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best inventory management system

What Are the Characteristics of the Best Inventory Management System?

Selecting the best inventory management system remains a vital concern for small and mid-sized businesses, as well as enterprises. In the age of the internet, inventory management carries a heavy burden; failure to track and manage inventory across all channels muddies the waters of omnichannel proficiency. Moreover, failures within the inventory management system can worsen the effects of crises brought on by supply chain disruptions. Supply chain leaders need to understand the limits of legacy systems, the characteristics of the best inventory management systems, and a few tips for selecting the best system possible.  

Limits of Legacy Inventory Management Systems 

Legacy inventory management systems were designed with simple supply chains in mind when products moved from a manufacturer to a local retailer or even a regional distributor. The omnichannel supply chain movement now mandates a stronger system, capable of bridging the divide between online, brick-and-mortar, and traditional orders conducted via phone or fax. Customers expect a seamless, intuitive, and accurate experience regardless of channel, and if the order is not on the shelves, customers will go to your competitor. As also explained by Big Commerce

“When businesses don’t have a handle on the activity of their inventory, or worse, track it with outdated spreadsheets and data entry, the rest of the pieces, like order fulfillment, don’t fall into place.” 

Characteristics of the Best Inventory Management System for Your Enterprise 

With up to 43% of retailers viewing inventory management as the leading day-to-day challenge, as according to the Big Commerce study linked to above, the best inventory management system must have a strong lineup of characteristics, including: 

  • 2D barcode capabilities, also known as QR codes, that can track much more information than traditional line barcodes. 
  • Passive inventory management, automatically capturing inventory data without human intervention. 
  • Automated reordering processes, considering the total cycle time for each SKU and expected demand.  
  • Accurate replenishment practices, as well as enforcement of compliance with the inbound freight routing guide.  
  • Accessibility of the same system regardless of location, such as cloud-based platforms. 
  • Compatibility across all pre-existing systems, including ERP, OMS, WMS, YMS, WES, WCS, and TMS. 

How to Select the Best System 

To select the best inventory management system (which track similarly to how to select a WMS), follow these steps: 

  1. Know your stocking needs, including omnichannel capabilities and using brick-and-mortar stores as order fulfillment centers.
  2. Recognize the value of and building the business case for investment.  
  3. Determine the cost of maintaining the status quo, if possible, with the current system versus investment of a new system. 
  4. Create a multi-disciplinary team to lead the selection and implementation of the system. 
  5. Set up and deploy the system, leveraging advanced, easy-to-use processes and applications, such as Veridian Automate, to reduce time in code migration, integration, and testing.  

Let Veridian Help Choose the Best System for Your Needs 

The best inventory management system holds a distinction in giving your enterprise the ability to fulfill more orders, reduce delays in order fulfillment, gain inventory visibility, and more. However, the proliferation of supply chain system vendors and available platforms means you’ll have your work cut out for you when considering implementing a new system. While modern WMS functions can include inventory management, companies looking for the best inventory management system should work with an expert, such as Veridian. Learn more about the value of third-party experts by requesting a custom consultation with Veridian online now.