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Case studies, Cloud-based inventory management

4 reasons to use the cloud for inventory management

BY Vera Lim 1 Jul, "16

If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably heard of cloud-based software that offers a more cost-friendly alternative to ERPs. Cloud software covers everything a small or medium business needs to get off the ground: accounting, inventory management, shipping and fulfillment.

Moving to the cloud will save you loads of time (63% of SMBs save more than five hours a week with inventory management apps!) and also reduce the likelihood of human errors occurring, leaving you with more time and energy to spend on growing your business.

When it comes to growing your business, cloud software offers a one-size-fits-most solution for businesses. You just have to pay for what you need, while maintaining the option to upgrade in the future when necessary. This way, you’ll be able to scale up to a higher-tier plan easily, without needing to overhaul your system.

For readers who are on the fence about making the move, we’ve selected four benefits of moving to the cloud according to four of our customers:

  1. Better visibility

    It’s such a big time release to know exactly where your stock is. Having this automation and stock accuracy gives us so much more confidence in our processes. If we were managing all this manually, we would need at least 20% more headcount just to run the business. I would rather use that resource towards identifying more interesting brews for our customers." - Honest Brew
    honestbrew-staples-3.jpgWith cloud-based inventory software, you can track inventory movement across all channels. You won’t need to manage your inventory manually any more, and neither will you need your staff to spend time keying in sales orders every day. If you have multiple employees, you can give them individual log-on details which can help prevent against inventory theft, as you’ll be able to track down who updated the system when the error occurred.

    With inventory software, all you have to do is update the amount of stock in your inventory whenever a new shipment comes in, and the system will take care of the updating inventory levels whenever sales are made.

  2. Real time updates

    Now, we can be anywhere - at home, in the office, in a street in Vietnam - and update the orders from any device. If I want, I can open up a pop-up store anywhere, and it’s so simple to just add a sales channel. That’s a huge reduction of work.” - LIMs 
    Lims_cloud_inventoryWith cloud software that can be accessed anywhere with internet access, you’ll be able to enjoy real time updates. Wherever you are, you’ll be able to add products to your shop. All you need to do is take a picture, update the product description, and you’ll be able to create a purchase order.

    The “plug-and-play” nature of cloud software also lets you consolidate all your sales channel through integrations, allowing you to avoid the hassle and risks of setting aside inventory for an online store. This way, whenever a purchase is made on any of your cloud-based sales channels, your inventory levels will be updated accordingly so that you won’t run the risk of overselling.

  3. Business intelligence

    My favorite TradeGecko feature would be the intelligence reports. We’ve been able to analyse all the data of what our bestsellers were and see it and not go off of ‘I know I sold this Coypu ring and this Backbone cuff and I think those might be the bestsellers’ but to actually see the numbers is really great.” - Porter Lyons
    When it’s time to make business decisions, you need to analyze past performances and combine this information with variable factors that affect your business. You want to play to your strengths, and business intelligence will help you accomplish that.

    You’ll not only know your bestsellers, but you’ll know exactly how many of them you’re selling. That could be a big help when you’re coming up with your sales forecasts for the next quarter as you’ll be able to minimize out of stock situations. Also, you’ll know where your customers are coming from, which could give you valuable information to aid your expansion plans.

  4. Integrations

    What we hope for in the future is to show the samples through the B2B system, let (retailers) place orders, and we’ll be able to order this from the suppliers and send this directly to the retailers.” - Chess London
    Chess_London-Luke_Campbell.jpgThe right cloud software should be compatible and complement all other aspects of your business, from your eCommerce store to your inventory management, CRM, and accounting. You’ll be able to manage everything from a single dashboard, ensuring everything about your business is recorded along without having to repeatedly key in your information.

    In the case of Chess London, they use Shopify for their eCommerce store and Xero for product invoices. And now, they’re looking to improve the wholesale part of their business through utilizing the B2B eCommerce Portal to send previews of the latest collection to their retailers. With this new integration, they’ll know their retailers’ demand even before they commence production.

If you’re still using spreadsheets or desktop applications and they’re leaving you exhausted, it might be time for you to consider moving to the cloud. By speeding up your work processes, you’ll have more time to concentrate on what really matters: growing your business.

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See also:

3 signs that it's time to move your inventory management from Excel to the cloud

9 Key signs that it's time to move to a robust inventory management system 

Wholesaling on your own terms: Private vs public B2B marketplaces

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