By Alex Mills, Sales and Marketing Director at ProSKU: Businesses need to maintain a balance between stock availability, usually a good thing, and carrying too much inventory, generally not. Getting this right is a headache for any business but it can be doubly problematic for a smaller enterprise. Some may struggle with paper-based processes or spreadsheets while others may use basic functions in accounting, sales or online applications. But none of these compares with a proper WMS, and while traditional managed solutions may be beyond the budgets of growing businesses, the new generation of cloud-based WMS can offer fast, inexpensive implementation and fixed monthly pricing to create a real step-change alternative.

A WMS allows a supplier to maintain a real-time inventory manifest. At a simple level this means stock availability can easily be checked. But when a WMS is integrated with the supplier’s website or e-commerce applications the information can be presented in real time to potential customers.

Behind the scenes the WMS can also ensure stock is available and ready to sell. If stock levels fall below predetermined levels, it can flag an alert or trigger an order for replacement stock. When this arrives in the warehouse it can be allocated storage space and immediately made available for sale. Integrating a cloud WMS with e-commerce applications gives the business the maximum opportunity to satisfy customers without disruption, and much of this can be managed by the WMS.

Overstocking can also be problematic. A cloud WMS helps to optimise stock levels by ensuring the accuracy, efficiency and discipline needed to run a leaner warehousing operation. Savings made here alone can soon generate a return on investment.

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