Tips To Pick Up The Best Inventory Control System

Before I tell you what tips to follow when out for fishing a good inventory control system, it’s necessary for you to understand what exactly it does, and why exactly do you need it.

What is an Inventory Control System?

An inventory control system simply helps you to manage and run your warehouse efficiently. It is a tool that monitors and controls the goods that you receive, store, and ship.

Now, why do you need it?

Managing the inventory is very crucial, but there are certain stages for every business owner when s/he should make smart decisions. Let’s take for example if you are a small business owner, dealing with a couple of products (probably through an online marketplace), you really do not need an inventory control system. This is important – don’t simply jump into making unnecessary investments.

But also…

“Inventory represents one of the most important assets for a company because the turn-over represents revenue to the company. In the balance sheet, inventory is classified as a current asset.”

You need to have an inventory management software onboard the moment you realize that yes, the stock that I am inwarding in my warehouse needs to be monitored. Monitored in a way that as soon as the stock level reaches a particular point, the inventory management software should alert the inventory manager about the same and thus call in for replenishment.

The example mentioned above is just a small instance that can happen only when you are having a small-scale business. You certainly are not willing to carry the tag “small-scale” forever and plan for (if nothing) a bit of expansion in your business, maybe sell some more innovative products, right?

Now, let’s talk about what tips can help you decide which inventory control system is the best out there, amongst the list of hundreds that you find online.

#1 LIFO vs FIFO – select an inventory control methodology

“Last-in-first-out versus first-in-first-out” is the best strategy that can be implemented in the warehouse management system A.K.A inventory control system. Both of these (LIFO and FIFO) approaches yield certain advantages and disadvantages to inventory control and management. But when it comes to choosing one, it totally depends on your business and preferences.

The first-in-first-out approach – as the name says, the product that is inwarded in the warehouse first, will be the first one to be shipped – is mostly used in large-scale businesses, which are mostly dealing with perishable items. Sometimes, even the companies which are much more into the logistical activities, consider this approach.

The last-in-first-out approach – as the name says, the product that is inwarded in the warehouse at the end, will be the first one to be shipped – is mostly used by the businesses which manufacture their own products. The main reason to adopt this approach is to make the entire process cost-effective.

This clearly is an inventory control methodology, but can certainly help you select the best software, as you know how you will be using it.

#2 The system should ‘automate’ your inventory operations & control.

Automation is the key to any inventory management software now. This is the very reason for every sort of business to consider before opting for any inventory control system or a warehouse management system. The products or goods inwarded in the warehouse are scanned and automatically included in the inventory, in a similar fashion, are scanned when outwarded.

Why exactly is automation needed in an inventory control system that you are trying to choose?

Well, there are a number of reasons why businesses are opting to automate their entire process and inventory management. They can simply forecast their sales in a better way, track in a better way, and carry out the entire process of replenishment in a better way, and much more.

Barcodes – why are they an integral part of inventory automation?

Barcodes, undoubtedly provide the most accurate details of any particular product. The below statement says it all, “If you are not using barcodes in your inventory management operations, you are in for wasting a lot of time, effort, and most importantly, your money.”

Manual processes will make it nearly impossible for you to optimize your inventory control or warehouse operations. Barcodes are plain, simple codes that encode a wide range of alphabetic and numeric symbols using real-time technology which helps a retailer to transmit the data on every transaction. Thus making your entire inventory control system ‘perpetual’.

#3 Your inventory control system must know what is where.

It’s simple – you have to create a virtual warehouse. A blueprint of your entire warehouse has to be in your inventory control system or your warehouse management system. This will enable you to easily figure out the best way to reach out to a specific product. And as the system will understand on which shelf you have placed what product, it will easily generate the required picklists.

If you have a large-scale business and there are more than one warehouses that you have to manage, your inventory control system should possess the quality to monitor them.

When you are using a perfect item placing set-up in your warehouse, your business will definitely find efficiencies and will keep you way ahead in the competition.

#4 The Kanban inventory control system – what is it, and why needed?

Kanban inventory control system is a visual scheduling system related to just-in-time (JIT) production that tells you ‘what – when – how much’ to produce or take in. The Kanban system visualizes both – the workflow and the actual work passing through the flow. In this way, it helps avoid supply disruption and overstocking of stock or raw materials at any stage in the value chain.

