Online Inventory Management

One of the largest growing fields in the diamond industry in recent years has been the development of inventory management systems. And in Israel, there are at least three companies providing products that they say enable companies to manage stocks efficiently and with reduced staff numbers. Furthermore, the systems enable diamantaires to sell their goods in real time and around the clock – and even on the move with specially created mobile applications.
The firms are Barak Diamonds Software Ltd., SMBS, and EasyStock. Barak says it makes solutions for diamond dealers and manufacturers looking for a long-term, reliable and cost effective ERP – a program that runs all the company’s operations – and that can suit any particular type of business and operations – from sightholders to a small family-run business.
The program includes unique reports and tools to analyze business performance and profitability, full and efficient stock control for both certificates and small stones, easy control of all branch offices, accounting functions needed in the diamond industry, automatic uploads to all B2B and B2C websites and domains, advanced interfaces with all relevant hardware and software tools, sophisticated and easy-to-use reports-generators.
“Diamond traders today must be able to access, monitor and control significant amounts of relevant and dynamic information to ensure their enterprise’s commercial success,” the firm says. “Our solution is a robust software platform especially designed to meet the diamonds and jewelry industry’s business requirements of globally distributed enterprises of any size.”
Among its main features are universal access at anytime from anywhere in the world, operational compatibility with leading industry systems and platforms, cross-organization sharing which enables authorized users from all offices and locations to enter and view relevant information, full business-cycle monitoring, no requirement for software or hardware installation, automatic stock uploads to any website or e-trade application including real time updates to a dedicated B2B website.
Meanwhile, the firm’s Diamond Point program is an embedded B2B website that enables users to increase the exposure of their inventory to both current and prospective customers with minimal investment for marketing. In this way, users can efficiently define and control what inventory and which prices each user will see when they enter the system. In order to increase profitability and marketing focus, each search and ‘request for information’ by your target audience is recorded and kept, enabling you the consistent monitoring and analysis of evolving market trends and customer preferences. The company also provides solutions for jewelry companies with many of the same features as the diamond software.
Meanwhile, at SMBS, its solutions enable diamond firms to display inventory and certificates easily, find similar stones for pairs or layouts to fit customers’ pre-existing requirements, track customers’ activities and know their market needs, increase opportunities to provide customers with what they need in terms of tracking, storing and managing all orders, negotiations and offers.
It also allows firms to customize customer stock access and pricing, control regional differences and nuances, confidentially outsource from other suppliers and present as part of their own inventory, with the firm’s logo and prices, present information in a range of languages and currencies, send regular system updates for stones on clients’ wish lists, and offer special deals to individual customers based on their specific needs.
SMBS also produces Harmony B2C which allows users to provide clients with a browser-based solution for retail jewelry and diamond website design and construction. With Harmony B2C, the firm develops its client's web site with all the required images (in the catalogue and the informational pages), including logos, buttons, and sidebars. The images can all be generated in any template required, with the desired texts. With different layouts and color schemes, dozens of designs are available in Harmony B2C.
The company says the main purpose of the site is to give retail clients an online presence, to become the sole provider of certified diamond stock to the online clients, to promote their shop, and to use the reputation as a retailer and part of their promotional budget in promoting the site.
Meanwhile, its Harmony Offer Module gives a company's brokers the power to answer requests easily, in various ways, from anywhere and at anytime. Its allow your salespeople to search through the inventory via the Internet, create responses using templates, send the offers via email or fax, attach the certificates as an attachment or link, and control and maintain pricing easily.
The Harmony application also includes an auction module allowing users to conduct auctions on specific stones and deals. Using the application, users can launch an auction for several stones at a time, invite customers to an auction, register the customers that wish to enter bids on the stones, and conduct auctions on each stone or for deals incorporating several stones.
Meanwhile, the Rough Tender Manager module allows you to launch and conduct tenders for single stones or deals (several stones at a time), notify customers of the tender, register the customers who wish to enter bids on the stones, calculate the stone distribution between the bidders by using a maximum revenue formula.
