What To Look For In a Powerful Inventory Management System
All business management systems have their limits, not least of which is human error from incorrect input.Well managed inventory controls build solid foundations so business management has precedence.
What Should I Ask of My Inventory Management System?
When choosing your inventory management software system, think about these considerations…
What type of inventory system do I need (for example asset tracked or stock control)?
Stock control is generally what most businesses need - particularly the marketplace sellers / businesses we deal with. Stock control prevents overselling - a massive no-no, yet allows a tight enough management on qty etc to maximise the sales channel to sell the stock on.
Asset tracking and inventory management are terms that are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are critical differences between these functions and the software used to improve each of these applications. Both types of solutions are focused on improving resource optimization and reducing costs. But while both asset and inventory management systems involve tracking items, the difference between inventory management and asset tracking lies in how those items are tracked and — more importantly — why they are tracked.>p>
Generally speaking:Assets = what you own, Inventory = what you sell (or consume) Inventory Stock Control is what Seller Dynamics Offers.
What type of tracking inventory do I need for my items (for example serial, batch, or lot numbers)?
A manufacturer’s inventory consists of components, raw materials and finished goods products. And for them tracking inventory that monitors each component is essential.
Retailers and marketplace retailers tend to need an inventory tracking system that provides the company with data on how much inventory it owns, where its inventories exist, the status of its inventories (damaged, returned, rejected, on hold) and it helps deter theft and loss. Inventory tracking also becomes part of a company’s complete inventory management program. Inventory management forms the guidelines under which inventory gets purchased, used, moved, sold and destroyed. So in essence understanding the value of stock held and having an accurate qty of available stock for sale are the two primary requirements.
Certain categories need more - the ability to track batches or serial numbers where product calls might be required or indeed where human consumption or application is involved (Groceries / Medicines etc) Batch tracking is also useful where multi-batch purchases occur over a period and cost price per purchase differ. And mobile phones / electronics (or other goods where warranties might be involved) will need serial number per sku stored and controlled careful with each purchase / despatch and return.
Do I need on the premises or a cloud based system?
Cloud based systems are more flexible because you can access them anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. An on premise system will require you to install software and the chances are that you can only use it if you at your desk. We’d recommend a cloud based system every time, it’s updated automatically, it’s more flexible and saves you a lot of effort.
Do you offer web based inventory controls?
Seller Dynamics is web based and that means that the inventory controls we offer are obviously web based as well.
Would my business be better served with a barcode system?
We’d almost always recommend that you adopt some sort of barcode system. To be successful in retail you need to be organised and the most important aspect of retail is knowing what you have, where it is and that you can ship it. You can buy Barcodes if you need them - they’re not expensive and without them you’ll struggle.
Do you supply POS, mobile payments, or E-commerce functions?
We are good at what we do and we normally leave POS and related areas to the experts in those areas. However, we supply a range of ways in which third party services such as POS systems can connect to us, and we can even carry out custom integration work to integration work if required.
Can you cope with my industry specific requirements?
We haven’t failed yet! Seller Dynamics has a diverse range of retailers using the system - fashion, automotive, media - whatever your sector we’ll be able to help.
Does it integrate well with my existing control software systems?
We have a flexible API to ensure third party control software can be connected. We can carry out the integration work if required or work with your own team if preferred.
How easy is it to integrate into my business?
Seller Dynamics has been designed to fit in with business processes and operations with ease, but more than that our onboarding and account management team are there to work with you to ensure that when you start using Seller Dynamics the whole process is as painless as possible.
Do you provide assistance with this?
We pride ourselves on our support and on our onboarding so you can be assured that we’ll assist with integration and with making your move to Seller Dynamics smooth.
How reachable is customer support, either during office hours or outside of them?
Our on boarding and account management team are available UK office hours and we have emergency support in the evenings and weekends.
Do you have guaranteed response times?
Yes, we endeavour to acknowledge your query within 1 working hour of receipt.
Do you have resolution schedules and turnaround times?
We’ll respond with either a resolution or planned resolution within 2 working days should one be required.
Are you available for live chat tutorials if required?
Yes, we encourage it. We know that you’ll need help to get the most out of Seller Dynamics and we have a variety of ways that we can share information with you including chat.
Do you specialise in integration with certain types of business?
We specialise in working with successful and ambitious sellers who want to see their sales grow and their costs managed well. The marketplaces allow almost every retail sector flourish, and so do we.
Do you incorporate CRM within your software?
