It seems like every software has its head in the cloud these days, but “the cloud” isn’t just some industry buzzword used to drum up enthusiasm in the masses, it’s legitimate, has a growing multi-billion dollar market, and more and more software companies are offering cloud-based services.
The beauty of a cloud-based software is that you can take it virtually anywhere with you, so you can access your inventory whenever and wherever you need it. Your company’s entire inventory is effectively being carried around with you. As long as you have the login details and an internet connection, you could run your business from anywhere in the world, even a beach in Fiji (with a cocktail in your other hand, naturally).
Having the option to manage your inventory remotely could increase company efficiency and make life much easier for you. For example, you might have a number of different locations – you could update the stock from your warehouse in London while it’s being sold at a trade show in California. Or if you’re on holiday, you can easily check how your business is doing from a different country.
But cloud-based inventory management isn’t just for businesses who operate from various worldwide locations. Even a business with one office can benefit: you don’t have to wait to get back to your desk to update your stock, you can do it from your warehouse using your smartphone.
What’s even more handy is if the software you’ve gone with offers an integrated point of sale software. This kind of feature can synchronise your physical and digital stock and turn your brick and mortar employees into walking cash registers.
Cloud-based software is often a great option for businesses trying to cut costs because they can help reduce spending on technology. Unlike desktop based softwares, you don’t have to spend money on buying and maintaining the expensive hardware with a cloud based inventory system because you don’t need to purchase and maintain costly hardware to run it in the first place.
Any updates and server issues are taken care of by the provider of the software. This also means you don’t need to have any in-house experts on the program, meaning you can dedicate those staff members and costs to other business objectives. Cloud-based programs also tend to be much more simple to deploy and don’t require any big upfront investments.
It can also be easier to control and track the costs of your inventory management system since most providers offer a single fee monthly or annually. Businesses can potentially save hundreds of dollars a year with a cloud-based inventory management solution because they are purchasing access to an online application rather than buying a physical product which cuts out the need for an office computer, software, and licensing fees, plus any further set-up requirements, support and staff training charges.
Because there’s no in-house maintenance needed with cloud inventory management, all updates are automatic, so you don’t need to worry about taking the time and effort to update it yourself – which can be quite time consuming when it comes to updating some expensive and complex software.
Because it’s based online, cloud based inventory management synchronises your data across all of your devices, so it’s not confined to a single hard drive. This is great because it means you can use it on a different computer, or even on a phone or tablet. It’s also great for use across different operating systems, so you don’t have to worry about whether the software is compatible with Windows as well as Mac (although it probably won’t solve the great Windows/Apple divide).
Because everything is safely stored online, the risk of data loss through corruption or virus attacks is massively reduced with cloud-based softwares. Your inventory data will be backed up online, so you don’t have to worry about theft or devices getting lost or broken, and losing your valuable data as a result.
With traditional software, you’d also have to worry about the pain of re-installing your software and importing your data, but if you have a cloud-based software, all you need to do is buy a new computer, bring us an internet browser, log in to your account, and you can access your data exactly where you left it.
It’s not just inventory management software that’s going cloud based there are plenty of others worth looking into – accounting, CRM, POS, and more – which could save you hundreds a year, if not more.