How Inventory Control Can Help You Stand Apart From Your Competition – and Keep Your Customers Loyal
Want to know how to lose a customer? Sell them your product, and then tell them you can’t ship it for weeks because it’s not in stock.
For a distribution business, over-promising and under-delivering is an inventory problem.
In our last “Building More Profit in your Distribution Business” post, we discussed the importance of incorporating your own pricing formulas into your software. But, as every distributor knows, you can price properly and sell more, but without accurate inventory counts, you can’t make accurate promises and can’t deliver on time.
Does your software help you manage your inventory?
Inventory control is the top reason that owners of distribution companies shop for new software solutions. Many times, their current in-house systems have capabilities around inventory that can solve inventory status problems.
But modern ERP systems were designed with inventory control as a core functionality, in addition to accounting and pricing.
But maintaining inventory counts to provide the high visibility you need to gain and maintain customer trust in your delivery promises has to become a priority.
Is inventory control a priority for your Operations Department?
To keep inventory visible and forecasting accurate you must re-establish in-house priorities and demand real-time data on the following:
- Purchase orders
- Shop floor control
- Order entry and
- Shipping data
Your staff and managers must make collecting and entering this data into your ERP system a priority.
Get inventory under control and differentiate yourself
The good news is, your competition probably does not have accurate control over their inventory. Or if they have, they made not be using it to improve customer service.
Many ERP systems enable you to extend real-time inventory information over wireless networks, so your distribution sales staff can provide on the spot and accurate inventory counts to your customers while on-site.
In the distribution business, not only does pricing make or break your business, but so does inventory control. An accurate, real-time view of your inventory allows you to project inventory levels into the future, and avoid over-promising and under-delivering.
A great way to keep your customers loyal, and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Most modern ERP systems provide inventory control as a core functionality, in addition to pricing and accounting functions.
If you’re in the distribution business and you don’t have an ERP system yet, you should probably get one ASAP.