Inventory management is crucial for a business, especially product-oriented organizations.
It will ensure you have the right amount of inventory in the right locations at the right time to foster business continuity and achieve greater returns.
However, if your inventory is not managed properly, many issues can arise, such as insufficient stock, overstocking, damages, theft, and so on, which negatively impacts your business.
This is where using good inventory management software is helpful.
Let’s discuss what inventory management is, its challenges, and how to address them.
What do you mean by Inventory Management?
Inventory management means tracking and managing your inventory, from when it’s bought from the supplier to its storage, usage in manufacturing, and final delivery to the customer. Apart from the inventory, it also includes managing the processing of these items and their warehousing.
Inventory refers to the goods, items, and materials that a company uses to produce the final, desired product. It creates the products for sale in the targeted market to earn a profit. It’s of different types – raw materials, finished goods, work-in-progress (WIP) goods, MRO goods, and more.
You can process raw materials to create a new product or break down a bulk item into constituent parts to sell separately. An inventory can be tangible, such as a piece of cloth or cotton, or an intangible item, such as software.
So, inventory management aims to ensure you have the right volume of inventory at the right time and location. Managing your inventory properly provides that you neither overstock nor understock but meet customer demands and avoid wastage.
You can opt for various modes to manage your inventory – pen, paper, or inventory management software like Sortly. While the former option is manual, time-taking, and can involve human errors to become eventually risky, the latter offers the power of automation in your hands. This helps accelerate inventory management while ensuring error-free operations.
Challenges in Inventory Management
- Excess inventory: Sometimes, you keep too much inventory than you actually require but cannot sell all of them. This could result in unnecessary expenses and wastage, mainly if the goods belong to categories that expire or get outdated sooner.
- Inadequate inventory: Keeping too little inventory than required is also a challenge. This could result in a scenario where you could not fulfill the orders and meet customer expectations. Eventually, you could lose the customer.
- Lacking clarity: If you don’t understand what goods you have in your inventory or their location, especially when you have warehouses at multiple places, you can’t decide which one to restock or get rid of. Consequently, you may either lack the resources during production, which delays the process, or overstock to contribute to wastage.
- Improper warehouse space utilization: If you don’t utilize your warehouse space properly, you may store less inventory, even if the space is big. So, you will keep paying for larger space even if you don’t utilize it much.
- Security: Your inventory can be a liability as it involves the risks of theft, spoilage, damage, and so on. This is why your inventory needs security both physically and data-wise.
- Changing demands: Customer demands are shifting rapidly. So, if you have a large inventory but cannot sell them all and the customers no longer want those products, it’s again a challenge.
- Outdated methods: Trying to manage your inventory with outdated, manual processes can result in huge errors, misplacement, and sluggish operations.
Inventory management software like Sortly is a great way to address these challenges. Here’s how.
How can Sortly help?
Let’s understand what Sortly is and its features to know how it can address the challenges faced by businesses in inventory management.
Sortly is simply an inventory management software system. It is one of the best inventory software that small businesses can use to track and manage their assets and inventory.
Over 10k organizations, including HP, Sanford Health, Yale, and Lyft, have benefited from Sortly by tracking and managing their inventory. It doesn’t matter what industry you operate under;
Sortly works efficiently for all by providing end-to-end inventory management, from sourcing the goods from the suppliers to their processing into the final product and sale.
Key Features of Sortly
You must know all items in your warehouse and where to make the right decisions at the right time. With Sortly, you can track each item in your inventory with the help of QR and barcode scanning.
With the built-in scanner, you can move items to customers, locations, processes, or employees in seconds. This will also help you update your goods frequently and ensure you don’t overstock or understock your inventory.
Compatibility with Handheld Scanners
You can use any Bluetooth or wired scanner to start searching, managing, and tracking the inventory for greater convenience and faster results.
Automatic Alerts and Notifications
Sortly offers automatic notifications and alerts that you can set up and receive directly via emails or the application installed on your device.
It will help you receive immediate alerts on important dates, stock levels, and other notifications. So, even if some issue happens, you can quickly respond to them while controlling your inventory effectively.
Sortly is a cross-platform application, which means you can use it on any device you want, whether you have a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. It’s compatible with both Android and iOS versions. This will help you manage and track your inventory whenever you want, no matter where you are.
Effective collaboration among each team member is necessary to streamline workflow, avoid confusion, and achieve your goals faster.
Sortly can keep everyone connected by bringing all the concerned personnel to a single place where they can collaborate and move ahead with each step. It will keep everyone in the loop to ensure they know the inventory status and next steps.
You might have to invite many people to use the inventory management software to work on their assigned tasks. But it doesn’t mean that each piece of data must be visible to all. It could vary depending on the roles and responsibilities of each one of them.
This is why Sortly offers you the option of access controls wherein you can easily grant access to different users but effectively manage individual permission levels. This helps limit data exposure and contributes to security and privacy.
Tracking User Activities
You can track your inventory and every user’s activity on Sortly. It will ensure every user works what they are supposed to and enjoy the right privileges, not beyond. So, if anything is changed or something wrong happens, you would know who did that and when without suspecting each member.
You can’t possibly remember everything, given that you are dealing with large data of each item in your inventory and your organizational assets. In addition, you might miss out on certain activities that are important for you to know and form an opinion or make a decision.
At this time, reporting helps. Sortly offers a robust reporting feature wherein you can generate PDF, and CSV reports to analyze each activity, task, user, and inventory.
In addition, you can filter and sort your data to produce reports. This will also help you understand the issues, counteract them, and make informed business decisions.
Who Uses Sortly and Why?
