Phoenix Consultants Group is a software development firm specializing in creating data-driven software applications and websites.  Phoenix creates superior custom software products that deliver the tools necessary for business managers and owners to make informed decisions and manage their important data.

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Category: Database Management

Inventory Management Software that Helps Organize Your Warehouse

inventory management

Inventory Management Software

The world is progressing into more modern and technologically based mediums every day.  We are gradually releasing our hold on paper based data management and moving forward with more precise and accurate computer based methods.  Inventory Management Software refers to computer programs designed specifically to assist you with controlling and cataloging your inventory.  This software group helps streamline your work flow by giving you up to date and frequent reports on data pertaining to your warehouse without the necessity for manually accounting for every single article in your inventory.

If you run an online business with virtual shopping carts and check outs, it makes sense to find adequate software that seamlessly manages your product flow and keeps track of all movement of goods.  Inventory management software, when appropriate to the business, can assist in coordinating the movement of products from inventory, from shopping cart to check out and shipment.  It will ensure that all changes are tracked and reported and that your data is kept in sync and up to date automatically.  In addition to sales optimization, good inventory management software will also keep track of possible refunds, automatically re-entering them into your inventory system for sale. Inventory management software is indispensable to a high product flow business and can make the difference between an efficient and customer friendly business and a business that builds a reputation for under-delivering.

Inventory Management SoftwareIn addition to keeping track of your product flow in your warehouse, inventory management software also can assist you in shipment and delivery.  By choosing the proper system for your business, the program will not only track the movement of your products, but also will take care of the shipment aspect of your services.  Inventory management software can print labels directly from addresses provided by customers and include this information for further incorporation into your database.  These programs can automatically make arrangements for pickup and delivery, making customer service an easy aspect to cover.  Logistics can become easier than you could have possibly imagined.

The ability to interface with existing internal business software as well as having inter-operability with other systems on the internet is a key characteristic that all inventory management software should provide.  Being interconnected with your email servers, accounting software, online merchant hosts and other programs you use on a daily basis to meet your needs, assists in making each sale a seamless operation, from order placement to processing the payment and shipment of the product.

Inventory management software must be chosen to be flexible to meet the future needs of your business. Whether you foresee a minor or major growth in the future of your business, the software you chose must be able to scale with you and incorporate these changes without disruptions in service.  Choosing the correct inventory management software to streamline your business needs will help you ease the process of running a business and controlling costs and expenses.  It will help allocate energy and resources to places which actually matter.

Protecting Your Information with the Correct Database Conversion

Database Conversion

Database ConversionSoftware and technological methods used to control databases continually change in order to provide us with easier management solutions for our data.  Due to the change of methods and software that occur, file types change just as often.  Choosing the correct people to convert your file types is a very important decision.  Database conversion entails releasing your important and highly valuable data to developers in order to transfer them to a file type that you can use with ease in a new software solution.  This is a meticulous and time consuming process and due to the high importance of the data being converted.  You cannot underestimate or undervalue the importance of choosing the correct programmers and developers to execute this challenge.

Choosing the Right Group for the Job

On the surface, converting your data and transferring it to a new format can be very simple.   A simple internet search will provide you with a multitude of software available online for free or for a small price.  These programs offer basic services for database conversion for the most common formats.  It may seem like an easy task at first, but there are many complications which may arise of which you may not be aware. Choosing a professional group who has experience in converting and transferring your data from various bases to new file types is a smart decision to make.  Using automated software or hiring inexperienced programmers can lead to faulty conversions and glitches in the functioning of your data in your new format.  In addition, you must be able to ensure that your precious data is secure and protected from potential threats.  When choosing the best group for your database conversion, be sure to review their previous portfolios and qualify them on their fluency in both the source and target formats that you have in mind for your database conversion.

Database Conversion

Having Realistic Expectations

While in theory any form of database conversion is possible, it is important to be realistic in the capabilities of technology.  Not all systems necessarily meet eye for eye in terms of utilizing the same functions and components.  For example some systems may contain codes for certain characters which other systems do not.  This will result in a partial loss of information.  A knowledgeable programmer will be sure to make you aware of such a situation and try, to the best of their ability, to ensure that the loss of information is minimal or nonexistent in your database conversion.

Upgrading your system in order to keep your database in touch with the most recent technology is always a wise decision.  Converting your database frequently to keep it up to date will reduce the need for a major, more substantial change and transition, which could result in larger issues in the future.  Choosing a trustworthy and experienced programming group can assist in easing this transition and guarantees that your valuable information is retained as close as possible to the original quality, if not surpassing it.

Choosing the Correct Inventory System for Your Business

inventory system

inventory system

Whether you run a small business with a handful of employees or a large business with a large number of workers on your payroll, keeping your inventory organized and knowing the quality and quantity of your sales is important to the success and profitability of your business and an inventory system will help organize and catalogue your products to ensure that your inventory is kept up to date.

Manual or Automatic? Which way should I go?

Depending on the size of your business you may choose to keep control of your inventory manually.  In particular, with a smaller or start up business that still needs to acquire a firmer grasp on their product flow, there is no substantial data on which to base a concrete inventory system.  Investing a considerable amount of money into an inventory system without having a strong grasp of the nature of your clientele, their demands, and the effects on your warehouse operation can lead to an ineffective system being installed.  Many small business owners prefer to keep the initial inventory system at a manual level.

For a small but deserving investment there are many automated inventory systems available.  The most common methods of scanning and control are barcode and radio frequency scanners.  These systems help automate the control of your inventory and ease the pressure from workers, while decreasing your rate of error.

