Creating an Inventory Management System
An Essential Guide
ScienceSoft applies 10 years of experience in supply chain software development to design and build reliable inventory solutions and provide comprehensive consulting services on the inventory system implementation.
Inventory System Implementation: Summary
- Time: Around 4 - 6 months for inventory system development.
- Key project steps: Requirements engineering and design, project planning, solution development, integration, data migration, deployment, user training, after-launch support.
- Cost: $90,000 - $250,000 for a midsize company, $250,000 - $400,000 for a large enterprise.
- Team: A project manager, a business analyst, a solution architect, UI and UX designers, front-end and back-end developers and QA engineers.
ScienceSoft provides all the necessary talents to cover inventory software implementation end to end and helps to effectively optimize project time and costs.
Types of Inventory Solutions
Visit ScienceSoft's dedicated pages to learn about the features, cost factors, important integrations, and success factors of inventory solutions:
Inventory Software Implementation Steps
The duration and approach to the inventory system design and development depend on the specifics and scale of inventory operations the solution should cover. Below are described the typical steps we at ScienceSoft take to introduce robust inventory software.
Inventory system requirements engineering & design
ScienceSoft starts inventory system implementation projects with the following steps:
- Eliciting functional and non-functional requirements for an inventory system, defining user roles, required integrations with other systems (ERP, CRM, accounting system, etc.) and data migration activities (to move data from currently used spreadsheets or an inventory management solution).
- Deciding on the inventory system type: software-only or barcode/RFID-supported. Choosing software technology. Outlining a list of required hardware equipment if needed.
- Designing a high-level architecture of the solution with major components and interactions between them. Prototyping UI.
ScienceSoft’s experts strongly believe that precise project planning is the cornerstone of a successful inventory system implementation. At this stage, we cover:
- Outlining the scope of work and its duration, associated risks and the ways to mitigate them.
- Calculating expected TCO and ROI of the inventory system.
- Defining milestones, objectives and KPIs for the inventory system implementation project.
Inventory system development
At ScienceSoft, this stage includes:
- Delivering the back end of the inventory solution that will consolidate and process inventory data uploaded by users and generated by inventory tracking devices (in case of a barcode/RFID-supported system) and trigger actions based on this data to automate inventory operations.
- Delivering user-facing web and mobile applications.
- (Optionally) Implementing a demand forecasting module driven by machine learning to optimize inventory management processes.
- Running QA procedures to validate inventory software quality and fix bugs prior to production.
Integration with other systems
At this stage, ScienceSoft’s team finalizes integration patterns and procedures defined at the inventory system’s design stage. We implement and test integrations with other business-critical systems (e.g., ERP, accounting, CRM), and Business Intelligence (BI) for inventory reporting and visualization of inventory-related data.
Inventory data migration
Prior to solution launch, ScienceSoft assists in data migration from currently used inventory software or spreadsheets. For this, we take the following steps:
- Developing a migration scenario, scripts for migration automation, data mappings.
- Extracting inventory data from a legacy inventory system or spreadsheets and validating its quality, identifying and solving issues (e.g., lost or corrupted data).
- Loading data into a dedicated inventory database and running data verification procedures to ensure data accuracy and consistency.
Inventory system deployment
The deployment of an inventory system with ScienceSoft usually covers the following stages:
Stage 1. Configuring software infrastructure, backup and disaster recovery procedures. Installing and tuning hardware if required (e.g., barcode printers and readers; RFID tags, readers, etc.). Deploying the solution to one of the targeted facilities (warehouse/distribution center) for a pilot run. Duration: 2 weeks for hardware-supported systems.
Stage 2. Monitoring the system’s functioning in real-life conditions. Handling possible change requests and issues (e.g., barcode/RFID-related). Duration of pilot operation: 1-2 months.
Stage 3. Rolling out the final version of the solution to all the targeted facilities. Duration: ~ 2 months for deploying RFID/barcode-based systems (depending on the number of facilities and their layout complexity, the duration can be longer).
To help employees involved in inventory-related operations quickly learn how to use the solution for their daily operations, ScienceSoft takes the following steps:
- Devising the plan on incorporating the new inventory system into employees’ (inventory and purchasing specialists, warehouse workers) workflows.
- Creating software and hardware administrator guides and user tutorials.
- Conducting workshops for involved user groups (e.g., training warehouse staff to label inventory items for the new system).
After-launch support, maintenance, and evolution
ScienceSoft offers a range of after-launch services to ensure smooth performance of the inventory system in the long run. The services include:
- Providing continuous user support.
- Running planned system updates and extending functionality based on evolving business needs and user feedback, e.g., more types of inventory reports enabled, improved UI.
- For barcode/RFID-supported systems: fixing hardware defects and maintaining hardware (in cooperation with a hardware vendor): device service (RFID and barcode readers’ repairs, etc.) and timely supply of consumable materials (e.g., RFID tags).
Explore ScienceSoft's Inventory Management System Demo
A sample application for the inventory team shows how its key features, like demand-driven inventory planning, multi-location inventory monitoring and automated inventory reporting, improve operations efficiency.
Consider Professional Services for Inventory System Development
In custom software development since 1989, ScienceSoft helps companies design and build effective inventory systems that help optimize inventory operations and avoid stock-outs and overstocking.
Why Build Your Inventory System with ScienceSoft
- 700+ talents on board with 7-20 years of experience on average.
