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Eight problems that custom inventory management software can help you fix

Posted on: November 7th, 2017 by Simon Swords

Powerful inventory management software is a key component in the success of any retail and hospitality, healthcare, transportation and logistics, wholesale or manufacturing business whether it’s traditional bricks-and-mortar or online e-commerce. As with any software that you implement, a custom solution will offer a much more customisable and efficient solution that will ultimately save you time and money across your business.

Yet is it worth the extra time to wait for custom inventory management software to be built, when there are plenty of off-the-shelf tools available to purchase and start using straight away? You need to consider the problems that an off-the-shelf system can cause, and how custom software addresses this.

Here are eight of the major problems that custom inventory management software will fix.

Off the shelf software can be confusing

It’s probably the most straightforward benefit of using custom software for your inventory management needs, but it’s a key one – your software will be easy to use.

Choose an off-the-shelf option and it’ll likely be bloated with features that aren’t relevant to your business, which can make navigating the software a painful experience.

Not only that, but you may have many users accessing the inventory management software – so the last thing you need is complex software that requires detailed training (and refresher sessions).

Instead, custom software will be built to your requirements, so every menu should be clear and relevant to your business needs.

Unnecessary features can slow you down

Because your custom inventory management software is streamlined, your processes will speed up.

Everything from just keeping an eye on stock levels to your order processes, delivery monitoring and more will be faster because you aren’t having to deal with clumsy, sluggish software that’s weighed down by tools you’ve no use for. There’s also the human speed benefit – it’s not just that it’s easier to use, but your staff will be able to work quicker in software that they can navigate smoothly and efficiently.

Pre-built systems don’t offer security

You may have several staff members using your inventory management system, at different levels of technical ability and seniority. Do you really want to take the risk of a more junior member of staff having access to the back-end of your inventory management system?

Unfortunately, with many off-the-shelf or pre-built systems, there is no option to control what parts of the software each user has access to. With a custom inventory management system, this functionality can easily be built in. So, you don’t need to worry about a warehouse picker being able to bring your entire business to a grinding halt by pressing the wrong button.

What happens when the internet isn’t reliable in your warehouse?

Imagine you invest heavily in a shiny new off-the-shelf inventory management system. You’ve got it up and running in the office and everything seems pretty good. But then your warehouse doesn’t have sufficient capabilities to deal with live updates online. So, all the stock being scanned and sent out isn’t being tracked correctly, all because you can’t get online from the warehouse.

Bespoke inventory management software can be set up to work efficiently offline, so you’re still getting the results you need to be able to monitor your stock accurately.

Generic features aren’t tailored to the products you stock

Bespoke software is built to fit your industry and your business needs. As each product and range is different, it’s vital that you’ve got a system that is customised to the unique nature of your stock.

Is your stock likely to perish, does it need specific storage requirements, do you track by unit or pallet?

All of these questions can be fed into custom inventory software, so that you always know exactly what your stock levels are, what stock is at risk and what needs to be re-ordered quickly.

Your overall processes will improve as you reduce wastage, stop overstocking items that aren’t selling, and make sure your best sellers are always available.

Off-the-shelf software is designed to be standalone

A business doesn’t run off just one piece of software. You’re likely to be running multiple systems to keep track of your website, delivery systems and more.

So, when you buy existing inventory management software, you’re just adding another bolted-on product that doesn’t work in line with the rest of your tools.

You need to dip in and out whenever there’s something that needs doing, flipping back and forth between completely different systems, and there’s no cohesion.

Instead, choosing custom software means it can be integrated with your existing systems, making everything that bit easier and smoother, and also ensuring that there’s less chance for human error when working between different applications.

Selling through multiple channels can be tricky

In modern e-commerce, there are multiple selling channels available to you. It’s not just a case of relying on your own website anymore, as there are plenty of great options out there for marketing your products, including eBay, Amazon, Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA), Etsy and more.

Yet if you’re using a standard piece of inventory management software, you’re not going to be able to manage your inventory for each selling site centrally. You’ll have to manually check sales across different channels and keep updating your inventory yourself.

Choose custom inventory management software, and this can be worked into your system, so that every site works from your one inventory list, keeping your stock levels completely accurate and automated.

Existing software doesn’t have the reporting tools you need

Any business hoping to succeed and grow needs to have access to reporting tools across every aspect of their workflows, inventory especially.

You need to be able to track selling data easily, so you can make key business decisions about stock lines along with efficiencies within your processes.

Only custom inventory management software can give you exactly the reporting tools you need, rather than basic options designed with any generic business in mind.

You can use these customisable reports to make the big decisions on how you keep your business moving forward, and to identify problems that need addressing.

Interested in finding out more about our custom inventory management software options, and how they can help tackle the problems of your off-the-shelf solution? Get in touch today to see how we can help.

Simon Swords


Managing Director

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