~3 minute read

Staying on top of inventory as it moves in and out of the warehouse is a critical part of optimizing margins for retail or wholesale companies.

Maximizing the relationship between inventory and cash flow includes managing customer and vendor relationships to ensure that purchase orders are completed and invoices are paid on a timely basis. Warehouse managers and workers rely on different sets of information that are nonetheless interconnected.

In a growing business, inventory fluctuates rapidly, POs are constantly coming into the system, and invoices are issued on an ongoing basis. Warehouse managers need to know what’s out of stock and what’s coming in so they can make space or make purchases, while employees on the floor need real-time information about incoming POs and stock on hand for several items so that they can fill orders more efficiently.

With a solution like AutoQL embedded in the software they’re already using to manage things like inventory, POs, and invoices, managers or warehouse workers can just ask for the information they need to ensure that there’s enough stock on hand for all the upcoming jobs or quickly check whether a payment is coming in just in time to invest in more inventory or warehouse space.

Read more: Supporting Strategic Overtime Planning with Data on Demand

With AutoQL, your users can find the answers to their data-related questions in real time, just by asking for information in their own words.

With self-serve data access, workers can easily ask questions like “Show me stock on hand for product X” or “Show me the upcoming delivery day for product X” to quickly find out if the product they need will be available for the upcoming jobs, or when that product will arrive.

Additionally, warehouse workers can ask “List all upcoming purchase orders to be filled today” to get an overview of what items they will be collecting from the warehouse. They can also ask questions like “Show me stock on hand for item X” which allows them to spot possible opportunities to restock items if they see that they are running low to ensure, for example, that multi-item POs can be filled all at once, reducing delivery hours and miles.

Managers can ask exploratory questions like “Show me top five items sold this week” to view which items are flying off the shelves. This may lead to the question “List all customer POs this month that include product X” (where product X is the top item sold).

Managers could also ask important cash flow questions on the fly to get a better idea of whether they can order new stock to fill urgent upcoming POs. They can ask questions like “What is the payment schedule for customer X?” and “Show me all invoices issued this month” or, more specifically “Show me all paid invoices versus unpaid invoices this month.”

Read more: Democratizing Data to Expedite Everyday Scheduling & Dispatching

With all of this information available on demand for users throughout the warehouse, everyone is empowered to keep up with the fluctuations and changes that are characteristic of a growing retail company.

When POs are filled efficiently, with the right products, storage and transport costs can be cut dramatically. Customers can trust that they’ll get exactly what they need, earning loyalty and driving revenue for the business.

For inventory management software providers, offering this extended functionality allows them to make the data in their systems even more valuable to their users by making it more accessible to more individuals. This can increase usership and drive revenue for the software developer.