The core NETSTOCK team has been involved in Inventory Replenishment, Management and Optimization since the late 1980′s. While we initially intended to use software to do the routine, repetitive work involved in managing inventory, we soon realized that there was a need for companies to optimize their inventories. With our evolving inventory optimization methodology we were able to add significant value for our customers.
What we learned
As our approach matured, our software to support it became ever more complex and our breadth of functionality increased. As a result, our implementations became longer due to the difficulty in configuring the huge number of parameters now necessary due to the increased functionality. This meant longer and more expensive implementations targeting larger and larger customers, each with their unique set of requirements requiring highly customized solutions.
To continue to provide significant value for these customers we needed highly trained consultants skilled in both implementation projects and achieving inventory outcomes.
We continued to add significant value for these enterprise customers with our software and our expertise and we measured ROI in months (but only after lengthy implementation projects).
What about small and medium sized businesses?
We always knew that the millions of SMEs with inventory have exactly the same needs as our enterprise customers – thousands of product lines, forecasting issues, stock-outs, excess inventory and time constraints.
Compared with larger enterprises, SME’s have relatively low numbers of items and/or small comparative inventory values. As such, they cannot afford costly and complex solutions requiring significant IT infrastructure and highly paid consultants spending months on-site.
The internet as an enabler
In recent times, the internet emerged as a viable business tool for small business. Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings become more widely available with SMEs (and even larger businesses) taking advantage of the obvious benefits:
- Quick implementations with access to in-product tours and online training
- Simpler more focused solutions providing needed functionality
- Automatic upgrades (no dreaded upgrade cycle)
- No additional IT infrastructure required
- No expensive IT administrators
- SaaS provider responsible for mundane tasks such as security, backups and uptime
SMEs were left to do what they do best: run their business
NETSTOCK was born
The core NETSTOCK team came together in late 2009 when we realized that we could make use of the Cloud to offer our inventory expertise to SMEs as an affordable SaaS solution.
To be compelling and affordable for SMEs we:
- Developed a cutting-edge web interface that is intuitive and easy to use
- Used our rich inventory management experience to include the important features and discard the “nice to have” features
- Built the most sophisticated optimization engines, drawing on all our years of experience
- Incorporated the complexity into the code
- Brutally simplified the setup, installation, education and ongoing use of the solution
- Eliminated the need for highly trained consultants to spend expensive time with customers
We are very proud of the fact that our current record install time is only 9 minutes. In the enterprise world a swift installation would “only” take 3 months.
In order to reach SME customers, we have partnered with ERP vendors who have solutions for small to medium size businesses.
The most successful of these partnerships is with Sage, for whom we provide a white-labeled SaaS solution called Sage Inventory Advisor. Hundreds of SMEs running Sage ERP software now enjoy the benefits of inventory optimization.