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Take charge of your stock with revenue-boosting inventory management software

Effective inventory control means fast, accurate fulfillment – keeping your clients happy and helping you cut costs. 

Avoiding the pitfalls of poor stock management 

Good inventory management is a balancing act. You want to make sure you have enough stock to meet customer demand, but not so much that you can’t shift it. Without an effective inventory control system, loss of sales and spiraling costs could make a major dent in your bottom line.

If a customer wants to buy something you haven’t got in stock, you could find yourself paying extra for a last-minute express order, or losing the customer, if they decide to go with a competitor who has the product readily available. Either way, you’re out of pocket – and you might have wasted time on additional ordering. 

On the flipside, if you have more stock than you can sell, you could face significant additional costs for things like warehouse space, insurance, depreciation and asset tax. These expenses can quickly add up to sizable amounts, and managing unsold inventory takes valuable time away from running your business.

So how can you make sure your stock management is up to scratch? 

Consider just-in-time inventory management

A JIT strategy involves only ordering products as and when they’re needed for sale, in the exact amounts required. If you are confident that you can forecast demand accurately and have reliable suppliers, a JIT strategy will help you minimise unsold inventory and avoid waste due to storage damage and depreciation. It will also reduce your storage and maintenance costs. 

A good inventory tracker and stock management system can help facilitate a JIT strategy, but it’s not going to be the right approach for all businesses.

Improving your inventory management

You need to have a firm handle on your warehouse operations as well as your stock to improve your inventory management.  We’ve outlined four actions you can take to start the journey towards a more effective and money-saving inventory control system:

1. Look at how you manage inventory control now
Start by carefully reviewing your current stock management practices, including any inventory software you’re using. Speak to relevant colleagues to get their thoughts on what’s working and won’t not. You’ll need to understand each step of the inventory control process to identify where there is room for improvement. 

2. Check your physical inventory regularly 
An inventory tracker that keeps tabs on what you’ve bought and what you’ve sold won’t necessarily account for goods that are lost, stolen or damaged in the warehouse. You need to know exactly how much of each item you have in order to establish an efficient stock management system. That means physically checking your inventory and comparing it with your records on a regular basis. 

3. Use an inventory management system to keep stocks replenished
If you’re not taking a JIT approach, a stock management system that prompts you to place orders when your inventory reaches set levels will help make sure you never run out of stock completely. This is especially important during busy periods. By automating this process, you’ll reduce the risk of any product shortages between placing an order and the shipment arriving.  

4. Understand and adapt to customer behaviour 

Understanding customer behaviours and being able to forecast demand meaningfully is a powerful tool – not just for businesses with a JIT strategy. Having effective inventory management software in place will help you track which items are selling well (or not), specific periods when customers are ordering more or less, as well as any seasonal changes and outside influences affecting your product flow. You can then use these insights to shape and adapt your stock management strategy, maintaining the right inventory balance at all times. 

 

What good inventory management software does

Explore how improving your stock management system could boost both your business efficiency and your profits.

Keeps you in charge of costs

A powerful inventory control system gives you the tools and insights you need to take charge of your business spend, and streamline your company processes. By staying financially agile and keeping on top of costs, you’ll give your business the best chance of remaining profitable in a fast-paced and sometimes volatile operating environment. 

Helps you get stock control right

Understanding your customers’ behavioural patterns and other factors that affect your sales is crucial to getting your inventory right. With stock management software you’ll have easy access to live data and comprehensive, automated reports, empowering you to make better decisions about both stock quantities and product pricing.

Saves you time on purchasing

Save time and manpower by using an inventory management system that automates your purchasing processes. Let the software run many of the key elements for you – like restocking and recording all purchase orders – generating detailed, accurate data that can help you shape your strategy going forward. 

Inventory control as part of a full business management solution

Our cloud-based business solutions are the perfect tools for stock management, but they can do so much more.

Sage Business Cloud Sage X3

Provides faster, more intuitive and tailored business management solutions than conventional ERP for organisations looking to thrive and retain their competitive advantage by increasing their agility and embracing change at speed.

  • A single solution for your managing core business processes including inventory, sales, customer service, finances, and more
  • Collaborate across divisions, countries, multiple sites, languages and legislations
  • Manage financial operations with general ledger, cost accounting, and budgeting
  • Control procurement, cash flow and business purchases
  • Get a complete view of your customers across sales, marketing, customer service and support
  • Ideal for manufacturing, wholesale distribution, and service processes
Learn more about Sage X3
Sage 300cloud

Unlock your company’s potential, reduce costs and improve performance with enhanced business visibility with Sage 300cloud - connecting finance, operations, and inventory in multiple languages and currencies.

  • Access a unified view of your business from anywhere on any device
  • Faster, more informed collaboration and decision making with powerful analysis and reporting capabilities
  • Powerful customer relationship management and increased business visibility
  • Powerful project and services management
  • Strategically manage every aspect of the distribution cycle from purchasing to sales
  • Save time and improve the productivity of your team with Office 365 integration
  • Powerful financial management capabilities and automated businesses processes
Learn more about Sage 300cloud

The business benefits of good inventory software

Keep customers happy

Quality of service is an essential selling point in today’s competitive marketplace, both online and for brick and mortar businesses. You might not always be able to beat your competitors’ lowest prices, but by proving to your customers that your service, delivery and added value is worth the extra spend, you can still win their loyalty. 

Dynamic inventory software gives you instant insight into stock levels, customer details, shipping information and more – making sure orders are fulfilled quickly and accurately.

Get paid faster

Fulfilling orders faster usually means you get paid faster, but managing invoicing and purchase records manually takes time. If you’re working flat out to make sure your day-to-day operations are on target, financial admin can easily fall behind. 

By using a stock management system, you can automate the payment collection process, minimise delays, and improve your cash flow – allowing you to focus on running your business. 

Save money

At its core, good inventory management boils down to making sure you have the right stock, in the right amount, at the right time – and it can be challenging. A warehouse full of unused, depreciating stock will quickly escalate your cost. And if you don’t have enough inventory to meet demand you might lose customers or pay more to expedite stock orders. 

The right stock management software will gather and analyse live sales and inventory data instantly for you. You’ll be able to easily generate quality forecasts, helping you make sure you’re never out of stock and get the maximum value from your inventory.

Fuel business efficiency

Intuitive stock management software is more than an inventory tracker; it can elevate your business efficiency in many different ways. From powerful data and forecasting tools that help with strategic marketing and supply-chain decision-making, to the automation of routine tasks and processes, freeing up time and working capital for you to invest where it's needed most. 

Looking for inventory management advice?

Explore our articles, guides and expert tips, covering a range of topics related to stock management, inventory software and more. 

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Change how your business competes and grows

Manage every area of your business, including inventory control, with Sage Business Cloud X3.