If you want to streamline your production and distribution process, it may well be worth investing in an online inventory management system. You don’t want to end up losing money by selecting the wrong platform, so you need to consider your business’ needs and what it is you’re looking for in an online inventory management system before you choose. But where do you start looking if you have no idea what an inventory management system is, let alone how to pick the right one? We asked Jodie Green of online management system Veeqo to break it down for us...
Selecting The Right Online Inventory Management System
First things first: the most important thing is that an online inventory management system can track your orders accurately. In order to choose the right product for you, you’ll need to assess your business and its needs – every business is different, there’s no “one size fits all” software; they’ll all offer different features and integrations. So step back, take a deep breath, and look at your business, consider what it really needs from an online order management system:
- Take a look at your products: what kind of products do you sell? You need to choose a platform than can handle the kind of items you stock – clothes, for example, have multiple variations, like colour and size.
- Similarly, you need to consider how many orders you manage. You want to make sure that the online inventory management software can handle the amount of orders you are processing, or that it won’t leave you out of pocket if you only fulfill a few orders a day. Most online inventory management software will offer various different price plans, so you can choose the correct one depending on how many orders you manage.
- It’s also worth noting how many channels you use. If you’re selling multi-channel – for example, using eBay, Amazon and Shopify – you’ll need to choose an online inventory management system that is able to work with all these channels, syncing your orders across them. It’s useless having a multi-channel order management system than only integrates with 2 of your 3 eCommerce channels.
- Consider how simple you need the software to be – are you okay with implementing a complicated software which your employees may need to be trained to use (which will likely add to the cost), or would you rather have a simpler software and aim to figure it out yourself?
- Think about future targets and goals. If you are planning to expand, you need to make sure that the online inventory management system can respond accordingly, and cater to your future developments.
- It’s crucial that you select a system that is compatible with your existing technologies– for example, some only work on certain devices or operating systems. You need to look at your current systems and assess whether the online order management system can integrate with it.
- Cost is also a key issue when selecting an online inventory management system. Take a look at your budgets and identify how much you can realistically dedicate to spend on this kind of software. In many cases the “best” might not actually mean the best for you, so you may not have to choose the most expensive software.
- It’s also worth considering a system that groups your orders into different categories (such as order status, payment status, etc.) so that you can see and manage them easier.
- What reporting do you need? For example if you need to know your daily stock valuation across multiple locations, can the software handle this. Make a list of reports that you need and a list that would be nice to have and compare to against the different providers.