As a business owner, it’s understandable that you want to keep costs low. After all, low costs and low overhead are meant more at the bottom line for the business, right? Basically yes, but what if those low-cost measures cost you more in lost opportunities? Basically, opportunity cost is the alternative cost or value of the next-highest-valued option. The notion of opportunity cost can come often in business and time is often what people give up.
Why torture yourself and your team when there are cheaper and faster options available online?
Sure, you might run a small business on a tight budget and can’t justify with a new software. Luckily for you, cloud-based inventory management is actually MORE affordable than the old methods you’re currently using – and that’s just one perk.
Below we’ve compiled 8 reasons cloud-based inventory management is a smart investment for your business.
- Upgradeable and Scalable Software
Starting a business today doesn’t require starting with big budget and staff; small and steady growth over time is better than overreaching at the start and going wrong early.
This is not just true of the size of your team, but also the complexity of the software you use to operate your business. When you buy software that has to be installed on each and every one of your computers, it often comes loaded with special features that pull in getting up and running complicated, drive up the purchase cost, and may increase your need for costly new hardware.
Unlike locally-installed applications, Cloud-based inventory management software permits you to pay for the features you need at once and seamlessly upgrade when you need to in the future.
You’ll pay a single, predictable subscription fee for a “package” that best suits your particular feature needs and team size; then, upgrading is simply a few clicks away when your business growth justifies a more powerful program.
- Quick Installation and Easier Employee Training
The old style of doing business required you to install software on each and every computer your team uses and have a dedicated IT department to hold open that software running.
This cut into profits, slows down training time, and increases project costs. The cloud – based software doesn’t require any additional employees or special hardware – you just log in and get to work!
And since they don’t rely on a dedicated in-person training to teach your team how to use the new software, most cloud companies have streamlined their software’s learning curve so that everyone can understand the basics and begin employing it on day one.
- Real-Time Inventory Control
Easy inventory control is one of the most exciting benefits of cloud-based inventory management.
Instead of combing through dozens of reports from different systems and departments or worse – making “educated” guesses – cloud software lets you view up to the minute data on inventory levels through easy to understand reports and dashboards.
And instead of relying on special, manual stocktakes that require extra labor and could interrupt your operations (costly for growing businesses and large, multi-location companies alike), cloud-based inventory software often includes features like QR code tracking that allow you to actively measure stock as it flows through your operations – which can save you much more than the cost of a monthly software subscription.
- Up-To-Date Inventory Reports
If you’re a savvy business owner, you probably know your top 5 best-selling products – but do you know your lowest-selling? You may notice how well you sell during Christmas, but do you know when demand actually peaks and troughs?
Questions like these are answered by inventory reports automatically generated by cloud-based software.
By knowing your lowest-selling items, you can make strategic decisions like upgrading those products, changing your marketing tactics, or ditching them altogether to focus on something new.
And knowing when demand for your products is actually at its peak, you’ll be able to order enough stock without overdoing it, saving money and storage space while also maintaining enough safety stock to prevent “out of stock” notices that cost you customers.
With the inventory reports you’ll get from cloud-based inventory software, you’ll be able to deeply understand last quarter so you can effectively forecast for the next, which means better customer service and faster business growth.
- Barcode and QR Code Tracking Systems
QR and barcodes are essential to modern inventory management; if you’re not using them, you’re practically living in the supply chain dark ages.
Paired with the right cloud-based software, they provide detailed, real-time insight into your inventory levels across your operations, saving you from ordering too much (which forces you to sell at clearance prices) or ordering too little (which forces you to break out that costly “out of stock” sign).
While this is a more effective strategy than depending on educated guesses, with a reliable cloud-based inventory management system that uses QR or barcode technology, a few simple changes to your production processes can provide much more accurate data that lets you know exactly how much inventory you have in stock – saving you hours of time and reducing human error.
- Seamless Ecommerce Integration
Can you imagine manually entering all the data from your ecommerce platform into your inventory management system, and then again into your accounting software?
If you operate like many other businesses, you might not have to imagine it – that may be your day-to-day reality. Fortunately, you can sidestep or end that nightmare with cloud-based inventory management software.
By automatically syncing data across multiple top business applications like Shopify and Xero, modern inventory management software can save you a ton of time spent on manual data entry.
This allows you absolute control over your operations across all channels, enabling you to see where your inventory is currently held, the status of your purchase and sales orders, and ensure your accounting is up to date and accurate all from one place.
- Manage Multi-Site Operations from Anywhere in The World
While there are many benefits of cloud-based inventory management, one of the most important for the busy entrepreneur is being able to operate their business any time, any place.
With cloud software, you can manage multiple warehouses wherever you are, allowing you to buy, sell, and manufacture with ease.
If your team operates remotely, then your product manager in Washington can update your distributor in New York in real-time.
And you can generate reports on the spot for a trade show in LA or for a business presentation to new investors in London. 24/7, anywhere accessibility makes cloud-based inventory software perfect for startups without a physical location and international companies alike.
- No More Losing Precious Data
Nowadays we arrive to a crucial and frequently neglected benefit of cloud-based inventory management: keeping your critical information safe, secure, and intact. It’s so easy to accidentally delete files, visit an infected website, or suffer from inevitable hardware failure.
Find out more benefits of cloud-based inventory management software.