This guest post was written by Erhan Musaoglu, CEO and founder of Logiwa Corp.
It can be difficult to manage your inventory, especially as a small to medium sized business. You might have thought that doing it on your own wouldn’t be that hard, but as your orders grow and demand rises, complications are sure to arise. Managing your inventory can take a lot of calculation, endless spreadsheets, and missing or misplaced inventory. What if there was an easier way to manage inventory that could completely change how you make money?
An inventory management system, or WMS, can help you do just that. A WMS helps brick-and-mortar store owners sell their products both in-store and online.
- Allows store owners to sell the same products online at the same time
- Helps avoid out-of-stocks, inaccurate shipments, and a number of other inventory concerns that are inevitable without a WMS
- Helps avoid overselling and missing any sales opportunities by sharing inventory across all sales channels and keeping inventory up-to-date real-time.
The Main Purpose of a WMS
Using a WMS is a great advantage because it automates all warehouse transactions through various data capturing strategies such as barcode scanning. Your WMS will take care of all your warehousing procedures, such as receiving, directed putaway, optimized picking, and shipment. WMS providers such as Logiwa suggest their clients to use barcode scanning to achieve real-time and accurate inventory and shipment data.
With a WMS, you can make your business more efficient, saving yourself time and money that you can use on . Here are three main ways that inventory management can save you money:
Real-time Inventory Sharing
For retails who are managing multiple sales channels at once, keeping track of your inventory levels is a must. A WMS helps retailers achieve real-time and accurate inventory quantity through barcode scanning. The scanned accurate inventory quantity can be pushed to any 3rd party system in real-time. Multi-channel sellers are then able to share their available inventory to those sales channels. For example, imagine you are selling the same item on your brick-and-mortar store and your Amazon and Ebay stores. If you have 10 items in the warehouse and you sell an item on Amazon, your available inventory goes down to 9. This new quantity is pushed back to Amazon and Ebay stores as well as your brick-and-mortar store inventory, so that you never risk overselling your inventory.
Product per Channel
As a multi-channel retailer, you are most likely not selling all of your items in all of your sales channels. With a WMS, you can select which of your products are sold through which channels, and keep track of that inventory across all platforms. This ensures that you can upload the available inventory of each specific item to related sales channels.
You can even have different listing descriptions, or product codes (sku, UPC, etc.) for the same product. You can link different listings to a single product in your warehouse.
Costing and Budgeting
The ultimate purpose of a WMS is to help companies achieve costs savings on warehouse operations. Since retailers are running on relatively low margins, every bit of savings becomes crucial. Thanks to your WMS, you can save on both operational costs within your own warehouse by optimizing picking and packing processes, and inventory costs by optimizing inventory levels. When the operational costs of a retailer drops, they will have higher margins. With higher margins, the retailer can spend more on sales and marketing and they will have more elasticity on their product prices to compete in the market. Eventually, the retailer sells more products in both options.
About The Author
Erhan Musaoglu is the CEO and co-founder of Logiwa Corp, a supply chain management systems company. Erhan has over 20 years of experience in the warehouse management industry, and has used his experience in industrial engineering and consulting to create multiple companies, including Unitec and IFS. In order to share his knowledge with larger crowds, he has lectured at various universities on e-commerce supply chains and warehousing. His expertise and leadership in navigating the enterprise and B2B industry has lead Logiwa to grow exponentially. He can be followed on Twitter at @ErhanMusaoglu or on LinkedIn.