4 Popular Features to Look for in Wholesale Inventory Software

Mark Canes

When your business decides to take the crucial step to invest in wholesale inventory software, it is imperative that you make a thoughtful and well-informed decision that satisfies your business’s specific needs. With an abundance of features and customizable options available, achieving this task can sometimes be overwhelming. Although no two companies are exactly the same, there are several popular features that add value to basic inventory software and allow companies to better manage all business operations. These include; landed cost tracking, barcode scanning, sales rep applications, and lot tracking.

Landed Cost Tracking

Landed cost refers to the total cost of an inventoried product, taking into account expenses incurred to collectively purchase, transport, and import goods. Costs accounted for include such items as border fees, duties, taxes, transport costs and insurance, to name a few. Software that effectively manages landed costs has the ability to automatically account for and reconcile the costs mentioned above in order to arrive at the true cost of the goods. This ultimately enables businesses to protect margins and make better purchasing and pricing decisions.

Barcode Scanning

Barcode scanning offers the ability to automate your business’s picking, packing, shipping and receiving operations, and there are several different options depending on the sophistication of your warehouse and order volume. In essence, barcode scanning technology has been present for a number of years; however, a transition to employing modern technologies (such as smartphones) is giving small to medium sized businesses an affordable alternative to manage inventory. Avoiding the high costs associated with legacy barcode scanning equipment, businesses can utilize sophisticated software by running it on inexpensive hardware options such as iPods or iPhones. A primary goal of any business considering the implementation of barcode scanning software is to achieve efficient and paperless warehouse operations and wholesale inventory software provides an avenue to achieve such goals.

Sales Rep Applications

An effective business provides its sales team with the necessary tools to assist in developing personal relationships with clients that are founded on a shared level of trust. Employing software with sales rep applications gives your sales team the ability to create enduring partnerships with clients. First, mobile sales applications that utilize hardware such as the iPad, allow sales reps to take orders and share product information while on the road or at trade shows. In addition, certain customer relationship management (CRM) features exist that provide your sales staff with the capability to log verbal and email communication with prospects and customers, as well as automate the emailing of invoices and other communications. These and many other features inherent in inventory software are aimed at establishing a sustained relationship with each individual client.

Lot Tracking

Lot tracking simply refers to a system that has the ability to accurately track product lots along the entire supply chain. Although not necessary for every type of wholesale company, for those that need this functionality, it conveniently enables users to keep track of which customers received specific shipments of products and the date it was received. This capability is particularly important to businesses that handle perishable or potentially harmful products, where an inability to track products along a supply chain can deal a major blow to operations. Recalls, for example, can affect a variety of industries such as automotive, food, and medical/pharmaceutical products, making lot tracking an incredibly important feature for many businesses. And judicious use of the expiry date aspect of lot tracking can save perishable goods distributors the potentially large cost of writing off expired inventory.

The implementation of a wholesale inventory management system is a major step for any business looking to streamline operations and function more efficiently. Although there is a seemingly endless list of add-on components and customizable options that are suited for a variety of businesses; lot tracking, barcode scanning, sales rep applications and landed cost tracking represent four popular features present in effective inventory software.

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