Blog Post

The Benefits of Digital Inventory Management

Written by Lee Glynn
March 22, 2024
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This is why you need to start using digital inventory management in 2024 and digital forms/no-code apps to do it!

A digital inventory management system can revolutionise the way you conduct business, particularly in industries like construction or oil and gas, where inventory management can be complex and costly.

For instance, consider a construction company that has a surplus of cement mix left over from a completed project.

This surplus, or ‘dead stock’, is not only taking up valuable storage space, but it’s also capital that’s tied up and not being put to good use. If this cement mix isn’t used before its expiration date, it becomes a total loss for the company. With a digital inventory management system, the company could have accurately forecasted the demand for the cement mix, preventing overordering and the resulting dead stock. This is just one of the many ways our clients use our low code no code platform to enhance their operations. We know because our clients use our no-code platform to do it. No-code app platforms for Digital inventory management systems are a game-changer for any industry with any kind of stock. They help you keep a tight grip on your supply chain operations and keep a close eye on inventory levels through your phone, tablet or PC.

So let’s talk about the benefits, shall we?

Key Takeaways

  • Digital inventory management is the use of technology and software like data capture apps to track, forecast, and make decisions about inventory.

  • Benefits include improved customer satisfaction through quicker order fulfillment & accuracy in tracking as well as enhanced info on inventory levels and better forecasting.

  • Best practices for effective digital inventory management involve automating processes, optimizing warehouse management & partnering with the right software provider.

What is Digital Inventory Management?

Digital inventory management uses digital tools and systems like low code/no code apps to monitor and control stock levels and inventory levels. This method leverages both software and hardware to mechanize and automate the inventory management process, from tracking the flow of goods to real-time monitoring of stock levels and customer contact. A digital inventory system equips supply chain managers with crucial data that can be harnessed to bolster supply chain resilience, keep you aware of stock inventory and keep your customers happy.

A digital inventory system is an effective way to keep track of your assets and reduce potential issues that come with human errors, such as incorrect data entry, miscounting of stock, or oversight of product expiration dates.

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Paper vs Digital inventory data

Using a digital inventory system instead of traditional paper methods can help minimise errors, streamline processes, optimise stock levels in the supply chain, monitor and manage inventory in real time and increase internal efficiency. We talk about switching to digital forms from paper here.

Digital vs Traditional Inventory Management: What’s the Difference?

Traditional inventory management involves manual processes such as physical counts, handwritten tracking, and paper-based documentation. Digital inventory systems use technology like low code apps and digital forms to automate these processes, track inventory in real-time, improve data accuracy, and improve efficiency. The shift from traditional to digital can significantly reduce human errors, streamline operations, and enhance overall supply chain performance.

Why should I care?

So, you’re probably wondering what this all means? Well, it’s actually pretty simple. Digital inventory management is all about connecting all your selling platforms, retail systems or even warehouse management systems together. Imagine having a single dashboard where you can track everything, from your online store to your physical shop and even the stock in the warehouse. This is what a digital inventory system is all about!.

But it’s not just about tracking. It’s also about automation. Instead of manually entering data into your system (which can be a real pain, believe me), you can use software to do it for you like barcode scanners and QR scanners.

Transitioning away from manual data entry into digital management systems makes life easier.

9 Benefits of Digital Inventory Management Systems

  1. Real-Time Tracking: With digital inventory systems, you can check your stock levels instantly. No more waiting for weekly reports to see that you’ve run out of your best-selling product!

  2. Predict the Future: These systems give you superpowers to predict what’s coming. They analyze your sales trends, so you’ll know when to restock your holiday items or when the summer slowdown is coming.

  3. No More Errors: Digital systems seriously cut down on human errors. Miscounts and lost items? They’re a thing of the past. You won’t accidentally sell a product that’s been out of stock for weeks.

  4. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Everyone can work together more easily with a digital inventory system. Your sales team, warehouse staff, and even your suppliers can all see the same data and stay on the same page.

  5. Automation for the Win: These systems keep everything updated automatically. No more late nights updating spreadsheets or manually checking inventory levels.

  6. Stay Ahead of the Competition: With the latest data always at your fingertips, you can make decisions quickly and stay ahead in your market. See a sudden spike in sales? Order more stock before your competitors catch on and make sure your inventory levels are up to the demand.

  7. Check In from Anywhere: Whether you’re at a conference, working from home, or even on vacation, you can check your inventory levels. No more stressing about stock levels while you’re trying to relax on the beach.

  8. Optimising Your Supply Chain

    Embracing a digital inventory system can revolutionize supply chain operations by providing real-time information about stock levels and streamlining the ordering process. These systems centralize data, enabling effective communication and collaboration among stakeholders. Automation through technology enhances internal efficiency, reduces manual errors due to improved data accuracy, and boosts system performance. The result is increased productivity that positively impacts profitability.

