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How an Inventory System of Record Can Keep You Sane

Derrick Weiss

Ask a retailer, wholesaler, or any other type of seller and they will likely tell you that one of the most difficult aspects of their business is inventory management.

It can be hard to keep up with accurately, causing discrepancies that require investigating, and cause any number of other negative consequences.

Not to mention that many companies are juggling multiple data sources that affect inventory and they may not reflect the most up-to-date information – so they never really know just what inventory levels are for certain.

How can all of the above problems be avoided? One simple way is with an inventory system of record.

Find out how to track your inventory across every sales channel and route them to fulfillment by booking a demo.

What is an Inventory System of Record?

A system of record can be defined as an “authoritative data source for a given data element or piece of information.” So, what that means for inventory is that there is one source with which you know that you will be getting accurate answers to all your inventory questions.

This is important because it isn’t uncommon for companies to need to integrate many systems, including:

  • An ecommerce platform
  • An inventory management system
  • An order fulfillment system
  • A multichannel system
  • Various marketplace integrations (Amazon, eBay, etc.)

Each one of the above systems will have its own way of tracking inventory. This can quickly lead to confusion when they don’t agree.

Utilizing an inventory system of record will provide you with authoritative information about inventory location, levels, reorder points, and other key inventory data.

But that’s not the only benefit, there are others that are equally helpful.

How Does an Inventory System of Record Help?

When you use an inventory system of record, it’s most beneficial when you also are using a perpetual inventory tracking process.

That ensures that stock levels are updated in real-time, which means that as soon as inventory changes (incoming orders, outgoing shipments, etc.) it is automatically updated to reflect the change.

Technological advances and increased automation have made it possible for even large corporations to better track inventory this way.

Some of the ways it helps include:

  • You have access to one source that you know will provide the most accurate information about your inventory.
  • You don’t have to consult with various systems and then try to determine which is accurate.
  • An inventory system of record will integrate with the other systems and platforms that you already use.
  • Other departments within your company (marketing, sales, operations, executives, etc.) who need to be able to access inventory levels in order to perform their duties will be able to get an accurate, at-a-glance view of your inventory.

The most important aspect to consider when adding any system to your operations is how it will simplify your daily tasks, and whether it will be an overall benefit to employees.

Clearly, an inventory system of record can do that for you and your business’s various departments.

How Does an Inventory System of Record Fit into the Big Picture?

Of all the systems that are used to run a retail or wholesale business, the inventory system is the one that can impact nearly all of the others – either positively or negatively.

An inventory system of record is the hub of your inventory operations, to which your other systems connect (bidirectionally, if possible) automatically.This ensures that whether you are accessing inventory information from the system of record or from some other system, you will always have the most up-to-date data.

Read the full case study and discover how one client uses SkuNexus as an inventory system of record year-round.

That is a key aspect of having a system of record for inventory management – you won’t always be accessing stock levels and other important inventory data through the inventory system of record. You will have to utilize other systems and platforms depending on the specific tasks.

For example, you may have to manage marketplaces through their own system, and your ecommerce website stock levels may not connect to those, or through the system you use to do multichannel. An inventory system of record helps alleviate that problem, by keeping the information in other connected systems updated.

Some Other Key Considerations about Inventory Systems of Record

There are some things to remember when you make the switch to an inventory system of record.

First, you have to be mindful of which system is which. If you are using SkuNexus as your inventory system of record, make sure that everyone who will be using inventory information knows that’s where to look to ensure they are getting the most accurate inventory data.

It’s also important that you don’t do double entry.

Perhaps that’s what you are used to doing when running various systems to make sure that data is accurately reflected in all of them.But, with an inventory system of record, you shouldn’t have to do that.

In fact, one of the main reasons to take this approach to inventory management is to avoid manual data entry. Trust the system to do it for you.

Inventory in Real-Time

One of the biggest advantages of having an inventory management system of record is that it provides you with the inventory management information you need in real time.

That goes beyond current sales figures and inventory levels, to the heart of your operations – and it does so with fewer headaches, less backtracking, and no duplicate data entry.

Instead, it simply makes good use of one, all-encompassing inventory system.

The holidays are just around the corner, which means that business will be increasing, and efficiency and accuracy are going to be more important than ever. If you are considering making a change to an inventory system of record, taking action now is essential. You need to have implementation, training, and bugs worked out before the holidays get here.

If you are already using an inventory system of record, we would love to know what it is and how it’s working for you. Let us know in the comments below!

After that, see how one customer uses SkuNexus to track inventory in real-time and fulfill orders with 0 errors.

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