Is your product-based business struggling with inventory and order management? Unoptimized processes can inflate your costs and eat away not only at your profits, but also at your customer satisfaction. So, if you’re frequently overstocking on items, struggling with deliveries, having trouble locating specific products or their details and you’re still doing a lot of work by hand – then you will benefit the most from learning about Zoho Inventory.
It’s a comprehensive tool that solves numerous order management issues: from creating sales orders and invoices to tracking deliveries and handling backorders or drop shipments. You can use its automation abilities to make your workers’ job easier and your customer experiences better. This will save time and minimize human error. Most importantly, Zoho Inventory can be customized for the needs of your business with integrations.
Read on to learn more about its top features!
1) Item Management
First of all, Zoho Inventory lets you conduct item grouping and bundling. This means you can sort items into groups based on attributes, brands, sizes, product types or colors. Use the feature to create special product bundles you can then offer to customers for a special price. Whether it’s gift baskets or discounts for bundle purchases, it’s up to you.
Multi-warehouse management helps you monitor all your storehouses from a single central point. Items can be sent from one storehouse to the next, according to demand, for faster delivery times and reduced shipping costs.
Zoho Inventory also offers real-time serial & batch tracking. Just designate unique serial numbers to individual products, enter them into the system and start tracking each item’s journey from manufacturing to delivery. Additionally, you can instantly view all product stats, like pricing, quality checks, expiration dates and more.
2) Customer Lifecycle
Sales order management allows you to create and customize your sales orders within Zoho Inventory, for both online and offline sales. Use pre-designed templates or create your own. The order-merging feature lets you collate all unfulfilled orders made by the same customer so you can send them off in a single package, thus saving on cost. Plus, you’ll be able to view all sales in a single place!
Zoho Inventory also offers automatic invoicing for approved sales orders. Use templates or create your own custom invoices that support the tone of your brand. All your invoices will be safely stored on a central server and they can be imported or exported when needed.
The app also simplifies packaging monitoring. View all active packages and see which ones are delivered, shipped or not shipped. Use automatically generated packaging numbers to track large numbers of packages easily and generate package slips that you can simply share with your shipping carrier.
3) Vendor Relations
Keep an eye on the prices of items purchased from different vendors with a vendor price list. Apply the price list to particular vendors or purchase orders, and item prices will be instantly refreshed when you pick the same order or vendor next time. You can also export and share those price lists to get better deals!
Zoho Inventory has purchase order and billing all figured out. Create detailed purchase orders or generate them in an instant to make sure everything is correctly shipped. Track your expenses by turning your purchase invoices into exhaustive bills. This way you’ll always know how much money you owe, and to whom! And don’t worry, all your actions in Zoho Inventory are recorded, so you can always go back and track down any mistakes you might’ve made.
Zoho’s app can also handle backorders and dropshipments with ease. Let your supplier deliver the package directly to the customer! Track all the dropshipping information in Zoho Inventory – just turn a sales order into a dropshipment. Plus, when the app detects that the item is out of stock (or needs to be reallocated), a new purchase order will be generated so you can easily acquire the missing items.
Zoho Inventory can also be integrated with other key apps in your business.
While Zoho CRM helps you manage sales activities, Inventory can help you automate the order management process from start to finish. By integrating the two apps, you’ll get a full overview over the money-making part of your business, from the first contact with a lead to the end delivery. All data from the two apps is always synced so you don’t need to duplicate your database.
When you sell an item, a transaction is recorded in Inventory. Integration with Zoho Books means that any such updates will be instantly visible in your accounting sheets in Zoho Books. This means no more double data entries! Learn more about Zoho Inventory integrations with Zoho apps.
Timely delivery notices will make you a favorite in customer’s hearts (and wallets). But that is only possible with post shipment integration. Zoho Inventory can be connected with AfterShip, a popular tracking solution, which grants you access to tracking deliveries of more than 400+ international couriers. And you don’t have to pay for it separately.
For anyone who’s selling their wares on popular e-commerce platforms, know that Zoho Inventory can be easily integrated with Amazon, Shopify, Etsy and eBay. Zoho’s tool centralizes all orders across all your platforms, imports new client data into your database and keeps your stock levels updated both in your warehouses and on e-commerce platforms. All your data – synced. Read more about it here.You can also make e-trading with your retailers, suppliers and third party logistics more efficient with an EDI Integration. With it, both parties have access to real-time updates and you save time on manually producing invoices or orders. And because the EDI system is the preferred data transfer method in the industry, you’ll be able to work with some of the world’s best 3PL providers.
Introducing barcode scanning to your business will skyrocket your efficiency and minimize mistakes. It’s quick, accurate and gives you instant access to product details. You just need a scanner and reliable software like Zoho Inventory!
The app also lets you customize your workflows and functions – create a process that will guide your workers and optimize their output. Automate discounts, late fees, purchase updates and more based on specific conditions you’ve set up based on experience and past data.
Email and field customization features can be used to build trust between you and your customers. Schedule personalized messages and thank-you emails or automate their sending based on particular triggers. Also, you can skip the typing and let field automation fill out key fields in sales orders made by regular customers.
6) Smart Features
Zoho’s app offers advanced reporting and analytics. Use them to monitor your customer retention, daily sales, stock levels, purchase data, KPIs and much more! This will make it easy to stay on top of both customer and vendor facing parts of your business. Simply generate detailed reports on demand and share them with others when needed.
Businesses that have a long list of items will be thrilled with a free SKU generator that comes with Zoho Inventory. It helps you keep item names in check, making them logical, consistent and easily searchable. Just decide on a name pattern and the generator will make sure all the naming stays consistent, even when you introduce new items.
Ordering too many items that don’t sell or running out of products in the middle of a high demand can cost you dearly. Reorder Point Calculator helps you maintain just the right balance! It uses your historical average demand and safety stock to determine the best time to restock. When the quantity of items drops below a chosen threshold (reorder point) you’ll get an automated reminder so you can act on time.
7) Mobile Apps
And finally, you can take your Zoho Inventory (and all its integrations) with you wherever you go. Simply download the app for your Android or iOS smartphone! That way you maintain access to all the key information about any items, orders, deliveries or purchases. You can even create a new sales order or an invoice in any given moment. That’s extremely useful in live client or vendor meetings – instead of waiting to get back to your office, seal the deal at the spot!
Optimize order management with Zoho Inventory
Zoho Inventory has a whole slew of features that help you track your orders from the moment an order is placed till it’s delivered. Maintain smooth connections among all your warehouses, use automation to speed up your processes, manage your stock levels and generate detailed reports so you’ll always know how efficient and profitable you are. Don’t forget to integrate this useful tool with other apps and platforms, including collaboration ones, to truly get the most out of it!
Investing in Zoho Inventory can save you time, make your business more efficient and, of course, lower your costs to optimize profits.