Let’s face it: you have challenges when it comes to your inventory management system and you are looking for some easy solutions. You have a lot going on in your environment to get from the point of lead identification to revenue production; and without the right tools and processes in place, the chance of turning a profit gets pretty slim. If you’ve been in the business for a while, it’s likely that you have tried certain fixes and found that you’ve moved from a chaotic environment to one of complete havoc. How do you make the right choices to actually turn chaos into productivity and efficiency so you can meet your performance goals?
You know how important it is to ensure that all people, systems and databases communicate with each other. You can’t have sales professionals out in the field closing deals that you don’t know about since it can upset the process you have in place to fulfill projected orders. One of the best moves you can make in optimizing your inventory management system is to integrate specialized demand and inventory planning software together. Once this is done, be sure to integrate the end solution with other enterprise-wide systems, such as ERP and CRM. When you have one tool that will speak the same language across the platform, you can optimize all of your activities to produce the desired result.
In reality, no one likes change, even if they understand the benefits that are promised in a new system. Your inventory managers have a certain way that they like to do things; and if you tell them they have to change their ways, how will they react? This is especially true in an environment where spreadsheets are the favored method of an inventory management system. This process may work well in their minds, but how can you integrate these spreadsheets into other processes? How can you gather the data and plug it into ERP or CRM platforms? You know that you need to make a change so you can gain better control and drive the organization toward loftier goals. The problem is that you have to effectively manage that change or you will be met with resistance.
Data plays a crucial role in your business. In fact, it is the lifeblood of your business, and you need to make sure that all data captured is accurate data. Just like in common computing rules, if you put garbage in, you will get garbage back out. Don’t allow data to be captured on substandard processes or on information that you don’t need. At the same time, you need the same definitions and categories used across the enterprise. Standardize the data so that you can control what it is used for and how it is plugged into the system.
In short, inventory management systems are designed to make your job easier, not more complicated. The idea is for you to maximize the capability of your system to ensure you extract the most value and enjoy the best results. When you focus on turning the chaos into streamlined processes, the benefits are found in the bottom line.