So there is no incoming of the stock unless & until there is a space for it. The Kanban inventory control system gradually improves the existing process, rather than changing everything from the core.

Why does your warehouse management have a Kanban Inventory System?

Reduced Inventory Costs

There are possibilities when you do not have much inventory to store, and there is a lot of unused space; that additional space can be occupied by workstations. This way you can save money as the profit gained out of your business is not invested in purchasing any extra stock.

Customer Demand is an Alarm

You will easily be able to identify the restocking threshold as per the customer demand for a specific product (by the analytics & reporting). As per the Kanban system of inventory management, there is no need to replenish the stock unless there is an empty slot for the incoming volume. If you can pinpoint a particular product that is selling off amazingly, only then can there be a plan for another stock for the same.

Streamlined Order Fulfilment

The Kanban inventory control system acts as a watch-tower over the entire order-flow process, from the point of receiving an order from different channels to confirming the order to shipping and completing the order fulfillment, one can set orders on priority as per the demand or any concurrent conditions and fulfill them accordingly in a streamlined manner.

Access to Progress Reports

A Kanban inventory control system is based on the idea of continuously keeping track of the entire stock (the perpetual system). The same idea when applied to your efficient inventory management system enables you to get an accurate record of the sales and inventory. This helps the management to plan, organize and improvise the business workflow.

Avoids Over-stocking

There are cases when companies wrongly estimate the demand for a specific product, only to end up stocking it unnecessarily for months. Overstocking then compels them to either dispose of that stock or sell it off at discounted rates. In such cases, it eventually becomes hard to keep the right track of stock. The Kanban system helps to avoid this at the earlier stage itself.


Choosing an inventory control software to manage your warehouse is not really complicated, all it needs is a bit of understanding and knowledge of the methodologies and the strategies that are implemented.

If you are eyeing for an inventory control system for your retail business,

Orderhive is the best, affordable option at present. Take a free 15-day trial, now!



In every business, all the processes should ideally be seamless and effortless, like that of water flowing in the river. Inventory management is like the melting of ice for the formation of the river. It is the initial stage of the chain of operations in a business. As such, it is of utmost importance both for large scale and small scale businesses.

I am sure that small business owners are also serious, dedicated, focussed, and take into account the importance of inventory management. However, in this modern era, mere dedication is not enough for your growing business. An automated inventory management system is the key to proper inventory management for small business. You may ask, “what is the need for inventory management automation?”   Short answer: “it is to gain the upper hand in this competitive world, minimizing human errors and maximizing customer satisfaction.”

Most of the time, people avoid automation, thinking of it as a complicated and costly solution. Guess what? People are wrong! Inventory management automation is a scalable solution to all our repetitive and mundane tasks.

This blog is specifically dedicated to giving an insight into automation and how automation can help in inventory management for small business owners.

In the world of ecommerce, there are two ways to achieve your goals; the hard way and the easy way. The hard way involves manual intervention, while the easy way revolves around automation.

Calloway Cook, Founder of eCommerce Supplement company Illuminate Labs, shared his thoughts:

“I would recommend that small business owners look for a cost-effective automated inventory management system. This will be much cheaper than building an internal system.

The reason that inventory management automation is so important is that inventory management can be incredibly time-intensive. Manually keeping stock of inventory and shipping packages can take up most of the workday. For companies that have the budget, leveraging software to automate this can free up time for marketing and scaling the business, which is what key business decision-makers should be focused on rather than counting pallets and inventory.”

Here are the top three reasons why a small business should automate its inventory management systems:

Snehashish 1

  1. Eliminating human errors & save time:

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. Specifically, small businesses should pay attention to this as this can eat up their valuable time during the initial booming stage of their business.

Do you know,

Only 50% of businesses survive five years — though most (70%) hit the two-year mark

The number of companies without a robust inventory management system in place is shocking. 46% of SMBs either don’t track inventory or use a manual method.

Whenever there is human involvement, errors are inevitable. Manual stock management is not only challenging but eats up your valuable time too.

  1. Proper Inventory Planning:

Small businesses need to plan their inventory to safeguard themselves both from overstocking and understocking.

Statistics show us that,

Days inventory outstanding” – the amount of inventory on hand based on average sales per day – has risen 8.3% over the past five years.