We prefer to let you use the CRM of your choice and are keen to point out that contact with marketplace customers must always be carried out via the marketplace channels. Not doing so will result in a suspension.
Does your system include billing provisions?
You can issue receipts to customers if required and you can also order stock from suppliers. However, we don’t issue invoices as we are not an accountancy package.
What support packages do you offer?
All our customers get full support included when they sign up with us. Where you need help and assistance that we feel is outwith our normal levels of fair support we’ll discuss that with you.
What fail safes are in place should there be a major failure in either server or network?
Seller Dynamics has disaster recovery backup servers in place, so you be assured that your data and your business is safe in our hands.
How easy is it to track inventory levels, both to hand or from other sources?
Whether you sell from “own stock”, or via FBA or by using supplier lists Seller Dynamics maintains accurate inventory levels regardless of where or when an item is sold. This approach ensures that it’s as simple as possible to keep a watchful eye on your stock levels.
Does it provide real time data and information?
Yes, as soon as Amazon, eBay or any of the other marketplaces inform us of a sale then we present that information to you.
Do you offer live or in-house demonstrations or video tutorials?
Yes, we normally deliver online demos using screen sharing at a time that is convenient to you and your team.
Are adequate training times included with the packages?
Yes, during onboarding you will find that your Account Manager takes you through each of the features that you’ll use with explanations on each. And you’ll have lots of opportunities to ask questions and check that Seller Dynamics will work well for you and your business.
Would I be required to implement my own IT resources to install the operating system?
Seller Dynamics is cloud based so there is nothing to install. Isn’t that great news?
Can your system streamline specific workflows?
You’ll find that Seller Dynamics has been designed to make sure that it provides you with an easy to use system that will fit in with your business operations.
Can control software be customised to suit my needs?
If you have a specific need that we don’t fulfill then we can discuss that with you and see if that requirement can be added. You’ll find that Seller Dynamics is very rich in features and also has a flexible API to make addressing almost all requirements possible.
What integrations are inbuilt?
We integrate with Amazon, eBay, Fnac, Cdiscount, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento. However, because of the ease with which you can move data in and out of Seller Dynamics you’ll be able to add additional marketplaces. We also are fully integrated with the Royal Mail, Ship Theory and netdespatch.
Can the system ‘talk’ to other operating systems?
Yes, we can supply you with details of our APIs and also discuss with you automated supplier feeds.
If we bought the system, would it work straight from the box or would it need customising?
You don’t need to buy anything! Seller Dynamics is paid for on a monthly or annual basis. Our onboarding team will configure the system for your use and show you how that configuration was carried out to give you the information and comfort you need.
What is the overall, final cost, and ongoing costs involved?
Depending on your level of commitment to us the system costs anywhere from 1.49% to 0.99% of your Gross Merchandise sales.
I’m just getting started. Is your software right for my business?
Probably. eBay expect you to have a modest number of sales and some positive feedback before you can use automation software like Seller Dynamics. But yes, we work with new retailers and established retailers alike.
How much help can I expect when getting started?
We’ll take you through the whole process, all we expect you to do is to prepare your stock lists and have pricing information to ensure we can get you using the system fast.
Can you create a sequence I can follow to show how your inventory management system works in practice, based on my business?
No reason why not, if we can understand your process we can certainly show you how Seller Dynamics will work for you.
Do you offer a free trial?
Yes, 14 days free with full onboarding, account management and support.
Does your system integrate well with Quickbooks?
We export sales information in an easy to digest excel and csv form ensuring that all accountancy packages that can import data can be updated with ease.
Do you have your own accounting software integrated into the system?
With so many great accountancy packages out there we really didn’t see the need to create and accountancy module within Seller Dynamics. There is, however, a range of sales reports built in, as well as the ability to export data for use external packages.
Do barcode printing systems work with your system?
Seller Dynamics allows you to create you own stationery for packaging and labelling. You can easily include barcodes within that stationery.
Does your system offer asset tracking?
You can define where items are stored within your warehouse. But we are not an accountancy package.
Can your system cope with both physical and online sales at the same time?
You can update Seller Dynamics is a variety of ways to ensure any in store sales are recorded. You can either update manually or use the API.
How long does it take on average to set up your system for a mid size company?
There is no one answer to that, as each company is unique. However, from a few days to a few weeks is normal. Importantly our onboarding team are here to make it happen efficiently.
Can you integrate with Shopify?
Yes, we love Shopify.
Would your system operate well with my garden centre business?
Absolutely, whether that’s furniture or garden tools - you’ll find we are a perfect fit.