  9. Improved Customer Satisfaction

    In this digital age, it is essential to improve inventory management in order for customers to be satisfied. By using a digital system and optimizing your current processes you can enhance customer experience by being able to quickly fulfill orders, minimize out-of-stock situations, avoid overstocking merchandise, accurately track inventories as well as optimize the use of warehouse space and forecast demand.

What do the best Digital Inventory Management Solutions do?

So, you’re hunting for the best inventory management software for your business, right? Well, you’ve got to take a look at the key features and see if they align with what you need. Some cool tools that come with this type of system include barcode scanning, automated reorder points, and integrations with other programs. Fortunately, the forms2 platform can do ALL this and more!

  • Barcode scanning is a game-changer. It makes tracking stock levels and ordering new items a breeze. When you hit those reorder points, it automatically generates purchase orders. How cool is that?
  • Plus, if you’re into e-commerce, integration into e-commerce platforms can be a real lifesaver. It connects all the essential elements together within one unified platform.
  • And let’s not forget about customisable reporting. This gives you an extra edge by allowing you to create detailed reports highlighting sales trends or customer data based on your specific needs. It’s all about enhancing your productivity through optimal inventory processes and making sure your supply chain is looked after.

Tips for Transitioning from Traditional to Digital Inventory Management

tips for Transitioning from Traditional to Digital Inventory Management

Changing from a traditional to a digital inventory can feel daunting, but the transition process can go smoothly with appropriate planning and instruction. We actually make the whole process REALLY easy and it takes less than 60 seconds to set up your new digital forms.

Watch the video below and see how to set up a digital form in LESS than 60 seconds:

Examples of industries using a Digital inventory system

  1. Construction Industry: MAAC, a construction company, utilized forms2’s mobile forms and apps to streamline their processes. Their low code digital inventory system helped them to efficiently monitor their equipment, reduce paperwork, and automate data collection. This led to a significant improvement in their operations, resulting in a 66% YoY growth and finding out where they were suffering stock mispicks and wanted to stop it instantly!

  2. Warehouse Management: In another instance, a warehouse adopted QR code management through forms2’s low/no code solution to prevent mispicks. The digital system improved accuracy and efficiency by allowing real-time tracking and management of inventory items. The use of QR codes minimized errors and enhanced the speed of operations, demonstrating the power of digital inventory management in warehouse settings.

  3. Hospitality Industry: European Camping Group, a leading player in the hospitality industry, utilized forms2’s digital inventory management system to significantly streamline their operations. By digitizing their processes, they were able to reduce paper usage by 77% and save £277,000 per year. The system enabled them to efficiently manage their inventory, automate data collection, and enhance their operational efficiency, demonstrating the transformative power of digital inventory management in the hospitality industry. Read the digital forms and no-code app case study HERE.

  4. Viniculture: Consider a prominent vineyard in France. They could utilize Forms2’s digital inventory tracking to streamline their wine production and distribution processes. The digital system would allow them to track and manage their wine barrels, bottles, and other essential items in real-time. This could result in a reduction of wastage, improved production planning, and enhanced customer satisfaction due to timely deliveries.

  5. Healthcare Industry: Imagine a large hospital adopting a low code approach to manage inventory using a business app built on forms2’s platform to keep track of their medical supplies and equipment. The system could enable them to prevent stock-outs and overstocking, ensuring that essential medical supplies are always available when needed. This could lead to improved patient care, reduced costs, streamlined inventory levels and increased operational efficiency. Best of all, supply chain managers have less to worry about!

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Choosing the Right Digital Inventory Management Software

Alright, let’s chat about picking the perfect digital inventory management software for your business. It’s a big decision and there’s a lot to consider, like features, scalability, integrations, and of course, pricing. It’s a good idea to play the field a bit, check out what different providers are offering and see what aligns with your business goals.

When you’re weighing up your options, keep an eye on the pricing structure. Some providers might charge flat rates, others might base their fees on transactions or even on the number of users, warehouses, or shops you have. Fortunately with forms2,low code app development is cheaper than traditional development by £97,000*.

You’re going to want a software that plays nice with other systems. Look for one that can integrate with e-commerce sites, retail POS systems, vendors carriers, and financial programs. This will ensure smooth operations across the board. Fortunately we have plenty of integrations that work with your tech stack!

Now, no one knows the ins and outs of a software quite like the people who use it every day. So, take a peek at some reviews from other users to get a feel for the software’s performance and the provider’s customer service. Or check out our digital forms and business app case studies here!

