Inventory management is an important and often time-consuming exercise for retailers, greatly influencing the daily operations and overall success of their business. Getting the right software with the right features is a good first step towards the effective streamlining and optimisation of retail inventory management and control.
Cloud computing solutions for inventory management offer some great features for retailers. From the real-time tracking of stock and utilisation of mobile and barcode technologies to integration with existing software and access to real-time analytics and price adjustments, cloud computing can provide a great all round platform for retail businesses, often for a very reasonable subscription amount.
It’s always a good idea to do some research of your own before deciding what systems to utilise but to cover the basics, let’s take a closer look at what benefits cloud inventory management has to offer retailers.
1. Quick and easy set-up
Most cloud solutions are quick to set-up and easy to implement, which is great news for retailers looking to start-up or make the change from traditional in-house systems. As the software is housed by the provider, access at the business end is often as simple as connecting through any internet enabled device.
Many cloud platforms enable barcode technology and POS integration, offering some good all-round solutions for retailers looking to unify their operating and management systems.
2. Affordable subscriptions and little upfront outlay
Many cloud based solutions are provided by subscription rather than one-off purchase. This is a great advantage for all businesses looking to keep costs low and effectively enables small or startup businesses to access cutting-edge inventory management technology without a huge outlay. Retailers that want to keep their operating costs low can look for a provider that offers the best all-round deal for their needs.
3. Real-time inventory tracking
Many cloud solutions offer real-time inventory tracking, meaning you always have a grasp of accurate inventory levels and data. Any internet enabled device can be used to view your stock levels or generate reports, giving the added bonus of mobile access.
Also, if you’re wanting a great way to optimise and streamline your inventory tracking, look for inventory management software that enables the use of barcode technology.
4. Accurate product tracking
Most retailers like to have a close relationship with their stock and how well it’s performing. Cloud computing offers accurate tracking and management of your products, how they’re selling and what the return on investment is. Good cloud inventory management systems can help you keep track of products with low sales, giving you the ability to implement mark-downs in real-time.
5. Cutting-down on software and hardware costs
Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions remove the need to purchase and install software for in-house use, allowing a reduction in hardware and software upkeep costs. This is a great advantage for retailers that are looking to streamline their operations and can help free-up capital to use elsewhere.
As the software is hosted by the provider, all updates and issues are resolved at their end and are usually included in the subscription costs. As well as keeping costs low, this allows businesses to operate with less need for in-house IT support.
6. Improved customer service
Customers are the most important part of any retail business and cloud solutions, when utilised well, can have a great impact on customer service and relations. Having real-time access to all stock levels and locations helps to ensure you only sell what you have on hand or can order in, creating healthy customer relationships and repeat business.
This is a guest post by Samuel Stadler from Unleashed. Unleashed is a powerful inventory management application which allows you to accurately manage your inventory online, in real time.