What is inventory management?

Inventory management is the activity of forecasting and replenishing inventory, focused on when to order stock, in what quantities and from which supplier.

Whether your goal is to simplify your inventory management processes, increase your efficiency, avoid stock-outs and excess stock, implement a lean quality system, balance the supply and demand or improve your forecasting or planning, you are bound to have the right inventory management software system for your wholesale operations… So, let’s dive in directly and see how to make informed decisions based on real data and metrics.

Wholesale operations are significantly different from retail operation. The obvious way is that wholesale customers tend to buy in bulk whereas retail customers to not. But that difference alone creates some stark differences in managing inventory functions between the two business models.

Here are five essential inventory management functions every wholesale operations manager must be proficient at:

1.Vendor management – What so special about this feature? It’s highly likely that the relationship you’ll develop with most of your vendors is long-term. You will buy large volume of product from each vendor at various times in the life of your wholesale operation, and it’s highly likely that you’ll make multiple orders–especially if products are selling. So, you need an efficient software system to manager your vendor relationships.

2.Purchase orders – Since you are ordering products in bulk–because you’re selling in bulk–you cannot afford to miss a single purchase order. To do so would likely lead to thousands of dollars in inventory. Unlike some retail operations, ordering one of something is not an option. This fact alone means your potential for loss is greater if something goes wrong.

3.Customer/client management – In retail, it’s possible to go long periods of time before seeing repeat business from some customers. In wholesale, the fact that you are likely selling to retailers means you will have a high percentage of recurrent business. You must pour a lot of your energy into your customer relationships so that you can foster along term relationship with your ongoing customers while lowering any attrition risks.
Loyalty means longevity and resilience; two essential ingredients for our disruptive times.

4.Catalog maintenance – Maintaining your product catalog is of prime importance in wholesale. You could lose some customers with the phasing out of some products, since many retail operations make their bread and butter on the popularity of certain items at the point of sale. Maintaining a good mix of products in your catalog or line card will make your wholesale operation appealing to more retailers. You must put a lot of thought into the maintenance of your product catalog.

5.Sales agent management – When you’re dealing with bulk orders, if you want your business to scale, you’ve got to have multiple agents in the field representing your brand. Being able to manage sales agents and their productivity is paramount to ensuring they are selling your product and are compensated fairly for their efforts

All the five ERP functions are related to inventory management in your wholesale operation. Managing your wholesale inventory system is about more than just managing products. It’s about managing your end-to-end business data, resources and predictive tools. ChainDrive wholesale management software and ERP system has been custom-designed to suit the specific needs of wholesalers like you. It is geared towards helping you make informed decisions based on data collected in real time while improving the entire value-chain. Moreover, ChainDrive is known for fostering collective intelligence, boosting collaborative management, helping its user scale-up their business processes in a seamless way on-time, on-budget and on-target.

ERP: Warehouse Management Optimization

Being accurate is everything when it comes to lean distribution, Just-in Time delivery, and cross-channel efficiency. Having a smart warehouse distribution software like ChainDrive is like having Waze for your navigation. Thanks to its dynamic engine, your inventory and accuracy is all under control from one user-friendly platform. With the right distribution ERP system, distributors can avoid costly mistakes found in paper-based and hand written processes, where there is ample room for discrepancies and mistakes.

Last but not least, Multidev’s cutting edge solutions are mobile-ready, predictive and agile as they are in total harmony with modern inventory management software systems used by distributors to track and monitor in real-time their inbound and outbound warehouse operations.

ChainDrive inventory management software is second to none when it comes to live tracking, monitoring and managing inventory, vendors and overall operations in the most user-friendly fashion. Does your wholesale, retail or online business platform have a good grip on these five inventory management tasks? If not, check out ChainDrive inventory management system today or call us directly to book your free demo