Why is Managing Inventory Important?
Inventory management can be simply defined as having the right inventory counts in the right quantity at the right time with the right cost. As a part of supply chain management, inventory management helps businesses identify what and how much inventory counts to order at what time. Inventory management helps in real-time inventory tracking from the stage of purchase till the sale of goods.
It includes various inventory levels like the process of ordering, storing, and using the company's raw material and the finished products. The practice of inventory management identifies and assures to have the right amount of stock levels to fulfill customer demands and also issue warning for inventory control. Poor inventory management may lead to deadstock, or unsold stock reducing the cash flow for the small businesses.
Importance of Inventory Management
The importance of inventory management can be established by the fact that it helps small businesses to make sure that there is rarely too much or too little stock levels on hand. It also limits the risk of stock-outs, inaccurate records, and restricted cash flow.
Inventory management is beneficial in many ways for the management system.
Benefits of Inventory Management
Saves Money- