High costs of an inventory management or stock control software are usually factors why companies don’t invest in a proper inventory management software.
The real question is, in the 21st century, how can businesses afford not to have management software for their inventory? Besides fixed assets, inventory is usually the largest priced asset of any business. Allowing those assets to go unchecked, unregulated, and unsupervised, as it goes from supplier to consumer leads to a decrease in profits. Meanwhile, the return on investment for management systems is enormous. The five main areas where businesses usually see ROI are in: Managing inventory, as noted above, excess stock, or a lack of stock, can cost you. Warehouses can cut costs by not purchasing inventory until it’s needed and can earn price breaks by ordering in larger quantities. Maximizing labour- Getting the most out of employees without wasting their time, including in the training of new employees, is crucial, and increased productivity is a hallmark of quality inventory management software.
Satisfying customers- Beyond your business benefitting from good customer service, satisfying customer orders also prevents your company from violating service-level agreements.
With the government being committed to help more small and medium enterprises (SME’s) transform digitally to stay in business amidst tech disruption, having an idea of where to start off can be a big question.
At Edgeworks we recommend starting off from the core part of any business, the backend.
In Singapore, most SME’s still use the conventional excel sheet or even the traditional pen and paper method to keep track of stock which leads to high rates of error. Without accurate accounting of how much inventory a business has, where that inventory is located and what will be needed to complete incoming and future orders, no company can run efficiently enough to turn a profit and generate growth. Shockingly, inventory inefficiency is common for many businesses in Singapore. Inaccurate inventory records create a higher lead time (the time between the initiation and execution of a process), which means a slower response to demand, market changes and stock outs. This, in turn, can create customer disapproval when products aren’t available as needed. For small businesses, the margin for error is too small not to meet required demand (only about 50 percent of small businesses survive past four years). Plus, a shorter lead time has become an important source of competitive advantage. By understanding what’s key in the inventory and stock take process we have developed efficient ways for you as a business owner to manage and improve on your stock and inventory processes. Check with us today to see how our software can help your business grow and stay relevant in today’s business landscape.
Save time and money Automated inventory will in save you time that now allows you to spend on identifying your best sellers and ensuring they are sufficiently stocked. What’s more, updating inventory is now one less administrative task for you to do, so you can use your time to promote and expand your business. Our software has the option to go cloud based, allowing you to access information about your stock from anywhere. This means that if you can provide access to your staff if you have a remote office, a remote workforce or just someone who has to use the ERP system while at home or while away at a conference.
Setting goods restock levels It’s one thing to have your stock automatically update across all of your channels, but what about when you need to order more stock? Most (good) inventory systems come with a preset reorder value that automatically sends off a purchase order to your supplier. Our Equip management system has a built-in reporting element to save you time when identifying your viral products. In business, stock is the greatest asset, so forecasting and planning for your popular items is vital to increase sales over multiple channels.
Reduce Human Error As your business expands, you face increased pressure to send out the correct product at the appropriate time and to the exact location, while ensuring your product is of good quality. As these orders are processed, the risk for human error grows because the orders must be assigned to specific warehouses and handled by several members of different teams. Our software allows for businesses to streamline their warehouse operations because the software collects information in one centralized place, administrators can easily manage the stock in multiple locations as well as any 3rd party partners. This streamlines management of the entire stock process and helps improve delivery times, in effect increasing customer satisfaction.
Manage stock and customers Manually updating your stock across all of your channels can be a very tiresome process. You can feel like you are up to your eyeballs in spreadsheets, especially if you have a large product range. Here is where the issue of overselling and underselling materializes, when you manually manage your inventory. Prevent disappointing your customer by informing them that the product is no longer available. With our inventory management software you will automatically be able to update your stock across all of your channels to avoid this problem.
By having an inventory software does not mean that your business will automatically improve its inventory management processes. Here are some problems that businesses face when dealing with inventory management software and how we at Edgeworks Solutions solve them.
Problem no.1 – Not planning your product Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) properly
The number one problem that customers face is the lack of knowledge of planning their product SKU numbers because they do not understand the importance of having one. By not planning ahead and listing your products properly with an SKU, there is an increased likelihood of:
Having either not enough serial numbers for a certain product range leading to different numbers for the same product Confusion amongst different products with similar SKUs.
Problem no.2 – Not having a barcode software
Having a barcode software is a must when it comes to inventory software as it not only saves time but also manpower. It allows for easy tracking and access to real time data on the inventory management system information about the stock.
