Inventory management can be a tedious and time-consuming task in business operations, prone to costly human errors. However, avoiding it is not a feasible option. Effective stock control is vital for a positive customer experience.
That’s where SaaS inventory management softwares comes in. These systems enable companies to securely store their stock data on a remote server and access it from any internet-connected device. SaaS acts as a virtual space on the internet, accommodating large volumes of inventory information.
What is SaaS Inventory Management?
SaaS inventory management, also known as cloud-based inventory management, empowers businesses to efficiently monitor and maintain their inventory levels online. In the past, companies relied on manual methods such as pen and paper or Excel spreadsheets, which may suffice for small businesses but pose challenges for larger operations that struggle to allocate time for tracking.
With SaaS inventory management, a centralized record of every asset is created and automatically updated at every stage of the fulfillment process, from order creation to shipping, eliminating the need for manual data input.
Key features of SaaS-based inventory management include:
- Cost optimizations
- Inventory tracking and locating
- Supplier communications
- Order management
- Automated repair requests
- Loss and theft prevention
For eCommerce businesses, adopting a SaaS inventory management system is vital to keep pace with customer demands in fast-paced environments and highly competitive marketplaces.
SaaS vs. Web-Based Inventory Management
SaaS and web-based applications are closely related yet have distinct characteristics.
In the case of SaaS inventory management, an application is pre-developed, and users pay a subscription to access and manage their inventory operations data, such as purchases, sales, and stocks. The responsibility of maintaining the software lies with the provider companies, who host the SaaS applications on their servers. Users can access their data through the internet, but they may have limited control over customization and management of the application.
On the other hand, a web-based inventory system refers to an application hosted on a server, which can be either a SaaS application or a custom-developed one. The term “web-based” implies that the system functions as a website and is accessed through a domain or IP address using the internet.
It is important to note that while SaaS is a type of web application, web-based applications can be SaaS or non-SaaS, but both types are online applications accessible via the internet.
Benefits of Using a SaaS Inventory Management software
Maintaining an accurate inventory holds utmost importance for any business. Neglecting to uphold precise records of your inventory can result restocking irregularities, laborious tasks, and shipping delays. These factors can significantly impact your financial performance and leave a negative impression on customers, reducing the likelihood of repeat sales.
Fortunately, SaaS inventor management softwares have advanced to a stage where it surpasses manual methods in terms of functionality and data integrity. With these systems, your business can achieve better scalability and operate with enhanced efficiency.
Here are a few key benefits of using a SaaS inventory management software:
Real-time inventory tracking
A software-as-a-service (SaaS) inventory management system offers instantaneous updates on inventory levels, empowering companies to make well-informed decisions regarding replenishment. This enables them to mitigate the potential of overstocking, leading to heightened customer satisfaction.
Additionally, the efficient management of stock levels across multiple warehouses becomes more streamlined, as physical constraints such as travel time and distance are eliminated. Real-time insights further facilitate decision-making, enabling business owners to promptly respond to sudden changes in warehouse inventory. Moreover, accessing this data conveniently requires nothing more than a laptop and an internet connection.
SaaS softwares streamline your supply chain by automating processes and eliminating manual labor.
Data updates for product tracking, multi-channel routing, and stock counts occur automatically on these platforms.With a centralized data source, your system software can instantly retrieve all required numbers and stock information, offering a precise overview of your entire inventory. Automation enables process optimization, freeing up your staff to concentrate on other essential tasks.
SaaS, which operates on a subscription-based model, relieves businesses of hardware and license maintenance costs. Operators benefit from SaaS by easily checking goods status remotely, eliminating the need to travel within the warehouse for availability confirmation.
An added advantage of SaaS-based inventory management is the elimination of the company’s need for an in-house IT team to handle database maintenance, backups, and integrity. These responsibilities fall under the purview of the software provider, ensuring system security and upkeep.
More safety and security
Storing sensitive and valuable information in the cloud offers numerous advantages in terms of security and accessibility. Cloud providers have robust data servers that are constantly updated to defend against cyberattacks and ensure uninterrupted service. They also provide round-the-clock support to address any issues promptly.
One significant advantage of the SaaS inventory management is the automatic creation of backups whenever changes are made. This eliminates the worry of data loss and the need for physical backups. Additionally, there is no requirement to maintain an onsite server, reducing costs and administrative burden.
Compared to physical ledgers or data stored on hardware, the cloud-based inventory softwares offers easier recovery in case of loss or damage. It allows for automatic resynchronization from any device and provides access to previous versions of data, enabling users to retrieve specific edits or updates as needed. Furthermore, the cloud offers a digital paper trail that tracks user modifications and provides insights into data access.
Provider maintenance and support
In terms of maintenance, SaaS providers handle server setup, bug fixes, security updates, and feature enhancements seamlessly. These tasks require expertise from IT professionals, which may not be feasible or affordable for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with self-inventory management systems.
Since SMEs focus on their core business activities and lack an in-house IT team, SaaS proves to be the ideal software for effectively managing their inventory. Furthermore, SaaS providers offer training and ongoing support to employees at no extra cost, ensuring a smooth implementation and resoftware of any issues that may arise.
Accessible and scalable
in terms of accessibility, a SaaS system enables multiple users to conveniently access inventory information from any location as long as they have an internet connection. This feature promotes seamless collaboration among teams and empowers them to make well-informed decisions regardless of their physical whereabouts.
Moreover, SaaS inventory systems are highly scalable. They allow companies to expand their operations without the need to concern themselves with acquiring new hardware or software updates. This flexibility enables businesses to grow smoothly, eliminating any potential obstacles in their inventory management processes.
Integration with other tools
With compatibility among various productivity apps, many cloud-based inventory management software seamlessly integrates into existing systems. For those who have already begun the process of digitizing their supply chain, incorporating an inventory management program becomes a straightforward task.
Furthermore, numerous multi-channel eCommerce platforms already incorporate inventory management capabilities. These platforms can transfer data to order fulfillment apps and distribution software without hassle. The need for redundant data entry is eliminated when everything is stored in the cloud. And once connected to your other management software, access to your inventory becomes readily available.
With SaaS inventory management softwares, all team members benefit from being on the same version of the software. This streamlines the process of upgrades and patches. Cloud-based vendors frequently release updates, usually twice a year, ensuring that customers are consistently using the most up-to-date version of the software.
Additionally, due to the regularity of these updates in cloud-based inventory management software, the upgrades do not cause the same level of business disruption that can occur with on-premise software. For instance, there is no need for extensive retraining or concerns about integration compatibility with other systems.
What to Look for In a SaaS Inventory Management software
When selecting a SaaS inventory management software, it’s important to consider the following factors:
User Interface (UI): Look for an intuitive interface that is easy to understand and navigate. This is particularly beneficial for staff members who may not be proficient with data tools.
Integrations: Ensure that the inventory management system integrates seamlessly with various eCommerce platforms, CRM apps, and marketing tools that your business relies on.
Value for money: Evaluate the software’s proven track record, customizability, and the availability of reliable support. It’s important to choose a software that offers long-term value and meets your specific needs.
Usability: Choose a system that can handle a large number of items and SKUs while still providing simplicity in searching and organizing them.
Industry-specific features: Explore inventory management solutions that cater specifically to your industry or niche. These softwares may offer specialized functions and data algorithms that are better aligned with supporting your unique operations.
To summarize, adopting a SaaS inventory management system for your business offers several advantages, such as greater efficiency and accuracy, scalability, real-time data tracking, and cost savings. Embracing technology is essential if you want to stay competitive and meet customer demands in today’s dynamic business landscape.