, considering that the end goal is to optimize the amount of space that the stockrooms and the shelves can accommodate. Remember that empty spaces in stockrooms cost money as well as stocks that are not able to make it there.

The key here is to balance the supply with the demand, and no tool can do so better than a decision support system based on artificial intelligence. Finally, you may not be able to figure it out as soon as the inventory system is deployed, but AI hinges on the data supplied to it.

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Business

Upgrades That Will Help Your Business Thrive

Once you’ve identified your goals and how to attain them, you can then grow your business in specific areas according to what you want to achieve.  The following 13 upgrades cover common areas of business that typically need developing:

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Upgrades That Will Help Your Business Thrive

Continuous improvement should be the primary goal of any business.  While it takes time and effort and some financial outlay, it’s crucial to continue growing and striving toward becoming the leader in your field.

This guide offers 13 ideas to help your business grow, increase your customer base, improve your productivity and boost your bottom line.

Start With A Solid Foundation

Before you commit to growth you should ensure your business is built on solid ground.  Here are some tips to help you begin:

Know your business – the use of tools such as benchmarking, market research and trend analysis will help you get a better picture of the factors affecting your business.

Take charge of your finances Make a commitment to understanding your daily, weekly, and monthly figures. Unless you have a dedicated accountant, you need to have a thorough understanding of your financial situation.

Prioritize your goals – identify those business goals which can be achieved relatively quickly and those which will require more time and financial investment. Make sure the goals you set are relevant and can be achieved in a realistic timeframe.

Develop a plan – once you’ve identified your goals, you will need to develop strategies to realize them and the best means of implementing those strategies.

Make your results measurable – work out how you are going to measure your results.  You may want to introduce devices such as a point system or desired percentage increase.

13 Ways To Upgrade Your Business

Once you’ve identified your goals and how to attain them, you can then grow your business in specific areas according to what you want to achieve.  The following 13 upgrades cover common areas of business that typically need developing:

Include reviews – today’s consumers place great value on the opinions of their peers when it comes to buying products. Upgrading your website to include customer reviews will help to increase sales and boost customer confidence. Be sure to include both good and bad reviews if you want to be taken seriously.

Upgrade your internet an upgrade to FTTP (fiber to the premises) now will pay big dividends for your business down the line and it doesn’t have to cost you anything.  Qualifying businesses connecting to high-speed NBN plans can enjoy a $0 upfront cost.

Computer Monitor and Other Remote Work Must-Haves

Introduce automation – there is a multitude of software and applications designed to reduce labor costs and increase productivity. Many are inexpensive and can free up small business owners, allowing them to focus more on growing their core business.

Increase your social media presence – rather than just a Facebook page and a presence on Instagram and Twitter, you should look at other forms of customer interaction such as articles, sponsorship, blogs, and webinars.

Start networking – as well as an online presence, you need to get out there more and attend industry-related events such as expos and seminars.  This is, not only to network with others in your field but also to forge new contacts with like-minded businesses, with cross-promotion in mind.

Create a rewards program – think of ways to reward your existing customers to maintain their loyalty and incentivize them to buy from you again.  These could include early access to specials and exclusive offers not available to the general public.

Create an email list – email addresses of existing customers are a valuable resource you should be taking full advantage of.  Send those on your mailing list regular reminders of what you have to offer, but make sure it’s valuable content rather than what could be perceived as spam.

Ask for feedback – another valuable resource is your customers’ opinions.  Ask them what they think of your products and then use this feedback to improve your product line and customer service.

Streamline your business – identify which products aren’t selling, which employees aren’t performing and any other areas that may be holding you back.  Make changes and be ruthless on behalf of your business.

Reduce overheads – look at ways to cut costs within your business such as transitioning to a remote workforce or outsourcing business processes such as payroll, HR, and bookkeeping.

Invest in your people – good staff morale translates into good customer service. Provide your employees additional training, advancement opportunities, and a fair wage to ensure a healthy company culture.

Improve your credentials – reduce your carbon footprint, introduce sustainable processes and practice corporate responsibility in order to retain and grow your customer base.

Increase cybersecurity upgrade your cybersecurity systems to make sure you are protected from the latest threats from hackers, malware, etc.  This is particularly important if you have a remote workforce.

Roughly half of all small businesses don’t make it past their fifth year of operation, so continuous improvement needs to be a priority from day one. Adopting just a few of the measures suggested here should help keep your business on trend, competitive, and above all, profitable.

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