Perpetual versus Periodic Inventory Systems

Inventory systems fall under two main categories: Perpetual Inventory Systems and Periodic Inventory Systems. Using the perpetual format, your inventory is revised and renewed in real time.  As every sale and return is made it is recorded and your inventory data is refreshed to reflect this latest information.  An older and less convenient method is the periodic inventory system.  In this system, a certain time frame is chosen and the data for your inventory is summarized and accounted for at the end of each time period.  This method may seem less convenient, but for smaller businesses that do not want to invest in point of sale scanning devices, and other high-tech machines just yet, this system may be the preferred option.

Automated Inventory Systems: Above and Beyond Data Production

Regardless of the automated inventory system method you choose, most inventory systems utilize software that can do much more than simply keep track of the inbound and outbound flow of your products.  Provided that you chose the right developers to configure your inventory system you can utilize the additional positive aspects of inventory systems.  A well configured system will go beyond the base numbers and facilitate flow through the production, procurement and sales processes, even going so far as to ensure that the correct prices are allocated to your products in different locations, factoring in local taxes and financial conditions.  Developers can customize software to your specific database and help you in constructing the most beneficial system, fine tuning it to your business’ needs.

Consolidating Information through Data Integration

data-integration

Having multiple sources of data can lead to various formats of information.  These sources can be from third party servers, direct data input from various sources, or automatically generated information input from internal and external networks.  As the recipient and user of this information, you may require the ability to use this information in a uniform and seamless form, without the having to manually consolidate and reformat the data to a single form.  The process of unifying data from various sources into one format to be utilized by users is referred to as data integration.

Why Data Integration?

data integrationThe question may arise as to why it is necessary to integrate and merge information and data from various sources.

The reason that this common process is used by any business which collects data and information in its day to day procedure is to make the data more usable and accessible.  Data may come from various places and may have different qualities which cannot be examined and processed without the unification of their formats.  The ability to examine information as a whole and make decisions based on the entirety of available data can play an important role in the development of your business.  You should be able to form decisions easily with information provided to you in a uniform and concise way without wasting time in converting this information to reach the final answer.  Therefore, it is important to have a method set in place where this integration can take place without altering the nature of the data provided.

Is this a Complicated Process?

data integrationData integration can, at times, be a complicated process.  It takes correct algorithms and patterns to make sure that the information processed is translated correctly.  The integration program used must be able to recognize data which is similar, yet coded differently, and reduce the chances of overlapping data where required.  Often, middleware will take care of this function.

In addition to the actual conversion and integration of data, the source of data must also be taken into consideration.  There may be a number of different sources, mainly third party programs, which all input data into one location in order for the integration to take place.  The data integration program must take the necessary steps in order to prevent the disruption of these sources and third party programs while retrieving the necessary information.  In addition, there may be multiple computers communicating in a network and providing information.  The data integration system must be able to extract the necessary information without disrupting the day to day functions of the systems attached to the network.

Despite all the complexities and potential difficulties which must be addressed when proceeding with data integration, this method is very important in the maintenance of your data.  It is a cost effective method, which reduces errors caused by human intervention in addition to being an automated system which can work in the background without disrupting daily tasks.  Choosing the correct developers and programmers to assist you in data integration can help in streamlining your daily functions and provide you with the important information you require in the shortest amount of time.

Streamlining Your Warehouse with Inventory Control Software

warehouse

From production to delivery, ending with a positive customer-vendor experience is a long process.  Having a steady flow of available products in your warehouse can ensure that your customers will never be left with long waiting times to receive their products.  Investing in suitable software designed specifically to help you with controlling the operation of your business is a rational business move geared towards facilitating the flow of product input and output.  Inventory control software helps you keep your stock organized and make the transition of products from you, the vendor, to your customers an easy and seamless process.

Inventory control software helps you organize and catalogue your products from the moment they enter your warehouse to the moment your products reach your client’s hands.  Using barcode technology, this software allows you to easily keep track of your inventory, knowing when and how much you may need to restock, and enabling control of production flow.  Inventory control software assists in controlling and arranging shipments, from picking products and packaging them, to delivery.

Though it may seem that inventory control software is only useful for product based businesses, service based companies can also profit greatly from this technology.  Service based companies can easily use this software to keep track of their expenses and costs used to provide their services, and can accommodate their service fees to reflect these expenses.  This internal use of inventory control software is a vital tool to ensure that appropriate pricing strategies are adopted.

As with the implementation of any technology, this software has its positive and negative aspects.  Naturally the biggest down side is the requirement for financing: to invest in the procurement, development and installation of the product.  However the additional business transparency that is achieved by effective implementation of inventory management software can pay back the investment manifold.

Obtaining the correct skills to be able to use inventory control software properly can be time consuming.  Specific employees must be trained in order to use this software efficiently, as incorrect usage can lead to inaccurate data which undermines the whole goal of organization and data provision.  While utilizing inventory control software is a common practice in bigger businesses with hundreds or thousands of employees, smaller businesses often stick stoically to their manual processes.  Many are missing an opportunity for a real competitive edge.

By choosing the correct software developers, you can have an inventory control software system designed specifically to your needs and specifications to ensure that you get the most for your time and money.  This small investment can bring structure and order to your warehouse and increase productivity.  Research shows that a significant amount of hours and labor can be saved within weeks of the installation.  Although employees are resistant to change they soon get motivated when they understand that a little bit of effort will lead to their jobs being simpler every single day.