The ever-growing demand of online shopping is not only forcing sellers to be on their toes but also, manufacturers and distributors have major contributions in the supply chain process for any retail business.
Modern inventory management practices have already been adopted by retailers (online/offline) in order to ensure sufficient stock availability, as per their customer’s demands.
But, are wholesalers and distributors able to fulfil every order that comes in? Many distributors still cobble together and then juggle multiple software/spreadsheets to manage the intricacies of managing stock requirements for their business.
Are you one of them?
There are a number of articles highlighting various techniques of managing inventory for B2C owners, but, not many have shown insights on managing inventory for B2B owners.
Below in this article, we will discuss on the must-have business to business inventory management features and how they can help?
Here we go:
E-commerce being one of the fastest growing industries, your system should offer easy integration to online brands, allowing them a convenience to procure and process their customer’s order from the place they are.
E-commerce business owners are more likely to deal with vendors who understand their store’s stock requirements and offer restocking alerts in a timely manner.
Therefore, ensure your system is flexible enough to integrate with different sized retail business needs that will be easy and quick to communicate.
Barcode integration/ Product identifiers
An old inventory management practice, however, there are still many business owners who have not adopted this time-saving technology for managing their stock.
Manufacturing hundreds and thousands of products or supplying stock in huge bulks- having unique identification numbers with information to each of your products makes it easy to organize and deal with every sales order, efficiently.
Barcode integration in your inventory management system will ensure you can track movements of your products to your customer’s store, as well as, at their warehouses. This will automatically eliminate the risk of losing products in transit, too.
Multi-currency payment transaction
In today’s global economy, having an ability to quickly convert one currency to another is essential for most selling business, especially if you dropship.
For instance: If you have customers who offer service in multiple places across the globe, adapting an inventory management solution with multi-currency capabilities will allow you accept more and more orders than other business owners who don’t have the ability to do so.
Multiple warehouses management
Modern customers expect an omni-channel shopping experience, hence, many
business owners are seen to be expanding their inventory reach by investing in multiple warehouses to reach out more and more customers.
Being able to sync multiple warehouses in one centralized system, will automatically give you the power to properly control all your business orders that come in.
EDI Order details transaction (Electronic Data Interchange)
Taking orders via email, phone calls, or, even messages surely leads to waste of time, cost and, in most of the cases, mess up in communicating exact details.
Modern inventory management systems allow business owners to sync order details coming from multiple sources at one place that will ensure accuracy in fulfilling customer’s orders, always.
You may expand your product reach, but, not having a system to track your stock ins and outs can directly hamper the bottom line results.
Understanding the requirement of each product your make or distribute, is crucial for a smooth flow.
Ensure your system allow you an ability to generate reports on important inventory metrics like:
a- Stock cycle time
This report will help you understand the time duration since when the product is manufactured until product ready to be shipped.
Such reports will make it easy to perform analysis on the time it takes to process a purchase order.
b- Supply cycle time
This report will help you calculate your service level, which means, was your business able to ship every order that came in?
The lower the ratio, the poorer your inventory performance.
c- Level of stock
A crucial metric, that will allow you insights of your stock availability and demand in real-time.
This report will help you understand and forecast stock requirements, especially for those seasonal products.
d- Stock turnover
This will give you an idea, how quickly is your stock being replaced.
The formula to calculate stock turnover:
e- Gross margin
This report will help you understand the percentage of profit you make from your sales orders.
The formula to calculate gross-margin:
Having an access to such information, will allow you to take winning stock decisions and help your business grow successfully.
Centralized access for all your employees
As and when your business improves visibility, you’ll have to expand your strength to ensure smooth supply of stock as per demand. However, communicating with your staff separately for every purchase order, may lead to a delay in fulfilling your customer’s needs.
By having all your staff members under one roof, you can know who is engaged with what. Having a centralized access for all your employees, you can track employee’s performance and make better decisions to enhance productivity.
With the increasing demand for your products, you’ll find it a struggle to track movements for each of them. However, having an instant access to your inventory via one of the touchpoints you use, will give you a control on all products.
Ensuring your inventory management system is mobile-friendly, you can adapt a timely and accurate information about your stock, from anywhere.
Wholesale management software is proving to be an ideal solution for business to business owners, as it allows them to adopt the modern ways of dealing with stock requirements.
Offering an engaging interface, you can invite your business customers to adopt a single portal from where you can easily communicate and perform smart inventory practices for your business.