Inventory Management | 4 Minute Read
Shopify is a great platform for e-commerce sellers. It’s easy to set up, without the need for much technical knowledge and has plenty of features for businesses just getting started. But no e-commerce platform is perfect – they all have their pros and cons and here are some Shopify Inventory Issues and how to solve them.
Shopify is mainly used by drop shippers and resellers.
So if you are a manufacturer or own a small workshop, you might be facing a number of Shopify inventory issues.
Because in reality, the features are more for resellers and drop shippers and not for manufacturers to efficiently manage their inventory.
Shopify lets you create an unlimited amount of products. Even though, it becomes a bit difficult if you are managing over 500 products due to its limited filtering and searching capabilities. It also has a POS system for you to manage your brick and motor store and reports to show some important KPI’s.
But, what about raw materials? Purchasing? Vendor management? Production? Reordering? Advanced Inventory Reports? Profit margin?
In these places, Shopify falls short.
We will be comparing Shopify inventory management with the Brahmin Solutions capabilities.
Brahmin Solutions is a platform that integrates with Shopify to provide inventory control, production planning, purchase management, and order fulfillment.
But this article will be mostly focusing on how to solve Shopify inventory issues using Brahmin Solutions Inventory Software.
We know that Shopify is geared more towards resellers and drop shippers. So the Shopify Inventory management features are also geared towards them.
Shopify will tell you “Incoming stock” you have purchased and even give you the option to stop selling a product if you are out of stock.
These are some good options for a small company. But what if you are a small Bike Shop that builds some awesome bikes. How do you track all the little components to make those awesome bikes?
Shopify has no Raw Materials inventory tracking option. You will have to manually track the purchase of raw materials on a separate spreadsheet. Update it manually and then again update the spreadsheet and Shopify as you use the raw material to assemble bikes.
You can start seeing the headache of managing all this. A lot of these processes can be automated because they are repetitive tasks that take up a lot of time.
Brahmin Solutions can track your raw materials. It can track all your components that make up your awesome bikes.
It can track all the variations your bike has and all the components that are specific to making each bike essentially a bill of materials for you.
With the platform track if you have enough raw materials to create your bikes or not. If you are running out it will suggest a reorder quantity and vendor. It will also give you an estimation of the can assembly or make qty for a product based on the raw materials available in stock. When production orders are finalized, it will update inventory levels to show that products are On-Assembly which is essentially incoming inventory.
Knowing when to purchase and how much to purchase is an extremely important task. Purchase too little and now you don’t have enough qty to sell or produce and purchase too much now you have tied up your capital in inventory.
Shopify doesn’t alert you when you are low on a specific product. This is double the trouble considering that it doesn’t track raw materials either.
This means that you are going to have to visually check your inventory and filter. We have mentioned before that the filtering and searching in Shopify sucks! Manually checking inventory levels is a tiring and a boring job. As a business owner or an operations manager, you have much more important things to do.
Brahmin Solutions offers multiple ways to reorder inventory. One is to set min and max for products. Min is a trigger point for the platform to alert you that you need to reorder your item. When looking at the reorder report, the system will suggest a vendor and the estimated lead-time based on previous orders. To quickly reorder just select the products to reorder and click “reorder”. Purchase orders will be created and once they are finalized send them to your vendors directly from the platform.
Another way the platform allows you to reorder is from the production orders itself. Create purchase orders for all the components of the production or just the items you are short of.
The third reorder applies to finished products. If your production practices are make-to-stock then you can set a min and max alerts for finished products and when your products hit the min threshold automatically create production orders and have enough stock on hand for future sales.
As the stock is purchased, received and created the platform updates the stock levels in Shopify at real-time.
If you are food and beverage company or a medical devices company or electronics company, you tend to face a bit of recall and returns and you need to manage your returns and recalls a little bit differently than your typical fashion industry.
As a small business that needs to batch and expiry or serial track inventory, you are most likely managing them on your excel sheets. Manually updating them when a specific batch or serialized product is sold. When you have product recalls, you need to combine multiple spreadsheets to figure out when you bought the product, from whom and who you sold it to or what production it was part of.
Shopify inventory management really comes up short here and as a business that needs to manage these special product attributes you might be left out.
Don’t worry, Brahmin Solutions is here to help companies like yours. We know that your business needs are a bit more complex and typical systems tend to ignore it but we DON’T!
The platform will allow you to track batches, expiry dates and serial numbers all from one place. You have the ability to pull up a batch or see what batches are expiring so you can sell off the expiring batches first. You also can sell a specific batch or an expiry date to a customer based on their expiry restrictions.
Brahmin gives you a peace of mind and when recalls happen to see the complete batch history within seconds.
No more feeling left out and grow your business fueled by Brahmin Solutions.
You want to know the number of sales per day or week or month? You can pull these reports in Shopify no problem. What about the profit margin? What about Profit? You can get an estimate but the cost of a product changes over time. Unless your cost of the product is consistent you will not be able to track the true cost of goods or profit margin. Businesses need to be aware of their margin to ensure that they are making the right amount of profit. A true worth of a company is in its profitability.
There are a few other reports Shopify lacks such as inventory turnover report, purchase history as Shopify doesn’t track the whole life cycle of your inventory from purchase to sale.
Imagine being able to know your margin on every order and even better yet, the margin for every line item. Changing prices automatically will recalculate the margin. Have the ability to compare margins across different price lists and make sure your margins are meeting the company’s profitability standards.
Brahmin Solutions doesn’t stop with just this KPI, there are many more. Want visibility into the prices charged by your vendor or the lead-time of each vendor? You can easily pull those reports.
Your Inventory is an asset. You want to know the value of inventory at all times to report it on your balance sheets. Not knowing how much inventory you have or the value of inventory could lead to wastage of assets. Pull up the Inventory value report to see the total value of inventory. You can also filter by a specific brand or category. With the inventory value on hand also see projections on the potential sales and profit.
This is just the start of the reporting available in Brahmin Solutions. Here are a few other reports offered:
You see the benefits of Shopify but with Brahmin Solutions, it is even better.
If you are a small company, Brahmin Solutions might be a little bit overwhelming but as you start processing 50+ orders a month, it is a must have for your business.
Consider Brahmin Solutions if any of the following apply to you:
Brahmin Solutions Software is designed as an all in one solution for retailers, small manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors to overcome these Shopify inventory issues.
Let Brahmin Solutions be the fuel to your rocket and you worry more about guiding the rocket to new heights.