It is not advised for a small business to hold outstanding inventory. It is one kind of financial blockage which could be better utilized in other sectors of the business.

David Altemir, the Senior Consultant at Altemir Consulting, shared his valuable thoughts on Inventory Planning

“This is an area where things often go wrong. It is a critical issue to have the right approach to planning inventory levels in the first place so that automation can be fruitfully applied.  This can be especially helpful to small businesses because effective inventory planning can reduce the cash required to maintain inventory while still fulfilling customers at a reliable level.”

With the help of inventory management automation, you can automate your inventory’s replenishment based on your inventory’s sales data. An automated inventory management system can make sure, you never go understock and you have in stock what is in constant demands.

You can now say “Ciao” to those long debates and discussions on what to purchase and when to purchase.

  1. Just In Time Purchasing:

Small businesses don’t have large warehouses to store a surplus of inventory. Therefore, there can come a time where you would require to purchase JIT.

If you get flooded with orders demanding for a certain product which you don’t have in abundance in the store, your business is going to suffer.

How cool it would be if you could automate the process of creating a purchase order of your supplier as soon as your inventory falls lower than your prescribed limit.

If you are convinced that automation can be a lifesaver for your small business, the next question left unanswered is “What inventory management software for small business offers automation that could benefit small businesses?”

You may feel free to search the internet. But if you are looking for an affordable automated inventory management system, “Orderhive” logically should be the undisputed choice.

Procurement Software for Small Business

Procurement Software for Small Business

Every business irrespective of their size wishes to achieve off the charts results in its professional field without spending a lump-sum amount of money for the company’s growth and development.

Assume a small town guy named Tom left his home for pursuing his dream of being an ecommerce tycoon. He was low on his budget and minimal warehouse space for his inventory but was high on his determination. The Despair was showing up on his face; his subconscious brain was searching for a solution, when his eyes landed on a website, giving away a procurement software. That was the “Eureka!” moment.

Tom had yet not gone too huge. Hence he was relying on excel to help him manage his business, but excel, being the disconnected software that it is, never updated anything on its own. He then had to wait for the other day to make sure all his records are updated. This process was making his fast selling products go out of stock, and he was holding inventory which was not sellable. Slowly the amount of stock in his warehouse kept increasing, and the ratio of orders to the warehouse cost kept decreasing. 

But Tom Solved this using a procurement software, Let’s check how.

What is procurement software?


Procurement software is a software used for automating the mundane purchasing tasks of buying goods by an organization/company. They could be, obtaining goods or generating purchase orders or match invoices to materials received or pay all bills electronically. All of them from one single solution.

Furthermore, SaaS applications are charged based on the subscription rates. Instead of spending a substantial one-time payment, you end up paying for the actual software use. 

According to statista, in 2019, the procurement software market is valued at about 5.3 billion USD. Such a massive sum of investment evidently shows how business across the globe is utilizing procurement software.


The global procurement software market is driven by increasing demand for smartphones, which is projected to rise to an estimated value of USD 13.7 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 9.76% in the period of 2019 to 2026.

In much simpler terms, procurement software is the one that should have the following functions:

  • Create an original purchase order based on need
  • Verify a purchase order 
  • Submit a pending purchase order for approval or rejection.
  • Automate electronic purchase-order transmission.
  • Generate reminders to confirm recent purchase orders
  • Maintain an inventory of goods to prevent spot shortages.
  • Execute financial and inventory-related transactions
  • Gather data and analyze trends to maximize profitability.
  • Streamline administration across multiple platforms.

Why do small businesses need it?

Here are the ways in which procurement software can help small businesses 

  1. Automated Workflows

    The entire business process can be 
    fully automated to create a seamless experience. All necessary approvals can automatically be sent to the relevant person and trigger the next step in the process.

  2. Everything Under One Roof

    Procurement software is a unified platform with all relevant functionalities that helps in easing the purchase processes and workflows. The easy processing also ensures that the integrations are seamless and helps in avoiding the delays or technical glitches.

  3. Reduced CostsProcurement software enables a company to go paperless as everything is saved digitally. This helps in eliminating the costs related to buying papers and saving them.

  4. Standardization

    You can standardize your workflows, forms, purchase order approvals, request for quotes and proposals with
    e-procurement software. Again, enabling you to cut down costs and any possibilities of deviating from official purchasing policies and authorizations.