Of course, with the forms2 platform has got some pretty awesome features, like low code/no code app building and customisable digital form building which makes it super easy to customise your digital inventory management. Plus, we can help you save on development costs. You can check out the details on their blog post here: Comparing Low Code/No Code vs Traditional Development Costs

So, do your homework, weigh your options, and you’ll find the perfect digital inventory management tool for your business.

Incorporating and Integrating Digital Inventory Management Systems into your Tech Stack

Firstly, the visibility of your stock is crucial. You might have inventory in a New York warehouse, a backroom in San Francisco, or en route to Chicago in a truck. With forms2, you can tag and monitor all of it, regardless of its location.

Next, your team members who will be using this system need to be considered. It could be Steve in receiving, who needs to verify new shipments. Or Linda in sales, who needs to know what’s available for customers. Or even you, overseeing the overall operations. Everyone needs to know how to use the app you’ve built on the forms2 no-code platform. Fortunately, it’s very user-friendly, but you might want to schedule a couple of training sessions just to be sure. Luckily we know our customers get up and running in days, not weeks!

Now, let’s talk about data migration. You have a wealth of inventory information that needs to be transferred from your old system to forms2. There’s no need to stress, though. The team at Forms2 will assist you in securely and safely transferring all your data.

Remember, communication is vital. You, Steve, Linda, your IT team – everyone needs to stay connected. Have a question? Don’t hesitate to ask. Unsure about something? Seek clarification. The more everyone communicates, the smoother this transition will be.

Did you know that forms2 can integrate with other systems like Google Sheets, Excel, Salesforce, and more? Envision Steve scanning new shipments with a barcode scanner, and that data automatically updating in your Google Sheets. Or Linda checking stock levels in real-time in Salesforce before she makes a sale.

You can explore all the potential integrations here. The goal is to make your inventory management as seamless as possible.

Best Practices for Effective Digital Inventory Management

Transitioning from manual paper processes to digital inventory management can be a major leap, but its easier if you just stick to the basics:

  1. Adopting Low Code/No Code Apps: Consider using low code/no code apps like forms2. These platforms enable you to create custom digital forms and workflows without extensive programming knowledge, making the transition smoother and more manageable.

  2. Utilising Digital Forms: Replace paper forms with digital ones. Not only are digital forms easier to manage and store, but they also reduce the chances of data loss and allow for real-time updates. There are a tonne of benefits of switching to paper forms.

  3. Implementing QR Codes and Barcode Scanners: Use QR codes and barcode scanners to automate the tracking of your inventory. This technology significantly reduces human error and speeds up the inventory management process as well as supply chain management. We show you how to reduce mispicks with warehouse QR code management and low code/no code apps here.

  4. Integrating with Existing Systems: Ensure that your new digital inventory management process can integrate with your existing systems. Forms2Mobile, for instance, integrates with a wide range of platforms, including Google Sheets, Excel, Salesforce, and more. Check out our integrations directory at forms2 Integrations Directory for more information.

Remember, the transition to digital inventory management is not just about adopting new technology, but also about changing your business processes and mindset. With careful planning and the right tools, you can make this transition smoothly and efficiently.

Final Thoughts

A digital inventory system is a must for any business looking to gain an advantage and increase their supply chain performance. With the right software like a no code platform solution from forms2, proper implementation of best practices, and using digital forms and barcode scanning technology, you’re unstoppable.

Go from no-code beginner to expert in days, not months.

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We know you’ve got questions… so here are the most common questions we get asked around implementing forms2 when it comes to switching to digital inventory management.

Are There Any Implementation Challenges and Training I Need to Be Aware Of With forms2?:

Switching to digital inventory management using forms2 is remarkably straightforward. Unlike other platforms that have lengthy implementation processes that can take months, most users can roll out digital forms within minutes after training. The platform eliminates paper-related expenses, streamlines workflows, and empowers teams to document inventory accurately. We want to get you up and running FAST! Check our digital form case studies to see how quickly you can start using digital forms.

Is Integration of Digital Forms and No-Code Apps with Existing Processes Easy? :

Yes, the forms2 platform offers seamless integration with various platforms, apps, and services commonly used by businesses. By connecting your tech stack with forms2, you can centralize data and improve task execution. The integrations directory includes native connectors to services like Amazon Web Services (Amazon S3), Azure SQL, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive. Explore forms2 integrations HERE.

What are the Quantifiable ROI and Cost Savings with Digital Inventory Management?:

We know that switching from paper-based forms to digital forms and digital inventory management using forms2 results in quantifiable benefits. Real-world examples as featured in our digital forms case studies demonstrate substantial savings for all businesses that choose us as their no-code platform. For instance, European Camping Group standardized reporting and data capture processes across 300 sites in Europe, saving £112,000 in paper and storage costs annually—equivalent to £1.12 million over time. The benefits extend beyond cost savings to enhanced productivity and customer satisfaction.

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