Why Automate Your Inventory Management—And What Features to Look For

Inventory management is essential if you’re an e-commerce store owner—even more so if you’re selling in multiple sales channels while running several brick-and-mortar shops. While you were probably used to managing your inventory manually, continue doing it now that you’ve expanded your business can be a recipe for disaster. That’s not to mention it’s time-consuming. So today, we’ll discuss why you should automate your warehouse inventory management and what features you should look for in inventory tracking software. 

The Benefits of Automated Inventory Management

E-commerce is a highly competitive industry. You need insights to find high-demand products, acquire the supplies fast, and keep the stock at an optimal level. And that can be difficult to pull off when you have to stare at your spreadsheets for hours trying to make sense of data. This is where automated inventory management can be of huge help.

Here are some ways you can benefit from switching to automated inventory management: 

Save tons of time. 

Think of all the times you’ve spent checking your stock in the warehouse, cross-referencing the data with your e-commerce channels, and updating your Excel spreadsheets manually. 

With an automated system, you no longer have to do that. The software will count the stock and update the inventory automatically. Every time an item is sold, received, or returned, inventory management software will register the action and update the system without you having to do anything. That means you have more time to focus on other business aspects.

Track your inventory in real-time.

Do you often call your warehouse manager to check the inventory levels and then go through all your e-commerce channels to see which items are picked for current orders? That kind of back-and-forth isn’t only time-consuming but also tiring. Switch to automated inventory management to track your inventory in real-time. You no longer have to bother your warehouse manager about every single item; you can track it through the platform. 

With accurate order tracking, automated inventory management software will also help boost your customer experience. Stock-outs & unfulfilled orders will likely be a thing of the past. 

Reduce inaccurate data & other human errors.

Manual entry in tons of spreadsheets can open the door for human error. The solution? Automate the data entry. The inventory management software will key in the data by adding, forecasting, deleting, and replenishing stock in real-time. Plus, with an automated system, your company can finally have standard data entry processes that result in more accurate information tracking. Your staff can then focus on other facets, where they can contribute their skills & creativity—rather than spend hours adding or correcting numbers on Excel. 

Stop miscalculating inventory levels.

Stock miscalculations can hurt your bottom line. So if you don’t want your warehouse to be filled with too much stock of slow-moving products or low-demand items, automate your inventory management. It can make the task easier by monitoring your customer data and helping you forecast your ideal inventory levels for each item. That way, you and your staff can replenish the stock efficiently and only when necessary. 

Scale up your e-commerce business with ease.

All the benefits of automated inventory management point to one thing: growing your business. When your data is more accurate, your customer experience is improved with low stockout rates. You also free up more time to work on other aspects of the business. In turn, you are likely to scale up your e-commerce business more easily. That’s enough reason to invest in an incredible automated warehouse inventory management. 

The Must-Have Automated Inventory Management Features

After knowing that you need an automated inventory management platform for your e-commerce business, the next step is choosing the software that best suits your requirements. Here are some of the features you should look out for:

E-commerce integration

Since you run your business on Shopify, eBay, Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, and other e-commerce channels, you should look for e-commerce integration when shopping for automated inventory management software. This way, you can manage your inventory effectively and unify your process and data across multiple channels. It also helps if the software facilitates integration with other e-commerce tools like POS or CRM systems. 

Automatic reordering

Efficient reordering ensures your products are always available for purchase. So be sure to look for automated inventory management tools that offer stock notifications, periodic automatic replenishment or PAR levels, and vendor communications. With such features, you can feel confident that stockouts won’t happen, especially for your shop’s bestsellers. 

Automated order dispatch 

When you automate your order dispatch processes, you can solve warehouse inefficiency at the source. It helps your warehouse staff sort packages according to where they need to be delivered. That’s especially beneficial if you’re an e-commerce shop that caters to wholesalers, retailers, and individual customers. Look for dispatch automation that supports barcode scanning, delivery channel optimization, and other dispatch-related functions. 

Streamlined stock transfer 

If your inventory is spread across different warehouses or locations, you need to ensure your distributors or wholesalers can find their order in the nearest location. One thing that can assure that is a streamlined stock transfer feature that can offer optimal flexibility. 

Efficient inventory reporting

Forecasting is essential in replenishing products and knowing which items to forgo or transfer to another warehouse or location. So make sure you’re buying an automated inventory management tool that can generate real-time data and easy-to-peruse data reporting. Again, in e-commerce, you need to make decisions fast to stay competitive.

Final Words

By harnessing the power of automation, you can streamline your inventory management and free up more time and resources to grow your e-commerce business. In turn, your business can stay competitive, increase the bottom line, and sustain its success in the digital era.

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