When it comes to managing your company’s inventory, there is no doubt that you need tools that are flexible and responsive enough to handle the many moving pieces (pun intended) of your operation. Today, these inventory management tools can even be implemented through mobile devices. With the increased flexibility of these mobile solutions, all you have left to decide is which software best suits your business needs.
Weighing the Benefits
In inventory management, the choice of solution could mean the difference between keeping a well-balanced stock sheet, orders being placed/fulfilled in a timely manner, and happy customers, or frustrating losses to your business. Every company’s inventory is managed differently. Perhaps you have heard that an off-the-shelf solution works for the warehouse 5 minutes down the road, but that is no guarantee that it will improve your processes in the same way. A mobile solution that is tailor-made for your operations can make all aspects of management more streamlined. Does an off-the-shelf product integrate, or integrate well, with your current backend systems? Do people with different roles on your team have different access levels to the solution as needed? Are you overpaying for the solution by purchasing features in bulk, some of which you will never use? Are there any workarounds that the off-the-shelf solution inherently causes? If so, what are those costs?
A custom mobile solution doesn’t force your processes to fit around it. Instead, custom solutions fit seamlessly into the life/processes of your company. At a glance, here are some things to consider when making the decision between off-the-shelf or custom:
- Lower cost (up front)
- Quick deployment
- Dev/Design, QA testing done by the vendor
- May have to change processes to incorporate the solution
- High customization costs or no ability to customize
- Slow to evolve
- Tailored to match and meet your business needs/processes
- Changes and updates to the solution happen more quickly
- Integrates with other backend systems more seamlessly, and allows data to integrate automatically
- Higher upfront costs
- Requires developer sources
- Requires business participation during the development cycle (design, development, testing, training, etc.)
Probably the most important question to ask in deciding on a solution for your business is this: Is the cost of a custom application justified in the long term by the increased productivity, efficiency, and therefore increased profit margin your business will see?
Taking the Plunge to Custom
The key to success; is to begin with the end in mind. If the goal is to grow your business, then each action taken in pursuit of that vision should be future-focused. In our opinion, this is where the tried and true phrase “investing in the future” really proves true.
Custom mobility can become an integral part of your growth when it’s built for your processes. Out-of-the-box products can paint in broad strokes, but success lies in the details of your carefully constructed workflows. From roadmap strategy to deployment, we can make mobile work for you.
Interested in knowing more about how we build custom inventory management apps? We’d love to talk to you!