In business terms, the word “scalability” means to grow your business and make it profitable. In growing your business, it should not just impact your profitability but make your process more efficient as well. The market today is so dynamic that you must be able to keep up with the changes for your business to remain competitive and productive. That is why you need to have the right tools so it would not be difficult for you to do so.
In the start-up phase of the business, business owners tend to focus on successfully launching their business, getting good market share and creating ways to sustain their business. The processes involved in this phase of the business is usually like this:
This is just the first hurdle, the next challenge your business must now face is how to continue to scale up, expand your markets strategically, establish customer relations to increase sales and profitability. For this to happen, you need to be equipped with the right inventory management software that can adapt to your growing business. It has to be able to accommodate the volume of purchase orders, invoice, and other data you will need to input in your inventory management system.
That is why you need a scalable Inventory management system. More than streamlining the process to make your business efficient and productive, it should also be flexible. As your business grows, you would need more users on your system, higher levels in your transaction, and more storage capacity and have warehouses in multiple locations.
All of which might push your Inventory Management System to go further than what it is originally capable of. The ability of the Inventory Management System to scale is often not thought of by business owners when choosing the right solution.
An example of this is, when you start your business you might start getting a few hundred orders and you get an Inventory Management System that could handle these levels. Eventually, your business grows wherein you get more orders than you are used to, then before you know it, you hit the hard limit of the system you chose. That would give you several problems since it means you cannot use your Inventory Management System.
By this time, you will be contacting your solutions provider to address this concern which would mean that you need to change your Inventory Management Software that can better handle the volume.
That is why you always have to remember that each Inventory Management System has different capabilities. Therefore, you have to establish these details and discuss this with your solutions provider. You must pay attention to the limitations of the Inventory Management System and align it with where your business is currently and where you want it to be eventually. This issue could have been prevented at the start of the selection process, especially if your objective is to grow your business.
Here are some of the factors you must take note of when choosing an Inventory Management System that can scale up with your business:
1. Having a Large Inventory
If you are doing your inventory manually, you will eventually find yourself having a difficult time as the volume of your inventory is increasing. Essentially, with manual inventory your spreadsheet is the most important tool since it contains columns of all the data you need such as cost, retail, purchase orders, and sales orders.
In any case, by having a cloud-based inventory management system, the repetitive and time-consuming process of tracking your inventory and doing cycle counts will be easy. By getting a system that can handle large volumes of inventory, even if the level of your volume continues to grow it will not cause you any issues.
2. You are Having Discrepancy in Your Stock Levels
Human error is a common problem that usually happens during inventory counts. These errors will greatly impact how you manage the inventory level of your raw materials, finished goods, and safety stock, which can affect your customer service. The accuracy of the data is particularly important, as it contributes greatly to your decision-making and forecasting of your products. By transitioning your process to automation, you can get better data quality and get
real-time results anytime you need it.
3. Using Multiple Software for Each Functional Area of Your Business
Depending on the inventory management system you chose, you can simplify the business processes you have to go through to manage your inventory. Just make sure that all your software can sync with one another without any issues.
As your business continues to reach milestones after milestones, you would not want any interruption that would hamper your business’s growth. For you to make an informed decision if your IMS is scaleable, you need to know your business processes in detail and be able to match these requirements to the current system you have. Identifying the pain points in your existing system is your first step, but then you need to work out if your system can handle what you need going forward, and you just need more training, or it might be time to move onto a system more suitable to your growing business.
Integrations – connecting your multiple systems – is inevitable in this day and age with the cloud solutions we use. Be aware that sometimes integrations might not work exactly the way you want them and building a custom integration can be costly. The point here concerning your process and your integrations is, do your research. You need to know the benefits and the limitations of the inventory management system you want to choose to determine if it’s right for you and your team.
Doing the research, testing and process mapping properly can consume a lot of your time. And as you might have experienced already, there is a huge amount of information about the systems out there, but most of them will not tell you want they can’t do and how they will be detrimental to your business. At WAOConnect, when we are helping you find the right solution for your product selling business to manage your warehouse, your inventory, multiple sales channels, fulfilment processes etc, we are helping you decide on a successful implementation. One of our services is to help you find the solution and the other major service we provide is implementation, training and support to transition onto that new system successfully. This is often even harder than finding the solution in the first place.
We are system agnostic, meaning, we don’t have favourite solutions, rather we only care what is the best fit for you. Your best interest is our top priority, helping you achieve your objectives and maximizing the potential of your business is our mission. Chat to one of our Solution Architects today to help you make the right choice on the IMS to grow your business today.