The modern world is no stranger to the incredible impact that technology can have. In fact, increasingly sophisticated automation and analytical software have been impacting any and every sector of the business world for quite some time. In addition, the sheer quantity of collected data being harvested is being used to literally transform how companies operate on a day-to-day basis.
Two of the areas that have been profoundly altered through this modern technological boom are accounting and inventory management. Let’s take a closer look at how these classic elements of business are being revolutionized and reshaped as technology finds an ever-widening scope of applications within their bounds.
Keeping Track of Inventory Management
For as long as things have been bought and sold, businesses have had to discover the best way to stock their goods. In more recent times, though, the art of inventory management has become a discipline of the business world. Systems are created and entire teams of personnel are hired specifically with the goal of managing a company’s inventory with maximum efficiency.
The arrival of technology has upended the apple cart, broken the status quo and allowed companies to completely rework how they approach managing their inventory.
However, as is the case with so many other fields, the arrival of technology has upended the apple cart, broken the status quo and allowed companies to completely rework how they approach managing their inventory.
The Power of Analytics
One of the key factors that has had a far-reaching effect on inventory management is the modern ability to collect and analyze larger and larger quantities of data. This data, along with the analytical tools that organize it, has streamlined inventory management in multiple ways.
One of the clearest of these is the quantity of product that needs to be kept on hand in the modern warehouse. Whether you’re an auto repair shop that’s storing extra parts or a grocery store contending with short-term expiration dates, the ability to carefully track exactly how much of any given product you have in stock is invaluable.
The ability to carefully track exactly how much of any given product you have in stock is invaluable.
The effects of this change are two-fold. On the one hand, a store’s shelves should never need to run out of stock. A significant depletion in inventory can be noted by an automated inventory management system allowing more of the product to be ordered or manufactured before the warehouse runs out of stock.
Additionally, the efficiency of knowing exactly how much inventory a company has allows an inventory manager to keep significantly less product on hand, as they will be able to predict when it will run out more accurately. This, in turn, allows them to keep less of the company’s money tied up in paying for an over-abundance of product. It can translate into a significantly smaller amount of warehouse space required to house the reduced inventory.
Location, Organization, and Shipping
Another way that data has been used to maximize inventory efficiency is by allowing businesses to organize their products precisely and locate their warehouses in optimized locations. This allows a company to create effective restocking systems within their warehouses and facilitates efficient delivery of products to consumers and other businesses.
Speaking of delivery, the arrival of automation has also continued to make its mark on the inventory game by even allowing dropship automation software to entirely remove the need for retail companies to have inventory in the first place.
Number Crunching and Taxes
While inventory has clearly been revolutionized by technology, the effects it’s had on accounting are a bit more subtle — though no less profound.
While many of the automated elements are still taking hold in the accounting world, there’s no doubt that changes are happening here and now. Forbes has gone on record stating that tasks traditionally executed by accountants, such as tax preparation, banking, payroll and even audits will be all be automated by 2020, just one short year from the time this is being written.
Having tax information housed in the cloud offers an easy way to both update and access the information.
This also falls in line with the growing push for a cloud-based solution to how taxes are handled. Having tax information housed in the cloud offers an easy way to both update and access the information. Once again, this also has the added benefit of streamlining the work, as it allows teams in multiple locations to easily collaborate together.
On top of that, migrating accounting — and especially tax-related services — to a cloud-based operation allows for easier integration of updates when it comes to the ever-evolving tax laws. When an automated system is in place, simply updating the software can take a great deal of the hassle out of keeping up with the latest changes to the tax code.
The numerous developments taking place across the accounting landscape will continue to enhance the part played by accountants themselves, as they will increasingly shift from a role of number crunching laborers into overseers that use the automated tools at their disposal to quickly and efficiently provide accounting services.
When the Rubber Hits the Road
While games, movies, and other lighter forms of entertainment tend to be the poster children for cutting-edge technology, there’s no doubt that the powerful effects of modern tech are being felt throughout the business world.
Speaking to the areas of inventory management and accounting, in particular, the abilities of analytics, data, and automation have completely recast how the back-end of a company operates. Something as simple as stocking boxes on grocery store shelves has become an automated computation backed by data. While the changes are still actively taking place, and will likely continue to do so in perpetuity, the reverberations of the first wave of 21st-century technology have already been both extensively and thoroughly felt throughout the business world.
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