Online inventory tools are available to help your business reduce costs through structured inventory control and accounting. Such tools are really just accounting software that has been modified to serve the needs of manufacturers and resellers. Gone are the days of tracking your inventory in a spreadsheet. Today, web applications are available that give you the flexibility that inventory software offers, without the constant upgrades. Because online inventory tools are web based applications, they are able to help your business stay on the cutting edge of inventory management in many ways.
The advantage of web-based software has long been seen in back office functions, such as day to day accounting and cash flow management. With the inclusion of inventory management, you end up with a full suite of tools that can all be accessed online. For a low monthly cost, companies can use browser-based applications to handle all aspects of the business faster and more accurately. These applications make reports easily accessible to any person in your organization that needs them at any location.
In the old days, a company’s buyer would periodically check stock for inventory items in short supply and then place an order based on his best guess of how much of a stock will be needed. Such methods resulted in overstock and shortages on a regular basis. Today things are different. Now we can go online for the tools we need to accurately track and replenish supply.
Just as computers revolutionized the business world in the 80’s, the internet is changing everything today. This every changing medium has evolved to a level where all your business needs can be handled in one web based application. The easy and speed of such applications have given rise to new thinking about the supply chain and how inventory is managed. These new methods are increasing customer satisfaction and the ability for
Web Browser Interface
Browser interface means that you no longer need to worry about the operating system you are working with. All platforms like Windows, Mac, Linux or Unix are compatible with internet browsers.
Centralized Store for Information
The reason computers have been such a powerful tool in the corporate world is that they allow companies to keep all of their data in a centralized location. This means anyone in your business, no matter their location, can access the information needed to get business done. Your inventory database, inventory procedures and market forecasts will all be in one place for you to access.
Online inventory tools take care of security for you. Your data is kept on secure servers using state of the art technology. This will be an enormous boom for your budget, no longer needed to invest in IT and security systems to keep your data safe. These systems allow you to set security levels and protocols for users, so only those employees that truly need to get the information can have access.
Your information is backed up daily on remote servers ensuring your data can be recovered should anything go wrong. In most cases, you can also create your own data backup if you prefer to have the information onsite.
Less Down Time
Web based application upgrades are done automatically and remotely, saving you the time to have a service representative come in to reconfigure your system. This also means that you do not need to service and maintain servers at your location if you prefer not to. This saves on IT infrastructure and labor costs. Because your data is all online, the need to integrate software and upgrades with your current system becomes obsolete. Organizations with remote offices will benefits enormously from this feature. Most applications do not charge for these regular upgrades.
Manage Multiple Locations
Online inventory tools also allow you to manage several warehouses at once, letting you set different replenishment levels for each location and product. The information is available to the users you choose, so your warehouse managers can each access the information whenever it is needed. You can monitor inventory not only in your warehouse, but at any point along the supply chain. You can look at data as a whole for your business, or look only at specific locations or groups of locations.
Whether your distribution chain involves external customers or internal departments, you can allow users to view the inventory available when placing orders, eliminating back orders and other problems. Users can easily print catalogs of your merchandise and place orders from remote locations.
Many of these applications allow you to check your stock levels and reorder from the same interface. You can monitor distributions, run reports and forecast trends all from one simple application. You can look at the inbound orders and when they are expected at your warehouse to track the timeliness of your suppliers. It also allows you to check your outbound orders against shipping orders so you know when the materials will leave the warehouse, and coordinate with inbound orders. You can even view open orders that remain to be filled.
Internet based applications can also allow you to communicate more effectively with your team through messaging. If you notice a problem at one location, you can easily contact the location manager and work out the solution. These applications give you access to every business function you may need.
Because online inventory tools allow you to track all aspects of your business in one location, end of year accounting becomes much easier. Now you can create a separate listing for assets not found instead of poring over reports and invoices to get the data. You will have a clear picture of your assets and the ability to track them at all times. Systems allow you to manage both tangible and intangible assets.