Small businesses often get into a rut of how to do basic tasks that are completed on a routine basis. For instance, many businesses have some type of inventory program that includes manual counts on a specific schedule, typically right before placing orders.
For very small businesses with limited stock, low sales volume and with just one location or ecommerce site, the old manual way may be the best option. However, that really doesn’t match the description of a successful small business where sales staff is busy with customers or doing their jobs and managers are busy finding ways to continue to grow the company.
Think of inventory optimization software as a very simple, effective and streamlined way to keep tabs on exactly what is one the sales floor, in the inventory room as well as what is selling online in real time.
This software is linked to specific methods of tracking inventory. The two most common in retail and most types of businesses include barcode scanning or RFID tags. Both are used to “read” or scan the inventory coming into the stock room.
Then, the inventory optimization software automatically updates the inventory database, giving you revised numbers in an instant. At the same time, as items are sold to customers, either online or in a retail outlet, it is scanned at a POS (Point of Sale) terminal and deducted from the inventory.
The same record keeping is available if you are moving stock between locations. Everything can be scanned in and scanned out, avoiding lost shipments or eliminating the need to order products for one store if there is a surplus in another.
It is important to keep in mind that inventory optimization software does more than just track inventory. It can be used to set prices, to determine customer trends, to place orders or to automatically provide notifications if inventory numbers drop below a specific level. With these systems in place, businesses have more control and better data to make the most informed decisions.