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Inventory Planning Software: What is Inventory Management - Meaning, Challenges & Best Practices

May 5, 2023 | 6 min read

Inventory is the heart of every business. It doesn’t matter if your organization is big or small. Inventory can make or break your company. That is why inventory planning software is crucial for your business.

Inventory planning solutions differ from the business-to-business framework for various organizations, such as retail inventory is a major part of the business. In some industries, inventory can be edible goods that come under the perishable product category or some type of spare parts facility.

For a manufacturing business, inventory can be raw materials. So, inventory varies from one company to another. However, in business, you must ensure that inventory is utilized correctly. Otherwise, it can be a liability.

What is Inventory Planning?

Inventory planning is an integral part of every thriving business, providing uninterrupted production, sales, and customer service at a minimum cost.

Inventories usually include goods, raw materials, and finished products. Since each of these elements is essentially equal to money for the business, effective management of these company assets is the key to making profits and having adequate stock in your inventory.

Effective inventory planning methods track the sale, purchases, and payments related to these inventory elements. Ineffective management can contribute to major losses or business failure. This crucial component is so important to the profits and costs of the business.

In another term, by maintaining the sufficient quantity of stocks at the right time, in the right location, organizations can reduce the overall cost of storing excessive products, optimize inventory allocation routes, and ensure that there is always the appropriate amount of stock to meet customer demand avoiding overstocking and understocking situations.

Challenges in Inventory Planning

Business leaders have much to consider running a successful business. But getting your products to your customers on time is probably your top most priority. This is where inventory planning software steps in.

Staying on top of your product inventory levels enables you to fulfil customer demand and remain profitable. But as your business excels and customer demand fluctuates, handling your inventory can become challenging. An intelligent inventory planning solution can empower you to access complete visibility throughout the whole inventory management process.

Inventory planning methods are one of the critical processes in an e-commerce company where inventory stock updates of products need to be updated regularly for a smooth flow of deliveries.

Despite knowing this, many businesses face challenges in inventory management .They address questions like-

1. How can you ensure you have sufficient inventory in stock without overstocking?

2. How do you make successful product placements without selling out all your stocks and missing out on significant opportunities?

3. How does inventory forecasting software help in the efficient handling of inventory?

Inventory Planning Chanllenges Infographics

Why is Inventory Planning Essential?

A business without a bold inventory planning software to support it is more vulnerable to overselling, understocking, and delayed orders. In the end, this all comes crashing down on customer experience. 1.

Reduces Overstocking

An inventory planning solution allows you to manage inventory more effectively. This way, you can avoid overstocking and free up extra space and spend less on inventory spaces. Overstocking slow-moving products is very harmful to any business. If you follow this practice for too long and do not provide your customers with what they want, they will take their business to your competitors. 2.

Release Cash

When too many slow-moving products are accumulated in your inventory, you have to initiate considerable discounts to sell those products faster, eventually losing all the profits that can be utilized elsewhere. Inventory planning tools enables you to plan ahead and avoid these situations before they arrive. 3.

Booming E-Commerce

Most customers prefer to buy their products over online sales channels. To meet this increased demand, e-commerce business owners must scale their inventories with practical and flexible planning. Inventory forecasting software provides comprehensive reporting so you can make better decisions and keep your inventory adequately maintained. 4.

Fulfill Customer Expectations

Customers’ expectations are always high for your business. Even during the pandemic, customers reported being let down by online orders. More and more customers are turning bad shopping experiences into bad reviews. Dealing with negative reviews could cost you serious money. Profits could be easily saved by circumventing these issues in the first place with robust inventory planning software. Decision makers with flexible, scalable inventory management software already in place can meet constantly growing customer demand head-on. In essence, inventory planning methods can help you with the following:
  • Reduced stockouts
  • Reduced overstocking
  • Rotate stock faster
  • Increased cash flow
  • Improved visibility
  • Eliminate guesswork
  • Prevent delivery-related delays
  • Optimize inventory location and routes

Key Factors When it Comes to Inventory Planning

Given that intelligent inventory planning is crucial for your business – now more than ever, what can you do to ensure your inventory operations are well planned and ready to go?

To actually carry out a successful inventory plan, you will have to follow some best practices. Any business needs to familiarize itself with the steps involved in planning inventory solutions.

Before you start your inventory planning procedure, it’s essential to ask yourself some basic questions:

1. What is your future product volume look like? 

To answer this question, take some time to investigate your historical data to understand future trends, seasonality, and demand with a data-driving business intelligent inventory forecasting software. This way, you can zero in on your regular off-peak stock requirements and future demand spikes.

2. What factors impact your inventory?

It’s helpful to anticipate any internal or external factors that might impact customer demand in the future. Always consider an inventory planning solution that can work with you and evaluate the possibilities that affect your business, like sales promotions, seasonal demand spikes, and current consumer trends.

3. Are you prioritizing efficiency?

Your business efficiency is the backbone of inventory planning and control. Ask yourself if your order process and warehouse are streamlined for optimal performance. Consider an end-to-end technology solution for enhanced productivity and smooth operations.

4. Are you using the right KPIs?

Consider if you have been using key performance indicators to your complete advantage. These essential data sets enable organizations to evaluate the success of their inventory planning. Ensure that your inventory planning software considers the following factors and uses KPIs to inform your future strategy.

By investing in agile inventory management software, business leaders can avoid money-draining situations and boost customer experience. Effective, data-oriented planning helps businesses reduce time, scale, and boost cost savings and profit margins.

Conclusion

Avercast Inventory Planning Software is a practical and value-driven solution for effectively planning and controlling your inventory processes more accurately. With 290+algorithms, Avercast empowers you with complete end-to-end operational visibility. With efficient system solutions, you can amplify your operational agility to adjust to any sudden market shifts, remain competitive, and hold onto your customers throughout any fast-changing markets or turbulence.

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