The best stock management system for small businesses
43% of small businesses either use a manual process to track their inventory or they don’t track it at all. This statistic suggests a troubling trend among small businesses. A poorly managed inventory can lead to delayed shipping and stock-outs. So, losing track of your inventory altogether is extremely worrying. You may have had to cancel orders or even manage customer complaints.
Fortunately, stock control systems can make a real difference to your inventory control. But which is the best choice for your business? In this post, we’ll take a look at how to choose the right system for you – and why Profit4 is the best choice for small businesses.
Why should small businesses use a stock management system?
First of all, let’s outline why small businesses should avoid using pen and paper or Excel spreadsheets to track their stock. Put simply, manual systems are an incredibly outdated method for stock control. For one thing, tracking stock can take a long time to record manually, which inevitably holds up other parts of the distribution process.
Here are some key signs your business might need an upgrade to a stock control system...
- You’re losing track of your stock. Staff might be unaware of low stock levels or the locations of products within your warehouses
- You’ve had stock-outs. Popular products have gone out of stock, leading to cancelled orders and frustrated customers
- There have been issues with human error, such as staff recording an incorrect bin location for a product
- There’s poor integration between departments. Your sales team doesn’t know about the stock levels in your warehouses
- There’s poor integration between platforms, with orders from your eCommerce store not reflected in your overall stock levels
- Your warehouse layout is impractical, with popular items kept far away from the picking area
How to choose the right stock management system for your small business
So, when it comes to choosing a stock management system, what factors do you need to consider?
As your business grows, you might decide that it’s time to upgrade your stock management system. However, whilst high-end ERP software might seem like the natural choice, it can often become a hindrance for smaller businesses. Aside from their costly price tag, they also include many features you’re unlikely to use.
It's best to choose a stock management system that is proven in your industry – and configured to suit the needs of your business.
Another important factor is automation. Automated stock management systems can save on time and reduce human error. As staff won’t need to waste time on manual tasks, they’ll have more time to work on what they do best. You’ll also be able to avoid stock outs, as purchase orders can be raised automatically. As this all occurs in real time, you’ll always have a clear overview of your inventory.
All departments using one system
Your inventory doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If your sales representative takes an order from a customer, then your warehouse team will need to know about it so they can fulfil the order. Once they’ve shipped the products to your customer, one item might be low in stock. That means your purchasing team needs to raise an order with the supplier. All of your departments need to be working in conjunction with each other. Choose a software solution that can be used across departments and platforms.
Profit4 – the best stock management system for small businesses
From automating purchase orders to integrating your eCommerce and warehouse inventories, the best stock control system will allow you to cover all bases at an affordable price. Enter Profit4, a leading Cloud-based ERP system for small businesses and distributors.
What makes Profit4 so great for small businesses? Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits...
A centralised system
One of the best benefits of Profit4 is that the system is fully centralised on one platform. That means all the teams involved in stock management within your business will have access to real-time stock information.
For example, a customer service advisor will instantly be able to see when the fulfilment team has shipped an order. So, if a customer calls to ask about delivery, the advisor can answer right away without leaving the call to contact the fulfilment team.
A centralised system means you and your team have full visibility over your stock across all platforms, including your eCommerce stock, and locations, such as multiple warehouses. This saves time and avoids task duplication.
Profit4 offers a myriad of automation tools to streamline your processes and save on time. You’ll also reduce the risk of stockouts. How? With Profit4, you can set minimum stock levels. Once your inventory dips below this level, the system will automatically place an order with your supplier. There’s also the option for maximum and optimum levels, depending on your requirements.
Other features include automatic cross-selling and upselling recommendations. When a team member raises an order for a customer, they’ll automatically be prompted with related products the customer may wish to buy.
Customisable dashboards tailor your stock control system to your business. Perhaps warehouse management plays an important role for your business – or maybe you want to develop your customer management. Whatever your needs are, it’s quick and easy to add the features that are most relevant to you – and you can even set dashboards for different team members.
Detailed reporting tools
For fully optimised stock management, you need a clear understanding of your future sales and stock levels. Once you know a product is likely to sit on your shelves in the coming months, you can develop a strategy to make more sales and develop your future purchasing decisions.
Optimise your small business with Profit4
As your business grows, it’s important to scale your stock management system alongside it. Many popular ERPs offer features that most small businesses will never use. But they don’t provide the level of customisation smaller brands require.
Profit4 combines a variety of tools – from stock control to supplier relationship management – into one streamlined ERP. This customisable system automates time-consuming admin tasks, taking the hassle out of stock management.
If you’d like to learn about how Profit4 can be personalised to your small business, then watch our 3-minute online demo today.