There are lots of digital technologies that can help businesses to do this; two common examples are automated stock control systems and cloud-based technologies.
In this lesson, we’ll learn about:
Automated stock/inventory control is a process of managing and tracking the movement of goods in a company’s warehouse or stockroom. With the advent of technology, companies are now able to use digital tools to automate this process, making it more efficient, accurate, and cost-effective.
The automated stock control process works like this:
Automated stock control systems rely on a number of different software, hardware, processes and communication links.
Software is the primary tool used to enable automated stock/inventory control. The software allows organisations to track stock levels in real-time, manage orders and monitor supplier performance.
Some example software programs used in automated stock control systems include:
Hardware is also used in automated stock/inventory control. Some of the hardware components include barcode scanners, mobile devices, and RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) readers. Barcode scanners and mobile devices are used to quickly and accurately capture data, such as product information and stock levels. RFID readers are used to track the movement of goods in real time and provide up-to-date information about inventory levels.
Processes involved in automated stock/inventory control include receiving goods, picking and packing orders, shipping goods and monitoring stock levels. The software automates many of these processes, reducing the risk of human error and improving accuracy.
For example, when goods are received, the software automatically updates stock levels, reducing the need for manual data entry. When an order is placed, the software automatically picks and packs the goods, and generates shipping labels.
Communication between different parts of the system is extremely important in an automated stock control system. For example, the software must communicate with the hardware components, such as barcode scanners and RFID readers, in order to capture data and update inventory levels in real time.
It also communicates with other systems, such as the accounts system, to ensure that all transactions are recorded correctly. This integration of different parts of the system ensures that the stock control process is streamlined and effective.
Research an inventory management system online and see what kinds of hardware and software services it provides.
The use of technology and services has become an essential aspect of this communication and collaboration process, making it easier for stakeholders to stay connected and work together seamlessly.
When we talk about “stakeholders”, we can split these into two categories; internal and external. Internal stakeholders are those within the business, such as owners, managers & employees. External stakeholders are those from outside the business, such as customers, suppliers, lenders & the government.
Traditional technology refers to the hardware and software that we use on a daily basis. This includes laptops, desktop computers, tablets, smartphones, and more. Traditional technology that we commonly use for communicating and collaborating with stakeholders includes telephones, faxes, email & local network storage.
For example, organisations can distribute files internally through the company’s own file server on the local network. Email could be used for sending an order form to a supplier or an invoice to a customer.
Many traditional technologies have become outdated, though and replaced by modern cloud-based technologies which can support collaborating and communicating with stakeholders more efficiently & effectively.
Cloud-based technology is a type of technology where your software and data are stored on a server accessed over the internet. This means that you can access your data and applications from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection.
As cloud-based technologies are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, this means that stakeholders can access, share, and collaborate on projects and information from their own devices, wherever they may be located. This is particularly useful for remote teams or for businesses with stakeholders located in different parts of the world.
For example, an organisation can upload files to a cloud storage service and share access to the file with internal stakeholders like employees or external stakeholders like suppliers. This will aid the distribution of information and could even allow different individuals to edit the same file together.
Have you used a cloud-based system to work with your classmates on a document at the same time in your school or college? How did you set up access?
So to summarise what we’ve learnt in this lesson: