Sage Inventory Advisor: An Introduction to Managing Inventory for Small and Midsized Businesses
Inventory management is about answering the questions: what to stock, how much of it to stock, and when to order more. Analyzing and using valuable data generated by your business, with inventory management software, can enable getting to the appropriate answers for each of these questions.
The commanding force in managing inventory is still customer satisfaction. A company that can deliver the desired item to a customer, as the customer demands it, is well on its way to capture that customer satisfaction and turn it into loyalty.
If you are out of critical items in your inventory, however, customers go elsewhere to find those items. On the other end, if you stock up on too many items, much of your working capital and cash gets tied up in inventory, leaving your business with few options.
With our own clients, across a variety of industries, we’re finding tremendous benefit from using a planning tool that uses sales, purchasing, vendor, supplier, and warehouse data to analyze and forecast the right mix of inventory levels. This tool, Sage Inventory Advisor, serves as a diagnostic, analytical, and forecasting tool for managing inventory.
Inventory Management Software as a Diagnostic Tool
To do this, it uses the data generated by the business itself to determine how well current inventory levels will match the expected demand. It gets this information daily from the company’s ERP system and identifies what items may be lacking, what suppliers need to be informed, and how long it will take to get the item to the correct location.
Inventory Management Software as an Analytical Tool
Based on an item’s contribution to the business, it suggests new actions to be taken regarding ordering, stocking, or getting rid of inventory. This analysis is done by exploring the relationship between historical, forecasted, and actual sales. It takes into account what items are needed in which location, which includes the option of stock levels to be balanced internally.
Inventory Management Software as an Forecasting Tool
As a forecasting tool, it allows users to input their buffer amounts regarding inventory manually, but also looks into what demand has been like in the past and the company’s present ability to meet it with stocked items. From that, it makes item-by-item suggestions regarding planning optimal replenishment rates, while implementing the schedule of orders, and improving fill rates.
We are finding that Sage Inventory Advisor’s ROI is enough of an incentive for businesses to look into it, as in some cases it can cover the cost of the service plan for the ERP solution. Deployed via the cloud, no additional software is needed and can be up and running in very little time, accessible via mobile anytime, anywhere. It also integrates with Sage ERP X3, Sage 100 ERP, Sage 300 ERP, and Sage 500 ERP.
We will be looking into specifics of how Sage Inventory Advisor helps small and midsize distributors, retailers, and manufacturers in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!