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Managing Inventory Online
Posted on August 18, 2009 by Cheyne Rood

How can you keep an online inventory in sync with your business? Your product data - quantities, pricing, part listings - are constantly changing. It is essential that a sales website properly reflect the most up-to-date information. For electronics distributors considering new revenue opportunities on the web, effective inventory management should be a key concern.

Generic eCommerce packages require manual updates to your online inventory. That may make sense for a business with only a couple hundred product listings, but most distributors carry thousands of parts in inventory. Efficiently updating information for such a volume of parts is nearly impossible with a manual system. Though a generic eCommerce system may have an attractive price tag, the expense skyrockets when you add in number of administrative hours and headaches spent keeping the system up-to-date.

At the other end of the spectrum are integrated eCommerce solutions. These are systems that integrate with your business's inventory database in real time, typically offered as a package by your inventory software provider. This will keep your website in sync with your inventory software, although there may be certain aspects (such as images or datasheets) that you would still handle separately. The cost for this kind of system often ranges into the tens of thousands of dollars. For many electronics distributors, the price tag is simply too large to justify an investment. Also, it is important to note that eCommerce is not the core focus of an inventory software provider's business. Users may find that important elements such as customer ease of use and order processing are lacking.

Neither of these options is particularly attractive, and so it is daunting for electronics distributors to implement eCommerce in their business. In the case of generic eCommerce products, the upfront cost is reasonable but the system is very difficult to efficiently maintain. Integrated eCommerce solutions solve some of the administrative problems, but have their own issues, including substantial costs. This is the problem we are addressing with DistiSuite eCommerce.

In DistiSuite, we have developed a system that is ideal for electronics distributors, combining the best of web technology with automated online inventory management. For many business owners, it makes more sense to make a fairly modest investment, and to assess the results before expanding the online sales portion of their businesses. Because DistiSuite is a scaled system, we are able to offer a comprehensive solution at a fraction of the cost.

If you are curious to see this system in action, contact us for a demo walkthrough. In addition to learning more about us, the demo would give us a chance to learn more about your business and how we might work together to open up your business to the many revenue opportunities available on the web.

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