Inventory management has evolved significantly in the last decade. There has been a major shift towards automation, thanks to the evolution in artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Today’s evolving customer habit also contributes to these changes. Omnichannel shopping has become common. Peo ple shop via mobile devices, desktop workstations as well as physical stores. Retailers continue to update their inventory management and inventory tracking technologies to meet the changing consumer behaviour and cater to their exact requirements.
The availability of business loan and other types of financing options also contributed to this evolution. Small and medium scale enterprises now have access to a large amount of funds to invest in such operations. They can opt to employ the latest technologies and advanced computer-aided inventory tracking and inventory management tools to give an edge to a business’ operations.
Let’s take a look at ways how inventory tracking technologies have evolved over time.
Evolution of inventory tracking technologies
The changing customer spending patterns has compelled incorporation of a fast-paced inventory tracking system for companies. Manual inventory management is almost eliminated in favour of real-time inventory tracking techniques.
- Real-time tracking – A centralised network allows retailers to track the inflow and outflow of goods in real time. Suppliers and sellers now have access to information regarding when their products are sold, in what quantity, which product is selling better, and how many items need restocking. Such systems reduce waste and expenses significantly while saving considerable amount of time.
- Adaptation of Point of Sale Systems – Point of Sale Systems has become extremely popular amongst various types of companies with the incorporation of barcodes and QR codes, touchscreen payment portals, electronic payment options and ATM systems. These systems aid in active inventory tracking as they communicate purchase information directly to the centralised management software.
A company can install a POS system with the help of a business loan. They can also opt for several portable units to better serve a large number of customers.
- RFID systems – Radio Frequency Identification or RFID have become commonplace in the early 2000s. These systems read information about a product from a patch that communicates with a handheld or pedestal mounted reader. This information is relayed to a live data centre and can be tracked in real-time. RFID systems eliminate the need for manual input from the employees and help maintain an accurate stock.
- Backward compatibility – Modern software offers seamless back-end compatibility with existing enterprise resource planning systems. Such software allows companies to integrate the updated systems without risking data loss or completely replacing old infrastructure.
- System optimisation using machine learning and AI – Big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc. offered a significant advancement in information technology. Businesses can analyse their operation procedures and recognise the most efficient approach. They can also collect and process a significantly greater amount of data within a smaller time frame.
However, integrating such systems require significant financial backing. Companies often avail a business loan to pay for such upgrades.
Several financial institutions across India offer such loans to eligible enterprises. Companies like Bajaj Finserv offer affordable business loan interest rate, flexible tenor, and several other customer-centric features and benefits.
- Priority on information – Information has become one of the most essential aspects of the new inventory tracking systems. Businesses now have the equipment required to pull more data from their processes, which allows them to develop their operating procedure and create customised solutions for niche business requirements. Availability of business loans to integrate data gathering and processing infrastructures also helps boost this practice significantly.
Modern businesses implement these inventory management techniques to save money, reduce physical labour, and turnaround time by a significant margin. Easy to meet business loan eligibility criteria and large loan amount helps companies procure and install such equipment without affecting their working capital, and streamline their entire business according to the present requirement.