At EasyStock, owner Moshe Elkayam, a trained gemologist, says he developed the program a decade ago “as a solution for several of my company's long-time clients, who required an easy-to-use program that would enable them to upload and manage their diamond inventories online. Because these are diamond specialists but not computer experts, the need to develop an efficient, effective and easy to use tool became clear to me”. He adds that the program provides “powerful, flexible features that address the full range of diamond firms’ e-commerce needs” whatever they deal with – from loose white individual diamonds to parcels and pairs and comparing stones to colored fancy diamonds, both natural and treated, to jewelry.
Earlier this year, the firm released version four of the program featuring a powerful new search engine capability, easy integration with major databases, as well as with Google searches, new and improved reports, a further improvement to Search Engine Optimization, and a new site administration capacity. In addition, there is full social network support and other functions.
“One of the most important factors is that we provide modular solutions,” says Elkayam. These include EasyStock Pro, Jewelry, Community, Lite and Mobile Optimized. “It is very important to allow potential clients to choose a module that fits their needs and not simply to sell just one program and tell the client he has to buy the whole package when he needs only certain parts. We are always aware that this is a highly service oriented business."
As its name suggests, EasyStock Pro provides the largest number of solutions and services and was developed for companies of all sizes, from large to small, B2B and B2C, who are manufacturers and traders of certified loose diamonds. It is the newest generation of the firm's widely-used Internet-based stock management program for businesses specializing in the manufacture and trade of polished diamonds. Meanwhile, the jewelry module provides a complete stock management system for jewelry designers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. The program has been updated throughout to address the needs of members of the jewelry business, and to provide an intuitive and efficient solution to your management needs. The system is appropriate for B2C or B2B manufacturers that looking to sell on the Internet. It also includes a professional design and development of unique custom websites, custom-made for a diamantaire's specific business needs.
An interesting module is EasyStock Community, developed for organizations that want to create a joint site representing at least 50 people/businesses. This enables participating members to vastly expand the volume of inventory available for sale. It creates a database of online profiles, helping people within the community to find each other and stay connected, and that each member can access every other member's inventory. This maximizes the volume of stock available, providing the best search results and increasing the number of sales opportunities.
A Community web site enables the spreading of knowledge and information about a community or volunteer group or other type of organization, NGO or non-profit association with which you may be involved. A Community web site helps you deal with the problems associated with a small budget or lack of technical knowledge. Users can use a Community website to promote aims, recruit new members, attract donations and funding, highlight activities, and announce upcoming events.
Meanwhile, EasyStock Lite allows users to create their own website, and then upload and edit information on up to 100 diamonds at a time. For companies with no Internet presence, the Lite option provides an online e-commerce solution practically overnight. "Not only do they obtain a fully functional website, but also an interactive platform to enable them to conduct business," explains Elkayam.
Finally, but increasingly important as an option, is the Mobile Optimized module which was developed for individuals and companies on the move who need to carry out business via smartphones and tablets. "People are on the move as never before and they want complete access to information whenever they need it," Elkayam says. "Mobile phones have become for critical for business and they are already generating vast amounts of revenue for businesses worldwide. In the next few years most people will be accessing information and services via their mobile devices rather than PCs or laptops.
"There is a huge expansion in the use of mobile devices such as smartphones, iPads, Android-based tablets, and advanced e-readers. And that means that in order to reach your potential customers your web site has to be optimized for use on a mobile device so that they can see what you offer quickly and without any hiccups. Companies need access to specific elements of the program when they are out of the office, and the Mobile Optimized version gives them exactly those parts needed to make and place an order from a mobile. In addition, mobile websites are specifically designed for mobile standards and optimal download speed, which means less waiting and more browsing time for clients. No-one wants to browse a desktop website on their smartphone."
He describes the advantages of mobile optimized as including very fast speed when checking a web site on a mobile and quick to load, the business is open 24/7 and users are no longer confined to traditional working hours. "Being constantly accessible boosts the number of your enquiries, leads and sales and it includes full integration with the user's inventory, orders, and much more. A mobile website gives higher rankings on mobile-friendly search engines such as Google and Yahoo, and can put you in one of the rising number of mobile and local directories I also creates a less expensive way of building a mobile presence compared to developing a mobile app, especially since they require different versions for different platforms, such as iPhone, Android and Blackberry. Apps also require users to download them before they can be accessed, while a mobile website is available to all contemporary smartphone browsers."