- Since 2012 in supply chain management software development.
- Since 2011 in IoT to deliver RFID-based inventory tracking capabilities.
- Since 1989 in data science to introduce AI-powered inventory analytics.
- Practical knowledge of 30+ industries, including manufacturing, retail & wholesale, healthcare, oil & gas.
- Quality-first approach based on a mature ISO 9001-certified quality management system.
- Robust security management supported by an ISO 27001 certificate.
ScienceSoft USA Corporation is listed among The Americas’ Fastest-Growing Companies 2022 by Financial Times.
Inventory Software Implementation: Selected Projects by ScienceSoft
Development of Supply Chain E-Collaboration Network for 1,700-Store Retailer Auchan
ScienceSoft designed and implemented an Oracle-based e-collaboration platform for Auchan category managers, buyers and vendors to enable effective supply chain and inventory management
Restaurant Inventory Management Software Development
ScienceSoft designed and built a responsive and customizable web application to help bars and restaurants improve their inventory management at all levels.
Rapid Development of Inventory Management Software for Herbal Medicine Manufacturer
To meet the tightest deadline, in 3 weeks, ScienceSoft's team developed a ready-to-go inventory management solution for the medicinal herbs tracking.
Design of an Image Analysis Application for Remote Monitoring of Oil Storage Tanks
ScienceSoft designed an image analysis app to remotely monitor oil store tanks in real time to help the customer optimize oil inventory management and timely detect oil leaks.
Development of a SaaS Module for Food Inventory Management
ScienceSoft designed and developed a SaaS module that enables food service managers keep track of and manage the raw food materials stock, as well as observe how the final food products are manufactured and sold.
Plans the inventory project (goals, timeline, budget), prioritizes the scope of work, monitors its execution, coordinates the project team’s work, communicates with stakeholders and reports to them.
Investigates and describes functional and non-functional requirements, technical limitations and needed integrations for the inventory solution.
Designs the architecture of the solution with integration points between its components and other systems (ERP, CRM, accounting system, etc).
UX designer + UI designer
Conduct user research for the inventory solution, design user flows, build prototypes and gather feedback from users (e.g., inventory and purchasing specialists) to further improve system usability.
Develop the front end and the back end of inventory software, integrate it with other systems.
Designs and implements a test strategy, test plan, and test cases to validate the quality of the inventory system.
Hardware engineer (optionally)
Configures and manages the deployment of a barcode or RFID hardware system, identifies and resolves hardware-related issues, optimizes the hardware system performance in production.
- Full control over the project progress.
- Lack of in-house talents with specific dev skills.
- Limited team scalability.
- Excessive training and staff costs.
Turn to ScienceSoft if you need help with development process planning or other consulting services.
- Quick access to the required tech competencies.
- Balanced development costs.
- High requirements for the competences of the in-house management.
Turn to ScienceSoft if you need tech experts to quickly cover the resource gaps in your dev project.
Benefits of Inventory System Implementation Outsourcing to ScienceSoft
We render inventory system development in close collaboration with project stakeholders to get an in-depth understanding of their inventory management needs and ensure the service fully covers their unique requirements.
We define an optimal feature set for the inventory system to avoid packing it with unnecessary functionality. We develop the solution iteratively to introduce the core functions first and enable faster payback from software implementation. To streamline development, we rely on proven frameworks, platforms, and ready-made components where possible.
We guarantee a quick project start (1-2 weeks) and frequent releases (every 2-3 weeks) and apply well-established Lean, Agile and DevOps culture to ensure the implementation of a high-quality inventory solution on time and within budget.
ScienceSoft’s Tech Stack for Inventory System Implementation
To ensure high quality and efficiency of an inventory solution, ScienceSoft usually relies on the following mature technologies:
Business analysis methodologies
Interviews and focus groups
Value chain analysis
Risk assessment matrix
Lean Six Sigma
Architecture designs and patterns
Traditional 3-layer architecture
Service-oriented architecture (SOA)
Various approaches to enterprise application integration (database integration, point-to-point and middleware-based SOA, robotic process automation)
Average costs for building the inventory management system vary between $90,000 - $250,000 for a midsize company and $250,000 - $400,000 for a large enterprise.
The major cost drivers are:
- Type of an inventory system: software-only or based on RFID/barcode technology (the latter will include costs of hardware equipment and its maintenance).
- Number and complexity of inventory software features. For example, the complexity of inventory data analytics depends on the types of analytics required, presence and number of machine learning algorithms, data volume, number and complexity of reports.
- Number of user groups and complexity of a user permission system.
- Interface design uniqueness and complexity.
- Complexity of data migration procedures required (e.g., based on the number of data tables and data types you have).
- Number and complexity of integrations with other systems (ERP, accounting software, CRM, etc.).
- Requirements for the system’s availability, performance, security, latent capacity and scalability.
Here are the approximate estimations based on ScienceSoft's experience in inventory software projects.
For a midsize company.
For a large enterprise.
ScienceSoft is a software development provider headquartered in McKinney, TX. We offer consulting and implementation services to help businesses develop and start an inventory system that optimizes complex and multi-location inventory operations and helps avoid stock-outs and overstocks. Being ISO 9001 and ISO 27001-certified, we rely on a mature quality management system and guarantee cooperation with us does not pose any risks to our customers' data security. To learn more about our development approach, check our custom software development offer.