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How to develop an inventory management system? Custom inventory management is a very important topic because it helps to take into account all real estate objects and manage and maintain real estate.
Secondly, stocks are one of the main assets, and money should work, not lie in a warehouse. Thirdly, the optimization of the inventory management system does not require large investments. Logic and IT solutions are more important here. There is no need to build hundreds of warehouses or purchase expensive equipment.
Today in our new article, we will tell you how to develop an inventory management system. We will try to describe the most important aspects of this process and help you build inventory management system for real estate. Let’s start by defining what a custom inventory management system is.
What is a Custom Inventory Management System?
How to create an inventory management system and what is it? Inventory management system offers real-time insight and analytics on inventory levels and expenses, as well as automation of inventory management operations, including planning, buying, and monitoring. It assists a company in better aligning inventory levels with production demand, optimizing inventory carrying costs, and mitigating internal and external inventory hazards.
Custom inventory management systems have one significant difference from a ready-made inventory management system. Custom inventory management system is a system that is developed completely according to your company’s requirements, wishes, and needs. Only you decide what should be in this system and what should not.
When Do You Need to Develop an Inventory Management System?
Before we discuss how to develop an inventory management system, let’s first find out exactly when and in what situations you should build inventory management system:
№1 The gap between expected and spent stocks requires complex calculations
If you are a big enough company with a large amount of inventory, you are likely to face the problem of a mismatch between the amount of expected inventory and the spent one. This is a problem for most real estate companies since this type of calculation is complex. A custom inventory management system can be a great help in solving this problem. Such a system can be configured in such a way that it will automatically calculate all expected and spent stocks. Thus, you will always be aware of what you have in stock, what has been spent, etc.
№2 You need maximum accuracy and a user-friendly interface
Working with stocks requires accurate calculations. Any mistake can cost a lot of money. If you want all the calculations, control and inventory management to be accurate and organized, you should consider creating a custom inventory management system. This system will have a user-friendly interface that will allow your employees to do their job faster and more efficiently. And you will get an excellent result in the form of order in your stocks.
№3 You need more than basic inventory accounting, taking into account the characteristics of the material
If your company works with different types of materials, then you need a system that will have the functionality of accounting for the stocks of each of them. Most basic inventory management systems are capable of calculating totals. In order to receive detailed reports, you need a custom inventory management system that you can customize to suit your needs and business specifics.
№4 There are many complex interdependencies and variables that need to be updated automatically
The real estate business has the specifics of many numbers, variables and interdependencies. To make it easier to work with all this staff and achieve order and organization in your stocks, you need a system that will automatically update all this data. A custom inventory management system can help you with this.
№5 Buying new inventory requires a ratio of many indicators
Buying new inventory and materials requires a special approach. If, for example, you want to quickly compare prices and the number of materials you need in different stores, with the help of a custom inventory management system, you can easily do this with just a couple of buttons. Thus, you will not only replenish stocks but also possibly save money.
№6 You have a complex or large production cycle that cannot solve a standard solution
If your company has a large and complex production cycle that consists of a large number of processes and sub-processes, then you need maximum control and optimization of part of the processes. Standard solutions for real estate companies that are on the market are unlikely to be able to offer you a good solution to this issue. A custom inventory management system, in this case, can become your assistant in the organization, control and management of the entire production cycle in your company.
№7 Your niche requires an individual approach
The main advantage of a custom inventory system is that the system is created completely for the needs and requirements of your business. If you have a unique niche that requires a special approach, this will definitely be taken into account when creating a system.
Top Reasons Why Your Company Needs to Develop an Inventory Management System?
How to develop an inventory management system and why do you need it? Now let’s look at the main reasons why you definitely need to build inventory management system:
Management of Multiple Projects & Properties
If your company deals with a large number of projects on a daily basis and manages a large amount of real estate, then you should definitely consider creating a custom inventory management system.
This system will help automate and optimize the process of managing projects and real estate. Your employees will not fall down after work. A custom inventory management system will do almost all the routine work for them.
Advanced Data Security
If you decide to build inventory management system, you will have the opportunity to implement advanced data security settings into it. This will allow you to keep valuable information and data safe and keep you safe from scammers and cybercriminals.
High-level of Integration with other tools
Custom inventory management systems have the ability to integrate with various tools. It can be a CRM system or an ERP system, for example. Doesn’t matter. Any tool you are used to working with can integrate with a custom inventory management system.
Opportunity for excellent growth
Custom inventory management systems are usually flexible and scalable. If in the future you need to change something in the system or improve it with a custom inventory management system, this will not be a problem. Basic solutions on the market, unfortunately, do not allow this.
Process optimization and automation
As we said earlier, a custom inventory system can help you optimize and automate most of the processes in your company. If you have many different complex processes that need to be completed in a short time, then it is better to automate them using modern technologies. In this way, you will save time for your employees and increase the efficiency of your company.