  5. Transparency and Control

An e-procurement system creates centralized purchase management of information, so that requisitions, orders, purchases, and payment information is stored in a centralized location. This can help eliminate duplicate orders and track the procurement cycle, providing accurate and updated inventory, pricing, and availability to all parties.

Tracking improves visibility, providing end-to-end transparency of all transactions in the procurement cycle in the supply chain. Authorizations can be verified, while independent spending is subject to control.

Features that should be in a Procurement Software:


  1. Great UI

    An E-Procurement software is meant to ease your life and save your precious time. End user training for procurement software should take an hour at most and using it should be as easy as sending an email. If you are spending copious amounts of time to figure out how to use it, then maybe it’s time to upgrade to another solution.

  2. Seamless Integrations
    A lot of procurement software has options of integrating their system with third party software, but for the most part, the integration in semi-manual, complicated, and expensive. No one likes to waste time and money and still figuring out the rigorous process of integrating components. E-Procurement software is meant to have seamless and real-time integrations at your fingertips.
  3. Budgeting
    Procurement Software should show everyone the information to make appropriate decisions about what to buy and where to buy it. Before submitting of the request, the amount of money left in the budget should be shown up on the screen, so that the person will get to know right away whether or not an item is likely to get approved.
  4. Customer Service

    “Remember Tom? The ecommerce newbie who eased his life by purchasing procurement software. Well, he was happy until he faced an issue that he couldn’t resolve after so many self trials and he doesn’t know where to go to get help.”Tom learned it the hard way the importance of Customer Service and Post-Purchasing Support so that you don’t have to. When you need assistance, it’s soothing to know there will be a human to assist you with your problems. In the procurement process, there is no time to waste, and your e-procurement software provider should try to resolve your problem as soon as possible.

  5. JIT(Just In Time) Purchasing

    Just in Time purchasing is a cost accounting purchasing strategy. You purchase goods in the last minute so that they’re delivered just as they’re needed to meet customer demand. With JIT, after you get customer orders, you plan purchases. You purchase the minimum number of items to meet customer demand. For small businesses, keeping items in stock means more hassle for their management. Your e-procurement software should have the ability to sustain the JIT purchasing strategy. 

Difference Between Procurement Software Vs Inventory Management Vs Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Not only Procurement Software but according to a Techaisle survey, CRM, supply chain management, inventory management, marketing automation, customer service, ERP, and vertical applications are at the top of the “planning” list for small businesses because they, “address a common SMB business need…[and] work best when the system is accessible beyond the walls of the firm deploying the application, capitalizing on a key advantage of cloud vs. on-premise systems.”

Procurement Software:

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, procurement is “to get possession of something: to obtain something by particular care and effort.” As such, procurement is the process of getting possession or obtaining something. Expanding on that to include the business aspect, it is simply the act of “obtaining or buying goods and services.” 

Procurement software delivers control over the supply chain upstream of purchasing. Procurement processes are part of company strategy, because, without the ability to purchase certain goods or services, operations may not be able to continue. Businesses could suffer drastically if operations half even for a short period of time.

Supply Chain Management:

Supply chain definition: “consists of everybody involved in getting your product in the hands of a customer. It includes raw material gatherers, manufacturers, transportation companies, wholesale warehouses, in-house staff, stock rooms, and the teenager at the register. It also includes the tasks and functions that contribute to moving that product, such as quality control, market research, procurement, and strategic sourcing. The supply chain can be considered the entire chair, while procurement and sourcing are parts of the chair.”

SCM is about the process of managing the goods from supplier to customer to eventual end customer. You have to manage timing, quantity, and even the roles of partners in SCM.

Inventory Management Software:

Inventory Management is about the optimal use of the goods you have in store. How many to order, where to store them or even how to package them are all parts of Inventory Management. It is a tool in Supply Chain Management. It is used to make sure you move the items you need, not just what is easiest to work with.


An organization goes through a lot to plan the process that includes purchasing of items, determination of standards, supplier research, negotiation on prices. Organization needs procurement software because when a business has a single interface for procurement related management, it cuts down time and effort required to monitor a company’s spending. 

