The strategic approach to sourcing, storing and selling of products that a business deals in is called inventory management. Whether it's a startup or a successful business, every business should have an inventory management system to keep a track of all the stocks, record buying and selling patterns and profitability.
Inventory Control and Inventory Management Systems
Inventory control system is the process of regulating and controlling the inventory that is present already in the warehouse of a manufacturer, distributor or the wholesaler. With an effective inventory control system, one is aware of each product’s position which is lying in the inventory. With an organised inventory the owner knows about every single unit that is about to be shipped, how many are already in-stock, how many more are expected to come in.
Inventory management system is the process of managing and optimising the inventory of any large or small business. This is different from the inventory control system as it focuses on forecasting and fulfilment of the orders instead of keeping track of every single unit.
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How to Start with Inventory Management?
Any business has its own supply chain management, the general one starts with a manufacturer who makes, the wholesaler who distributes, then the retailer who sells the products and the most important the customer who purchases the product.
The first step into the process starts with keeping a record of the products, products that are in stock, products which sell fast, which take up the most time on the shelf, etc. to manage the count these days various softwares are available to download and ease the tracking and management process.
Let's take an example, it is the festive season and a small business might deal in decorative items like fairy lights, sprinklers, ribbons and similar products. And the MSME owner may know that the fairy lights tend to sell out the fastest, as soon as they are in the shop. With inventory management, a small business entrepreneur will be able to manage the stock in advance reducing the chances to miss out on reaching the customers. Similarly, ribbons, though look pretty but are less in demand, inventory management will take care of all the stock and trade related demands, resulting in better growth and profitability for small business proprietors.
Especially if an MSME entrepreneur is a wholesaler, keeping and maintaining inventory is the most critical task, with controlling and managing the inventory, business owners are assured that the right products are always available.
There are various tools available for the small business owners to start their inventory management journey such as:
- Vyapaar - Inventory and Invoicing: GST ready accounting, e-invoicing and inventory management software, easy to use without basic knowledge about accounting. 15-day Free Trial and then INR 1999 per year. (Mobile friendly application).
- myBillBook:Helps manage and track stocks, including batch number, expiry date, manufacturing date, slot number, and other details. Plus helps e-invoicing GST compliant invoices.14-day Free Trial and then INR 399 per year.. (Mobile friendly application).
- QuickBooks:A simple online inventory management software for business owners to make informed decisions. GST accounting, expense reporting, taxation, and banking software are the main features.Free Trial and then INR 5000 per year.. (Mobile friendly application).
- Zoho Inventory:Zoho helps manage multi-channel orders, warehouses, packaging, and shipping, track inventory and integrate with many other applications from a single inventory management software.14-Day Free Trial. Free sign up upto 50 orders and then INR 14999 per year. (Mobile friendly application).
Benefits of Inventory Management
Managing inventory is just not keeping a track of the products but also the following processes:
- Maintaining customer and vendor relationships
- Proper warehouse management
- Connecting sales channels
- Creating purchase orders and invoicing
- Reduces cost and maintains cash flow
- It also provides clear visibility which helps further in preventing loss from theft, returns and festering
Kinara Capital, an RBI registered Systemically Important NBFC in India, aims to empower the small business owners by providing them collateral free business loans to expand their business. With a working capital loan from Kinara Capital, small business entrepreneurs can meet short-term and long-term funding gaps to fulfil seasonal demand, upgrade stores/business space, upgrade and add new inventory, hire new workforce, digitalise the MSME business or purchase an inventory management software.
Kinara Capital conducts #GrowWithKinara workshops every month to introduce the MSME entrepreneurs to new technology which could be helpful for them in easy handling of accounts, marketing the business, digitising it and more such aspects.
To get a loan for an unsecured MSME business loan, check your loan eligibility without any document uploads in 1 minute on the myKinara app available for download from the Google Play Store. The app provides you the freedom of choosing your preferred vernacular from the 7 language options available. You can now get a business loan by just giving a missed call on 080-68264454 and go from decision to disbursement in 24 hours with doorstep services provided by Kinara Capital.
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