Inventory Management and Replenishment Apps: 10 Must-Have Features
Many companies are looking to invest in technologies that will automate the replenishment, management, and optimization of their inventory. They are looking to manage orders more easily without running out of stock or overstocking. They want an app that squeezes every bit of cash out of inventory without affecting service levels.
This goal is possible when you invest in technology that automatically replenishes inventory from multiple vendors based on actual usage data, not on complicated algorithms or predictions. The advantage of an automated replenishment system is that quantities, usage and demand are constantly monitored, taking the task out of human hands and automating the process.
Selecting the right automated replenishment system, like eTurns TrackStock, accomplishes the following:
- Increased visibility and monitoring
- Replenishment based on actual usage, not on forecasts
- Increased flexibility in dealing with unpredictable demand
- Replenishing through alternative sourcing strategies
- Network flexibility with integration to ERP systems
- Data analytics with increased reporting capabilities
Make sure to do your due diligence on any software under consideration, the company that provides it and their expertise in inventory management.
Inventory Replenishment Software Features
Here’s a checklist of must-have features for inventory replenishment:
Analytical Dashboards –
Having real-time visibility into data is vital to business today. Any replenishment app you consider should be able to provide critical data at a glance and provide alerts when action is needed to keep inventory levels optimized. eTurns provides the most important data at a glance, customizable alerts that notify users when action is needed to keep inventory levels optimized, and a graph where users can see total inventory value, inventory turns, category/supplier allocation, and the number of stock-outs that month, whether they’re in a stockroom or service truck.
Ease of Use –
The app must be user-friendly, while being easy to implement, access and navigate. It should also allow you to be able to place orders easily and quickly. With eTurns TrackStock, users have an app that is easy to implement and use, plus an order replenishment process that is typically 10x faster than an e-commerce transaction.
Usage-based Replenishment –
Meeting a fluctuating demand for product is difficult with traditional demand planning software, which aggregates past orders and makes assumptions about future demand. A usage-based replenishment app, like eTurns TrackStock, will let you know how much product to stock according to your Min-Max levels. This allows you to optimize inventory quantities and prevent overstocking.
Supplier Independence –
The app should not be required to “partner” with a specific supplier to work and should have the capability to order from multiple suppliers. eTurns TrackStock can integrate data from multiple vendors and allow the user to order, track and replenish inventory from all those suppliers. Also, purchasers should also be able to easily buy in one Unit of Measure (UOM) and use in another UOM.
Online vs Offline Data Input –
While some apps tout the importance of operating online, many companies with service trucks know that their techs often service remote areas and cannot access Wi-Fi, which would render the app unusable at that time. With eTurns, the app is accessible no matter where your trucks are and your staff can continue to scan and work, even when in rural areas.
The app should allow users to customize with their industry or company terminology and to configure reports so data is displayed to their preferences. Users should be able to choose barcode label sizes and formats (QR codes vs linear barcodes) and add images or descriptions to part numbers. With TrackStock, you don’t have to work within rigid constraints and can utilize and modify User-Defined fields and customize reports to fit your unique needs.
The app should provide the ability to pre-assemble kits under one SKU for specific needs. For example, service truck technicians spend less time at the job site when all the needed parts for the repair job are pre-assembled into a kit. Manufacturers can order kits that have all the necessary components for a specific task on the assembly line. TrackStock allows users to easily manage and build kits or sub-assemblies.
Work Orders –
A good replenishment app should provide the ability to create work orders for a number of uses, e.g. grouping the consumption of parts, kits, and labor that are used by a contractor to install or repair something at a customer; grouping together items used for a phase of a project for reporting purposes; or documenting what maintenance was done on an asset, such as a machine, service truck or forklift. TrackStock has the ability to create work orders, plus add photos of work done and collect signatures when customers sign off on the work.
Optimized Inventory –
The app should not only provide the user the ability to replenish their inventory easily and quickly, but to optimize their inventory levels so they save cash and reduce carrying costs. With the eTurns TrackStock Automated Replenishment App, users can track on-hand quantities and usage at their site or their customer’s point-of-use, providing valuable data that can be used to know just how much inventory is needed on their shelves, and no more.
Track Serial & Lot Numbers –
It’s critical that the app be able to assign and track serial and lot numbers. Any company that deals with products that degrade over time must be able to manage lots to use their oldest products first. And companies that must track their inventory for their end customers, such as the medical equipment or hose assemblies for the oil and gas industry, must be able to generate and track serial numbers.
It makes sense to invest in an app that has automated replenishment down to a science. Learn more about eTurns TrackStock Manage Automated Replenishment features and mobile app.