Improving financial forecasts
Thanks to the functionality that can be in the custom inventory management system, you can receive financial forecasts. This can be done thanks to detailed reports and payment history. Thanks to custom inventory management systems, many real estate companies are saving money and channeling it in the right direction.
How to Develop an Inventory Management System From Scratch?
How to develop an inventory management system from scratch? Our team has prepared a step-by-step guide that will help you successfully build an inventory management system. Let’s look at each step in detail:
Step 1. Conduct in-depth business analysis
How to create an inventory management system successfully and where to start? The very first and one of the most important stages is business analysis. Business analysis is a detailed assessment of a new software idea in terms of investment required and expected results.
The purpose of the analysis is to understand what exactly the inventory management system should be in order to solve the problems of your company.
In order to successfully conduct a business analysis, you first need to describe the specifics of your business. Then decide on the main problems that you want to solve with the inventory management system. Describe the strengths and weaknesses of your business, the needs of your company, and the main requirements for the system.
A well-conducted business analysis will help you plan your software development process, select the required feature set, and scale the product in the future.
Step 2. Make a project plan
The next step is the project plan. Describe step by step each software development process and the responsibilities of each team member. The key to the success of any product is a well-thought-out plan.
The more detailed you describe everything, the better. It is also worth taking into account possible risks and writing solutions for possible problems in advance.
Step 3. Write product technical documentation
Next, you should write the product technical documentation. This document includes a description of all the requirements for your future product. Also, at this stage, the development team should select technical stacks for further work.
The team should also define the requirements for functionality (requirements for the admin panel) and user roles (admin and super admin). You should complete the estimate and scope of work.
Step 4. Start UI/UX design
Next comes the UX and UI design stage. UI – User Interface – this is the part that you see. All those buttons, icons, etc., that you interact with every time you open a website, program, application, etc.
UX – User Experience – in fact, this is an “interaction experience,” moments of “feelings” – areas where you consciously (and not) go towards your goal and/or get what you want. These are the possible thoughts, feelings, actions and impressions that you get when working with a particular interface.
UI/UX design stage consists of the following steps:
- Product definition. Crafting a killer product begins with context. To ensure success, UX designers and stakeholders must join forces to collaborate on the essential details of this concept phase – including stakeholder interviews, value proposition mapping and engaging in creative brainstorming sessions. Only then can they construct something truly remarkable!
- Product research. Comprehensive research helps shape every successful design decision and can be a cost-effective step. By investing early, organizations are able to save resources while honing their understanding of user needs through individual interviews or benchmarking against competitors.
- Analysis. The overarching objective of the analysis phase is to go beyond merely understanding what users desire; rather, unlocking key insights as to why they require it. Through constructing user personas, uncovering meaningful user stories and devising storyboards, this phase will demystify customer motivations and needs in order to derive actionable outcomes.
- Design. Product teams come together to craft the perfect end-user experience, beginning with crafting information architecture and finishing with creating an engaging UI design. This step includes sketching, preparing wireframes, creating prototypes, creating a design specification and creating design systems.
- Validation. Upon completion of the high-fidelity design stage, an essential component of product delivery is validation. During user testing sessions, stakeholders and end-users have a unique opportunity to assess performance against core project objectives while also providing valuable feedback that aligns with business expectations.
Step 5. Move on to the development stage
After the design is ready, developers should use the documentation and architecture from previous steps to write code for all the software components. The development part is divided into 2 steps: front-end development and back-end development. At Northell, we usually assign 2+ developers to run this stage. Let’s take a closer look at the main steps of the inventory management system development stage:
- Tech stack & documentation. The development team carefully selects the most appropriate technologies for your project. The technical documentation details each feature and functionality, as well as user roles interactions – to ensure a successful end result!
- Software architecture plan. Developers construct the foundation of a software product by carefully deciding between monolith and microservices, setting up controllers to shape performance, and designing APIs from scratch. They then move on to building an intuitive interface for users that clearly shows how all parts interact with one another.
- Sprints planning. The creation of features is key in product development – the development team ensures the highest priority and most effective sequences are established. This step lays a strong foundation for successful project completion.
- Infrastructure setup for testing + CI/CD to the test servers. By leveraging DevOps, the team builds a production-level environment on the cloud, which allows customers to test their software thoroughly. The team additionally configures the system for automated changes to appear in this same simulated setting, thereby championing efficiency and efficacy throughout development!
- Client and server development & QA. At this stage, client and server parts of the product are developed (development of UI components, API, etc.) and tested.
- Regression testing. QA tests the entire product thoroughly. The team fixed bugs that may have appeared when they were adding new features and product components.
- Production Infrastructure setup + CI/CD to the prod servers. The team develops a production-ready cloud environment that adapts to changing requirements, offering unparalleled scalability. With the advanced domain and system configurations they create, changes made to the product immediately take effect on this platform.
Step 6. Test your inventory management system
At this step QA engineers should test all delivered code and carry out manual testing for developed components. Here are the main QA aspects to use: CI/CD, Integrational, Automation Strategy, Regression, Resource planning.
Step 7. Deploy and integrate your system
After the development and regression testing from the QA team, the team switched to production deployment and integration. The tested version of the solution is delivered to the users for beta testing. The team collects user feedback, fixes all the bugs, and implements some improvements.
Step 8. Maintain inventory management system
After deploying a product in the production environment, maintenance of the product, i.e., if any issue comes up and needs to be fixed, or any improvements are to be done, it is taken care of by the development team.
Step 9. Move on to the onboarding
And the last step is onboarding. You should familiarize every employee of your company with a new solution. We recommend that you start onboarding gradually so that your employees can get used to a new tool and learn how to use it.
Start Developing Inventory Management System With Northell
Northell is a team of experienced designers and developers. We know how to create a great real estate solution and how to develop an inventory management system that will help improve your business, making it more efficient and reliable.
Northell develops cloud-based inventory management software for real-time inventory tracking, stock management, and scalable data storage capacity. Our expert developers can easily customize your inventory management software with wide-ranging features, including customizable alerts, reporting, analytics dashboards, and forecasting tools for efficient real estate inventory control and management.
Why should you choose Northell for your inventory management system project?
- Advanced analytics. We produce powerful predictive analytics tools with algorithms that enable precise reporting, investment analysis, market insights, and real-time predictions. Using these tools, our customers can collect user information and transform this information into user-friendly experiences.
- Custom workflows and optimization. Northell’s proptech experts create custom workflows that provide a personalized experience for your target audience and ensure high-level optimization of your critical real estate business processes. With its help, our customers can speed up internal processes, reduce operational costs, and optimize marketing and sales funnels.
- Intuitive user interface. With the help of the in-depth expertise of our design team, we create brand-focused and user-centric real estate software designs that allow your users intuitively use the platform. Despite the complexity of real estate processes, we implement interactive onboarding features and develop easy-to-use design solutions so that customers can perform a specific action in two clicks. In turn, this will help you boost sales and drive more conversions.
- Data security and compliance. Our real estate software development complies with strict regulatory standards related to real estate, payment, and financial industries. Thus, our real estate solutions comply with PCI DSS, AML, PA-DSS, SOX, and other relevant regulations and standards.
- High performance. For every real estate software development project, we put much effort into creating reliable and high-performing architecture. Thus, we use cloud-based tools to keep the platform running at high speed and with minimal latency.
- Seamless integrations with other systems. We offer best-in-class real estate software integrated with different systems, including CRM, ERP, CMS, MLS, IDX, accounting software, and payment gateways. Our proven expertise allows us to provide seamless integration with a stable connection and high-quality interaction between all software components.
Recently we worked on the RhinoDox project. RhinoDox is a construction bid and proposal&inventory management platform that helps teams create data and process automation that allows generating bids with greater consistency — faster — and delivering the analytics people need to make informed decisions.
We did a full-cycle development for the RhinoDox project. One of the parts of the solution was an inventory management system. Thanks to our solution, RhinoDox combines control, information, and a system that can be easily scaled to an unlimited number of teams in one tool.
The platform reveals the problem of planning, evaluation and costing. It optimizes these processes and opens up opportunities for their improvement. Moreover, it eliminates the human factor from the process as much as possible and prevents many operational losses.
In case you have any product ideas in mind or want to know more about how to create an inventory management system, contact us!
Core Features of an Inventory Management System
How to develop an inventory management system and what core features to add? We have compiled a list of basic features that should be in any inventory management system. Often these features are unchanged. However, remember that features can change and be added to the custom inventory management system.
Usually, this is the main part of the platform where all the information you need is collected. The dashboard contains system control panels, settings, main blocks, etc.
Real-time inventory management
This feature is needed to receive up-to-date inventory data. It is also necessary for instant editing and management of all data.
This feature is responsible for controlling and managing accounting and any financial transactions.
Online payments will allow you to pay for materials and other inventory through the system.
Proper inventory reporting
The system should have a reporting feature for more organized control and inventory management. Getting detailed inventory reports will help you with planning.
Full inventory management
This feature will help you manage both individual stocks and the total quantity.
Thanks to this feature, the system itself will be able to generate receipts for purchased materials.
This feature gives real-time parking information such as vehicle & slot counts, available slots display, reserved parking, pay-and-park options, easy payments, reports, etc.
Automatic tax calculations and adjustments
Automatic tax calculation feature allows calculating accurate sales tax on orders at checkout.
