Cloud Inventory Management

Cloud Inventory Management: Pros and Cons

Is cloud-based inventory management software right for your business?

Stop us if this sounds familiar.

Your company is getting big enough now that you can’t keep tracking inventory on clipboards and spreadsheets.

But at the same time, you don’t want to make the risky investment in some fancy integrated software package and all the new hardware for it to run on. After all, you don’t even know if it’ll pay off.

So, you decide to try one of the many cloud-based inventory management systems. Let somebody else host the data, and save yourself the hassle. Is that the right move for your business?

What are the benefits, and what are the risks?

So, Why Is Everybody Talking About Cloud-Based Inventory Management

So, Why Is Everybody Talking About Cloud-Based Inventory Management?

It’s tempting to assume that inventory management is just the latest software type to jump on the cloud bandwagon.

In reality, there are plenty of noticeable benefits to using a cloud-based option for a company-wide software system.

The benefits that you might see from a cloud-based inventory management system will depend on your business’ size, resources, and personnel. Here are the most commonly cited benefits:

  • Ease of access.
    • An on-premise system is easily accessible on your LAN (local area network). Access from outside the LAN often involves additional hardware, and mobile devices are not always supported.
    • A cloud system is accessible to anyone with the login credentials, and most are built to be used on a variety of devices.
  • Maintenance.
  • Price.
    • There’s no getting around it. ERP, inventory management, accounting; a robust system for any of these needs is going to cost money.
    • A cloud solution will typically be your cheapest option for lower end enterprise software.
    • This is due to the strong DIY focus of these systems. If your processes are relatively straightforward and you have sharp technical staff, a cloud system may well be the low cost solution.

How Badly Can Cloud-Based Inventory Management Software Go Wrong

How Badly Can Cloud-Based Inventory Management Software Go Wrong?

Of course, nothing comes for free, and nothing good comes cheap without major drawbacks. So, what’s the catch?

If any of these sound like dealbreakers to you, then cloud-based inventory management software may not be right for your business:

  • Lack of control.
    • If you want someone else to take care of maintaining and upgrading the hardware you use, as well as managing and securing your data, that means giving up a lot of control over those things.
    • Without naming any names, it’s safe to say that the industry track record for data security in the cloud is not exactly spotless. Cloud providers are easily identified targets for hackers, too, so that is something to consider.
  • Inflexibility.
    • Most often, a cloud inventory management system will be relatively narrow and rigid, a “one size fits all” type of solution.  The system does what it does, but if you need something outside of that, you are out of luck. You are forced to fit your business into their mold, which costs you efficiency (and therefore money).
    • If you subscribe to a cloud-based inventory management system, you only have access to your data as long as you pay them. If you ever want to move to a different system, you will still need to pay the old provider for access to your historical data. Yes, you own your data, but you don’t own access to it, which is an unacceptable risk for many savvy business owners

If you want a fast, flexible, and easy-to-use inventory management solution with integrated accounting functionality and without the drawbacks of a cloud-based system, click here to check out AcctVantage ERP.

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