4 Popular Features to Look for in Wholesale Inventory Software

October 1, 2014

wholesale inventory software

When your business decides to take the crucial step to invest in wholesale inventory software, it is imperative that you make a thoughtful and well-informed decision that satisfies your business’s specific needs. With an abundance of features and customizable options available, achieving this task can sometimes be overwhelming. Although no two companies are exactly the same, there are several popular features that add value to basic inventory software and allow companies to better manage all business operations. These include; landed cost tracking, barcode scanning, sales rep applications, and lot tracking.

Landed Cost Tracking

Landed cost refers to the total cost of an inventoried product, taking into account expenses incurred to collectively purchase, transport, and import goods. Costs accounted for include such items as border fees, duties, taxes, transport costs and insurance, to name a few. Software that effectively manages landed costs has the ability to automatically account for and reconcile the costs mentioned above in order to arrive at the true cost of the goods. This ultimately enables businesses to protect margins and make better purchasing and pricing decisions.

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3 Ways to Increase Warehouse Productivity with Distribution Software

June 27, 2014

warehouse distribution managementYou can achieve improved productivity in your distribution business’ warehouse through a variety of activities, ranging from automating order entry processes to providing training for staff. By definition, productivity describes the input to output ratio on a final product, so warehouse oriented businesses are always looking for ways to better manage those inputs while still producing quality outputs. With the help of distribution software, here are three ways this can be done:

1. Optimize picking/packing processes

As a distribution business, it is very important to optimize the basic picking and packing processes in your warehouse. Saving time and reducing errors here presents a huge opportunity to increase productivity. Consider investing in distribution ERP software with barcode scanning functionality to streamline the receiving, picking, packing, and shipping process. A great alternative to a heavy, expensive, traditional barcode scanning machine is a mobile application that runs on iOS devices. This technology streamlines many processes in the warehouse including the ability to itemize products that need to be picked, mapping out how employees should go through the warehouse most efficiently. Pickers and packers can also quickly scan and look up inventory items at the source to retrieve information about the product such as descriptions, pricing and images and in the case of an empty shelf if the item is somewhere in overstock, on backorder or available at other locations. Using this kind of mobile barcode scanning application for handheld picking and receiving is a great alternative to traditional scanners, and will help eliminate the errors and time constraints of performing these tasks manually with pen and paper.

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Inventory Management Software – Different Barcode Scanning Options

February 14, 2014

Barcode ScanningWe often speak with prospects who insist they need barcode scanning for managing their warehouse.  This piece of functionality has almost become synonymous with needing inventory management functionality in general, but there are varying levels of barcode scanning technologies and businesses can sometimes achieve the same efficiencies without spending the money on the more sophisticated options. To determine what level of barcode scanning functionality can benefit your company, if any, think about the following questions:

  1. How many orders are received and shipped a day?
  2. How big is your warehouse?
  3. Is your warehouse set up with bin and shelf locations?
  4. How many picking errors do your warehouse staff deal with on a regular basis?
  5. Do you inventory a lot of similar products, with small differences?
  6. What percentage of the SKUs you carry actually have barcodes?

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A Look Ahead to ERP Software in 2014

January 3, 2014

ERP TrendsBusinesses that are planning to implement ERP software are now, more than ever, focusing on specific needs, and doing their homework before approaching software providers. We expect to see the following trends in 2014:

1.       Smarter buyers

With the availability of information in today’s world, consumers are increasingly well-informed, making it easier to conduct research and compare products before ever speaking with a sales person.  With the help of a company’s website, online review sites, smart phone apps, forums and other information, consumers looking for inventory and accounting ERP software are now spending more time educating themselves on their purchase options, and evaluating these options more carefully. This means that sales people are becoming involved in the sales process a lot later than before (and sometimes not at all).  If sales people do become involved, it is important that they take on a more consulting based role as an industry expert – spending the time to understand a customer’s business and software needs.  The traditional sales approach is no longer valid, and consumers are becoming more and more wary of  “the used car sales person”.

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Better Inventory Management

September 4, 2013

Better Inventory ManagementBusiness owners are constantly striving to improve inventory management in their warehouses – but how can they do this? The answer is of course dependent on the company as well as specific problems, but in general, businesses trying to solve inventory problems will typically choose one of 3 approaches; hire additional staff, invest in a proper inventory management system or evaluate and change internal processes.  Each option has its pros and cons, however eventually any growing business will reach a point where the only way to improve inventory management is to invest in a proper, robust inventory management system. To get the most out of  such a system, consider investing in software with the following functionality:

Landed Cost Tracking

Landed cost is the total cost of an inventoried product, and takes into account expenses incurred to purchase, transport, and import goods from one place to another, within a country or across continents. This includes border fees, duties, taxes, transport costs, insurance, trans-loading and port handling fees among others.  Proper landed cost tracking software will automatically account for and reconcile these costs in order to arrive at the true cost of the purchased item.  This in turn will allow a business to protect margins and make better purchasing and pricing decisions.

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Blue Link Attends OAFB Conference

June 19, 2013

By Samantha Hornby

OAFB Conference

A couple weeks ago, Blue Link attended the annual Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) Conference for two days of workshops, networking and round table discussions.  This year’s conference was held in downtown Ottawa and was hosted by the Ottawa Food Bank – the second largest food bank in Canada.   Blue Link was on-site as a supporting vendor to discuss the Ottawa Food Banks recent ERP software and warehouse barcode-scanning implementation and to educate other Food Banks on implementing similar systems.

“159,918 children use food banks each month.” – OAFB 2012 Hunger Report

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