Irrespective of the size in the ecommerce business, whether big or small, you inevitably need a procurement software. The problem arises in choosing the best procurement software that suits up with your business. To ease up your selection process and to choose the right procurement software, you may find this article helpful to know about the benefits of procurement software and must have features of it.

Real Solutions to Real Problems faced by e-tailers in Dropshipping Mode of Business

Ok, so you just went with the flow and started off with your dropshipping business. However, you notice within a couple of weeks that your business is not flourishing as good as your friend’s who has been successfully doing it since years. One of the primary reasons could be you plunged into dropshipping without first knowing all about it. For all those who need to know what dropshipping is, you can read this article.

Here are some of the real-life problems that you might have encountered while dropshipping

Problem #1Longer Product Delivery Time

Longer Product Delivery TimePhoto by VanveenJF on Unsplash

This is one of the most common problems faced by the customer in dropshipping. This is mainly due to the fact that a e-tailer/retailer doesn’t stock any item so he places the order with the wholesaler or supplier once there is a customer order for the item. Usually, in dropshipping it takes 15-20 days and at times it can go upto 30 days delivery as well. What to do in such awkward situation?

SolutionPeter Liu, owner of dropshipping webshops, has come up with some logical and valid solutions for this problem “ Offer the best deal (not necessarily the best price) but this will surely help you convince people to accept the longer waiting time. Price is a very important reason for people to wait. Consider playing down the waiting times, suppose it takes 30 days, say: 15-30 days delivery, depending on Point of Destination (POD)… and don’t lie or promise the delivery is shorter. Always mention the possibility that it can take 30 days in that specific case. Be honest about country of origin, mention your factory is providing it from Asia. Always work with a tracking number and be transparent in your shipping time!”

Problem #2 Free Shipping Expectation of Consumers

Free Shipping Expectation of Consumers

eCommerce giants like Amazon, eBay, Walmart etc. rule the online shopping market and most of them provide free shipping on orders above $ 25 or so. Hence, the customer is used to the idea of getting free shipping of his/her products but that is not really a possibility in dropshipping because your dropshipper is not going to provide you free delivery. If you bear the expenses of shipping then you would simply end up cutting down on your profit  margin. So how do you offer it for free to your customers?

SolutionP.J. Stafford, Co-President of Honest Green and a grocery eCommerce expert, comments “When you are an etailer using the drop ship model you have to be careful about your shipping tiers to reduce the chance of having a negative gross margin sale, for example, when someone buys $25 worth of items and you give them free shipping, which really costs you $9 by UPS  and you may have a negative gross margin transaction. A sale is not the same as a positive gross margin sale.” He further mentions that offering a wide range of products or “SKUs gives you a better chance of increasing your basket size with related products and getting to a $50, $75 sale where free shipping is financially feasible for you as an option.”

Problem # 3 – Inventory Management is difficult

Inventory Management is difficult

To keep a track of the stock of your suppliers is a difficult task and miscommunication is bound to happen. In such cases, your business might suffer immensely. For e.g., your supplier has already run out of stock for a specific item but because you were not aware of it, you listed it online and have also received orders for it. This is a tricky situation and you are left with no choice but to cancel the order.

Solution– To avoid such mishaps and to better manage your inventory as per your dropshipper’s inventory level is now easy with inventory management software available in the market. You can easily view, manage and synchronize your entire inventory while also sync it with the inventory of your supplier in real-time with the inventory management software. Hence, enabling you to display the correct inventory stock on your website and eradicate the chances of you selling the product that are out of stock from your suppliers.

Problem #4Inadequate details/specifications about the product

Inadequate details

As a dropshipping retailer you never really get to see the product you sell and hence you have limited idea about the product. To top it off, the seller or manufacturer many times do not provide a proper product description to you or specifications such as product dimensions, weight, size etc. This lands you up in an awkward situation. Not able to answer to all your customer’s enquiries with inadequate product details results into losing your customers.

Solution– As a dropshipping entrepreneur it is your responsibility to display the product and its details accurately. For this, you can either create a detailed product form that the supplier has to fill in and submit before you start selling his products on your website or you can simply switch to a better supplier who can provide you with all the product details.

Maxim Godin, an author and CMO at Crazylister says that, “I’ve worked with many companies and most of them didn’t realize that although their listings were designed nicely, they were not designed to answer the exact needs of the potential customer…the secret was to understand the customer needs and create listings that answer those needs instantly.”

