Warehousing and inventory management are particularly challenging areas of business operations, particularly in retail and other businesses where several thousand SKUs might be involved. Traditionally, these operations have been very manpower-heavy, even with the introduction of computerized systems.
However, online inventory management systems today offer a host of capabilities and benefits that were either not present in older computerized systems or too difficult to implement with the technology then available to smaller Filipino businesses. Contemporary inventory management solutions are not only affordable but also incredibly powerful as well, giving smaller organizations the type of capabilities that were previously only within reach of the largest industry players.
Here are some benefits Filipino businesses can expect when they implement a new online inventory management system:
1.) Better suited for online businesses
Given the massive explosion in Philippine ecommerce at the beginning of the 2020s, it’s now clear that anyone who wants to do business online has to make sure that their systems facilitate rather than hinder their growth in this area. Using an updated inventory management system can open up new avenues for improving sales and efficiency, such as enabling dynamic pricing based on available stocks or triggering emails and other notifications depending on stock availability and customer interest. When combined with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, the possibilities offered by an updated inventory management solution for increasing online sales are near limitless.
2.) Up-to-date SKU monitoring
If the tracking features of a new system are correctly implemented, the real-time monitoring of stocks can open up some interesting possibilities. Inventory managers, salespeople, and even customers can instantly view stock availability, reducing the time needed to complete a sale, theoretically allowing the business to serve more customers in a given period, which means more sales and more income. Real-time information also allows managers to track fast-selling items and implement optimal marketing strategies for each SKU.
3.) Advanced automation options
When paired with an ERP or marketing automation software, online inventory management systems can be used to send automated customer emails, including reminders, suggested products, and other useful information. This can reduce the necessary marketing budget for each customer. Automated ordering can also be implemented to reduce the necessary warehouse space for fast-selling items or to allow purchases of stocks and materials at optimal prices. The automation options are limited only by the imagination and the software the inventory system is integrated with.
4.) Smaller warehousing requirements
Traditionally, warehousing was one of the more expensive parts of maintaining a business. The larger a business grew, the more warehouse space was often needed for stocks for sale or of raw materials. Because it would take time to assess the depletion of different stocks, large buffer stocks were often necessary.
However, with real-time inventory management, it is no longer necessary to keep large buffer stocks. Your organization can keep just as much as it needs, which can dramatically reduce the storage space needed, saving on warehousing costs in the process.
5.) Better marketing
The real-time monitoring enabled by new systems makes it simpler to find out which items are selling better, which makes it easier to choose where and how to spend your marketing and sales budgets. Because SKUs can be tracked in close to real-time, the business can use the information in a much timelier manner compared to week-to-week or month-to-month tracking that is typical with traditional computerized systems.
6.) Fewer losses due to pilferage
Pilferage is a major problem in retail and warehousing, especially in the Philippines. This problem can be compounded with the inaccurate and slow tracking typical of manual systems and older computerized inventories. By making it possible to know where items in the inventory are at all times, the motivation for pilferage is reduced, which in turn, can reduce the cost of doing business.
7.) Smaller, more responsive sales and warehousing teams
One of the biggest appeals of newer inventory management systems is that they can remove a significant amount of human intervention in the inventory management process. In manual systems, human error can be introduced at multiple points in the process, from sourcing and purchasing, to tracking and order fulfillment. Newer inventory management systems reduce the amount of human input needed, which not only saves time but also allows a smaller team to go through more SKUs more accurately.
There are more stakeholders in your inventory management system than you might expect. It’s no longer just the people in your organization that can directly benefit from the implementation of a new online inventory management system, even customers can see direct benefits as well. By implementing new systems with better tracking, automation, and accessibility than previous generations, you are taking a necessary step towards building a competitive business in the Philippine digital economy.