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December 07, 2023

Along with profitability, one of the ultimate goals of a small business is expansion. As small business owners set their sights on growth, one key factor often overlooked is the importance of efficient inventory management across multiple locations. We’ve seen our clients start by using HandiFox Online to manage 2 or 3+ locations to end up effectively running over 10 warehouses with one system. They couldn’t have done it without the multi-location inventory tracking feature. Let’s delve into why it is crucial when gearing up your business for expansion.

What is multi-location inventory tracking all about?

In inventory management software like HandiFox Online, every one of your physical storage locations or selling points is represented with a digital location. Digital locations have inventory assigned to them and are equipped with mobile devices paired with barcode scanners.

 This setup allows doing a whole bunch of stuff remotely as well as on-site, like:

  • Assign mobile devices to locations outside the country/city for distributed mobile inventory control (Device Manager)
  • Checking how much inventory is on hand per warehouse or in total (QOH Viewer)
  • Moving inventory between locations  ( Transfer Center)
  • Restocking per location based on pre-determined reorder points (Automatic Replenishment)
  • Taking customer orders and fulfilling them right from your vehicle, if it functions as a storage site (Create a Sales Order)

How does all of this prepare your business for a scale-up?

1. Compartmentalized management results in better productivity.

Per warehouse inventory control is a divide-and-conquer approach that helps you establish a system of running multiple warehouses with equal efficiency and accuracy. Sometimes without even resorting to any legwork whatsoever. You can tweak user permissions so that some employees have less or, if it suits you better, more autonomy within their user roles, minimizing your presence on-site as a business owner. Meanwhile, you can stay focused on the bigger picture.

2. Established inventory discipline prompts a more gentle learning curve.

Each location follows the same standardized procedures of inventory purchasing, intake, audit, order fulfillment, invoicing, etc. This makes it way easier to cross-train old and new employees. Standardized inventory processes simplify financial reporting - in the case of HandiFox, the problem is practically non-existent, as the app is integrated with QuickBooks Online.

3. It’s easier to determine the purchasing budget and replenishment needs per warehouse.

It might take a while to figure out what the optimal reorder points are per location, as demand fluctuates throughout the year. In HandiFox Online, there’s a Sales by Location report to help you determine which one has been selling better and, therefore, needs more frequent restocking.

You can also zoom in on the history of how every one of your items on the inventory list has been selling using the Sales by Item report. Based on these findings, you can go ahead and enter the Reorder points and Desires Quantity on Hand values to let the system factor those in while making replenishment suggestions.

4. You can live on leaner inventories

Thanks to the ability to ensure a well-time restocking or inventory transfer between locations, the holding costs are reduced and cash flows aren’t blocked by excessive safety inventory.

5. You can expand your market reach while maintaining the same efficiency

As the business grows and expands into new markets, having software in place to manage inventory across multiple locations helps maintain operational efficiency and visibility. Adding a couple more ‘locations’ in the app won’t be a disruption as your business will have completely adapted to the system.

Multi-location inventory tracking can be a game-changer in achieving long-term success. Making your small business more productive, organized, proactive, and flexible, opens an opportunity to scale painlessly and faster. You can start this journey now by signing up for a free 14-day trial.

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