How to Develop Multi-Store Inventory Management Software for a Retail Chain?
Updated on May 25th, 2022
Retail chains have growing demand, and their size makes it further tougher to manage the inventory across every store. In recent times, people have been ordering online a lot, but it’s not affecting customers who prefer in-store shopping; some have even seen growth during the period. Whether you have five stores or 500, multi-store inventory management software can help improve your inventory to improve your revenues and RoI eventually.
The scope for the software is enormous, as with big retailers, there are leakages at almost every level. You can easily reduce transportation costs and manage stock based on factual data with inventory management software. With integration with billing and logistics, things can be made much easier for both customers and staff, and stock availability can be decided better based on which products are the most popular.
- Retail has been growing steadily, with projections of incremental CAGR.
- Multi-store inventory management software can reduce leakages across the supply chain.
- Inventory Management is now easier through next-gen technology integrations.
Table of Contents
How to Develop Multi-Store Inventory Management Software?
Step 1: Making a List of Features
It is more like defining the core functionalities of your software solution, and this is one of the most important steps on your end. You should start with the requirement, and a consultant would help you decide it and club it into relevant features. While most companies would promise you that they would be able to guide you through it, you should have a list of primary features ready. Once you have decided on it, you can move ahead and add further choose advanced features based on your budget and timeline. Below is the list of most popular features; you can consult with us if you have anything else in mind.
1. Virtual Stock Management
Virtual stock management has gained popularity with an increase in the efficiency of logistics and transportation. Users are presented with options, and stores can access the virtual inventory with one click in case the user is interested in more opportunities. The product mapping and tracking are essentials that need to be included for this feature to work, and the software framework needs to be built around the two factors.
2. Inventory Control
Inventory control or stock control is used to manage the stock levels at the company level. The same can be used to manage stock at the store level. Your software can be equipped with inventory control to further your stock availability in different stores across the country. When combined with the rest of the features, you would be able to control your entire inventory through one single dashboard.
3. Internal Stock Transfers
With your inventory management software, you can easily track the stock availability for different stores and transfer it internally between different stores. The system can even be integrated with local couriers for specific locations to ease the process of transfers without hampering the regular supply chain. With this feature in place, products can be made available with ease between stores, and this is essential for retailers having multiple stores in one town.
When you build software from the ground up, we can integrate it with your other legacy systems, as well as third-party logistics management tools. The feature enables you to have all the information regarding billing, tracking, management, etc., in one place. If you have another specific integration in mind, that can be done as well.
5. Low Stock Alerts
Whenever stocks are running low in a store, automated orders for it can be placed at the nearest warehouse. The billing system would be connected to know how many items have been sold and their popularity in the area. With this feature integrated with billing, you can even choose to make incremental orders based on product popularity to reduce transportation costs.
6. Centralized Dashboard
A centralized dashboard will be created irrespective of the features you choose and would help you manage everything from one place. Whichever features you choose and what they enable on a broader level will all be accessible from this dashboard. You can even get it customized into different views based on your daily, weekly, and monthly work requirements, and the entire data is saved as information you can use in the future.
Step 2: The Development Part
Each software needs to be constructed based on the primary functionalities required from it. Our team of experts will help you choose the best technology based on your requirements. We usually develop software solutions based on either Java, PHP, or Python, but we can still assist you with the best if you have another technology in mind. The development part isn’t just about choosing the technology stack; and you need to choose one based on the availability of developers in your area. If you plan to hire a software development company, they can take care of it all based on your budget and planned timeline.
The decisions you need to make include:
Choosing a Team for Your Inventory Management Software Development
Every complicated software calls for a group of skilled engineers who know the niche and have already built such software solutions. Ideally, you should be seeking out a team of 6-7 people while you are attempting to construct inventory management software with some outsourcing. However, having a group of six will push your software’s development timeline, and getting it done from a company having preset infrastructure for software development can keep it in check.
You will need the following team members:
- Project manager
- Software Developers
- App developers
- UI/ UX experts
- QA and testers
Your software needs a robust technology stack that supports the functionality of these features. You can compare the technology stack of other inventory management software or ask your development partner to integrate a technology stack that suits the end result of your software development.
Several companies focus on their DevOps and development technologies as they support the smooth running of the application in general. You can use JIRA Software, Amazon EC2, GitHub, Ansible, Jenkins, etc., for development and DevOps purposes.
You can also choose the platform to launch the software; However, most inventory management software uses Amazon EC2, Apache Web Server, Amazon Web Services (AWS), G Suite, etc., for platform and storage. To enable a high level of security, these applications are known to use Cloudflare.
Step 3: Finally, You Need to Figure Out Who to Hire
1. Setting up Your Team
While it may seem like the appropriate option based on the requirements of getting custom software developed, it would be in a few cases only. Given that you already have a self-sustaining company, you would still need to hire different developers full-time, who might otherwise be required for a few hours only. Another thing to take care of would be the availability of developers for your choice of technology in your area. If you plan to create your software in some less-popular technology, it might be tough to find the appropriate talent for it.
2. Hire Freelance Developers
Hiring freelance developers usually works best when people are doing something common, and there is nothing common with personalized inventory management software. While you could save large sums of money, the support and maintenance would simply be non-existent. You would also need to handle the issues with freelancers, including them not completing the task and ultimately holding off the rest of the team for further development. If you have a cash crunch, you can seek a hybrid model and hire a few freelancers to cut down costs.
3. Hire a Development Company
A software development company will be a perfect choice if everything else fits. There would be developers available for the technology of your choice along with support and maintenance per your choice. The software development company usually has developers who are already experienced with building inventory management software solutions. They can not only help you align the priorities of the software but guide you on best practices and technologies to be used. If you plan to create the perfect software for your retail stores, hiring a software development company would simply be the best choice.
Are You Ready to Get Your Own Inventory Management Software?
Industries are now brimming with orders due to a sudden rise in the eCommerce world which simply creates a dire need for efficient inventory management software. A well-managed business can create numerous opportunities, and software to aid your operations is definitely a good place to invest. To develop software specific to your business requirements, you’ll need a development partner that you can trust.
Matellio has been developing result-oriented software and applications for businesses for more than a decade. We can create inventory management software that handles all your logistics needs and delivers detailed insights. We have a team of expert developers with significant experience. Also, we are among the few companies that offer the shortest turnaround time.
If you want a quotation for inventory management software, feel free to contact Matellio at any time. Book a 30-min free consultation call today!
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