ERP and Inventory: featuring Luke Skywalker

Captivea, Sebastien Riss

Just like Luke Skywalker within the Rebel Alliance, the inventory manager is essential to your business. Both are frequently consulted to ensure that their organizations run smoothly. Clearly, no business is viable if inventory is not a well-oiled operation. Like any Jedi, the inventory manager needs tools to lead the department, manage stocks and ensure that orders are deliverable. A report on the benefits from using an ERP system thanks to the experience of Luke Skywalker:

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Inventory management: putting your trust in the ERP System

While there is no longer any need to demonstrate the benefits of an ERP system in a sales context, many managers in SMEs are still unaware that installing a management software can benefit all departments within the business. Thanks to the "Inventory" module, the flow of information and materials around the business is managed automatically, removing the need for time consuming tasks such as re-entering data, while significantly reducing error rates at the same time. Inventory management and traceability of goods will also be updated in real time in the ERP system. As such, the company data is more up to date and more reliable.

More broadly, your inventory module will follow every step of your processes: from inbound goods to shipment of orders and stock management. Orders can be prioritized according to pre-configured settings and your software will notify you of any emergencies. Order picking will also be simplified as it will become possible to prepare several orders at once. Finally, packing labels will be generated automatically an e-mail confirming shipment will be sent directly to the customer, together with the tracking number. In short, a well-configured ERP Inventory module will save you time and improve your customer relationships.

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How can there departments in the business benefit from  this system?

Apart from inventory, the benefits of this module will also make a difference to the  business's other departments. In fact, thanks to real-time shipping data, stock levels will  be updated automatically, notifying the production and procurement departments.  Processes will also be put in place to generate purchase orders automatically, for  example.

The link between the sales team and the inventory department is similarly vital. On one hand, customer orders will be transmitted directly via the ERP system. On the other, once packages have been shipped, the data will be updated automatically. As such, if customers have any questions, the sales team will be able to answer them immediately by viewing the data in the ERP system.

Finally, the interface with accounting will mean that shipment of packages can be authorized or declined as a result of automatic updates to the customer's payment status in the ERP system. And vice versa: customer refunds to disruptions or to non-availability of stock will be sent directly to the accounting team, who can do what is needed.

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Finally, which ERP system should you choose?

Even though all ERP software contains inventory modules, you need to select one that is compatible with your business. If you operate in the e-commerce field, for example, make sure you get a modern ERP system that can support change. In fact, a solution such as Odoo can interface with your e-commerce website, as well as with online sales platforms such as Amazon, allowing you to automate your management processes.

More generally speaking, a modern ERP system will offer you a more comprehensive set of options, such as mutli-drop solutions or drop shipping. Take the time to set your objectives and to carry out benchmarking to find the solution that best suits the needs of your business. Above all, don't hesitate to seek support.

Luke Skywalker himself needed help to destroy the Death Star.

Master Yoda's advice:

"This module, progressively you will install."

Don't rush: install the module progressively, depending on your needs. Don't automate all your processes all at once; this is the best way to avoid incidents.

ERP explained by Star Wars characters