ERP Inventory System For Australians: Key Features & Top Solutions

According to 33% of Australian companies, revenues had grown when they connected their backend systems (Ayden, 2024). This discovery shows how the integrated ERP inventory system can establish seamless connections across various aspects of an organisation's processes.

We will provide you with an expert view of the Australian-focus benefits and features of an ERP and recommend the top 3 systems that can work at their best.

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Defining an ERP Inventory System

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) inventory system enables companies to manage the entire inventory lifecycle, from purchasing and receiving to order fulfilment under one roof. With the help of the ERP, every employee can access real-time inventory data and make decisions. This happens because the system integrates data across multiple functions, centralises it in a single dashboard, delivers insightful updates for the users, and lets them easily communicate with each other.

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1. Do you need an ERP to manage inventory?

The ERP’s integrated feature is critical for companies that want to grow, have complex supply networks, execute in a just-in-time (JIT) approach, sell a great number of goods, or want to get the most out of their inventory investments. Think of these aspects:

  • Complex product lines & locations: Do you handle numerous warehouses or retail locations with a wide range of products? Your products may have many parts, variations, or configurations that require complex tracking and administration (i.e. customised furniture, multiple-model gadgets, or multiple-size/colour fashion clothing).
  • Manual operations: Do you keep track of your inventory using paper-based systems or Excel sheets? This can be tedious, prone to mistakes, and ineffective in growing your company, especially if you have complex product lines.
  • Difficulty in local compliance: Australian companies have to follow certain guidelines for Goods and Services Tax (GST) and other taxes. Are there specific rules in your industry concerning product labelling, traceability, or expiration dates? Do you have trouble keeping track of complex tax computations, such as GST in Australia, related to your inventory purchases?
  • Integration obstacles: When working with complex product lines, do you find it difficult to link your stock data to other functions like accounting or sales? This leads to data silos, inefficiency, and difficulties in tracking costs for every variation of the product.

2. What are the benefits of an ERP inventory system?

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Benefits of ERP inventory system

Cost-effective

An ERP inventory system's initial cost is minor compared to the money you can save over time. It is easier to save more resources by using its dashboard to automate inventory tasks like placing new stock orders, instead of doing it by hand. Also, you can increase inventory accuracy when the ERP interacts with your other technologies. Copying and pasting data by hand will mess up your stock levels. Depending on your inventory data sources, the ERP inventory system is a centralised hub that constantly updates data in real time.

Adaptable & scalable

Is your business growing? Then you will store more inventory than you did even a month ago. To optimise the management, the ERP lets you gather inventory levels and compare them to other parameters like supplier lead times and carrying costs. An ERP inventory system is also capable of handling the financial and regulatory facets within organisations of any size. On a single screen, your teams can monitor deliveries, supplier agreements, inventory counts, receipts, and more. 

Better customer service

Most ERP inventory software provides customised reports, apart from sales trends and other standard system reports. You can discover as much as you need about purchasing trends and behaviour with cutting-edge technologies like Power BI. Because data is effortlessly available and precise, this advanced reporting can help your salespeople provide more effective customer support.

No more manual work

ERP automates multiple inventory management processes, such as purchasing orders or pricing updates across sales channels. Pricing can change when buying from a supplier, so your staff will need to double-check quantities and pricing to make sure the figures line up on the back end. Not only does the automation accelerate the workflow, but it also consistently minimises human errors.

More safety & control

Whether documents are hosted locally or through a cloud service, Excel files can cause problems when data access is not completely managed. ERP inventory systems help keep an eye on every authorisation given to your staff, protecting your data and enhancing your overall inventory control.

Streamlined financial records

Because of the integrated environment, an ERP inventory system ensures consistency across all departments. With an ERP, financial reports are under control and updated in real-time during inventory management variations. This eliminates interruptions throughout all business procedures.

Read more: How To Address Common Inventory Complexities.

9+ Essential Features (With Local Considerations)

A robust ERP inventory system offers more than just simple stock tracking. Here, we look at the essential features that will make sure your inventory management is efficient and some local-specific considerations for Australian businesses.

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Key features of ERP inventory systems

Here are the must-have features:

Supply chain management

  • Provide the latest data about every aspect of your supply chain, from raw materials to final products.
  • Track the stock flow across multiple locations (i.e. distribution centres, warehouses, and vendors)
  • Detect possible delays and manage inventory levels proactively.

Automated & real-time inventory control

  • Automate inventory tracking to maintain consistent and accurate stock levels.
  • Real-time stock quantity updates whenever a product is received, shipped, or damaged.
  • Eliminate errors and no need for manual data entry.

Barcode & scanning

  • Integrate with barcode scanners to speed up receiving, picking, and cycle counting procedures in the warehouse.
  • Cut down on the time and labour needed for inventory management operations.

Serial lot tracking

  • Provide control over specific stock items for stringent traceability standards, perishable or high-value products.
  • Follow certain products or batches from receiving to the point of sale (POS) system.

Automated stock replenishment

  • Automate reordering based on forecasts or pre-set minimum stock levels to help fulfil customer demand and prevent stockouts.

