If you’re struggling to keep oversight of your inventory, you’re not alone. A recent survey showed that 43% of business owners either don’t track their inventory, or use a time-consuming manual system. Yet stock control is essential to the survival of your business, and having a decent stock management system is vital. In this article, we outline the main benefits that businesses get from implementing a stock management system.
But first things first.
What is Stock Control?
Stock control, or inventory control, is the process of managing or overseeing the stock that a company currently has control of. This can include physical ownership of the products, as well as stock that has been ordered, in transit, or sold.
Taking this a level further, stock control is knowing every product that the business owns, as well as the value, the rate of stock turnover, when to re-order, and which products are selling well or selling poorly.
What is a Stock Management System?
A stock management system is a system or a process that manages stock, including the processes of ordering, storing, tracking, and controlling inventory. This is also called an inventory management system.
What are the benefits of implementing a stock management system?
- A more efficient business
With a stock management system taking care of your stock control, you can spend less time manually doing it, and less time worrying about it — or fixing costly mistakes. Some stock management systems like StockAssist connect and interact with other business areas — giving you up to date data on everything that matters. With total visibility over your stock levels, and knowing exactly where your stock is at any time down the exact location on the warehouse shelves, you can be more efficient, more productive and more profitable, with better overall resource management across the whole business.
According to a survey conducted by GetData, 55% of small businesses owners polled say that inventory management software saves them more than 5 hours each week. That can quickly add up over the course of a year, and when you think what else you can use that time for in terms of productivity or profitability, the benefits of a good stock management system quickly become apparent.
- Simplified stock control saves money
Perhaps the biggest benefit of implementing a stock management system, particularly if you choose a technology solution such as StockAsssist, is that it saves you significant staff hours, time, and therefore money. Using stock management software simplifies your stock control, allowing you to automatically monitor stock levels, create automated alerts for low stock levels, set re-order points and even streamline the putaway process — all of which are significant opportunities for saving time and enhancing profits.
- Eliminate Surplus Stock & Overselling
Both underselling and overselling can be costly problems for businesses. Surplus stock takes up valuable warehouse space, and if your goods are perishable or have expiry dates, then the challenge becomes even more significant. By contrast, overselling can lead to reputational damage — disappointed customers, complex refund processes, and can even attract disciplinary action from some marketplaces or platforms.
It is therefore vital to have real-time oversight over your stock levels to ensure that you always have the right amount of stock to sustain your business — not too little and not too much.
With stock control or inventory management software like StockAssist, you can effortlessly keep track to minimise stock sitting on shelves or going to waste, and ensure your stock levels are adequate by setting re-order parameters or par levels.
- Reduce Errors
Human error in stock management can be costly, and in some industries, it can even be dangerous. It is difficult, if not impossible, to have efficient and accurate stock control if you are relying on manual systems or spreadsheets, as human error and laborious processes increase the likelihood of inaccurate information being inputted on your system.
By implementing a software-based stock management system, you can significantly improve the accuracy, and save time and money. This allows you to streamline your supply chain, anticipate and minimise the effects of any supply chain problems, and minimise the risks associated with human error.
- Streamline your warehouse
One of the advantages of implementing a formal stock management system is that it allows you to organise and streamline your warehouse or storage unit. Without such a system, warehouses can be messy and disorganised, and it becomes very easy to lose items or suffer wastage. However, with a stock management system, you can track the location by SKU, making products easier to find. You can also organise the layout of your warehouse by best selling or most used products, or by season, and have total visibility in real-time on your stock management system.
- Significant Cost-savings & Improved Profit
As we’ve mentioned throughout this article, a good stock management system can save you significant costs as well as improve your profits. Cost savings come from a multitude of sources — more efficient use of staff, streamlining storage costs, and reducing overstocking and stock wastage. Stock management software can also provide real-time reporting, allowing you to make data-driven decisions for your business. This can help you better anticipate supply and demand, and being more streamlined and efficient is likely to improve your customer and client relationships.
All of this can help you make more strategic decisions to drive the direction of your business towards growth and improved profitability.
- Scaling your Business.
One other key benefit for businesses from implementing an efficient stock management system is being better positioned to scale. As your business grows and your order volumes increases, you need to have full visibility over your inventory in order to anticipate and meet demand. You need an automated stock management system that can grow with you, otherwise you will need to constantly manually monitor and adjust your stock levels, tying up precious time and resources. By contrast, keeping on top of your inventory by implementing a stock management system gives you freedom to take advantage of rapid growth.
Implementing a stock management system confers a range of benefits on a business. Software or cloud-based inventory management systems are powerful tools to help you automate your processes and increase efficiency, productivity and profitability. Real-time reporting can help you to identify trends, anticipate supply and demand, and forecast sales. Stock management systems can also reduce business risks such as human error, and overselling and overstocking, while saving you time and increasing your profit margin. Stock management systems can also support you to grow and scale your business — which is exactly what we want to support you to achieve.
Got questions on stock management? We’d love to help!