How Secure is Your Wholesale Inventory Software?

Ilmie Sham Ku

If you’re in the wholesale business, it’s not ghosts and ghouls that are spooking you this Halloween but something much more frightening — unsecure wholesale inventory software.

From confidential customer and employee information to real-time inventory data, orders, accounting and banking information— your entire warehouse and business operations data lives in your software. So, it’s not surprising that one of the most common concerns when evaluating wholesale software is if company data is safe and secure.

When many think of the safety of wholesale inventory solutions, they primarily worry about system failures, malware, and hackers. However, it’s also important to think about your day-to-day activity in the software and the potential risks to your internal operations.

If confidential data gets into the wrong or unqualified hands, it could turn out to be a horror show for your business with scares such as missing inventory and supplies, fraud, warehouse management errors, unrecoverable loss of data and damage to your reputation.

But, before you write-off wholesale inventory software entirely, there’s good news! There are numerous security features that you can implement in wholesale software to prevent these nightmares and it’s important to not let the lack of knowledge of these features deter you from buying the right system. An even scarier situation is your business missing out on opportunities to save time and money due to improper systems.

Instead, educate yourself and make sure to ask vendors to go over specific security features with you, and teach you how to get the most use out of them.

User Permissions

Depending on the vendor, you will easily be able to conduct the important administrative task of setting role-based permissions or restrictions of activities in the system.

Taking the time to evaluate who is qualified to perform certain tasks in the software based on their roles and skill set can save you a lot of trouble in the long-run. For example, you can set user permissions to only allow access to specific areas/screens of the software, or you can restrict what employees can do in each area of the software, such as setting permissions to “read –only”.

By creating these internal controls of data, users only see what’s relevant to their individual role, minimizing the risk of data exploitation that could be detrimental to your business.

Some other benefits include:

  • Limiting unnecessary exposure to sensitive data in order to reduce accidental or malicious activity.
  • The ability to monitor user activity in the system.
  • The ability to track suspicious activity such as incorrect inventory counts and pricing changes.
  • Preventing incorrect management of warehouses and order entry by restricting unqualified users from making changes to management screens.
  • Helps you build and maintain trust with customers and vendors by adhering to customer/vendor privacy guidelines.
  • Avoid employees creating their own tracking and reporting systems outside of the software that can’t be monitored.

Track User Activity

Have you ever wondered who updated contact information for a vendor, or who deleted a stock item in your software? Robust wholesale software allows you to set specific internal controls to track user activity.

It’s important to monitor and track user activities in your wholesale business so you can have a chronological view of the sequence of events taking place for an operation and detect any red flags before it’s too late. If errors do arise, you can track what went wrong and the users involved. It’s vital that you assign users an individual login and encourage them not to share their logins so you can accurately track who did what in the system.

Maintenance and Monitoring

It is tempting to set these security guidelines and forget them, however, continuous monitoring and maintenance are vital to the effectiveness of these features. You should be evaluating your security on a quarterly basis at the least.

  • Employees come and go. Make sure you retire their logins to ensure that they no longer have access to company data. You should also change passwords in the event of a security breach.
  • Employees may also change their roles within the company. When this happens, it’s important to get in the habit of adjusting permissions to suit their new job responsibilities.
  • Keep on top of security compliance regulations and update your system accordingly. If you choose to go with a cloud-based solution, your vendor will typically offer system updates. They may raise any potential red flags that you or your IT team may not be aware of. Take these suggestions seriously. Operating on outdated software can open your company to extra risks.

Implementing security permissions will not only help you increase the level of safety but it will also improve the accuracy and quality of your warehouse and business data since only qualified individuals are conducting specified activities, resulting in fewer errors.