Exploring a New Inventory System? Here’s How to Find the Limits of Your Software
If you’ve recently moved into cloud inventory software, it’s probably because someone told you just how amazing it all was.
And they were right. Cloud inventory is a game-changer (and a time-saver!) for the average business.
But just like any other piece of tech or software, it’s never a complete miracle cure. Even the most advanced and expensive bits of kit have their limits – and you won’t find them listed in an advert or a sales pitch.
So what’s the solution?
You’ve got to find those limits for yourself. (With a little help from us at BlueHub, of course.)
So if you’ve just subscribed to a new piece of inventory software – or you’re still working your way through a short free trial – now’s the perfect time to get a real understanding of how far your software can take you.
Ready to start? Let’s see what you need to watch out for:
Can your inventory software handle your data?
If you’re a product-based business, you’ll know how overwhelming it can be trying to manage all of your data.
And that was probably one of the biggest attractions of moving to a modern inventory app – streamlining your processes and letting the software handle the details for you.
But as your range of products grows (along with the number of orders you take), you could find that your business starts to outgrow your new software.
So what should you be looking for? Here are the main data limits you need to find:
1. The number of different products you can upload – especially if you rotate seasonal products, where the total number of SKUs can add up.
2. The number of orders you can process each month.
3. And the product data fields your business needs – does your software allow for expiry dates, batch numbers, and customs clearance codes?
Unfortunately, there’s no quick and easy answer that applies to every inventory app. So you’ll have to dig in to the specifics of the software you’re using to find the limits for each one – and ideally, you’ll be aware of the limits before you start to reach them!
Can your new software speak to your other platforms?
One of the best benefits of upgrading to a cloud-based inventory system is the potential for an automated experience across all of your other bits of software.
But not every inventory app has the same capabilities – and it’s important to understand where the limits lie early on.
So while you’re exploring your new piece of kit, here are the links you need to watch out for:
1. The third-party integrations that come as standard – ideally, your inventory software will be able to talk directly to the software you use for accounting, logistics, sales, and purchasing.
2. A connection to your Ecommerce site – if you’re using something like Shopify or WooCommerce, you’re in luck. But a less popular site might need a custom link.
3. A link to your Point of Sale (POS) system – if you’re using a POS system, it’s essential that you can connect it directly to your inventory software.
Luckily, most capable bits of inventory software will automatically come with all of the most common and useful integrations to major third-party apps.
But if you’re still working through your inventory app’s trial period, and you find you don’t have the right connections, it might be time to rethink your options. (Or instead, start to learn about how custom app development can give you and your software the links your business needs.)
Can your software make life easier for your teams?
The best cloud inventory packages will come with options to give your other departments the access they need.
But different businesses will have different needs – and you might find that some inventory software doesn’t tick all the boxes you’re looking for.
In particular, you should check that your chosen inventory software can:
1. Control how your sales teams use it – with specific user permissions to restrict what they can change or edit (or an integration with any sales agent apps you already use)
2. Automate your purchasing – assigning minimum stock levels, setting automatic reordering points, and giving your teams the alerts and notifications to keep them on track.
Modern software is all about giving your staff more time to focus on their most important work. And if your chosen inventory app isn’t helping out your people, your business is missing out on a huge opportunity to save time and money.
Can your inventory software serve your customers?
You wouldn’t expect an inventory system to have any interaction with your customers. But if you’re in a B2B business that supplies products to other companies, you need to be sure you’ve got the software that can help.
So when you’re exploring a new inventory system, you should be looking for:
1. The ability to create and manage customer agreements – with things like credit limits, multiple locations, or structured pricing tiers that are affected by what they order.
2. Customisation options for your B2B portal – including the level of control you have over pricing, how you manage their orders, and the level of control you have over your portal’s visual branding and interface.
Still not sure if you’re making the right choice?
Finding the right fit with a cloud-based inventory system isn’t easy.
And trying to explore all of its limits with a short free trial can be completely overwhelming.
If you’re still exploring your inventory options (or you’re not sure if your new piece of software has everything you need), we’re here to help.
We’ve been guiding businesses into the world of cloud inventory for years – helping them to identify their problems and discover the practical limits of the software they’re using or considering.
So if you’re a business that’s gearing up for a new piece of inventory software, you can book a free consultation with one of our experts, or sign up for our comprehensive System Health Check – and we’ll give you the guidance and advice you need to find the perfect fit for your next inventory app.
Click here to download the PDF version of ‘Exploring a New Inventory System? Here’s how to Find the Limits of Your Software’
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