With every passing day, the importance of inventory automation is becoming more and more apparent. Businesses all over the world are realizing their potential and want to jump on this train. But as soon as they are about to do that, they face a wall. There are multiple options. Which one should they choose?
The answer to this question heavily depends on their type of business and the size of their operations. But there are a few features that every inventory replenishment system needs in order to be a success. Without these, the system will be lacking in some key areas. These are the features that you should look for before making a decision:
Having all of your warehouse functions centralized in one system is critical for efficiency. Things like tracking stock levels, their positions in the warehouse, the history of specific products, history of product purchases are all things that this system should have the ability to manage. It should also have the capability to track orders that haven’t been fulfilled yet.
Barcoding and identification:
Currently, the best way to track individual products is with their barcodes. The inventory replenishment system should have the capabilities to track barcodes and identify the product and react accordingly. If a product is scanned on the counter, it should store that information and order the product once the stock is getting low. Similarly, if an order just came in, it should notify the managers to stock the shelves with the newly shipped items.
Modern-day retail stores are not limited to physical locations, and a significant amount of inventory is moved from the eCommerce side of things. The inventory replenishment system should have the ability to work with the eCommerce systems and keep online sales in the equation. Also, having a clear indication of the percentage of products sold through stores and online is a bonus for making useful business changes.
There used to be a time when analysts were the ones tracking the sales and making a prediction for the future. Now it is the inventory management system’s job. It should be able to use a combination of artificial intelligence and data to predict the future of a product and order accordingly. These predictions need to be accurate up to the current industry standard.
The flexibility of integration:
The whole system will obviously include other devices, robots, and computer systems that serve a different purpose. But most of these systems need to be interconnected to ensure an efficient flow of information. The inventory replenishment system should allow for easy integration into any kind of custom inventory.
Flexibility for change:
No system is going to be a perfect fit right out of the box. With the sheer variety of businesses and retail settings, changes need to be made. The system you chose should allow for easy tuning and customization in order to be fully viable. A rigid system will just create more problems than it solves and will result in an inefficient mess in the name of inventory management.