Almost all businesses face this one critical problem: lagging productivity.
We live in an increasingly automated world, and yet gains in productivity have slowed significantly. Given this environment, any company that can evaluate old, clunky processes and replace them with smarter tools that enable optimization is going to gain traction in their market.
When it comes to inventory, there is one common process that comes with untold costs, including wasted time: managing inventory on spreadsheets. In fact, most inventory and warehouse managers for small and medium-sized businesses are creating orders based on data they collect in a master inventory spreadsheet. Even as the technology in the inventory replenishment space has become more advanced and less expensive, many of those businesses continue to lean on their spreadsheets, and the unnecessary costs have piled up.
Why not spreadsheets?
20 or 30 years ago, the inventory spreadsheet made perfect sense. It was a helpful business tool that came with a minimal cost. The average operating system on a computer comes equipped with a spreadsheet program; using that tool for an inventory spreadsheet seems essentially free. Larger businesses could afford more elaborate tools that incorporated algorithms to assess sales histories and generate forecasts, but those came with large price tags. Meanwhile, smaller businesses were content to keep their inventory spreadsheet, not realizing how this process was hurting their bottom line.
The simple fact is that using a spreadsheet to aid in inventory replenishment is a labor-intensive process. An inventory manager could spend half of their workweek managing and interpreting the data. Worse still, it’s nearly impossible to design a spreadsheet that correctly aggregates and synchronizes the necessary data to properly and accurately forecast demand, assess risk factors, calculate useful safety stock levels, or produce optimal purchase orders.
The spreadsheet is an outdated tool for this job exactly because it cannot handle those tasks. Frankly, it just wasn’t designed to. And yet this is the preferred tool of many smaller businesses that manage inventory.
What should I use?
Only an application designed for those specific tasks can handle the modern supply chain and create optimized purchase orders that keep costly excess stock down and minimize painful stock-outs. The good news is there are now tools in the market specifically designed for small and medium-sized businesses that utilize the same principles and best practices that larger companies rely on daily. These new applications deliver inventory optimization, allowing businesses to drive more profit from their inventory through smarter replenishment and demand planning.
There’s no need to be stuck in an inventory spreadsheet. The inventory experts over at NETSTOCK have put together an app that incorporates inventory replenishment best practices that businesses need. NETSTOCK users report a reduction in needless excess stock while minimizing painful stock-outs by producing optimal replenishment orders quickly. NETSTOCK is the inventory planner’s new best friend on the job, and the savings far outweigh the minimal cost of the app. Check out an intro video here to see NETSTOCK’s revolutionary dashboard that is making businesses like yours more profitable across the world, and be sure to contact your Client Account Manager at Crestwood to learn more about what inventory optimization can do for your business.