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Seven Reasons Why a Hosted Inventory Management Solution Might Be Right For Your Organization

Upgrading. Downtime. Maintenance. Hardware obsolescence. Implementation issues. The litany of headaches related to the implementation and on-going care-and-feeding of enterprise based applications is enough make the savviest of companies want to engage in anything but another software implementation. Like a full-blown IRS audit. Anything?

If your organization is evaluating inventory management systems, consider that a hosted solution inventory management solution may be ideal for your needs if you feel this way. Hosted inventory management solutions such as Invendia eliminate the justified concerns of many companies that another software implementation is the last thing they want to devote resources to - capital, time, talent.

So, the top seven reasons why a hosted inventory management solution might be right for your organization?...

7. Quicker ROI. From an initial ROI perspective, hosted solutions shorten time-to-value by eliminating software implementation and cost issues. You focus on collecting your data, refining your processes, and defining your business goals.

6. Lower total-cost-of-ownership. Users of hosted inventory management solutions need not ever implement software upgrades, pay for maintenance, or add hardware. The net effect is to keep total cost of ownership in check.

5. Increased flexibility. Customers of hosted solutions subscribe for the user license they need today. As their needs change, they add or reduce the users. In this way, they never face the license over-capacity that plagues so many enterprise software deployments. Even more importantly, they increase their flexibility in responding to rapidly changing business conditions.

4. Reduced risk. Any enterprise software implementation takes time. The longer the elapsed time from project kick-off to go-live, the higher the likelihood that the project will lose momentum and management and staff support. Hosted solutions like Invendia do away with many of the preliminary steps of a software implementation (hardware selection, for example), and cause less friction and trauma within the organization. And hosted solutions offer you the advantage of single-source accountability because of the elimination of multiple vendor relationships that would be the norm in a standard enterprise software deployment.

3. Faster deployment. A faster deployment of the software is always a strong positive factor into how well it will be adopted and used by your organization. Hosted solutions typically offer faster deployments, with fewer internal pressures and distractions from day-to-day operations and activities. In short, the focus of the deployment is on end-user training and acceptance, since you won't have to install or maintain servers, networking equipment, security products, or other hardware or software.

2. Easier innovation. Another key advantage of the hosted model is that it facilitates on-going process innovation as new functionality can be introduced incrementally over its lifecycle. The traditional model of purchased and locally implemented software binds companies into "big-bang" versioning where updates are introduced in batches - typically every 12 to 18 months. That model inhibits the real-time improvements of software and processes as they become available. In a hosted environment, major new product releases and improvements can literally be made overnight.

1. Lower cost and smoother cash-flows. Hosted solutions like Invendia have a decided cost advantage over traditional packaged software offerings like SAP and Oracle: low hardware and software costs (you need only outfit your users with PCs, which they likely already have), no depreciation costs, no software or hardware maintenance costs, and lower implementation costs.

With hosted solutions, the first year total cost of ownership can be five to ten times less expensive than enterprise software with the majority of savings resulting from the elimination of upfront integration and customization projects. Thus, the payback period is considerably shortened.

And hosted solutions offer much smoother cash-flows, with no large up-front cash outlays that need be subsumed by your organization.

So, the hosted model of enterprise software lowers risk, simplifies licensing, eases deployment, encourages innovation, and decreases costs, all of which result in faster return on investment, lower total cost of ownership, reduced risk, and the flexibility that you need to successfully compete in today's fast-moving business climate.

Ash Seha is a marketing manager at Invendia, a leading provider of Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) and Web-based Inventory solutions.

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