Effectively scaling a small business can involve some uncomfortable transitions. Even though they may not be the most efficient, the processes you’ve developed over time have worked for your business and you may be reluctant to make changes. That’s understandable.
Certainly, you’re accustomed to the procedures you have in place to run your business, since you probably developed them yourself and added steps along the way as your business evolved. But instructing seasonal help or new employees in the nuances of your (possibly convoluted) processes can be difficult at best.
More importantly, manual business processes put in place for a small business can be stunting your company’s growth. Making the leap to automate your business processes can break through the wall to larger clients and increased revenues.
Move beyond Excel spreadsheets for Inventory Management
Many companies start out using spreadsheets to manage inventory. Migrating from Excel spreadsheets to Accounting/Distribution Software with embedded inventory management functionality offers numerous benefits. More reliable inventory counts, for example, provide the ability to make more effective purchase decisions.
Software with integrated help functionality and powerful global item search enables your team members to work more quickly and accurately. Item searches can be conducted using multiple search criteria, including item number, description, item class or keyword. No more looking up item numbers means you save time – and money.
Since inventory is constantly changing, spreadsheets can’t be 100% up-to-date. Automating your business processes provides nimble access to real-time inventory levels, enabling you to manage inventory accurately across multiple channels. With our DS90 iSeries Accounting Software, inventory availability and purchase orders are visible from Order Entry. Real-time suggested purchasing helps maintain desired inventory levels based on your specified criteria. And a simple inquiry can alert you to on-hand status or item shortages.
A case in point. One of our customers sells perishable goods through both online and in-store channels. They needed a solution to avoid over-commitment of available inventory. We integrated the customer’s DS90 iSeries ERP system with a web service to provide instant status updates, enabling multiple channels to share inventory and check orders in real-time.
Enhanced functionality for customer pricing or contracts
If you’re using spreadsheets for customer or contract pricing, things get even more complicated. Creating specialized pricing alternatives using spreadsheets is time-consuming and risky.
But customer and contract pricing options are easily managed with software functionality that accommodates a variety of pricing methodologies. Opportunities abound to attract and show value to customers.
- Matrix Pricing for customers in certain categories (such as wholesale, distributors and retail accounts)
- Promotional/Special Pricing– Ability to set up a special price for all customers or subset(s) of customers, (with start and stop dates, if desired)
- Contract Pricing – Customer/Item specific price with optional expiration dates
- Quantity Break Pricing per unit of measure (ex: each, box, case)
- Advance Setup for Automated Pricing Changes (apply to certain vendors, items, classes and price columns)
The net result? Accurate inventory and greater pricing flexibility — in less time with fewer errors. A slam-dunk.