This is a user generated content for MyStory, a YourStory initiative to enable its community to contribute and have their voices heard. The views and writings here reflect that of the author and not of YourStory.

Ask yourself these 5 questions before choosing multi-channel inventory management

Multi-channel inventory management software including, what you need to know about it, what to consider while choosing an inventory management system and how to make the best use of it

Tuesday October 04, 2016,

5 min Read

It is seriously hard to know your business’ full potential if your are into multi-channel selling but still handling inventory responsibilities using separate inventory management systems.

Multi-channel inventory is not an option instead a necessity, which businesses should sincerely consider. You might have tried this, but stopped at some point. To stop this from happening again, we have addressed a common questions which every debutant would ask.

We hope with this, you’ll end up adopting a multi-channel inventory management system in your next try successfully. Read on.

Q1. Why should I do this?

Address your need for a multi-channel inventory management mechanism and the answer is pretty straightforward. Multi-channel inventory management will reduce the time consuming task of handling inventories for each sales channel separately to just a single dashboard. You get to know anything and everything about stocks flowing in and out from a single console. Demand forecasting becomes easy and so you know how much your business needs on the whole, which results in proactive procurements.

Q2. Where do I get started?

Finding the best inventory management solution provider is the next big thing to get started with. It can be chosen on the basis of :

1. How easy it is to use?

2. Deployment models in which it’s available

3. How welcoming is an inventory management software towards integrations?

4. Is it enterprise-grade or made for small and medium businesses?

5. Feature set - How feature rich is the inventory system?

These checkpoints will give you a clear idea on finding the best multi channel inventory management software. And of course, the pricing plays a major role. SaaS based inventory systems’ pricing is quite high but the thing is you can get to focus only on your business completely as everything else will be take care of by the solution providers.

Q3. How do I put my choice of inventory management solution to best use?

Real time updates inform changes in stock levels as and when they happen. Purchase orders, order fulfillment, transfers between warehouses, void orders, return orders and much more influence changes in stock levels and a multi-channel inventory management software will assist you in keeping track of all these happenings in real-time.

Analytics happens to be the most crucial thing used to know what’s happening your business. Knowing them can aid in taking key business decisions and being proactive in managing stock requirements. Analytics tell exactly what’s performing, what’s not, what’s keeping your inventory holding cost on a high, which product is the best performer and much more.

Shelf life monitoring can be done in order to know which stocks are on a high priority for selling. An inventory system can tell you the date at which a stock has entered your warehouse and for how long it is being in.

Q4. What else do I require?

There are certain factors which are often overlooked which searching for the best inventory management software but these make a huge difference in a longer run. Take a look.

User training is important for your sales and fulfillment team to have a good understanding of your online inventory management system. Properly planned user training campaigns will help your team in functioning effectively using the new system in place.

Cloud hosting, if not in the beginning, will become essential eventually as the data will be getting bigger as your business expands. This means, more product data, more customer data, more support staff and obviously more space for your inventory software to house all their information. Cloud based inventory management software can provide the flexibility of scaling rapidly.

Subscriptions based user add-on is a convenient option for businesses to keep support staff on and off from an inventory management system. Subscriptions provide the ability to customize user roles and access permissions which proves handy in maintaining a perfect hierarchy based business network.

Q5. Look out for the best multichannel inventory management software providers

Having said so much, you must still be wondering on how to consider a inventory management solution provider worth giving a shot. We have decided to navigate your search journey suggestion some of the best known players in the field. Contalog, Stitch Labs, Tradegecko are some of the reliable names when it comes to multichannel inventory management.

Contalog is a SaaS based multi channel inventory management software available in hosted and on-premises deployment models. Contalog can handle inventory responsibilities of ecommerce, in-store selling, Amazon, eBay and field sales. Multiple warehouse support, flexible pricing and tax modules, extensive report generation are some of the highlights of Contalog

Stitch Labs, on the other hand, connects your brick and mortar store, Marketplace selling account and your exclusive online shopping website. Stitch provides shipping and accounting software integration that makes things more easier for business owners.

Tradegecko is a Singapore based multi channel inventory management system that provides a wide range of integration and sales channel support for businesses to centralize and sell conveniently from a single platform.