Inventory management can help cash flow, or prove to be a hindrance.
After all, knowing the location of products – the physical goods that might travel far-flung distances, making the journey from raw material to finished items on the customer’s doorstep – can be a challenge, especially with paper-based processes and multiple warehouses as part of the equation.
LionOBytes earlier this month said it had launched Lion0360, a tech-driven solution that, among other offerings, features warehouse and route management across a single platform, along with the ability to track orders and invoices.
At the time of the announcement, the company said the system enables users to manage product orders across suppliers or upon shipment to customers, and to track documentation in real time. Payment or personal information stored or used within Lion0360 is secured by encrypted socket layer technology.
As LionOBytesCEO Arun Upadhyay told PYMNTS in an interview, the launch seeks to solve pain points in inventory management. “Orders are growing in volume, speed and complexity,” he said. “One of the major pain points is to handle this volume and velocity of orders and related processes, including order fulfillment systems and business transactions. To manage this efficiently and effectively, companies are moving rigorously toward automated systems.”
He also noted that having real-time access to invoicing information can help make the cash flow cycle more efficient. Asked whether invoicing is a “sticking point” in cash flow management, Upadhyay said “invoicing has been seen as a major roadblock in the flawless end-to-end flow of transactions. An automation process could help to optimize both the order-to-cash and the invoice-to-pay processes smoothly and equips finance departments to drive the business.”
When automating business processes related to both customer relationships and supply chains, Upadhyay said that, generally speaking, “we should always start automating the customer-centric processes first, as ultimately customer satisfaction is what all the companies [strive] for. But while choosing the first process, companies should remember that it addresses the most important challenges of [the] organization.” He cautioned against “picking a process that includes human intervention.”
And against that backdrop, Upadhyay said, a number of industry verticals – such as manufacturing, finance, the government and public sectors – would benefit from CRM software that also includes invoice management functionality. He noted, too, that the B2B space has been relatively slower to adopt new technology, based in part on perceptions of cost and time required for implementation.
A dedicated mobile CRM product enables sales, marketing and customer service teams to access real-time data like customers’ personal information, purchases or product history, delivery schedules and more on demand, he added. The expectations are that information should be available anytime, anywhere (thus the importance of mobile), and customers now expect responses from companies outside of business hours.
The benefits of automated inventory management is seen in the bottom line, as companies can navigate supply chains in real time and see items move ever closer to customers. Said the CEO, with the benefits of technology it’s possible to “know what’s going in real time, predict trends in advance, highlight which products are best sellers and which aren’t moving off the shelves. These insights would help the business owners to manage their stock effectively and make smarter buying decisions, which would ultimately lead to healthier cash flow.”