Raising the Bar(code): How Intellinum and Coupa Deliver on Inventory Data Entry
Today's post is written by guest author Jack Pyde, Sales & Partnerships Manager at Intellinum. After spending several years with Oracle and Intellinum across a variety of verticals, Jack deeply understands the mobile inventory landscape. Intellinum is a certified CoupaLink Technology Partner that transforms inventory management by enabling greater inventory controls in Coupa.
Inventories are overstocked and it’s resulting in a major disconnect. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 55% of retailers surveyed say they have too much stock, while less than 5% say they have just enough. Meanwhile, retail spending has been steadily falling. As noted by the U.S. Census Bureau, November 2022 saw a 0.6% downturn in retail sales, outpacing the Dow Jones estimate of 0.3%.
Businesses know they need to reduce total inventory levels but are often held back by outdated, time-consuming, and inaccurate manual processes. However, with Flexi from Intellinum and the Coupa Inventory platform, it's possible for companies to crack the code on data entry and improve overall inventory management. Here's how.
Common barriers to barcode benefits
Product and pallet barcodes aren't new — the use of handheld scanner guns to capture and consolidate inventory data has been around for decades. By making it possible for staff to quickly scan barcode data for product details, code reading has become one of the best ways to reduce the disconnect between what's coming into the warehouse, what's leaving, and what hasn't moved.
However, as retail and manufacturing firms make the shift to digitized processes and the use of real-time data, many of these legacy scanning processes can't keep pace. This leaves companies behind the curve when it comes to effective inventory management.
The biggest challenge? Moving data accurately and automatically from scanner systems to inventory platforms. Problems occur when these technologies don't speak the same digital language. If scanners can easily collect information, but the data doesn't align with existing inventory management fields, businesses may encounter gaps between what the platforms say they have in stock versus what's actually stored in the warehouse.
There's also a growing need for more effective cost control across inventory management processes. As companies prepare to navigate a likely retail recession, C-suites are looking for ways to better manage what they have and only introduce new technologies if they add efficiency rather than complexity.
Staying flexible with Flexi for Coupa
An integrated approach to barcode scanning offers a better way for organizations to capture and compile the data they need.
Key advantages of complementary solutions such as Flexi for Coupa include:
Direct data mapping
Barcode scanning reduces the risk of human error but can still lead to additional work if data isn't directly mapped from scanning apps to inventory management solutions. With direct data mapping, relevant inventory information is automatically populated into relevant inventory fields, empowering companies to take action ASAP.
Inventory isn't just a C-suite concern. From warehouse staff to finance teams, procurement professionals, and IT departments, visibility into current and expected inventory levels is critical for improved decision-making for the company as a whole. For example, if procurement professionals have access to real-time stock levels and upcoming delivery data, they can better predict order quantities and define specific timelines.
While keeping scanner guns in good condition and available to employees is often challenging, access to mobile devices is now an obvious and cheap solution. With the ability to download Flexi on any device running iOS, Android, Linux, or Windows operating systems, staff can use their device of choice to capture inventory data.
If systems can't effectively communicate, the resulting confusion creates more work for staff. Over the last three years, Intellinum has worked closely with the Coupa Inventory Management and Product Strategy teams to create pre-built connections that work right out of the box, so staff can simply download the app and start scanning.
Dual-direction data delivery
Effective inventory management requires dual-direction data. In practice, this means leveraging tools capable of both mapping product data to inventory systems and calling data from inventory systems to produce item pick lists and pinpoint where products are located.
Last but not least? Flexi offers lightweight integration that doesn't impact device performance by facilitating data capture and transfer rather than storing data on the user's device.
Setting the stage for sustained success
While inventory levels are starting to stabilize, many retail and manufacturing firms still face overstock scenarios that impact overall profitability.
In practice, this means sustained inventory success isn't a one-and-done operation but rather a continual process over time that helps organizations understand what they have, where it is, and where it needs to be.
Coupa and Intellinum set the stage for this success. By empowering your staff to scan any barcode anywhere and have its data map directly to the Coupa Inventory platform, you remove the risk of potential disconnect caused by apps and services that share some commonalities but lack true collaboration.
Get Started With Flexi in the Coupa App Marketplace Today