Problem no.3 – Not setting a low stock quantity reminder
Not having stock when your customer needs is one of the last problems you want to have as a business owner. Yet this is something that happens very often when a low stock quantity reminder is not set especially once business is in full operation.
With our inventory management software we can set reminders for individual items, allowing staff and managers to react to low stock for certain items and order them in time.
Problem no.4 – Not using reports to help you make important decisions
Reports is a very important thing when it comes to inventory management and stock control. Reports allow you to have a bird’s eye view of your business from the back-end perspective and this allows you to make quick decisions like planning stock ordering schedules, planning delivery schedules to your outlets, negotiating prices with your suppliers or adjusting selling prices of your products to make up for sudden changes in the economy or business environment to stay ahead of your competitors.
So having an inventory system or an inventory management software is just the first step to helping you organize and increase efficiency in your business. Learning how to use it and making sure the software has the right features to help your business is also key.
Our E-quip Inventory System is based off feedback from our clients and developed in such a way to improve efficiency and minimize stock errors so that you can spend more time elsewhere, like increasing sales!
What makes some retail & F&B businesses more successful than the others? From working with 1000+ small and large corporations, we noticed several key insights that make the difference:
1. Successful businesses recognize the importance of good customer service.
We recognize that all business owners are risk takers. Yet they also know the importance of good customer service. Without good service customers look to other businesses to purchase their products from. It is because of this that business owners look for simpler, faster, and more efficient ways to provide services and/or products to their customers. We have found that the more successful business owners are down to earth and easy to work with, and because of this we have built long term relationships with our clientele.
2. Systems help businesses inch closer to their full potential.
Those working in the retail industry need to have efficient systems that help them manage their inventory. Without systems that help them to track inventory their businesses do not run at their full potential. Also important in the retail industry is to find simple, effective ways to price products.
Finally, owners are concerned with customer loyalty. By providing clients with the means to track inventory in real-time they have reported to us that they have become more productive – and are also much more able to address and focus on clients’ needs. F&B businesses, on the other hand, are focused on their operation processes as these are critical in determining the long term success of the business.
4. Successful businesses tend to pick the right locations.
We serve a growing number of successful businesses that are located in or sell to businesses in shopping malls. Shopping malls attract Singaporeans in their leisure time as they seek a cool space due to the hot weather. Malls are also convenient one stop places to run all of one’s errands, such as going to the supermarket and doing their banking.
5. Operational processes and long term vision before costs & design.
Part of a successful business is ensuring that you have an established operational process that is simple to teach to new employees and for the new trainees to follow. Further, this system must be reliable and user friendly in order for it to support day to day operations smoothly. Another part of a successful business is to have a long term vision. This long term vision should include building a strong foundation that will result in the growth and expansion of the business. While costs and design plays a role in the success of a business, a business that solely focuses on these two factors tends to fail. These businesses have an “if we build it then they will come” attitude, which is short sighted. A successful business needs to recognize and implement all of the key factors in order to attract and build a successful business based on a strong clientele.
In 1994, Chang Cheng Mee Wah opened its first Chinese Mixed Vegetable Rice St. Today, they own and operate over 220 food outlets and restaurants all over the world. As Chang Cheng’s company expanded it recognized the importance of implementing technological strategies to deliver the quality and the quantity of products that their customers demanded.
After researching what was available and best suited the company’s needs, Chang Cheng started working with Edgeworks in 2007 because of its high quality POS products.
Edgeworks offers Chang Cheng the tools that they needed to: 1) accurately capture real-time sales, 2) identify top selling products, 3) manage inventory at multiple locations over Singapore, 4) create and maintain purchase orders, and 5) identify the top-selling customers.
Not to mention, Edgeworks POS system provides comprehensive reports that help facilitate decision making.
Edgeworks EquipPOS system however does much more than just collect data to help with the day-to-day operations of one’s business. For restaurants and food outlets such as Chang Cheng, Edgeworks’ system helps with table layout, set up and management, manage takeaways, multiple payment types, e-Menu using iPad/Android tablets, and recipe management. Chang Cheng successfully uses the recipe management POS in order to standardize its products across all of their outlets.
John Lim, Chang Cheng’s IT Manager, said of Edgeworks’ POS system, “EquipPOS is an intuitive and user-friendly point of sales system.” He went on to say that by changing from a traditional cash register to the EquipPOS register has made it easier for Chang Cheng to collect transactions data, which allows the company to customize specific items when needed. By changing from the SOS system to the POS system Chang Cheng’s has improved its processing and procedures.