How to Create an Inventory Management System Fitting Your Needs

9 min read
Aug 20, 2021
How to Create an Inventory Management System Fitting Your Needs
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Inventory management is all about controlling the flow of goods in and out of your business, from raw materials to finished products. This article explains how to build an inventory management system, which really is what makes an organization’s supply chain work and it is at the heart of virtually every business and industry.

Organizations must ensure that they have enough inventory to meet customer demand in any given month, while also being able to react to changing market conditions quickly. If your company has an increased need for inventory, the benefits of an inventory management software solution can be tremendous.

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For one, it can help you streamline your supply chain, save staff time doing repetitive tasks and make it easier for clients to find what they need. In essence, this software can be used to develop a more strategic approach to planning, controlling, and charting the future supply of any commodity or product.

As a business owner, it’s challenging to keep track of your inventory. You have to consistently determine availability and make arrangements with suppliers every now and then. There are several steps involved in this process. That’s why how to make inventory management software is so important. It’s the best way to improve the efficiency of managing inventory and processing orders.

Common Features of the Inventory Management System

Once you learn how to create a simple inventory management system (IMS), you would realise that this is probably one of the easiest projects a business could undertake, provided you are familiar with all the required features. Although, your specific requirements may vary.

1. Barcode Scanner

A barcode is a unique identifier printed on each product sold by a retailer. It’s used both by the manufacturer and retailers to track and control inventory. IMSs integrates seamlessly with barcode readers so you can track and control product supply.

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2. Reporting

Companies use IMSs to store, manipulate and analyze almost everything about their products. This data can be used to create reports that will provide you with valuable insight into how your inventory is performing relative to your other assets.

3. Forecasting

Imagine if you could analyze the demand for your products in real-time — before they were even in your stores. Using statistical models, inventory managers can more effectively plan their product launches, knowing which items will be in highest demand at any given time. For this, some of these applications even have artificial intelligence features.

4. Accounting

IMSs are often integrated with financial records such as balance sheets, profit and loss statements, revenue and expense accounts. An IMS must have integration with finance software or have built-in accounting features in order to allow you to calculate your expenses.

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5. Point-of-sale Integration

Integrated point of sales (POS) systems allow retail workers to both handle customer payments and manage stock. These systems can also integrate third-party IMSs so workers don’t have to manually input data into stock control systems. Having a POS system that’s integrated into your IMS and that can connect with your e-commerce data sources and store databases allows your company to collect more data which enables you to make smarter decisions.

6. Inventory Alerts

On your IMS, you should be able to set up alerts for specific product categories, or for all products of a specific brand. When an alert is generated, it is sent to your registered email address or registered mobile phone number so that you can determine when a threshold has been exceeded and start making plans for restocking, if necessary.

7. Automatic Re-ordering

By utilizing an innovative Automatic Re-ordering capability, the vendor can take into consideration inventory levels, demand forecasts, and other relevant factors that contribute to optimal cost recovery. An IMS could be built so that it works out how many stock items there are left in each category and requests those for you automatically so that you are never short of any items.

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8. Logistics

You need to be able to track the location of your inventory shipment in real-time. In this case, the IMS is connected to remote trackers carried by drivers and trucks. That way, you can always determine the real time exact location of your orders.

Obviously, there is a lot that an IMS can do for your business, not just in managing the inventory but in optimising the entire supply chain. Read on to discover more info on how to create stock management software.

When You May Need to Build a Custom IMS

Every business owner has been there — you’re trying to decide if it’s time to develop an inventory management system (IMS) for your business. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur just getting started, or maybe you’re a seasoned veteran who’s looking for ways to streamline your business.

Every business that handles some form of inventory has a need for an IMS. But many IMSs in the market hardly cater to all the specific needs of companies. That’s why large companies if they can afford it, prefer to build their own custom IMS that meets their unique needs.

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But even smaller and mid-scale companies can benefit from a custom IMS. This is beyond how to create an inventory program. Most IMSs available come with excessive functionality, with many features that your business may not need, yet you are paying for the entire application. In that sense, it is better to build software that fits your needs, and then you can scale its functionality as your company grows.

You can even launch your software as a product. With that, you can also sell it to other businesses that are your contemporaries within the industry. In all, building a custom IMS for your company gives you more control over managing your inventory, database, assets, logistics, and so on.

