The survey offers unique insight into US SMBs’ inventory management challenges.
Boston, Mass., Netstock, a leader in inventory management software, recently surveyed a subset of North American based SMBs in the wholesale, retail, and manufacturing industries. The survey unveiled an urgent need for supply chain businesses to reassess their inventory strategies and invest in inventory planning solutions that offer predictive analytics to improve visibility and reduce operating costs.
“In a time when the cost and access to credit and money have become more challenging, 2,200 of Netstock’s SMB customers are experiencing the benefits of unlocking valuable working capital through Netstock’s AI-powered inventory optimization solution. Investing in the right inventory management software should be a top priority for SMBs so they can have the visibility to minimize excess stock, free up working capital, and remain agile to respond to market changes,” says Netstock CEO, Ara Ohanian.
Key findings in the report:
1. Lack of purpose-built inventory planning software. Remarkably, 78% of the respondents admitted not using purpose-built commercial inventory management software within their organizations. This points to a large technology gap that could exacerbate supply chain challenges.
2. Increase in excess inventory. A substantial 92% of respondents surveyed reported significant supply chain disruptions over the past three years, leading to a notable increase in inventory. Holding excess inventory poses challenges to working capital and overall operational efficiency.
3. Escalating warehousing costs. Furthermore, 80% of the executives expressed concerns about the rising costs of warehousing inventory over the past two years, adding to the pressure on their operations due to supply chain disruptions.
4. Evaluation of ROI on inventory planning solutions. A significant finding is that 82% of respondents need help quantifying their current inventory management systems’ return on investment (ROI) despite continued investments in these systems. This raises questions about the effectiveness of existing inventory management practices.
5. Need for more strategic decision-making. Executives emphasize investing in supply chain technology should not merely serve as a means to fix operational problems. However, most respondents have not made strategic purchasing decisions to address their supply chain issues. Notably, 48% of respondents continue to rely on spreadsheets or in-house systems known only to them.
Netstock’s co-founder and CTO, Barry Kukkuk highlights, “Netstock’s mission is to enable its customers to punch above their weight with innovative software to help them better plan, optimize and manage their inventory. Our latest software enhancements offer sophisticated visibility, such as the AI-driven Opportunity Engine that scans your inventory data to quickly identify and offer solutions to issues like excess stock or potential stock-outs. The user-friendly Executive Dashboard is another new enhancement that provides executive teams with performance insights on inventory, ordering KPIs, and sales, eliminating the need for an external BI tool”.