What Is Cloud-Based Inventory Management? Definition and FAQs
All of the words make sense on their own. But what does it mean to bring cloud computing and storage to inventory management?
There are many questions, and it’s difficult to know what questions to ask. What features does it have, and what benefits does this system bring to the table?
Cloud-based inventory management software is a digital solution that handles inventory management with an efficiency impossible for humans. It gathers information in real-time about inventory movement — what’s coming, what’s going, what orders are outstanding, and more.
This system streamlines asset management like never before to help both large enterprises and small businesses know what they have, where it is, and where it needs to go.
These programs have a variety of different features. Different programs will, of course, feature different options, but most have these key features:
- Automated repair requests and support tickets
- Cost optimizations to maximize ROI and minimize costs
- Inventory tracking and locating to know for sure what inventory exists where
- Loss and theft prevention to reduce unnecessary costs
- Order management to streamline delivery
- Supplier communications to request more assets when needed
Most digital inventory management systems provide all of these features alongside specialized services and benefits tailored to certain industries or specializations.
A cloud-based inventory management solution saves time and money. It creates a single, centralized record of every asset in the organization and provides information about storage location, stock numbers, and more with a few clicks.
This ease of access and control reduces errors, provides automatic reporting and analytics, and makes it easier for organizations to scale up their processes as the company grows.
Because a cloud-based inventory system gathers information in real-time and provides updates within seconds, it frees supply chain managers from menial tasks. Instead, it helps them make higher-level decisions to streamline the supply chain.
Some advanced products can even make their own recommendations based on built-in algorithms that know best how to optimize the systems in which they work.
Cloud-based systems put the security of your information in the hands of experts. Modern cloud computing companies know how to defend their clients’ information and have the time and expertise to build quality defenses against cyberattacks.
They combine this digital security with the inbuilt backup benefits of a cloud model. If your local systems go down or suffer a data loss, then you can restore it with the information stored on the cloud, which is separate from your systems and untouched by the disaster.
Integrations make duplicate information entry a thing of the past. The same system that gathers information about the inventory automatically notes how many assets your company has, where it has them, where they are set to go, and how those factors have changed over time.
It saves dozens of labor hours of tedious work when computers can automatically move information from one system to the next and report the results.
Menial work, like entering information into spreadsheets, is bound to cause errors in remote inventory management, and those costs add up dramatically.
Machine algorithms, if appropriately programmed, cannot make careless human mistakes like duplicate entries or typos. They can work around the clock, faster than any human being ever could, with zero errors.
This flawless 24/7 service is vital in a world that demands greater uptime and faster deliveries every day.
A cloud-based system that operates independently of any on-premises server provides a greater ability to add new facilities and otherwise expand with the business.
These systems also offer more customizable options than many on-premises services since they appeal to a broad clientele and try to tailor to the specific needs of their many customers as much as possible.
Let’s look at the answers to some commonly asked questions about cloud inventory management:
No! A major benefit of cloud computing is its flexibility. Most cloud computing programs work through a web browser, so any device capable of internet connection can interact with and work within a cloud-based inventory system.
Different systems can use or combine different technologies, which include RFID tags, barcode scanners, and automated printing and labeling. Multiple technologies working in tandem may increase cost, but they also drive results.
While price varies by software solution and specific industry, most cloud-based inventory management companies offer flexible pricing based on resource usage or the number of users, which makes it easy to get a great deal.
The SmartBox system by Rebound Dynamics allows users to easily store assets on any working site and keep a digital inventory that makes menial tasks a thing of the past. From monitoring and selling to buying and automated reports, you can access all of your inventory information with nothing more than a few taps.