Are you figuring out costs, making plans to set up your shop? Or are you already running an eCommerce business? Either way, effective inventory management systems are indispensable to make the best business.
What is inventory management?
Inventory management refers to storing, sourcing, and selling stock. It is about knowing the stock you have, where to store it, how much to sell, and how long to keep it. Understanding inventory management is crucial for businesses of all sizes. Preventing waste helps save time and cost, but even the biggest firms collapse failing to employ the appropriate systems.
The types of inventory management systems
Adopting the inventory management systems is helpful. The system offers data visibility as well as useful metrics, assisting in making business decisions in the future.
One of the most popular inventory management systems is the barcode system. It improves stock organization, boosts efficiency and accuracy. Barcode allows for instant product scanning, keeping the inventory levels updated automatically. The mobile barcode scanners also help further the scanning process speed.
Some of the advantages are:
- Automatic inventory updates
- Speedy scanning
- Efficient stock movement between and within warehouses
- Fewer mistakes
- Quick transfers from packing, picking, and shipping
- Optimized documentation and reporting
Radio Frequency Identification Systems (RFID)
RFID tagging is one of the best ways to increase operation accuracy. The RFID system is active, covering a range of 300 feet, and works the same as a barcode system. Meanwhile, the passive systems are hand-held devices covering 40 feet scanning range.
However, there are some downsides worth knowing:
- More expensive than a barcode system
- RFID tags carry more data that unprepared servers bog down
- Transitioning into RFID is expensive and requires specialized equipment
Another effective solution is a cloud-based inventory management system. The app uses a subscription-based payment plan, thus lowering the entry cost.
It also goes on with the updates, while you‘re continuing with your regular work. It is much better than an on-premise system which requires shutting down the whole program for any update. Furthermore, security is a big win. There is no need to worry about loss or corruption since you can recall information quickly at any time. The operation-critical documents are also easy to store.
Choosing suitable inventory management systems is a daunting task. However, before setting for barcode, RFID or a cloud-based platform, ask yourself:
- What is the inventory type to work with?
- How big is the business?
- What is the deployment strategy to adopt?
- How much is the budget and do you need a new management system?