It’s tough to run a business when you’re constantly dealing with supply chain disruptions and rising prices. We’re heading into a new realm of inflation, which means prices are only going to go higher, and you’ll need to be hyper-focused on inventory controls and making sure you understand how your processes impact the cash flow and probability of your business.
If you don’t have a ton of needs, a basic inventory management system might be okay for your organization. However, if you stock, sell, and fulfill items across several locations, that gets a little tricker. You’ll need to ensure you have a system in place that offers visibility into stock levels across all sites and offers you a way to optimize your inventory so you can get items to customers as quickly as possible without having anything sit on the shelves for extraneous amounts of time. It’s all about cost-effectiveness and efficiency.
Risks of Using Poor Inventory Management Systems
If you don’t have a proper inventory management system in place, you’re risking your bottom line—both from the financial side of your business, as well as your reputation. Without a great platform in place, you could subject your business to:
- Poor user experiences. If someone places an order, only to later find out it’s out of stock, the experience can affect that customer’s relationship with your brand. Remember, your customers have a lot of options, and if your company can’t fulfill an order on time, they’re likely to seek out one of your competitors.
- If you order too many products, you’ll incur higher costs, including storage and warehousing, as well as losses resulting from obsolescence, shrinkage, and deterioration of products. Sure, you can bundle or discount products to get them moving, but you still need visibility into the inventory you have on hand to accurately control those promotions.
- Inability to forecast and track trends. Having the ability to forecast demand is essential. If you don’t have a great system in place to analyze prior sales and compare past history, it’s all a shot in the dark. You need to be able to go back monthly, quarterly, and annually to review your entire sales history so you can determine which products sell well during certain trending seasons.
How Visibility Impacts Profitability
When you have a window into real-time data, you’ll be able to eliminate or minimize these problems while optimizing your inventory across all locations, giving you the ability to efficiently manage your stock and exceed customers’ expectations.
When you utilize inventory dashboards, you’ll be able to see real-time, at-a-glance checks into your reporting so you can search for specific data, analyze key performance indicators, and assess metrics that are most meaningful to your organization.
Depending on the users’ roles and needs, different dashboards can be set up to reflect the information that’s most important for that individual or department. The following are some key items you might want to set up on various dashboards:
- Inventory Value
- Operating Cash Flow
- Open Pos
- Re-order Points
- Vendor Activity
- Product Fulfillment
- Stock Allocations
- Inventory in Transit
Each of the aforementioned elements can be specifically customized to certain users’ dashboards, allowing everyone from the CEO to warehouse managers to obtain the information they need using a single, united platform. When you have greater visibility into your workplace functions, you’ll be better optimized for higher performance, as management will be able to see the goings on, assess situations, and pivot quickly, as needed. High visibility also facilitates trust within an organization, which can help reduce turnover (another costly business element worth considering).
How Do Dashboards Increase Visibility (and Profits)?
Now that you know a little bit more about the importance of visibility, let’s talk about the benefits dashboards can bring to your organization.
1. Monitoring the status of your company from a single place
Company dashboards let you know exactly what’s going on within your organization so you can see what’s working and what isn’t. Each business unit depends on specific processes—such as sales, customer support, and order fulfillment—to run smoothly. Dashboards allow you to gather all of the most important data from various pieces of your business and compile them into a single place where you cone easily monitor the health of your company.
2. Maximizing sell-through and minimizing out-of-stocks
All of your sites can easily be set up as locations within NetSuite’s system, giving you a true view of your inventory from an enterprise-wide lens.
3. Offering an all-in-one system
In the past, employees would have to spend an enormous amount of time reviewing and analyzing different reports that came from various, unconnected systems in order to develop educated final conclusions. With NetSuite, you can see—at a glance—an overall situation report of whatever information you desire.
4. Saving time
Tacking onto our last point, multiple systems require a massive amount of time. People are tasked with weeding through various reports and marrying together information that comes from systems that don’t talk to each other. However, when you utilize a system that integrates everything into a single place, you’ll realize a big time savings as you eliminate unnecessary spreadsheets and sticky notes.
5. Automating reporting
Your team can now save hours of their workday by using NetSuite’s software, which can generate automated reports, instead of people having to create them manually.
6. Minimizing required inventory on hand
When you’re able to execute across multiple channels to complete your fulfillment strategy, you’ll be able to maximize the value of your locations and avoid excess inventory.
How MIBAR and NetSuite Can Help
NetSuite Inventory Management provides a single, real-time view of inventory across all locations and sales channels, allowing businesses to reduce inventory on hand to free up cash while avoiding stockouts. By optimizing inventory levels and ensuring product availability across multiple channels, NetSuite Inventory Management helps businesses keep inventory costs low while exceeding customer expectations.
In the demo below, we demonstrate some of NetSuite’s advanced inventory management capabilities.