Flexible inventory costing

  • Support many inventory costing methods, such as First-In, First-Out, or Last-In, First-Out to precisely account for the cost of sold items.

Warehouse management integration

  • Integrate with the warehouse management system (WMS) seamlessly to manage inventory in your warehouses better.
  • Provide a centralised and comprehensive view of inventory across all warehouses.
  • Provide features like pick-and-pack optimisation, and bin position tracking.

Forecast & analysis report

  • Forecast future demand and optimise inventory levels.
  • Provide tools to create extensive reports that analyse previous sales data.
  • Analyse product performance, spot trends, and offer insights for purchasing and stock management.

Vendor relationship management

  • Store and manage contracts and vendor data in a single database.
  • Manage payments, invoices, and purchase orders.
  • Track supplier performance indicators including quality and on-time delivery.

Last but not least, consider these Australian-specific features. If an ERP inventory system provides at least one of these capabilities, that can be the most ideal option for your local business:

  • Integrate with local accounting & tax regulations: The system accurately calculates Goods and Services Tax (GST) and integrates with Australian accounting software with ease. To simplify tax compliance, several ERPs can also provide automatically generated Business Activity Statements (BAS).
  • Support local measurement: It would be great if the system could handle units such as metres, litres, and AUD to streamline the data entry and reporting and eliminate the need for conversions or manual actions.
  • Integrate with local logistics: To optimise local and international shipping, the ERP should allow for integration with significant Australian carriers like Couriers Please, Fast Way Courier,  Starshipit, TNT, or Australia Post. This will help your team to follow shipments in real-time within the ERP inventory software and complete orders more quickly.
Learn more: Australian Shipping Integration With Odoo ERP.

Top 3 ERP Inventory Systems For Australian Businesses

1. Netsuite Inventory Management

NetSuite Inventory Management system offers a comprehensive view of inventory across all locations and sales channels. With automated workflows in managing stock levels, orders, and sales throughout the inventory life cycle, NetSuite eliminates the need for human intervention. It also provides users with the information needed to make better decisions and clear visibility into any inventory liabilities (i.e. slowly moving stock).

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Source: NetSuite

  • Key features: Multi-location fulfilment; automated replenishment; cycle counting; traceability; item visibility; etc.
  • Best for: medium to large businesses seeking a scalable solution.

2. Odoo Inventory

Odoo is the leading open-source ERP system that integrates all of your business functions into one single data hub. Apart from its basic modules such as Odoo CRM, Sales, Accounting, and others, Odoo Inventory is powerful with robust inventory and warehouse management features. It allows customers to automate important inventory and warehouse operations, and keep track of stock levels in real-time.

Learn everything about Odoo Inventory Management.

erp inventory Havi Technology Pty Ltd

Source: Odoo

  • Key features: Smart warehouse operations; advanced inventory control; automated replenishment; flexible product arrangements; inventory valuation etc.
  • Best for: From startups and small businesses to large enterprises seeking a cost-effective and scalable solution.

3. Acumatica Inventory Management

Acumatica's Inventory is a cloud-based software that streamlines your inventory management by providing robust replenishment, customisable item management, and quality traceability. Thanks to the system’s robust features, companies can handle system-wide inventory across different regions and drive stock efficiency without losing track of costs.

odoo warehouse management Havi Technology Pty Ltd

Source: SWK Technologies

  • Key features: Replenishment; location management; matrix items; shipments; inventory valuation; turnover inquiry; etc.
  • Best for: Mid-sized businesses with extensive inventory requirements.

Implementing an ERP Inventory System - The Aussie Way

Successfully identifying and implementing the right ERP inventory system could revolutionise the way your business is operating, increasing productivity, accuracy, and profitability.

An ERP solution that is both scalable and localisable could be the perfect option for Australian firms looking for the ideal fit. Havi Technology is a committed ERP professional across Australia, New Zealand, and APAC, and we are confidently familiar with the particular requirements of local companies. Our team collaborates with top ERP vendors like Microsoft and Odoo to offer extensive customisation services and guarantee that your inventory management system aligns with your unique processes.

ERP Inventory System - Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the best ERPs to keep track of inventory for Australians?

Here is the top 3 ERP inventory system for Australians:

  • NetSuite Inventory Management: Best for medium to large businesses seeking a scalable solution.
  • Odoo Inventory: Best for businesses of all sizes, from startups, and small businesses to large enterprises seeking a cost-effective and scalable solution.
  • Acumatica Inventory Management: Best for mid-sized businesses with extensive inventory requirements.

2. What is the difference between ERP & warehouse management systems (WMS)?

An ERP provides a centralised platform that integrates organisation-wide data from functions such as supply chain, finance, sales, HR, projects, and so on. A WMS, however, is a specialised system tailored to optimise warehouse operations such as order fulfilment, inventory control, worker efficiency, and others.

3. Is it necessary to use an ERP for inventory management?

The ERP’s integrated feature is important for businesses that want to grow or have complex inventory control processes. Consider these signs: 

  • Complex product lines & locations
  • Manual operations
  • Difficulty in local compliance
  • Integration obstacles.

References

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