As every eCommerce business owner knows, keeping track of orders, shipping processes, and inventory levels can be a tall order – especially if you’re planning to scale up operations. Fortunately, inventory and shipping management software can help optimize this process and ensure you continue to meet customer demand throughout the year. If you’re considering investing in inventory software or shipping management tools, we’ve put together an introductory guide below.
What is inventory and shipping management software?
Put simply, inventory and shipping management software helps businesses manage their inventory levels and shipping operations, ensuring customers receive goods and services as efficiently as possible while minimizing wastage. There are many inventory management systems and shipping software packages on the market, some of which are tailored for specific industries or eCommerce solutions. For example, some inventory software packages integrate seamlessly with Shopify stores or other point of sale solutions.
Broadly speaking, most inventory and shipping management software includes at least a few of the following features:
- Inventory tracking: Business must track their inventory to ensure stock levels continue to meet customer demand. As well as tracking the number of stocked items and their location, businesses must track the raw materials and tools involved with manufacturing goods (if applicable).
- Purchase order management: Most inventory software allows businesses to create and manage purchase orders, including placing orders with suppliers and tracking the status of orders.
- Automatic batch sorting: This feature helps streamline the order-picking process by grouping similar orders together for picking, packing, and shipping.
- Sales tracking and reports: Businesses can use inventory management software to track sales figures and generate reports on inventory movement. Business leaders can use these reports to make informed decisions about upcoming purchase orders, production schedules, and new product launches.
- Shipping label creation: Some shipping management programs allow users to automatically generate and print shipping labels, including labels for international clients.
- Package tracking: Package tracking features allow companies to keep close track of goods as they move through the shipping process. As well as viewing package locations, operations managers can view expected delivery dates and ensure the business maintains an efficient service throughout the year.
- Carrier management: Some shipping management providers help retailers choose the best shipping carriers to suit their needs, comparing rates to find the most cost-effective suppliers.
- Point of sale integrations: Some inventory platforms may integrate with point of sale payments, automatically syncing orders with the inventory in real time.
- Cost management: Businesses can track and manage shipping costs by keeping close tabs on the cost of raw materials, shipping materials, and the cost of shipping every package.
What are the benefits of inventory and shipping management software?
Wondering whether your business will benefit from inventory and shipping management software? Whether you run a small community enterprise or an expanding international corporation, inventory software can offer the following benefits:
1. You’ll keep customers happy
Poor inventory and shipping management can significantly impact your company’s reputation and ability to function smoothly. If you want to avoid mistakes such as lost parcels, incorrect orders, or shipping delays, a comprehensive inventory and shipping management package represents the perfect solution. Plus, it will ensure your team has enough time to fulfil their duties.
2. You can prioritize your inventory and make smart spending decisions
Almost every business sells a few blockbuster items that drive significant sales numbers. Inventory software will help you identify these items and alter your supply ordering processes accordingly. Many businesses use the ABC approach to managing stock, whereby:
- A items = those responsible for the top 20% of the revenue
- B items = those responsible for the middle 20% of the revenue
- C items = those responsible for the bottom 20% of the revenue
Ideally, you should use your inventory management tool to ensure you always have plenty of A items in stock.
3. You can draw up contingency plans
Inventory management tools allow businesses to avoid operational disasters by flagging issues before they develop into big problems. Examples of such problems may include:
- Slow-moving products: If businesses discover that some products are not moving as quickly as hoped, they can draw up plans to lower prices or launch special offers.
- Unexpected sales spikes: Sometimes, businesses discover that certain items become incredibly popular in a matter of days or weeks. Inventory software can flag such trends at an early stage, allowing companies to negotiate with suppliers and carriers to meet growing demand.
- Seasonal sales spikes: Businesses may need to invest in extra warehouse space or raw materials if they encounter seasonal sales spikes.
4. Enhanced reporting and data analysis
Most inventory management software can generate detailed reports that offer granular insights into business operations, helping decision-makers spot changes in demand and develop cutting-edge growth strategies that drive revenue and secure long-term growth.
5. Update records in real-time
Keeping up-to-date inventory records helps businesses avoid operational bottlenecks and ensure suppliers and carriers live up to their duties. Manual record-keeping, on the other hand, is laborious, slow, and prone to mistakes.
Looking for premium inventory and shipping management software? Get in touch with SKULabs today!
Are you looking to maintain premium levels of customer service, reduce your company’s administrative burden, streamline operations, and boost revenue in the long term? You’ll need a high-quality inventory and shipping management provider like SKULabs. We help eCommerce stores pick, pack, and ship their orders with 100% accuracy. If you’re looking for real-time inventory control features, discounted shipping deals, simple label printing, and much more, please do not hesitate to get in touch today at (800) 243-2986 or by emailing email@example.com.