How and why an integrated management system can benefit your organization through increased efficiency and set you apart from the competition.

For SMBs looking to create a website and build a brand, it can be difficult to reach new customers. After all, the marketplace is competitive, and large e-commerce heavyweights can justify a lower price point due to large volume purchases.

How do you compete?

One way is to invest in the right inventory management software (IMS) to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and make better business decisions.

What is an IMS?

At a high level, an IMS is a software that helps you manage and optimize inventory levels. Use it to track purchase orders, sales, shipping information, and inventory levels. Then access all this information from a centralized database.

Many systems are available on the market today, each offering different features. These include everything from basic software for managing simple operations like stock counts to full-fledged advanced IMS solutions tailored to handle all complexities of inventory management.

So, be sure to do your due diligence when choosing an IMS by considering everything from pricing and usability to integration options and how your business requirements align with the software’s features.

Key features to look out for include:

  • Real-time inventory tracking and traceability across all locations
  • Detailed reports for better decision-making
  • Integration with other popular business tools like QuickBooks and Shopify.

Three ways an IMS helps you compete

Here are three important ways an IMS can help you compete.

1. Improved inventory accuracy and efficiency

Accurate inventory records are crucial to running an efficient business as it allows you to fulfil orders on time without carrying excess stock.

The right software can track inventory in real-time and automate tasks like stock counts. This means you save time and reduces errors by not tracking inventory manually and become more efficient than those who do.

A robust IMS also gives you visibility into stock from anywhere, anytime, regardless of the number of locations you have, so you always know what you have on hand for future planning. You can also quickly identify the location of any stock that needs to be recalled and excluded from orders.

All in all, this enables faster and more prompt delivery, improving overall customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

 2. Reduces costs through automation 

Keeping costs down allows you to protect margins and better compete with other businesses.

One way to do this is through automation. A robust IMS lets you automate everything from stock counts, purchase order creation, and stock replenishment to barcode scanning, sales tracking, and report generation.

Not only does this type of automation help avoid costly errors that often arise from manual input, but it can actually help you reduce and control your costs in the first place.

For instance, by using automatic stock replenishment when inventory levels reach a certain point, you can maintain optimal levels to avoid higher inventory carrying costs. You also avoid having to place last-minute orders with suppliers to meet demand which usually comes at a hefty price tag.

 3. Better business planning through data insights

Valuable data helps you make better decisions around inventory that can reduce costs, boost your bottom line, and give you a competitive advantage.

An IMS provides this valuable data through real-time reporting on things like sales trends and even asset tracking. For example, a flexible IMS like Fishbowl gives you access to over 150 standard reports. This includes everything from COGS, bill of materials, and gross sales to product margin, inventory availability, and reorder reports.

Invest in inventory management software today

It can be hard for you to compete in today’s competitive online space. But, with the right IMS in your corner, you’ll have a leg up on the competition through improved inventory accuracy and efficiency, reduced costs, and the ability to make better business decisions.

Fishbowl is the industry’s most flexible and popular IMS. Rated as the top IMS for QuickBooks for 20 years and providing the same functionality of an enterprise ERP at less than 20% of the cost, Fishbowl helps growing businesses efficiently manage their inventory from a single platform.

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