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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.

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.

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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.