Cloud-based inventory solutions are changing the retail environment. Your store operations uses a traditional inventory tracking solution. So, why move to a high-tech cloud-based one? There are many reasons, actually. If you’re wondering whether a cloud-based solution can help you better manage your inventory, then here are what savvy business owners can teach you.
They’re Easy To Set Up
New cloud-based inventory solutions are relatively easy to set up and manage. The main server is located and maintained by your provider, so you don’t have much to manage. You only need to log onto an Internet-enabled device to see inventory. As you can imagine, it’s pretty simple. And, you can manage your inventory from anywhere that has access to the Internet.
For companies worried about security, you can set up a private network, called a VPN. VPNs are virtual private networks that let you connect to your company’s server, which may be more secure than a public wi-fi.
Cost of Setup Is Cheap
Having a cloud-based system, like BizSlate, requires a small ongoing maintenance fee. This fee covers the product (software) maintenance, upgrades and updates, and tech support. It makes it very affordable compared to the way software is usually sold. With traditional systems, you pay a large up-front cost, and fees every time you need maintenance or upgrades.
Over time, this can get to be expensive. And, since updates are not instantaneous, you end up with outdated software faster than with a cloud-based solution.
In fact, cloud-based software is continuously monitored, so you can be assured of maximum protection for your business and your customers. Finally, because everything is hosted in the cloud, practically any business can get set up without an IT infrastructure.
Passing Management On To Someone Else
One of the biggest expenses a traditional setup has is ongoing IT costs. By subscribing to an inventory management provider, you’re getting rid of a lot of that cost. It’s not that it’s non-existent, it’s that you’re effectively outsourcing it to someone else. The technical support company absorbs the cost so you don’t need to have a dedicated IT department.
Additionally, any technical issues that crop up are not your problem. If the provider is large, they will have a dedicated 24-hour response team in place to handle any technical issues.
This can make it a lot easier for you, resulting in peace of mind — you’ll never have to deal with middle-of-the-night IT issues.
One of the biggest benefits of cloud-based inventory tracking is the real-time nature of it. You simply cannot get this with other forms of inventory tracking. It’s also possible to see and manipulate the data from any location, giving you unparalleled mobility since you can re-order or create reports from wherever you happen to be.
Cloud-based inventory systems also help you track the stock through the warehouse. If your warehouse is connected to your system, then it’s easier to accurately measure turnover and which stock is doing well in sales, when you need to restock, and when you should discount to increase turnover. It also lets you track ‘works-in-progress.”
This will help you reduce bottlenecks in the manufacturing process and optimize staff. You can also tie inventory to sales and track repeat customers, tailoring specific customer incentive programs to each customer. So, for example, let’s say you want to know which product is selling well. You could use your cloud-based system to discover this. But, you may also discover that a particular customer is responsible for the bulk of sales of this particular product.
And, because of that, you may want to offer discounted pricing to this customer to protect that relationship and encourage continued business. At the same time, it lets you know you should increase marketing for this product so you aren’t relying on just one or a handful of customers for this product.
Better Customer Relationships
Cloud-based systems contribute to customer satisfaction, too. That’s because, with a cloud-based system, you’re getting better intel on your transaction volume and stock. And, when you have that, you reduce bottlenecks, can fulfill customer orders faster, and you’re seen as more reliable.
While transitioning to a cloud-based system might initially seem like a hassle, it’s often the best way to reduce costs and improve customer loyalty. By reducing bottlenecks, improving workflow, and tracking accuracy while reducing costs, you improve your business stability. And, ultimately, this improves your customer retention rate since you’re seen as a more reliable vendor.