Increasingly complex supply chains with higher outputs of data threaten to put you at risk of falling behind – stay on top with cloud inventory management software.
How the cloud is changing inventory management for the better
Supply chains are increasingly utilizing cloud-based software for the superior speed and functionality it adds to their business. It is now a necessary integration to stand out in a crowded and increasingly competitive marketplace.
The core difference between traditional methods of inventory management is where data is stored. Cloud-based system services are hosted off-site, meaning your team can access necessary data and information from anywhere, assuming there’s an internet connection, but without the costs of owning the hardware itself.
This off-site potential promotes flexibility within the workspace, allows for seamless integration across large distribution networks, and ensures your team always has the latest functionality and features.
Good cloud inventory management software comes with a number of features that protect your business from risk while increasing profitability. In this article, we will explore a few of those features, and why your business needs them to thrive.
What is cloud inventory management software?
Cloud-enabled inventory management allows for a greater overview and maintenance strategy of inventory levels utilizing online software that allows for deeper data insights and improved system communication across all enterprises.
The real-time updates cloud-based software employs allow you to avoid several of the issues that traditional stock management methods often run into. These include unplanned periods of system downtime, document version control, and a cadre of similar interruptions that the COVID pandemic has highlighted as risks to your business.
Traditional inventory management can be extremely repetitive and often diverts resources that could otherwise be used to grow efficiency or improve business strategy. As such, cloud-based inventory management software has become a critical component to supply chain operations looking to streamline manufacturing and distribution processes.
Why you need a good cloud inventory management solution for MRO
While cloud-based inventory management software has been available for some time, many organizations were slow to adopt it; however, it is quickly becoming standard practice for businesses that have to adapt to the new way of managing their business to stay competitive.
Yet many companies transitioning to the cloud are not using these capabilities in all areas of their business. Without a close eye on maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) inventory management, businesses may have trouble deciding what parts are needed and how much, which ultimately influences your bottom line if production goes down or excess MRO materials exist across your network.
Tracking MRO inventory levels to maintain an optimal amount of inventory is no easy process, which is why many businesses are adopting cloud-based inventory management software which streamlines the process and makes data readily available for decision-makers.
Much of the hype revolves around scalability, as features like this make it easier for businesses to employ enterprise-wide changes to stock levels while ensuring risk remains minimal. Moreover, cloud-based systems are often cheaper in the long run, as they help minimize errors that lead to lost money within common processes like machine downtime or MRO spending.
Essential cloud inventory management software system features
The advantages of real-time visibility cannot be understated.
The data insights that can be provided by cloud-based software can assist in MRO inventory management and future order decisions both at the individual plant level and across the enterprise. Plus, with the right solution in place, traditional analog reporting techniques go out the window in place of a central database hub, reducing your chance for risk and facilitating easy communication across departments and business units.
Another benefit of utilizing cloud-based inventory management includes intuitive UI with an easily accessible dashboard to provide a greater look into business operations than traditional spreadsheets can offer. Additional metrics such as KPIs or usage tracking allow for quick access to strategic information typically unavailable when data is locked away in different systems.
With AI-integrated software, you can analyze your purchase order history and on-hand inventory data to make better decisions moving forward – like which MRO materials need replenishment, can be transferred to another facility, or reduced to an optimized level to balance working capital levels.
Error and risk reduction
Error and risk can take a variety of forms while threatening to derail your everyday processes, from flawed data entry to incorrect reorder points, small chinks in your company’s armor make optimizing MRO inventory management unattainable.
Reducing risk by employing mitigation strategies is just one advantage you gain from adopting cloud-based inventory management. The strategic insights provided protect your business from both production outages and wasted spend.
Additional advancements have worked to reduce risk in conjunction with software, such as artificial intelligence, which helps identify and prevent inevitable human error-related risk. With natural language processing capabilities, information is processed accordingly to reveal shortages, duplications, mislabelled orders, or false entries.
With fewer errors in your inventory management process, profitability will increase as spending becomes more efficient, and not wasted on downtime or unexpected MRO expenditures.
Scalability and flexibility
As your business expands, onboarding staff with existing tools can take considerable time and effort. Each new employee must be given access to systems to manage inventory data, and doing so can eat up hours of company time, and cost the company considerable resources that aren’t spent on productivity and completing inventory processes.
With cloud-based software, it is easier than ever to scale across multiple departments, business units, and facilities and equip the new and existing team members with easily digestible material so they may get started quickly and with more information on hand.
Many tools will offer simple implementation and data syncing, and additionally offer options to customize data workflow specifically to your company. More advanced software also allows for integration into traditional company tools, often through the use of third-party APIs.
Not only will this speed up hiring practices, but it will streamline collaboration between departments, employees, and data to further promote business growth.
Cloud-based inventory management software helps you achieve your MRO goals via the facilitation of data communication across enterprises and within company systems. This will result in improved performance, reduced risk, and optimized costs.
Features like increased visibility, automation, scalability, and risk mitigation allow your company to focus on strategic, high-value work that is available on all devices within all company departments.