Problem # 5- Choosing an Unreliable Supplier

Choosing an Unreliable Supplier

Dropshipping business is based entirely on selecting a reliable supplier. If you choose a wrong supplier you might have to face business failure. An unreliable supplier is the one who is not available during your business hours, does not have quality products, does not update his stock on day to day basis and does not keep you well informed about products and their availability.

Solution – To overcome this problem, the best is to have 2 suppliers for the same product initially. Once you find the more trustworthy and reliable supplier you can stick with him/her for long-term business. Meanwhile always keep a check whether the products supplied by your supplier is correct, good quality, undamaged and as per the description on your website. Take reviews from your customers about the products delivered to them, this will give you a fair idea about your supplier.

Hope these solutions help you to overcome the problems you face in your day to day business and enable you to run a better dropshipping business.
Orderhive is a leading inventory management software with dropshipping functionalities as well and the company is offering 50% discount on all of their monthly plans at the moment.

Top 5 Warehouse Management Strategies for Easy eCommerce

Top 5 Warehouse Management Strategies for Easy eCommerce

Efficient warehousing is the key to success for all e-Commerce business. As per a survey conducted by Statista, 13% of customers were dissatisfied with online shopping due to mis-delivered parcel while 37% for late arrival of parcel. All these mishaps could be easily eradicated with efficient warehouse management.

In this article, we will learn about the top ways and tips to improve warehouse management for easy eCommerce business.

1. Multiple Warehouses is cost-effective and labor-saving

First of all, invest in creating multiple warehouses in different locations to cope with orders from various locations. In a big country like U.S, you need to have additional warehouses in different areas so that you can ship the order from whichever warehouse is in nearby location. This saves you time in delivering the product and also becomes cost-effective as the shipping charges are levied as per the distance between origin place to destination place. Hence, Multi-warehousing helps in bringing down the cost of transportation and delivery while improving the service standard immensely.

2. Keep your warehouse organized

Here are some simple but effective ways to store your products in the warehouse. Stocking the items of the same kind together, stacking the old items on top of the new so that you don’t end up wasting any products, keep fast moving items in the front of your storage room – helps in picking, packing and dispatching your orders in a timely manner.

3. Keep a close eye on stock all the time

Maintaining and reviewing stock on a regular basis is essential for online retailers. For this, you also need to check on the orders and sales that you receive. Stock all the fast selling goods well in time before it is out-of-stock so that you don’t end up upsetting your buyers. There are certain items that sell the quickest only during a particular season or occasion, keeping an eye on such items and stocking their quantities will help you to stay ready well in advance when the opportunity of sale arrives.

Also, it is wise to maintain lean inventory, meaning, store only the goods that are essential or fast moving and are in demand. You can buy or partner with someone for less popular good as and when the order arrives. This will help you save the place in your warehouse and will also not block your money unnecessarily on the slow-selling inventory.

4. Proper Packaging

Packing your inventory is an important stage in fulfilling your order. Always keep a stock of packaging materials on-hand but make sure that the size packaging material is as per product. You don’t want to end up wasting a lot of your material in packing a small item. Also, it is a good idea to not stock too much of packaging for the items that are not in the selling season.

5. Location of the warehouse

Last but not the least, choose a location of your warehouse wisely. This is essential because you don’t want to lose your customer due to late delivery. An ideal location of the warehouse should be approachable by a courier service so that they can pick the parcel as quickly as possible and then deliver it to your customer. You can also think of teaming up with an existing warehouse if it is in a good location and pay rent for it. This will prove to be cost cutting as well since you don’t have to maintain the warehouse single handedly and you can split the cost of warehouse maintenance between you and your partner.

In a nutshell

It is essential to follow best practices of warehousing now-a-days because we are witnessing a boom in the growth of eCommerce business. There is a heavy competition in the online selling sector and you can thrive in such a competitive environment only when you can provide improved services to your customer.

A complete warehouse management system is available in the market that can handle all of the above mentioned points in an easy and quick manner without using manual labor. Hence, opting for a good warehouse management software might be the best solution for handling all of your warehousing needs. Orderhive is No.1 inventory management software with exceptional warehouse management capabilities and is available at 50% off till 28th May, 2019.