Multi-channel inventory management, made easy
For wholesalers and stockists, inventory management can be a huge challenge. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed when you’re constantly keeping track of products sold and restocked across multiple channels.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution. If you need support keeping track of your stock, it’s time to adopt a streamlined inventory management system.
From cutting down on manual tasks to improving stock visibility, this type of software comes with many benefits. So, what are you waiting for? Here’s our guide to multi-channel inventory management, made easy…
What makes multi-channel inventory management so complicated?
Selling via multiple channels is essential for wholesalers and stockists. The more channels you sell from, the more businesses you can potentially reach. Some companies prefer to order over the phone, others will use your website, so you need to ensure you make it as easy as possible for your customers, whatever their preferred channel
However, this comes with its own challenges. New channels provide new touchpoints for customer sales and enquiries. Unfortunately, that’s accompanied by more opportunities for data to be lost. If one channel isn’t updated, potentially all of your inventory data is compromised. That can spell disaster for your business.
For example, let’s say your sales team has taken a large order over the phone. If, through human error, they forget to update the inventory, your entire system will be working on inaccurate data. So, if that same product is now out-of-stock, your other teams won’t be aware. Ultimately, that means staff at one of your trade stores may unknowingly sell items that are no longer available.
What does that mean for your customers? Potentially, everything from delays to unfulfilled orders. That can lead to negative reviews and lost custom, which can easily spiral for your business. That’s why it’s so important to keep your system simple and streamlined. Fortunately, a multi-channel inventory management system can help you to do just that.
4 steps to make multi-channel inventory management easy
When it comes to multi-channel stock management, there are some key ways to simplify the process. Here are the top four to keep in mind…
Keep your inventory visible
Half the battle when it comes to stock management is knowing what you’ve got – and where it’s located. Sound like a familiar issue? Then it’s time to make use of a multi-channel inventory management system. This software provides you with a bird’s-eye view of your stock. At a glance, you’ll know how much stock you’ve got – and how much of that is available. You’ll also be able to see its location. All this data is kept updated in real time.
Plus, these updates are automatically applied across all channels. So, if your sales team is updated, so are your warehouse operatives and trade counters. You’ll also have a clear bill of materials. That means if you sell any kits, your inventory will automatically update to reflect the stock levels of all components.
You’ll never have to play a guessing game with your stock levels again. Multi-channel inventory management helps you to keep things optimised. Through your prior order volumes, Profit4 can determine the optimum min/max stock levels for all the products in your inventory. Once levels get too low, the software can automatically re-order stock too.
Streamline and sync your inventory management
It takes more than one team to manage your inventory. From purchasing to sales, all your departments need to be in sync. Sadly, that’s easier said than done. When stock levels are high, your teams might not be on the same page when sales are made, or products re-ordered. Using Excel spreadsheets (or pen and paper) just won’t cut it.
Once again, multi-channel inventory management software provides a quick and easy solution. With Profit4, all your inventory management processes are unified within a single system. So, every department has access to the same data. Profit4 will pull in data and sync with all your sales channels, including your website, trade counter, or Amazon and eBay online stores. Staff can also tailor the data to suit their needs using customisable dashboards. That all keeps your inventory data simple and streamlined.
Automate manual tasks
It’s no secret that stock management is time-consuming. That’s especially the case when you’re juggling multiple sales channels. You need to keep on top of your inventory, or you risk losing sight of it. With multiple teams updating data across various channels, this provides a lot of room for human error.
Rather than tackling this manually, it’s much simpler to automate these tasks. That way, you can rest assured that they’re always in place. So, there’s no need to call through to your warehouse team when an online sale is made. All your departments will be updated automatically, stock will be automatically assigned, a picking note generated and shipping auto calculated. Reducing manual tasks also gives you time to focus your attention elsewhere. No wasted time, no wasted money.
Stay on top of pricing
When you’re a supplier or wholesaler, pricing can get complicated. For instance, you have the prices for individual products, along with discounts, offers and bulk purchases. Then there’s customer pricing structures to consider. These all have to be updated regularly. Attempting this manually is time-consuming – and offers an uncomfortable amount of room for human error. Fortunately, using multi-channel inventory management software makes this process simple, enabling dynamic pricing systems to be implemented.
It’s not just your own pricing that needs to be considered. Your suppliers’ prices may also fluctuate. Staying in the know about the pricing of your raw materials helps you and your sales team to set a reasonable minimum selling price, as well as assisting with price negotiations. It also gives you a clear outline of your profit margins. That’s all invaluable information when it comes to boosting your profits. With Profit4, you can upload supplier prices and images in bulk, saving precious time.
Say goodbye to stressful multi-channel inventory management
Often, as your sales channels increase, so do your stress levels. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Multi-channel inventory management software, like Profit4, streamlines your inventory, integrating stock from all your different sales platforms.
Whether your sales team takes an order over the phone or from Amazon, they’ll always have access to the information they need. That means reduced delays and stock-outs - and more happy customers.
Ready to take the next step? Speak with our helpful team today or take a look at our 3-min Profit4 demo.