In choosing the right software for your inventory, you have many options.
You can choose from either cloud-based or on-premise solutions. And you could also opt to use a mix of both types of software depending on your needs.
But before choosing any solution, you need to understand what is needed in an inventory management system.
We’ve compiled this guide to choosing inventory management software to help you make the right decision.
1. Understand Your Needs
The first step in choosing software for tracking inventory is to understand your needs. What inventory management software features do you need the system for?
Do you want a better way of tracking which items are out of stock, or would you like it connected with accounting and warehouse systems as well?
It’s important to take into consideration:
- What functions will be needed
- How much they can be integrated
- Whether any custom features may work best for your business.
Once you know what exactly you require from an inventory management solution, then choosing one becomes easier. Doing so requires matching up requirements with various available solutions.
2. Explore the Full Range of Options for Software
There are two main types of inventory management software options:
An on-premise solution is generally more customizable. It’s installed locally in your office or warehouse. But this type means you need to invest time and money into installing, configuring, maintaining it.
And you will be responsible for back-ups and security updates. So, it also requires a hefty investment in terms of resources. You need an in-house team that knows how to maintain and fix the software when necessary.
The other option for managing inventory is through cloud-based solutions. This option provides the flexibility of choosing from numerous different solutions. And that’s because it doesn’t require any installation or maintenance.
It also saves time and money. You can get started immediately without investing in on-premise infrastructure, hardware, staff training, or security updates. Since you perform all functions online, it gives your team easy access to data no matter their physical location.
And since this is a subscription service, it offers greater ease of use and affordability over other options.
3. Consider a Hybrid Solution
Some businesses may find it more effective to use a mix of both types of software.
This option offers many benefits, such as:
More flexible options depending on what’s needed at any given time and for different team members. For example, some inventory-related functions can be performed in the cloud and others locally with an on-premise solution.
It is possible to always have all data available since there is no need to exclusively choose one or the other type. This means that you don’t have to worry about your system getting disconnected from its source when choosing one option.
4. Start Small
As with choosing any other software, it’s important to always start small. Begin by choosing one solution and choose the most basic features available.
It is also recommended that you go for a free trial before choosing which type of system to use. This way, your team members can get familiarized with how inventory management works firsthand without needing to buy into anything yet.
You’ll see how intuitive and easy-to-use the options are. And at the same time getting a feel on whether they will work best for your business needs or not.
This gives you enough information about what is needed from an inventory management system and how much budget should be spent purchasing such software.
5. Get to Know the Inventory Software Provider
When choosing inventory management software, you also need to choose a vendor. This means choosing from companies with an established track record and proven capabilities in terms of delivering results.
Several important factors determine which company is best for your needs:
Their Expertise on What They Do
It should be clearly stated if today’s business challenges are their area of expertise or not. If so, then such knowledge can help them offer better solutions tailored specifically towards meeting your requirements. It’s preferable if this involves creating custom-built functions rather than simply using off-the-shelf modules.
A Straightforward Pricing Strategy
A good vendor should be able to clearly state the costs associated with their solutions. This includes a breakdown of each service and cost across different packages. They should also outline add-ons needed on top of what’s already included in the basic package.
This gives you an accurate picture of how much inventory management software will set your business back financially.
A Reliable Support Team
Choosing software that comes with good customer service is vital for keeping things running smoothly after implementation has been done. It should also have responsive technical support available 24/hrs if ever issues arise during usage of the inventory management system.
6. Be Flexible
When choosing inventory management software, it’s also important to be flexible in terms of future needs.
It is possible that you don’t know exactly what your business will need from an inventory system yet. So, it makes sense to choose a system with the capability and flexibility needed to meet those potential requirements when they arise.
A good example of this would be choosing a platform that offers scalability and integration capabilities. That way, no matter how much data gets accumulated after implementation, they can always keep up with new demands without switching platforms or vendors.
7. Make Comparisons
It’s important to compare choices when choosing inventory management software. This will help you find out which system is the best fit for your needs and budget.
Several factors can be taken into account, such as:
- How well it works with other systems
- Its cost per license or users
- Scalability options
Making comparisons (especially comparing software costs) also speeds up the process of choosing different vendor offers. There’s less guesswork involved in choosing one over another.
Choosing Inventory Management Software Simplified
Choosing inventory management software isn’t just choosing a system that works. It’s also choosing the vendor needed to make sure it will work well with your business, as well as future needs.
We hope these tips will help you in your decision-making process. For more tips and guides, keep reading our posts.