For businesses dealing with products having an expiration date that includes medical supplies, chemicals and medicines need to maintain appropriate supply levels. With patients being the direct contact, you can have no room for mistakes in your inventory management practices.
Whether it's a mask, gauze, gloves, syringes, having sufficient amount of stock in a hospital, nursing home, or other medical facility is critical. If your current monitoring practices is too complicated, or even worse, inaccurate - or you are looking to upgrade to a modern technology - cloud-based inventory management software will help you win the game.
There are many reasons why businesses dealing with healthcare products need an inventory management software in place. Among those reasons, automation is one of the most important advantage that will help you optimize and outweigh the costs associated when managing your inventory across multiple locations and warehouses.
How can an Inventory management software help healthcare organization?
Centralized stock management
Easily sync and have a real-time visibility of major inventory back-end operations that includes purchasing, receiving, storage, delivery as well as restocking alerts, all under one roof. Allowing an easy access to your inventory flow, you can strategically plan your stock rotation with suppliers and keep a track of those unsold items, which you can return in place of new ones. To have an easy track on inventory, tag your products using an “ID Number” or “Serial Number.”
Economical use of resources
Maintaining stock for your business, you’ll have deal with several costs that includes warehouse maintenance, equipment, transportation, property taxes, security and shrinkage. And, each of additional warehouse locations duplicates the cost and effort in managing them. By investing in an inventory management software you’ll be able to view your stock happenings in real-time, allowing you to make instant decisions and save you lots of money. For example, you could adopt scanning equipment throughout your storage location.
Safety stock measures
Having an inventory management software, will allow you to track your day-to-day inventory activities from anywhere, anytime. This will help you or your purchase department understand the flow of your inventory and only purchase when needed. Knowing your inventory cycle, you can order for products in bulk, and help you negotiate for a lower price per unit. Offering immediate access to inventories in real-time, will ensure your purchasing costs are kept down and you don’t end up spending more.
It becomes easier to manage inventory operation by having a centralized system, because all the information is available on-the-fly. This automatically eliminates the risk of costly errors like miscommunication and theft deterrence. Also, it results to a leaner purchasing process because under surveillance you can order products in large quantities rather than purchasing order in bits.
There are many advantages of having real-time monitoring system for your inventory, and depending on the size of the healthcare organizations, you can quickly adopt the one that fits your business needs.
With the sudden rise of e-commerce more and more businesses and individuals are looking to use internet as an alternate or in some cases a primary source of income.
Today, billions of people use internet and knowing this, many are taking an advantage of selling products and services online. So, if you are one of those who is planning to make a presence online then there are few things you need to keep in mind before making any financial or time investing into selling online.
What you need to know?
1 - Research and try to select a non-competitive product
Today, with hundreds and thousands of businesses and individuals selling products/services online will make it difficult for you survive the competition if you choose products/services that are common. Some of the most common sold products sold online include apparel and electronics. With many retailers selling the same products online, its beneficial only if you take time to research well and select unique products to get a competitive advantage of selling them online.
Non-competitive product category includes automotive, furniture, baby supplies, pet care and more.
2 - Test them selling on small scales
Once you have confirmed your products/services, it always suggested to test them on small scales instead of directly jumping on a large scale. Target low-commitment platforms - like flea-market, exhibitions, pop-up store. This way you will understand:
a - What is your target audience?
b - How much are they willing to pay? Experiment different price range.
c - How is customer satisfied? That includes from the time they order until they receive it.
This way you can analyze and make better decisions in your product offerings and fulfillment process before you start selling online.
3 - Plan your budget
Planning your budget is an important factor to be considered before jumping into the world of online selling. If you plan to sell online, just building a website is not enough! You need to consider branding – how will your customers find you? How will you attract them to buy your products/services? So, if you are really serious of making a fortune out of your online business, you will need to budget at-least 1/4th of your investment to build your ecommerce store for promoting your site, product/services.
4 - Create and give a name to your website
It is incredibly important to create and name your website as to help it stand out from the crowd - both from a marketing perspective, and from an SEO perspective. If you don't have a designer to develop your website hire one to create it for you.
Spend time and work jointly with your designer to build your website. Emphasize more on your products or services that you wish to offer your customers and make navigations easy for them to buy. Avoid flashy website and keep it simple, informative and easy-to-use.
Once you create your website, select a name that is short, simple and unique. If you are confused of what to name your website then the best way is to research and discover what names are being used by your competitors and try to come up with a name that is different which reflects your niche and the type of products you're selling, without your business name being too similar to your competitors.
5 - Abide security for your site and customers
Today, shoppers find it safe shopping online. Hail to the world of technology, that have led to the safe online shopping. SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) is the most common technology used by many website owners. These kind of technologies protect and encrypt customers personal information that are used on your website - that includes name, address, credit card details, etc.
