Many ecommerce businesses start from the home garage as their first location. Managing inventory was easy. The business owner could easily walk over and look at how much inventory was on hand. As the volume and SKU count grow, it becomes harder and harder to manage.

While your business might not be operating out of your home garage, there are still some tell-tale signs that you need to upgrade your inventory management software. Here are five signs it’s time to explore new software solutions:

1. You are struggling with out-of-stock and back-ordered items. Running out of inventory means you’re losing out on sales. Each customer is precious. Don’t make them go running to your competitors with out-of-stock notices or, worse yet, delayed or canceled orders due to overselling your products.

Your software solution needs to have the ability to alert your purchasing department to order more stock, or better yet, place the order for you. When integrated with your online store, inventory management software will keep track of your stock for you. With custom business rules, you can receive alerts when inventory reaches a certain level so you can reorder.

2. You have too much inventory on hand. No business owner wants to see their precious inventory gathering dust. Having too much stock means your business cannot use that capital to purchase other, more popular inventory items or invest in marketing. To get rid of overstock, a company may be forced to offer heavy discounts, shrinking their sales margins and eating away at their revenue.

Your inventory management solution should provide historical sales data so you can predict future sales and alert you when an item isn’t moving as projected.

3. You have no idea how much inventory you have or will have in the future. Inventory is much more complex than counting the number of items in your warehouse. It can include inventory from your retail stores, new shipments headed your way, stock committed for specialty orders, reserved stock, stock in transit from one location to another, and much more. Each of these scenarios has a quantity and an estimated date for when it will be available for sale. Tracking all this information for hundreds or even thousands of SKUs takes a robust inventory management software.

Your software solution should integrate with your sales channels, your purchasing department, and your warehouse so you can quickly understand your inventory.

4. You have multiple systems tracking inventory information. Perhaps you are using pen and paper or Microsoft Excel to track your inventory. Some financial software has an inventory solution built-in. But if you have to pull data from multiple sources and input that information into Excel to analyze, it’s time to look for a new solution.

Remove the opportunity for human error in analyzing your data by implementing a robust inventory management solution.

5. Your warehouse team cannot keep up with your growing business. Remember that bit on “I Love Lucy” where Lucy and her best friend Ethel worked in a chocolate factory? They couldn’t wrap the little chocolates fast enough as they sped down the conveyor belt, so they hid them in their clothes and tried to eat as many as possible. If your inventory management solution is so cumbersome that it has your team scrambling, it’s time to find a new solution.

Your inventory management solution should create efficiencies and reduce errors in your warehouse operations, and shouldn’t make your employees feel frantic trying to keep up.

Turn your inventory nightmare into the true treasure it is by implementing an inventory management solution. Sigma Commerce’s Warehouse Management System (WMS) includes a robust inventory management component. Contact us to learn more.