Cloud inventory management is an online, cloud-based system of warehouse management. A cloud-based inventory management system enables multiple users across different computers or devices to access it at any given time, which is in stark contrast with inventory management systems of old. Prior to the introduction of cloud computing, inventory management software used local systems. This meant that the software (and the data on it) could only be accessed on the computer it was installed onto.
The advent of the “cloud” lead to some drastic changes in how businesses used inventory management systems. They are no longer just tools for organizing and managing your goods. Cloud-based inventory management software of today have a wide range of features and functions, which include:
- Real-time inventory control
- Order management
- Sales reporting
- Data analytics
- Lot tracking
- Payment management
These features are designed to help increase productivity for B2C or B2B businesses, whether they’re small and medium enterprises or multinational conglomerates. The question is: How exactly does cloud-based inventory management boost productivity? Here are five examples.
The most important advantage of integrating cloud-based inventory management systems into your business processes is that you (and your employees) get real-time access to your inventory any time and at any location as long as you have a working internet connection.
This can be beneficial for your company in various situations. If you operate multiple manufacturing plants or warehouses, a cloud-based inventory management system will enable you to track your inventory with ease as you move from one location to another. You can view real-time inventory data such as stock levels, product locations across the supply chain, or accounting information.
With cloud inventory management software, there will be no need for you to personally visit each of your warehouses to know how things are going. You can check your inventory and get accurate, up-to-date information even if you are out of town.
When you use cloud inventory management software, data is updated in real-time with just a few clicks and keystrokes. You no longer have to input data and do tedious calculations manually. This improves your company’s operational efficiency by eliminating data errors and redundancy due to manual work, and it frees up more time for more crucial tasks. As a business owner, you can use this additional time to do what you do best: focus on your business goals to grow your business.
A cloud inventory management system also boosts the productivity of your employees by reducing their inventory management workload. This type of software automates many inventory management tasks, so your employees can concentrate their efforts on other aspects of the job
Since inventory data from all your locations are on one cloud-based system, coordination between various warehouses and teams becomes a much easier task. High-quality inventory management software is not just for tracking your inventory. It can also be integrated with other cloud software for sales, data analytics, order management, and customer payments, which makes cross-departmental tasks a breeze.
Using non-cloud inventory management software means that you would have to physically back up your data on another device in order to ensure the safety and security of your data. This practice is risky and bad for businesses.
If you have non-cloud inventory management software installed on your laptop and that laptop either malfunctions or gets stolen, what’s going to happen to all your data in the event when you neglected to back it up?
Here’s another scenario. What if, for whatever reason, you lose your backups? It would be virtually impossible for you to get all that data back. Additionally, in the event that your backup devices aren’t encrypted, whoever gets their hands on them will be able to view all kinds of sensitive data related to your business such as customer details and financial information.
Data loss is a serious issue for any business, and it can lead to catastrophic consequences. Recovering data is a tedious and resource-intensive task, and if your company is unable to recover all the data, it may also result in significant financial losses.
You call to solve all these problems in one fell swoop by switching to a cloud inventory management system. There is no risk of losing your data since it is stored online on the software provider’s servers. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about data backups and security because both concerns are going to be shouldered by your provider. Your data will be stored on a secure cloud server, which will also back your data up automatically.
Cloud inventory management systems feature integrations with a variety of other cloud-based solutions that will make it easier for you to sync your business data and actions. Here are some of the most common integrations you should be looking for cloud-based inventory management software.
- Intuit QuickBooks - software used for managing invoices, payments, and a host of other business processes
- Xero - another software used for invoicing and payments
- ShipStation - software to manage your UPS, Fedex, or USPS shipping activities
- Shopify - useful for syncing your eCommerce store to your inventory
- Stripe - provides your customers with a convenient yet secure way of making payments to your business
- Authorize.net - a centralized payment system that allows your customers to pay online
With integrations set up between your inventory, accounting, shipping, and eCommerce software at your disposal, you will be able to streamline your processes and increase your business’s productivity. In addition, not only will it be easier for you and your employees, it will also provide your customers with a much more positive experience.
As time passes, your business grows, and so do your needs in terms of the resources you use. This is where the advantage of cloud inventory management really shines. Ease of scaling is an advantage that cloud-based inventory management software has over its local or non-cloud counterpart.
With non-cloud inventory management, you would have to purchase new software every time you wish to scale. This can get expensive in the long run. However, this isn’t the case with cloud inventory management software.
Cloud-based inventory management systems are flexible because they allow businesses to scale up or down according to business needs. Have you recently set up an additional warehouse or manufacturing plant? You can easily add a warehouse to your inventory software. Have your profits hit a downturn? You can similarly scale down your inventory software plan to match the adjusted volume or number of users you need as a result.
Another benefit of cloud inventory management software is that providers allow you to choose and pay for just the functionalities you require. No matter what type of business you have, you can scale and customize the software to suit your needs.
If you’re looking for a business solution that will boost your productivity levels, secure your data, and streamline your inventory and supply chain processes all at the same time, then cloud inventory management software is the answer.
With a cloud-based inventory management system, you can access your inventory data anytime, anywhere, and get accurate, real-time results. You will be able to boost employee productivity because using a cloud-based system is able to automate various inventory management tasks.
Since the system allows for the integration of other cloud-based solutions, streamlining your business process will be easy, and you can scale your software up or down depending on your current goals and needs.
Go digital with Sweet Technology’s inventory management software. With this tool, you gain improved control and visibility over your inventory, increased data security, and easier scalability.
Our technology is also integrated with other software like Shopify and Stripe. They provide your customers with more convenient as well as more secure payment options, which can help to ensure that they always pay you on time.
To find out how Sweet can help you, request a free demo today.