So, purchase a certificate verifying your website and abide security like SSL for your site and customers safety.
6 - Know your suppliers
Once have a clear idea about your front-end requirements, you need to know about your back-end requirements before you get your store up and running. Getting your website live, you'll start receiving orders and hence it your duty to plan your fulfillment in advance. You don't want to miss an order just because you don't have the products in stock. So, it becomes important for you to build a link of suppliers dealing with your products and services. Research and make a list of suppliers, know them well and ensure that they would be available when you require them.
7 - Choose an ecommerce software for behind the scenes
Once you have website up and running, the way you handle customers will have a major impact on customers perception - turn a one-off sale into repeat business. Today, there are many automated ecommerce software solutions available in the market. A complete ecommerce inventory and order management system solution can deliver speed and efficiency to the order fulfillment process and link up the different people in your firm who might be handling the order. Not all software available in the market are genuine, so know your business needs and take time while you research for an ecommerce software that will best suit your site.
8 - Consider apps for marketing and social media
It's of no use selling online if no one knows about it. Online marketing such as search-engine optimization, pay-per click, e-newsletter, blogs, social media, will get potential customers to your site. There are many free and paid marketing and social media apps that you should invest for your site which will help you know your visitor's response in real-time, so you can refine your marketing further.
9 - Consider a live chat support
A shopper who visits your website, will look-up for the products/services they intend to purchase. This is a stage where they may need assistance and if they do not get the information they are looking for, they will immediately leave your site for one of your competitor. So, it is very helpful to consider a live chat support functionality for your site to avoid situations that directly hits the bottom line of the business. Having a live chat support will automatically track visitor's behavior in real-time. This way you can offer great suggestion and promotions on-the-go, encouraging them to shop from your site "right now!"
With a correct approach, you will need only a handful of tips listed above to make selling online successful!
As we all know, discounts and sales bring an unusual traffic to your store. And in the wake of such situations, it becomes crucial for store owners to proactively anticipate and manage an over-crowded day at their store. This is not something new to a retailer, but yet a challenge to many!
Before you experience your next retail rush, I'm going to discuss some useful tips that will help you maximize composure and minimize headaches.
Tip 1 - Reserve required stock
More crowd means more demand! Ensure your store is always stocked up and organized to avoid glitches in such tragedy. Frequently check your stock – that should include shopping bags, gift wraps, packaging tapes, receipt book, first-aid kit and other necessary office supplies. Apart from those items, most important is to have sufficient inventory in hand. Tracking your stock constantly and inspecting your store's budget, you can stock any impulse item and other top sellers to avoid headaches during such over-crowded situations at your store. Keep your store room organized so it becomes easy to find items at a glance to avoid confusions in a rush.
Tip 2 - Boost your staff
It is always suggested to have a back staff ready for such situations. Hire seasonal staff and ensure the are present on such days offering them some enticing remunerations in return. Always keep them in loop in order to develop a good relationship and gain trust of them being present when you actually need them. Train them in advance so they deliver a great job during such situations. Also, you can hire security staff and medical expert – maybe 1-2 in case of emergency. Plan in detail all likely emergencies and hire your staff accordingly to efficiently manage over-crowded day at your store.
Tip 3 - Take measures to offer a safe shopping experience
You may be thrilled by the rush at your store, but instead of getting hazardous it crucial for you to take measure for their safety. You will not want anyone to be injured at your store, so keep it clean and clear obstacles to avoid harmful situations. But, you never know! Even, taking precautionary measures you may land up in a such situation, so ensure you have a medical assistance on-the-go.
Tip 4 - Control access and visibility
An over-crowded day at your store may lead to a risk of theft. So, this is where you need to ensure that areas such as storerooms and cash register have a restricted access to “employee-only.” Also, engage seasonal employees to monitor activity in your store during such days. This way you can implement control access and visibility to make sure that your store is safe during a rush day.
Tip 5 - Backup for emergency situations
Prepare a plan well-in advance to back-up for emergency situations. Create a special team to handle all likely emergencies – that can include common dangers like being stuck in the crowd, violent act, robbery, and fire. They should be trained well and be able to call the emergency line, if an accident occurs.
These above five tips will prepare you manage an over-crowded day at your store, your business will be able to accept and fulfill more orders with no headaches.
You might also like: How can online marketing help your offline store?
Managing inventory is not an exciting part of becoming an eComm retailer, but it can make or break your store.
Without an effective management, web-stores can land up blocking capital in excess inventory, loss on sales in stock-out scenarios, create fulfilment problems in warehouse, and in the end let down their customers.
But, let me tell you, integrating your store and others channels together with a correct inventory management system can help you build a loyal clientele, optimize cash flow, and improve their bottom line.
What to look in an inventory management software?
An inventory management system optimizes complex distribution networks by enabling a central management of inventory, labor and process across multiple warehouse facilities.
