Inventory management is the biggest pain point for many small and growing businesses. In the nascent stages of any business, inventory management might be hardly necessary; shops with small catalogs can often rely on basic spreadsheets and intuition. But, as any retail business scales, such antiquated ways of tracking your inventory go out the window.
Automated inventory management is a critical step to take for any growing business. With advanced POS software, businesses can keep track of sales, promotions, and ordering. Tasks and vendor management can be automated. And you can do it across multiple locations.
Better yet, features that were once unobtainable for the average business can now be had for the same price you pay for your internet. A lot of small businesses we talk to didn’t even know how proper inventory management can impact their business. So let’s go over some of the ways that modern software can help your business and the many benefits of automated inventory management.
What Is Automated Inventory Management?
As the name suggests, automated inventory management is the process of streamlining various inventory operations. There are numerous parts of the process that can be automated, including reordering, supplier relations, par levels, real-time updates, franchise management, internal transfers, store orders, and more. In the end, automated inventory management saves businesses time, money, and mistakes.
The Benefits of Automated Inventory Management
Great inventory management offers both immediate and long-term benefits for any type of retail merchant. It provides more efficiency, increases order accuracy, improves product insight, helps plan promotions, and much more. It’s also beneficial for all roles within a company, from the CEO down to each cashier.
Most immediately, you’ll notice that automated inventory management saves you time. A lot of it. Manual counts are ridiculously laborious, especially if your business has a large product catalog. Even a few dozen SKUs are very difficult to keep track of without inventory software.
The automated system also saves you time with product ordering, stock checks, and in-depth reporting. You don’t even need to push a button.
2. Automation Brings More Accuracy
In addition to saving time, an automated inventory system will also reduce human error. Data and processes go through fewer hands, leaving less room for small mistakes and clerical inaccuracies. Keeping everything under a single umbrella makes everything run a bit more smoothly.
3. Inventory Management Improved Efficiency
Likewise, this will improve your efficiency, too. Instead of relying on managers or other staff members to manually input data, create a new report, or place an order, inventory tasks can be done without a request. This helps your business have what it needs at any given moment and continue to successfully scale.
4. Get Insight in Real-Time
With real-time data, users get remarkable insight immediately. This means that your inventory management system always has up-to-date and accurate information. Business owners can check inventory, reports, accounting, scheduling, promotions, and more from any location at any time of the day.
5. Run Multiple Stores Remotely
Advanced automated inventory management facilitates growth for small businesses. And once a business grows, this same inventory system helps you manage multiple locations. Get store reports, set up stock transfers, manage franchisees, and a whole lot more.
Key Automated Inventory Management Features
These go hand-in-hand with the benefits, but we wanted to take a closer look at some of the most important POS inventory management features that your software should offer.
While not all of these inventory management features are absolutely vital for every merchant out there, they are for any retailer that is trying to expand their product line and reach. For those looking to scale to multiple locations, these features become even more important.
Automated reordering is one of the most important features for running smooth inventory management. With stock notifications, custom par levels, and vendor relations, merchants can relax knowing that they’ll always have the right amount of stock on hand.
Each retailer can set their own levels for each product in their inventory. The point of sale will determine the best time to place a reorder and automatically do so when the inventory hits that threshold.
2. Stock Transfers
To manage inventory across multiple locations, businesses should also be able to set up stock transfers. This allows you to send merchandise between locations without losing track of it or altering any reporting or cost analysis.
3. eCommerce Integrations
Of course, automated inventory tracking is also critical for omnichannel selling. With more businesses moving online, it’s necessary to track all sales and behavior at both brick and mortar locations and web stores.
4. Advanced Multi-Store Reporting
To best track everything, automated reporting must be tied to your inventory management. As your inventory is updated in real-time, so too are your reports. Managers and owners can produce custom reports for any location(s) at any time. This helps you break down complicated data quickly and make more informed decisions.
5. Store Order Cycles
These take the automation a step further. Instead of setting custom reorder levels for each individual product, store orders automatically create a single report for all items that need to be ordered. From there, the software sends out order requests to each appropriate vendor. Again, all of this is done without you having to click a single button.
6. Dispatch Notifications
When orders are placed internally or externally, automated dispatch notifications keep everyone in the loop. Instead of wondering when something might arrive, checking tracking information, or making annoying phone calls, this lets you know as soon as action is taken.
Frequently Asked Questions About Automated Inventory Management
Why invest in a POS system with automated inventory management?
The benefits of automated inventory helps a business save precious time, show live data, and creates better accuracy in keeping count of stock. Consequently, this leaves more valuable time to work on greater tasks in a business!
How do I choose the right automated inventory management system?
Look for software with the key features we listed above such as reordering and online integrations. Every merchant is a little different and might not necessarily need every feature offered out there.
KORONA POS Automated Inventory Management
Can you believe that KORONA POS can do all of this?! To learn more about how we can help your store succeed, sign up for a free trial. It’s surprisingly easy to implement a new inventory management system. A POS system can create unique SKUs and upload all product data into a single system. It makes running one store’s inventory as it is for running 30.
Your dedicated product specialists will give you a personalized tour of the software so you can see exactly how it will work with your business. We’ll even upload your inventory data. It’s easy to get started and there are no commitments required. Click below to learn more.
Among other things, Michael writes about trends and tips in retail for KORONA POS. His focus is on bringing small business owners a more holistic approach to growth. In his spare time, you'll find him hiking somewhere in the southwest. Connect with him on LinkedIn.