Zoho inventory is a cloud-based inventory management solution that helps businesses of all sizes effectively manage their inventory and orders.
Why inventory management is essential
Inventory management is necessary for any business because not having the right amount of stock at the right time can lead to stock out, which eventually means you lose your reputation, lose customer loyalty, and ultimately lose deals. For any business, it is necessary to have the right amount of stock at the right time. That is why it is necessary for you to invest in a proper inventory, management solution, or a platform. Also, it is estimated that about 25% of the business cost is spent on inventory. If you do not have the right amount of stock at the right time, you lose a deal, but if you pile up unnecessary stock that gets filed up, it will affect your profits.
So to improve your profits and improve your sales, investment in a proper and effective inventory management solution is imperative.
How Zoho inventory helps, you achieve all these
Let’s consider the workflow of a business.
A business has a retail location along with a warehouse. When the business receives an order, the order’s fulfillment is done by packaging and shipping. You place a purchase order with your vendor and stock the items in the warehouse.
Take a look at this example. A business that has both online and offline presence. Online presence means they have a store built on Shopify, and they also sell on e-commerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, or Esty.
The products to sell can be defined as items in Zoho inventory. To categorize all business needs, there are three modes in which you can create items.
Items are the basic of all three modes. In items, you can capture all the relevant information associated with the item, such as the item name, the SKU, or any unique identifier, like the ISBN and MP number or any identifier you can record all that information in Zoho inventory.
You can also add item images and record selling price and cost price if you would like to add any additional information or capture any other information that can be done using custom fields. Another interesting option that we have with respect to items is you get to define the order level for each item that you have, and you also get to associate a preferred vendor to each of the items.
When you are low on stock for a particular item based on the re-order level, you will be notified when the stock reaches the re-order point or below the re-order point.
This mode can be used in item groups when you sell multiple variants of the same item. For example, when you sell multiple variants of a t-shirt. You sell the same t-shirt, but it differs from each other in sizes and colours. This can quickly add up to 10 or 15 different items. So instead of having to create each item individually, you can make use of the item groups module.
You define an item group; you tell the system about the characters or the attributes based on which different variants differ from each other. In this case, it is going to be the color and the size. You can define the attributes based on color and size and provide all other options. The system will automatically compute the different items and group them under one category.
Based on all possible, permutations and combinations system will create all the items for you. All the possible variants will have a group under one umbrella, and it will be called the item group.
When you sell one or more items together as one, you can make use of the composite items module. For example, let’s assume you sell a cricketing kit. In this case, the cricketing kit comprises of a bat, a ball, and a helmet. Whenever you sell the cricketing kit as one item, the stock of all the associated items, which are the bat, ball, and the helmet, will be reduced. When you sell one or more items together as one, you create a composite item, and whenever this composite item is sold. The stock of the associated items will be reduced.
Basic inventory, tracking
Basic inventory tracking means that the system automatically calculates the computed stock based on the transactions that you create. Whenever you receive a stock of interviewed or build a stock from your manufacturer, the stock is added automatically, and whenever it is sold or when it is sent out of your warehouse, it is reduced.
Apart from the basic inventory tracking, there’s also advanced inventory tracking, which is divided into two serial number tracking, and batch number tracking.
With serial number tracking, you get to associate a unique serial number with each quantity of your item. With batch tracking, you get to associate a unique batch number with each quantity of the item that you have.
The purpose that these two advanced inventory tracking options solve is they provide better place ability. So, right from the moment the stock enters the system until the moment it is sent out, you have better control. You have better testability of the transaction or the vendor through which you have purchased the item and the customer to whom you have sold the items.
Option to create multiple warehouses and allocate a user to a warehouse
You can run reports based on warehouses while moving stock from one warehouse to another. Also, you can define a user’s to be allocated to a warehouse. Warehouse-level user restriction is also possible. This means you provide a specific user in your company only access to a specific warehouse. They get to see only the transactions or the stock in that specific warehouse that they are assigned to. They do not get to see the stock in other warehouses.
If you’re a business that has multiple warehouses, you can actually create multiple warehouses and assign specific roles to specific people belonging to that warehouse. This is another feature of the inventory management system.