Your inventory management system should enable you to:
1. Manage and allocate inventory across all your warehouse locations.
2. Co-ordinate multi-channel order management process.
3. Manage inbound receiving process.
4. Respond quickly to customer-specific, value-added services requests.
In order to have a smooth inventory flow in your store and across all your sales channels it is very important for you to select an inventory management system that allows multi-warehousing features.
How multi-warehousing feature can facilitate inventory control?
Efficiently manage multiple location/warehouses
This feature will allow you efficiently manage inventory across multiple locations. It allows you to create multiple locations, transfer stock between them and specify what warehouse stock is going into and out from.
Transfer stock between warehouses
When your store receives an order, this feature will help you transfer stock between warehouses and ship the order from the nearest warehouse to expedite the order fulfillment process.
Dispatch stock from a specific warehouse
With a multi-warehouse inventory management software in place you can specify the warehouse you wish to send good from. So, when you receive an order, the stock from that warehouse will decrease when the order is fulfilled.
Receive stock at a specific location
For any purchase order you can specify the warehouse you wish to receive the stock . So, when the purchase order is received it will push that stock in that specific warehouse.
Warehouse management software will give you a proper insight of all your inventories and warehouses in real-time. This way you have a complete insight of your inventory levels in store and across your warehouses.
With real-time analytics you can measure each location’s sales to see which warehouse are more profitable than others and which have a higher demand for certain products. Then you can adjust your inventories to meet demand and avoid shortages or production delays.
Benefits of warehouse management software
1. Increased inventory accuracy.
2. Improved order fulfillment accuracy.
3. Reduce order pick up times.
4. Improved order fulfillment speed.
5. Reduce order fulfillment cost.
6. Ability to meet customer specific needs.
7. Ability to sell more.
Of course, the need of multiple warehouses depends on the size and scale of your operation, as well as the cost to expand. That's why it is always recommended to indulge with a fulfillment service provider who already has warehouses in multiple locations. This way you can extend a wider footprint without added time, money, and expertise needed to build or purchase and staff warehouse space.
Have you ever come across a situation when you landed up at a supermarket and the cashier had to log all your shopping cart content, then look up for the price for each item in the binder, update the stock remaining in the store and then finally tally your bill. Would you ever go back to the store?
Managing online store is no much different. In this world of technology, unmanageable and inefficient manual processes continue to plague the retail and eComm industries, and specifically their stock management system.
Importing products from a single warehouse is time-consuming task. And if you maintain your own warehouse, you have to manage the fulfillment process as well as track inventory updates to be in sync with your online store. But in the end all these resources distract from the bottom line.
Instead, online retailers should indulge with an all-in-one online order and inventory management software that can easily help you manage and automate all those process associated with inventory management. This will help reduce error potential that can cause hindrance in process, communication and in meeting your high-end customers experience.
Below are the top 5 practices that are critical components of an all-in one eComm management system. These will help you simplify and streamline your inventory management.
With the ability to track your inventory levels and manage product threshold limits to make sure products are removed from your site when these limits are reached, provides an immense relief in mind knowing there will be no more out-of-stocks and cancelled orders scenarios. Therefore, indulge with an appropriate inventory management software that offers an ability to select primary warehouse for fulfillment if you have too many suppliers or warehouse with the same product line.
The process of getting products from your suppliers to your online store can be time-consuming and onerous. This also results to missing data, heading are mislabeled and other error prone scenarios. Indulging with an appropriate system that can connect to any of your suppliers, import and correct all product data allowing you to publish it to your store without having to do anything manually is a real time-saver, especially for online retailers managing multiple suppliers and stores.
Integrate with an inventory tracking system
The best way to overcome inventory challenges is to integrate with an inventory management system that allows you snapshots of your total inventory for every supplier that includes, the number of products, what's up on the site, what's not on the site, blocked inventory, available inventory- all in real-time can have tremendous value. This way you avoid the hassle of maintaining spreadsheets for review.
Order management system integration
It is always recommended to sync your inventory and order management system to make sure your orders are fulfilled and customer satisfaction exceeded. Therefore, it is suggested to invest in an all in one online order and inventory management software which will simplify your inventory and order management flow like never before!
Always remember having a system that can provide automation is through where all your efficiency and ROI gains come from. Hence, your system should have the ability to update inventory in real-time when an order is fulfilled as well as manage catalogues automatically. The more you get rid of manual process, the more you can reduce your management cost and reallocate resources to more strategic tasks.
The caliber to accurately manage your inventory is a key to providing inimitable service to customers, efficiently utilizing resources, and maximizing profits. With the increasing demand of online shopping, it is important to have an edge over your competitors. Using modern software to manage your inventory challenges will ensure you assign more time, capital and resources to growing your eComm store.
Useful Tip: For growing a successful eComm store, it is always recommended to utilize less and smart effort on management tasks, and more time towards expanding your business.
Simple, yet powerful