Managing inventory is essential for manufacturing businesses and in this article we will summarise the main features you should be looking for when choosing the best software for your needs. Inventory management is a complex process, as you can see in this guide from Katana, so you can make things easier by selecting the software solution that has the features we are about to list below.
Quick and easy implementation
This one is straightforward, but often overlooked. With any new software you are implementing, some time is needed for proper adoption, but you can ensure this step is smooth by choosing a solution that fits your needs. Your business should be up and running quickly on the new software, ideally under one week. The software should be easy to use and understand for your staff, thus saving valuable time.
Professional client support and ongoing product development
In close connection to the above feature, leading inventory management software products will come with well trained onboarding teams that will understand and address your every need or concern. Having a client support team with top reviews will ensure that they are dedicated to your success. Furthermore, your feedback and suggestions will be turned into product improvements, when you are working with top software providers. As both your industry and business constantly evolve, the software you use needs to keep up with this fast paced environment, by constantly launching new features and integrations.
Full visibility and control over your inventory
While your chosen software needs to answer your business’ many needs, this might be the most important one. You want to have a complete, real-time overview over your inventory and the capability to easily manage and control it over multiple channels. You should immediately see a jump in productivity, as repetitive tasks become automated. And with this, your business costs should drop, while you strive to eliminate waste and errors. Ordering necessary raw material or making sure you don’t run out of products will be much easier and less stressful when you adopt technology.
Advanced tracking and reporting capabilities
When you are manufacturing, selling, and shipping your products you need to be able to keep track of all steps included within these processes. The management software you use should provide you in-depth and real-time tracking capabilities for your products in and outside the warehouse or your online store. For example with batch tracking, you can trace faulty products and keep a close eye on expiry dates.
Especially if you are running multiple warehouses and selling through more than one channel, traceability is essential. The same goes for being able to clearly report on your materials and goods, while being able to quickly share all these details with your teams.
Wealth of integrations with other apps
The world today is more interconnected than ever before and this is valid for the manufacturing industry as well. No business runs in a vacuum and as processes get more complicated, it is likely that you are using multiple software products and apps to run them. You might be using an online store which automatically means that you need to have a shipping integration that works well with your inventory. Another example of integration you need is with accounting apps so you might be looking for inventory management software that works with Quickbooks or the provider of your choice.
This is a selection of the top features you should be looking for when selecting the right software for your business needs. Depending on your industry and the size or age of your business, you might be looking for some other features when making your decision, but we suggest you include these as essential.
Furthermore, the right software will mitigate lack of immediate integration, with an application programming interface or API. That way, specific apps your business is committed to will be able to gel with your systems.