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A custom inventory management system or CMMS can have a big impact on the success of your business. It can help you reduce inventory costs, increase your sell-through and customer satisfaction levels and more. Starting an inventory management system (IMS) is a great way to keep track of what’s in stock and ready for purchase. And it’s a smart idea for those who already run their own business.

Tech Stack to Make Inventory Management Software

An IMS is one of the easiest applications to develop. Usually, any popular general-purpose language would do for building the user interface. The popular languages used include C++, C#, PHP, Python, JavaScript, TypeScript, etc. Although, it is best to use languages and libraries that allow for dynamic development, such as Flutter, Xamarin, Bootstrap, etc. If the application is web-based, the available options are a bit more restrictive. Many developers prefer to use PHP in this case.

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Of course, it is not just the UI that matters but the database too. And frankly, this is perhaps the aspect that requires the most work. The most popular databases remain efficient here, such as MySQL, MongoDB, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, etc. In the end, the specific components of the tech stack for creating an inventory management system boils down to the requirements and goals. That’s how to build an inventory management system.

3 Steps How to Create Inventory Management Software

Step 1. Conceptualization

Start by looking at what your business does every day, and identify the functional areas which are involved and which can easily be tracked using data. Then, look at other companies in your industry that have already used such software and see how they have used it to increase efficiency. Identify areas where your own processes could benefit from automation. It’s important to know what you need and then design the perfect solution that solves your specific problems.

Step 2. Business Goals

Do you want to build inventory management software to help you quickly get new inventory stored and delivered to customers, or are you planning on using an IMS as part of an overall e-commerce strategy? Your main purpose and business goals should be clearly outlined at the beginning of the process. Clarify the specific use cases and work towards fulfilling the expectations set.

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Some specific use cases could be: reduce inventory costs, increase revenue, fix a pricing problem, increase customer satisfaction, etc. Being able to articulate the specific impact your software will have on each of those factors is key. Most importantly, communicating these goals properly to the team during the onboarding process is key.

Step 3. Programming and Testing

Usually, once you have defined your requirements for the software, it’s time for engineers to write code, which means writing code for the application itself as well as any supporting tools and libraries. In addition to writing code, engineers must also test their developed code to make sure any bugs or flaws are corrected before implementation.

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This phase typically involves multiple iterations and several changes to existing functionality so that the software runs as intended and can be refined further by other developers. Also, documenting the design process for software is an important part of keeping it maintained and quality. Then, once you create inventory management software, the next steps are deployment and maintenance.

Our Experience in Developing Inventory Management Software

ProCoders specializes in bringing the right people on board to build out your latest IT project. With a global network and an experienced team of skilled software engineers, we’re trained to evaluate talent and execute projects in a cross-functional capacity.

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In the specific case of inventory management systems, we build the technology behind software that enables companies to analyze their assets: patrol your inventory using historical purchase data; aid you in designing new products; let you monitor stock changes without having to pull data from the warehouse; and much more.

With our knowledge and experience, at ProCoders, we are able to provide precise and timely technical support for all of our clients. Our goal is to maximize cost savings for our clients and make their operations more efficient.

F. A. Q.
What Is Inventory Management Software?

Inventory management software helps you streamline your supply chain, save staff time doing repetitive tasks and make it easier for clients to find what they need. In essence, inventory management software can be used to develop a more strategic approach to planning, controlling, and charting the future supply of any commodity or product.

Types of Inventory Management Software

To start with, there are different kinds of IMSs. This reflects in the makeup of the various types of inventory management software. One reason to build a custom inventory management system is to move beyond the boundaries of ‘types’ and develop something that really fits your business needs.

The Workflow of the Inventory Management System

Inventory management is all about controlling the flow of goods in and out of your business, from raw materials to finished products. Inventory management is what makes an organization’s supply chain work and it is at the heart of virtually every business and industry. The workflow of an IMS describes the specific processes that make inventory operations seamless.

Conclusion

Having the right IMS can make your business more efficient. An IMS can help you keep track of what you have, where you have it, and how much. It can also help you put proactively more items in your shopping cart so that you don’t get stuck with stuff you don’t need. It’s important to have an inventory management system. Having an IMS that’s productive for your business can mean the difference between having a sale and not having one at all.

Indeed, you can always purchase any of the popular inventory management software solutions. However, you must consider that they are not custom built for your unique business needs. That’s why you should have your software only built by experts. The team at ProCoders consists of experts in various areas of development that can develop inventory management software that’s perfect for your business. Contact us today to discuss your plans.

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