To anyone outside the inventory space, the past month may have left you with more questions than answers. We have seen two big players make back-to-back moves towards inventory. Square acquired StitchLabs in early July, and Intuit announced their plans to purchase TradeGecko. What’s with the sudden rush towards inventory?
Well, for those of us on the inside – we saw this coming from a mile away. We’ve been running for a long time – and sprinting even harder since the global pandemic started to gain speed in March.
Other people’s reaction to the inventory suddenly in the news:
Our reaction to inventory finally in the news:
Yes, the effects of COVID19 have hit the economy hard, but from our view here on the ground, there is one industry that is still pushing forward: Stuff. Goods. Things. People are still buying stuff and a LOT of it! (Even beyond just toilet paper and antibacterial wipes) And the people who make, sell, and distribute the stuff are under more pressure than ever to ensure that stuff is profitable. Especially when stuff-buying goes virtual and eCommerce comes into play, the way a business manages (or mismanages) their inventory can make or break them.
For LOCATE clients, the keys to surviving (and thriving) this year have been:
- The ability to shift seamlessly into working remotely.
Companies who hadn’t switched to cloud-based solutions prior to the pandemic are reconsidering. Even those who feared “the cloud” are realizing that giving up an on-premise server is a no-brainer when weighed against the benefits of a cloud-based system. Benefits like reduced hardware costs, eliminating the risk of physical corruption, and the biggest one – accessibility!
As lockdowns spread, our clients turned to a mix of remote working, distanced fulfillment, 3PL operations, and every creative combination in between! So being able to communicate with each other and work cohesively in the same system while staying safe and healthy was a must. For companies still using desktop accounting software, LOCATE offers a great migration path to the cloud – QBO or Xero – check out this article for more information.
- Pivoting towards opportunities.
When one door closes another opens, but in business you have to be ready for it or the customers on the other side will go elsewhere. Some clients made small changes – a jewelry company started selling “DIY kits” to occupy cooped up kids – while other clients made massive departures from their daily processes – a distributor of smoothie ingredients, when faced with sweeping store closures, immediately started bottling and selling hand sanitizer.
Because of LOCATE’s flexibility, our clients were able to quickly spin up new eCommerce carts, modify their workflows, even spawn additional LOCATE instances, all in pursuit of innovative ways to push their business forward.
- Scaling for new growth.
Not every client faced uncertainty in this time, many industries exploded! Companies that were hit with sudden growth had to scale up quickly, adapting to a boom in sales and an increased pace of fulfillment. This is something customers on other platforms have struggled with in the past – higher order volume typically translates to clunky warehouse workarounds and additional load on your financial platform. LOCATE, by contrast, was built with these growing companies in mind. Our workflows scale seamlessly to accommodate increased order volume, shifting processes, and new employees. And thanks to our internal ledger, LOCATE summarizes financial and prepaid transactional data into a single daily journal entry, which is sent to your accounting platform to record financial values and manage AR and AP without contributing to the ‘file bloat’ commonly found with other inventory systems.
What does all this look like in practice? We have LOCATE customers using cloud-based accounting systems who successfully process thousands of orders a day!
These principles are not exclusive to companies facing a pandemic, they apply whenever unpredictability reigns and anything can happen (so, always).
Inventory can be intimidating; it’s not surprising that folks typically don’t focus on it unless they really have to – but rest assured the sudden interest in inventory isn’t so sudden at all. Those of us in the space have always known the importance of powerful inventory and workflow management – it’s about time the rest of the world caught on!
But it’s important to note that when it comes to inventory management software, there is no one-size-fits all solution. Some apps are a better fit for retail businesses, while others lower the barrier to entry but have a limited feature set or data caps. What makes LOCATE unique is that it gives companies enterprise-level features at a price point SMBs can afford, allowing them to grow further on the accounting platform of their choosing without having to jump to a costly ERP.
If inventory is just starting to blip on your radar, join the wave of inventory-seekers and find a solution that works for your needs! Whether you are a business owner, accountant, consultant, or connected to the industry in other ways, now is the time to set yourself up for success. This holiday season will be unlike any other, and online shopping won’t be slowing down anytime soon. LOCATE is here to make sure your business keeps growing through the pandemic, the holidays, or whatever life sends your way.