Payment plans management
This feature is needed to not miss a necessary, for example, regular payment or to schedule all payments for a certain period.
Seamless reminder letter
Seamless reminder letter feature will automatically send reminder letters to customers. You set the date and time of sending.
Allotment letter generation
If your customers are booking an under-construction property, they are required to receive an allotment letter from the builder. The system will automatically compose such a letter and send it to your customers.
For clear accounting calculations, this feature is simply necessary. Accounting should always be in order, and you should always be aware of where the money goes and where it comes from.
Analytics and ROI reports
Analytics is needed in order to understand how efficiently a company is operating. And ROI reports are necessary in order to track the achievement of goals.
Dedicated interface for your brokers
To work with your brokers, you need a separate dedicated interface with which you can quickly connect your company, brokers and your clients and organize the necessary processes.
Dedicated interface for your customers
This part of the system should be available to your customers so that they can control the purchase of the real estate, fill out the necessary documents, etc.
Multiple discounts & offers management
This feature will allow you to create, manage and delete discounts and offers for your customers.
Prompt customer service
Your customers should always be able to resolve their problems and issues with your system. To do this, the system should have a customer support feature that will quickly and efficiently work with customers.
Fully customizable to suit your needs
The inventory management system should be fully customizable and scalable so that at any time, you can add, change or remove the features necessary for the needs of your company.
Top Tech Stacks to Develop Inventory Management System
How to create an inventory management system that will work smoothly? Now let’s figure out what technical stacks you need in order to build inventory management system:
How to develop an inventory management system on the web? If you are planning to build web inventory management system, then we recommend using the following tech stacks:
If you are planning to build desktop inventory management system, then we recommend using the following tech stacks:
How to develop an inventory management system and use it on mobile phones?
Here is what we recommend to use to build inventory management system for the IOS system:
Language: Objective-C, Swift.
Core: iOS SDK, CocoaTouch / Multimedia.
Analytics: Firebase, Amplitude, AppsFlyer, Facebook.
Data: Realm, CoreData, UserDefaults, KeyChain, CryptoSwift.
For the Android system, we advise your team to use the following for custom inventory management system development:
Language: Java, Kotlin.
Core: Android SDK, Android Jetpack.
Analytics: Firebase, Amplitude, AppsFlyer, Facebook.
Data: Realm, SQLite, Shared Preferences, Room.
Hybrid development is gaining a lot of popularity lately. Our team recommends that you use Flutter to create an application that will work great on various types of operating systems. Learn more about Flutter app development here.
Common Challenges You May Face During Inventory Management System Development
How to create an inventory management system without any issues? We decided to acquaint you with the problems that you may encounter during the development of a custom inventory management system:
Lack of plan
Lack of a plan is one of the most common problems business owners face. The plan is a necessary thing. Without a plan, your team will not be able to build a proper product creation process and will become confused. A plan helps make the product development process more organized and gradual.
Poor problem analysis
If you poorly and unclearly formulate the problems of your company, there is no point in creating a new product. Defining the problem will help you find the right functionality for your system, as well as properly organize the work of the entire company.
How to create an inventory management system that will be understandable for all your employees? Without good onboarding, your team and employees will not be able to use the new system and its benefits to the maximum. Therefore, it will be very difficult for you to achieve your goals. Spend as much time onboarding as possible. Every employee in your company should know how and why to use the new system.
Unsuccessful architecture and technical stack
Inventory management system is a complex product consisting of a large number of blocks. Therefore, the right architecture and the right technology stack are essential. Without this, your system will be incomprehensible and complex. It will be very difficult for you to achieve good results with its help.
How Much Does it Cost to Develop an Inventory Management System?
We have already figured out how to develop an inventory system. Now is the time to find out how to create an inventory management system and not lose a lot of money.
The cost of custom inventory management system development can vary greatly depending on the business size and the required functionality, so it is impossible to give an exact development figure.
However, we have compiled a table of approximate prices for different stages of development, depending on the country in which the design and development team is located.
Having this information in mind, you can calculate the approximate development cost of the entire project.
How Long Does it Take to Develop an Inventory Management System?
The time needed to develop an inventory management system depends on the following factors:
- Project complexity
- Functional complexity
- Number of features
- Complexity design
- Number of integrations
- Team experience
- and others.
In the following table, you can see the approximate amount of time you need for each individual custom inventory management system development process:
A Few Last Words About How to Develop an Inventory Management System
Custom inventory management system is a very important and useful product for any real estate business. However, the creation of such a system requires time, analysis, a good team and experience.
The main advantage of such systems for real estate companies is that they can be fully customized to the specifics of the business. We hope our article helped you find the answer to the question of how to develop an inventory management system.
If you have more questions about how to create an inventory management system, our team will be happy to help you. Feel free to contact the Northell team!