Cloud technology was a tool that only a handful of organizations experimented with in the past, but now it’s a mainstay in almost every successful firm, across pretty much every industry. And though the cloud has many different uses, you’ll find that this technology is more quickly maximized if you use it for inventory management.
What is “The Cloud?”
Do you ever look up and suddenly notice that a new term or concept has been circulating in your industry for months, and realize you don’t actually know what it means or which specific benefits it offers? If this is your relationship with the term “the cloud,” don’t worry. You certainly aren’t alone.
The cloud is essentially the term for software and data that are stored via remote, virtual servers. Users can therefore gain access to the information on these cloud servers from anywhere, via the Internet.
Doing business in the cloud reduces the need for expensive physical hardware and makes access to data simple and quick. When it comes to inventory management, you can use software as a service, or SaaS, in conjunction with other inventory solutions to keep track of your company’s inventory levels in the cloud.
Six of the Top Reasons to Use the Cloud
“Cloud-based systems can be a great solution for small businesses, especially when they do not have good local support IT,” says Orit Pennington, founder and owner of TPGTEX Label Solutions. “The cloud-based system allows the small business to be independent from an actual physical network and gives full access whenever and wherever they may be.”
But that’s just the start. Take a look at a handful of reasons that thousands of businesses have switched their inventory management to the cloud.
1. Open Communication
Keeping track of inventory levels and maintaining the proper counts is a continuous struggle that nearly every firm has to deal with. Too much inventory can drain your budget and limit cash flow.
In some industries it can also force you to mark down products and convolute your value offering. Too little inventory can result in a pile of back orders, dissatisfied customers, and loss of revenue.
Many different causes of improper inventory balance may be cited, but one of the leading culprits in both large and small organizations is a lack of transparency in the supply chain. When that all-too-vital clarity is lacking, it’s challenging to stay in sync with partners, suppliers, manufacturers, distribution centers, salespeople, and anyone else in between.
When you manage inventory in the cloud, you can’t expect to have perfect inventory levels all the time, but you can expect to enjoy more real-time visibility. The ability to share updates instantaneously from anywhere will fundamentally alter how well you can control inventory and satisfy consumer demands.
One of people’s biggest fears with regard to inventory management is downtime and accidental data loss. Even the slightest glitch can result in major interruptions and thousands of dollars in lost profits.
When you have a cloud-based inventory management system, though, you get more redundancy and better fail-safe methods that allow for enhanced uptime and data protection. Because cloud systems are not tied directly to your physical servers, you don’t have to worry about local service outages or temporary malfunctions.
Regardless of what’s happening around you, your supply chain will continue to function.
When you use a traditional inventory management solution that’s tied to a piece of hardware or physical server, modifications in inventory demands pose the potential for leading to a number of bigger issues. It’s simply not practical, in some instances.
Downsizing is challenging, while increasing supply levels can totally disrupt what happens at your distribution center. The cloud, on the other hand, allows for effortless scaling. You simply make a few inputs, add some data, and your software takes care of the rest.
The scalable nature of cloud-based inventory management makes it ideal for businesses that are anything but stagnant.
4. Remote Access
When you move your inventory management to the cloud, you’re no longer limited by where you can get access to that information. Whether it’s from your corner office or a beach in Central America, you can pull the same reports and see the precise data points.
“This type of anytime, anywhere accessibility often results in the kind of productivity and efficiency that is essential in the global economy,” writes a representative of DP Solutions. “It can give your business a competitive edge by allowing your team to more readily focus on the business and your customers’ needs.”
5. Cost Savings
When you go with a cloud-based inventory management solution, you’re likely to enjoy up-front cost savings. Whereas traditional programs require an initial investment in expensive hardware, valuable office square footage, and on-site support, cloud solutions are free of those needs.
This enables you to focus on deployment, as opposed to installation and ongoing maintenance. Furthermore, most SaaS solutions operate on a per-month, per-user basis, which means you don’t have to fork over a ton of money on the front end, and instead you pay only for what you use.
6. More Efficient
What it comes down to is efficiency. Cloud-based inventory management solutions are simply more efficient, much more, than traditional alternatives. Everything is automated and remote, which removes the need to overpay for human manpower and ongoing upkeep.
As a result, your inventory management efforts will now place minimal strain on your IT budget. This ultimately will lead to better allocation of resources for enhanced organization-wide performance. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved!
Contact QStock Inventory Today
At QStock Inventory, our goal is to help our clients “find it” and “ship it” as efficiently as possible, by providing industry-leading inventory management and inventory control software. Whether you work in food distribution, ecommerce, consumer goods, electronic devices, or any industry in between, we can help you improve your inventory management processes and maximize revenue.
If you’re interested in learning more about our inventory management system, which integrates perfectly with QuickBooks and Intacct, then please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us today! We’d be happy to put you in touch with one of our representatives, who will provide you with information on how our solutions can specifically benefit your company.