By now, you know you need something more for your inventory management—pen and paper just aren’t going to cut it—but you still have questions about cloud-based inventory management software. What is it? How do you benefit from it? What are the best options to choose from?
Earlier this year, 56% of retail business owners said their inventory management was not accurate. As a business owner, you know the dangers that can bring: from running out of stock to inventory bottlenecks. The good news? Inventory management software can help prevent these problems.
In this article, you’ll learn about cloud-based inventory management, the difference between cloud-based and on-premise software, the benefits, and the top inventory management solutions on the market today.
What is Cloud-Based Inventory Management Software?
Just as the name states, cloud-based inventory management software helps business owners like you manage your inventory. With always-on, online access, you’re able to look into stock levels at any time, from any of your store locations. With these real-time updates, you can both prevent inventory bottlenecks and completely running out of stock.
Before the advent of cloud-based solutions, inventory management was notorious for being a labor-intensive, error-prone process—not to mention sidelining important focus that could be better spent on other aspects of the business, like growing brand awareness.
Thankfully, though, cloud-based inventory management streamlines this process, and simplifies a critical business operation.
Cloud-Based vs. On-Premise Software
As you’ve been searching for inventory management software options, you’ve likely encountered mentions of cloud-based vs. on-premise software. In contrast with the flexibility of the cloud-based inventory management software mentioned earlier, on-premise software keeps your data hosted locally, rather than remotely.
On-premise solutions have their own benefits, including the ability to stay connected, even without an Internet connection. But when you choose a cloud-based solution, you can:
- Access your data 24/7
- Scale your inventory management easily
- Keep your data safe in remote storage, protecting your investment in case of disaster
- Secure data and reduce risk of exposure, implementing safeguards like end-to-end encryption
Then there are some retail management software partners, like iVend, that offer the best of both worlds through a hybrid deployment.
Who Needs Cloud Inventory Management Systems? What Are the Benefits?
Cloud-based inventory management should be your go-to choice if your business is retail-focused—from warehouse management to making sure your store has the inventory you need.
When you switch to cloud software for inventory management, you get real-time updates regarding your inventory control, and also benefit from:
- Automatically update stock levels
- Reduced errors
- Improved efficiency
- All-in-one reporting and analytics
- Secure data storage
When considering cloud inventory management options, you should also consider the value you’re getting for your money (the cheapest options are not likely to give you everything you need), and a user-friendly interface.
The Top 5 Cloud-Based Inventory Management Systems for Retail: Pros & Cons
1. Lightspeed Retail
Mostly known for its point of sale (POS) system and inventory management solutions, Lightspeed Retail offers a simplified inventory solutions experience that lets you access your stock data from anywhere in your enterprise. Like other competent inventory management systems, Lightspeed Retail also offers simplified pricing and product management, but it’s strength is in POS
More specializing in cloud-based inventory management, inFlow offers the standard inventory tracking and reorder points, as well as barcode creation and scanning. The user interface can be a challenge, however, and may not provide the level of in-depth reporting you need, based on your business.
Another cloud inventory management system, NetSuite also provides single-view, real-time updates for your stock levels, and provides inventory visibility across multiple locations. For those looking to do in-depth research into elements like payment details, this can be a difficult software to use to get the details you need.
4. LS Retail
LS Retail, known for its flexibility of deployment across industries, including restaurants and retail, also offers cloud-based hosting, supporting business activity across all sales channels. LS Retail has also reportedly had issues getting data information from a store location to the back office, making communications challenging.
5. iVend Retail
Good news: iVend Retail does all of the above, and more, offering real-time, in-depth inventory reporting that’s easily customizable. Paired with seamless deployment, iVend’s inventory management system also comes with in-depth support and literature offerings so you make the most out of your software.
As one of the best cloud-based inventory management systems, iVend offers a robust combination of on-premise and cloud solutions: You can deploy your inventory management entirely in the cloud, or based on a hybrid model. Even without internet, your iVend-supported terminals still continue to function.
iVend also protects your data with 24/7, proactive monitoring and infrastructure management—you’re immediately alerted when something suspicious happens. Application monitoring also covers server health, auditing error logs, and guaranteeing clean integrations.
In terms of data security, iVend also offers daily backups, with up to a weeks’ worth of backups on file; advanced anti-virus and anti-malware tools; and a web-based support portal, available around the clock. You also get real-time inventory updates, which means you optimize your earnings from products—increase margins and reduce clearance markdowns.
Most importantly, iVend offers integrations with eCommerce solutions, and an in-built pricing and promotions engine, so you can use customer data to increase sales and orders with targeted promotions. As an additional value-add, you also streamline your customers’ purchase process—only three clicks to a sale.
Keep a Bird’s Eye View On Your Inventory With the Best Cloud-Based Inventory Management System
Cut your inventory investment costs by up to 10% when you forecast your inventory needs with iVend. Make informed business decisions based on information from a single stock pool, and access inventory data on the go with iVend mobile app, available on Android.
Streamline your inventory management with iVend, the go-to retail management in over 90 countries. Contact us today.