Sortly is a simple inventory management tool used across industries in different use cases to track and manage inventory efficiently without errors.
A company has a variety of assets, from products and their raw materials and equipment to each chair, table, and other office supplies and data.
This is why businesses need to track and manage each asset so that it’s properly used and avoid missing or damaging them. Sortly helps in this through asset tracking, whether it’s asset tracking for IT or any other industry.
Barcode inventory tracking
You can easily manage and track your inventory using Sortly and scanning each item. The platform will easily link QR labels and barcodes to each item so you can follow them.
Managing inventory with Sortly is possible with any device you use, whether Android, iOS, tablet, or computer. You will also get notifications on changes and reports for analyzing your inventory.
Apart from asset and inventory management, you can manage your warehouses too using Sortly. Since warehouses can be located at different places, you can’t visit each to get updates. Instead, you can easily use Sortly on your handheld device or computer and manage every item, storage space, and facility.
Home inventory management
Sortly is also helpful for managing home inventory. You can create entries for every item kept in your home or multiple houses, add product details and photos, and manage them easily.
Even when your inventory or products are on the move, nothing will impact your inventory if you track and manage them through Sortly. The app will ensure that each item is packed correctly and as expected towards the destination.
Equipment and component tracking
You can track each piece of equipment you have on your factory floor for producing the final product. It can be machines, tools, lubricants, coolants, needles, etc., based on your business.
In addition, you can also track each component you have sourced that must be processed or used in the final product.
Industries using Sortly
- IT: Information Technology (IT) companies use Sortly for asset tracking and management. It helps them capture their real assets, such as software, network, hardware, and data. Some notable organizations using Sortly include New York Post, Forbes, and more.
- Schools and Universities: Schools and universities worldwide use Sortly to simplify their inventory and assets, including data, papers, and physical stuff, with better speed, ease, and accuracy. Notable institutions using Sortly include Yale.
- Healthcare: Sortly helps hospitals, emergency care facilities, dentists, physical therapists, and other healthcare providers manage and track medical equipment and supplies along with patient information, drug data, expiry dates, etc. Notable users include Sanford Health.
- Non-Profits: Non-profit organizations can use Sortly to manage their inventory, like food, clothes, stationery items, etc., that the organization provides to the needy.
- Government: Government institutions can use Sortly to handle their data and assets in defense, finance, external affairs, and other bodies.
- Construction: Construction companies, contractors, and other professionals in the field can use Sortly to manage construction inventory like supplies, equipment, materials, etc., along with data like location, quantity, price, etc. Companies like Rock Mechanical, Laney LA, etc., are notable users.
- Jewelry: Jewelry brands and independent designers can use Sortly to manage and track stones, precious metals (like diamonds and gold), gems, equipment, designs, and assets in their stores, along with their details, pricing, supplier names, etc.
- Interior design: Interior design firms and independent interior designers can use Sortly to manage their designs, software, equipment, tools, and more.
How to Set up and Use Sortly
Getting started with Sortly is easy in minutes without requiring any training. It will not need you to go through lengthy manuals to install and use it.
Go to Sortly’s official website and register with your valid details to create an account. It will require your full name and work email and ask you to create a password you must remember while logging in. Or, you can sign up with your Google account credentials, which is more straightforward.
If you want to use Sortly’s inventory app on your iOS or Android smartphone, you can download it from Apple Store or Google Play and install it on your phone. Next, you can log in using your account details and start managing your inventory.
This easy-to-use platform will allow you to enter your inventory, including each asset, items, goods, equipment, tools, office supplies, raw materials, finished goods, MRO supplies, and more quickly, along with their details such as photos, expiry dates, pricing, and more.
Providing your team access to Sortly is also effortless from the platform to collaborate effectively. In addition, you can control their permissions, set up alerts, and generate reports in its straightforward interface without any difficulties.
You can even automatically backup your data and synchronize it on the cloud and share, import, and export PDF and CSV files. And guess what? Doing all this will not require you to have expert-level skills.
Pricing models of Sortly
Sortly has a simple pricing model. It offers four pricing tiers:
- Free: It is a free version and is best for startups and individuals.
- Advanced: It costs $29/month and is best for small businesses.
- Ultra: It costs $71/month and is best for growing businesses.
- Enterprise: It’s best for organizations requiring additional control, support, and security. Talk to them about a customized pricing plan.
Best Alternatives to Sortly
Although Sortly offers a good set of features to track and manage your inventory, such as QR and barcode scanning, reports, alerts, etc., and comes with a free trial, it might not be suitable for every business out there. The reason could be anything, such as ease of use, value for money, affordability, etc., based on the user.
So, if you are looking for Sortly alternatives, here are a few options.
If you are looking for an all-in-one inventory management system, you can consider inFlow. It helps you track orders and inventory for better insights into stock and its location.
You can manage everything from your phone and receive alerts. It also offers barcode scanning, and you can use the same tool to pick up, pack, and move your orders. It can integrate with 95+ tools and platforms.
If you are looking for a tool for order and inventory management, try Cin7. It can connect your orders, products, warehouses, stock locations, workflows, reports, and sales channels into a single automated solution. This also helps boost team collaboration, and you can enjoy 700+ integrations.
Its features include multiple built-in shipping platforms like DHL, DPD, Royal Mail, advanced inventory control and tracking, dynamic forecasting, automation workflows, reports, and over 21 direct integrations.
Managing and tracking your inventory and assets is important if you are running a business, mainly if you belong to e-commerce, manufacturing, or any other product-oriented company.
Using inventory management software like Sortly will help you manage each item in your inventory so that you have the right amount of stock in your warehouses and can make the right business decisions.
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