What is Inventory Management Software?
We might see the word management multiple times while turning the pages of a business magazine . However, the ground reality is different. People often underrate management' as it is not tangible. But did you know, apart from cost saving and right pricing, it is effective management that can dictate business profit!
Yes, whether is it is your finance, your workforce or even your inventory, a good management can do wonders! It can streamline the activities of a team and different departments to success of your business.
Similarly, efficient inventory management can help you strengthen your revenue and profits, restricting unnecessary costs and wastage.
Small businesses are now switching to inventory management systems . Inventory management software automates the entire stock processincluding inventory tracking , order management and warehouse management .
Inventory management system starts its job right from the time an order arrives in the warehouse . It updates the stock level after every purchase and sale and managers can place the purchase orders accordingly. An inventory management system also helps stock managers in inventory tracking across multiple locations .
There are quite some free inventory software out in the market. Go explore!
Small businesses switching to inventory software: Inventory tracking | order management | warehouse management
Why a small business needs inventory management software
1. Inventory Tracking
For a human, to keep track of inventory after receiving the purchase order and update the stock levels post every transaction can be an arduous task . There is higher chance of errors as it includes a lot of numbers and vendors.
Let's do it tech way! Just link it with other key systems like point of sale . When the sold item undergoes barcode scanning at the counter, it will reduce the stock level from the inventory in real time to show the updated stock. In case you have more than one stores, the inventory management software can keep track of your stock across multiple locations . The business owners can now trace the variance per month, if any.
2. Correct reordering-
Now, we know the inventory software updates the stock levels after every purchase and sale in real time. It gives managers information on the most and least selling items , the quantity left in the warehouse . This data helps managers to place the right purchase order at the right time.
Also, know when the manager knows the products that are in demand, they can purchase them in large amount so that they are able to do order fulfillment even during peak seasons .
The inventory app allows you to set your low stock limit. Once the stock levels fall below your prescribed level, it will notify the business owners, so to avoid out of stock' situation.
3. Cost Saving-
Apart from its own cost, inventory carries a lot of other charges too, like transportation cost, insurance fee , warehousing cost and more. The inventory management software gives managers an idea of how much stock of a product is left in hand and how much more is needed. This enables managers to order the items as per the requirement, minimizing chances of overstocking. Consequently, restricting insurance, transportation and warehouse management costs.
Place accurate purchase orders: Real time tracking | inventory tracking | updates stock levels
Inventory management can be a headache.
Keeping track of the inventory for your business is difficult and time-consuming.
What kind of inventory management software is available?
1. Barcode Scanning Inventory Management System -
Medium or small businesses assign unique codes to number to the products they sell . These unique codes are called barcodes. These barcodes store information like serial number, weight, dimension and supplier of the item. The barcode scanners are linked with point of sale system, which in integrated with inventory system. When these product undergo barcode scanning, they would read the product information and update stock levels .
2. RFID Inventory Management System-
Here, instead of barcodes, RFID (Radio frequency identification) tags are assigned to the products. These RFID tags consist of a microchip that stores product details. It requires a scanner that can interact with radio waves to read the product information. Mostly passive RFIDs are used for tracking inventory. While active RFID tagsthat consists batteries, are used to track big machineries like cars and trucks.
Unlike barcodes which uses line of sight' scan, RFID tags can be used from distance, resulting in expedited inventory processing.
RFID tags can be scanned from distance: Management tools | barcode scanning
Helpful Criteria When Choosing an Inventory Management Software
While picking the inventory management software best for your business, do not forget to check if it has these features-
This is an indispensable feature. Integrations multiply the power and efficiency of any software. When you integrate your inventory management software with point of sale system, it keeps track of items sold during the day. And revises the stock levels after every transaction, resulting in smooth inventory tracking .
Similarly, when you integrate your inventory management system with accounting software , it auto-updates your inventory or stock in hand account, ensuring a hassle-free tax season.
2. Automated reordering-
All you need to do is set minimum level or quantities of your top selling items, and sit back. When your stock reaches the minimum level, your inventory management system will automatically generate the purchase order , which you can send it to your supplier.
This helps to ensure order fulfillment on time , and avoid stock-outs!
Things to Look for in an Inventory Management Software
1. Real-time inventory tracking
2. Set low stock alerts
3. Unlimited SKUs
4. Barcode scanning
5. User-friendly interface
6. Mobile app on iOS and Android for easy access
Make sure the inventory system has a mobile app: User friendly | management tools | stock alerts | credit card
Managing inventory can be a challenge.
Inventory management software is not an easy thing to find.
The 4 Best Free Inventory Management Software for Small Businesses
1. Square- Cloud-based solution that provides free inventory management. It charges an up-gradation cost of $60 per user per month.
2. Rentle- It takes care of Inventory Management order management and provides real-time tracking all for free! Only charges $477per month per store for upgradation.
3. Upkeep- It allows Inventory Management, improving Supply Chain efficiency, The Upkeep mobile app is available on iOS and Android, helps in cost control and updating stock levels. Charges only $45 per month per user as up-gradation cost.
4. Zoho inventory- It is a cloud-based Inventory Management solution. Key features of Zoho inventory include order management and warehouse management as well. Zoho inventory mobile app is available to iOS and Android. Charges $59 per month per organization for upgrading.
Explore some free inventory management systems: Paid plans | Zoho inventory | cloud based | free version | free plan
Conclusion To Free Inventory Management
Not all businesses are same and neither are their challenges. Identify the needs of your business. Look for the Inventory Management system that is in line with your business needs , nature and scale . Go for the
Inventory Management solution that provides a comprehensive solution to your inventory problems.
Managing inventory can be a pain.
You need to find the perfect inventory management software for your business, but it seems like you are always running into the same problem.