Inventory management is an extremely important aspect of any ecommerce business, but it is not always an easy feat. The ability to effectively manage inventory and keep track of your stock will help reduce the risk of lost sales and disappointed customers. Product inventory can also be used as part of a real time evaluation of the revenue your company is generating. As your business grows and the number of products increase, it’s important to have a comprehensive strategy for inventory management for ecommerce fulfillment. There are a few different strategies you might use for effective inventory management for ecommerce.
Centralized Ecommerce Inventory Management
The first strategy is a centralized ecommerce inventory management solution, which allows you to manage all inventory and operations like purchasing, receiving, storage, delivery and restocking for multiple locations and warehouses—from one single point. There are a number of inventory management software options that can seamlessly integrate with multiple different sales channels.
Managing your inventory using a centralized inventory management system can reduce common problems such as over-stocking, under-stocking and incorrect inventory levels. It can save costs when it comes to personnel and unneeded inventory, while reducing mistakes and facilitating coordination of inventory operations. However, there are some disadvantages to this method. Centralized inventory management can lead to problems with lack of knowledge of local conditions and issues at separate locations. It can also cause problems if local managers feel alienated by not having control of their inventories. An alternative strategy is decentralized inventory management.
Decentralized Ecommerce Inventory Management
Decentralized ecommerce inventory management is, you guessed it, the opposite of centralized inventory management. In this situation, individual warehouses manage their own inventory. This can be advantageous because it allows personnel at each location to be aware of local factors and anticipate unique circumstances that may be specific to one area, such as available talent pool, regional wage rates, weather, etc. It also fosters a sense of ownership and accountability in local management.
This method can also have some disadvantages. The biggest downside is that local management at each location may not have the inventory expertise that a high-level manager of a centralized ecommerce inventory management warehouse might have. The most obvious issue is the increased operating costs of personnel, management, facility maintenance and more.
ITS Logistics and Inventory Management for Ecommerce
At ITS Logistics, we understand that there are a lot of choices out there for inventory management for ecommerce and it can be hard to decide which option is the best for your business. That’s why we have industry-leading experts who can design inventory management solutions specifically to fit your business. Our logistics professionals look at each aspect of your supply chain and make recommendations for the most effective way to integrate your inventory management system into the rest of your operations, including ecommerce returns management. We create logistics solutions that allow you to focus on your business while we help with managing inventory and stock levels, warehouse management and more.
Additional ecommerce fulfillment resources:
How to get started
Whether you need someone to manage your ecommerce inventory or you’re looking to scale the ecommerce portion of your business, we have the right solution for you. Give us a call today to see how we can help.
Fulfillment & Distribution Case Studies
Learn how we’ve tapped our vast partner network to solve logistics problems for clients.