Inventory visibility in real-time; does my small business need it?
The rise of eCommerce and the digital consumer has brought with it, higher consumer expectations than ever before. Next-day or even same-day delivery has become the norm and merchants that are unable to meet these expectations often find their growth stagnates or even declines.
The speed and efficiency with which orders are fulfilled at the lowest possible cost depends on the strength of the company’s order management system. Inventory visibility across the supply chain is the backbone of any order management system worth its salt.
What is Inventory visibility?
Inventory visibility is the ability of a merchant or inventory manager to track the amount of inventory on hand, on hold and being sold at any given point in time. It tracks the movement of inventory across locations and the sale of goods across channels and can also be called omnichannel inventory visibility.
It helps merchants monitor the health of their supply chain processes and create contingency plans for unexpected events that may disrupt those processes. Having inventory visibility at every point in real-time gives a business the ability to test and improve order management, helping them deliver a consistently delightful customer experience.
Is my business too small for inventory visibility to matter?
A fatal error that many businesses make is to delay implementing an automated inventory management system capable of providing real-time inventory visibility until it is too late.
Allocating resources to use an inventory management tool may seem like overkill for a small business, however, having inventory visibility at every point in your supply chain is beneficial from day one. Inventory visibility can help businesses track patterns in demand over time, predict high sales periods and slumps, minimise holding costs and prevent stockouts. The more historic data you have to work with, the greater the accuracy of your inventory visibility and the deeper the impact to your supply chain.
Key considerations when implementing solutions for inventory visibility in Supply Chain
1. Internal change management and process adoption
As with any new system or process, adopting an inventory management system that provides you with inventory visibility in real-time means an overhaul of legacy inventory management processes. To reduce friction during the adoption process, select an inventory solution that allows for easy data transference. Additionally, onboarding is a vital part of change management. Ensure that inventory managers are trained to extract inventory data at every point in the supply chain journey.
2. Trust & Data security
Entrusting a third party vendor with inventory or supply chain data is a cause for concern with many companies, especially if they have been managing their inventory on their own before. The rise of information technology has also given rise to information hacking on a global scale. Therefore trust and data security should be a priority when implementing an inventory visibility solution. Choose a trusted platform, with good customer reviews and a credible track record in inventory management.
What solution is right for you?
The supply chain of every business is unique, as are its sales cycles, supplier relationships, distribution channels and methods. As a result, finding a one-size-fits-all solution can be challenging. Pricing for an inventory visibility solution can range from a few dollars a month to thousands of dollars.
For growing businesses finding the sweet spot between customizability and affordability is the goal. TradeGecko integrates with dozens of third-party supply chain and sales solutions, making it ideal for complex supply chains and businesses that are planning to expand. TradeGecko Intelligence provides inventory visibility at every point, in real-time.
TradeGecko gives small businesses absolute visibility into its inventory health and movements, helping them make data-driven decisions and prepare for long term growth. Leverage real-time inventory visibility today and watch your business growth accelerate.
Do you want to gain efficiency in your wholesale business?
Start managing your inventory and sales orders from one seamless platform: TradeGecko.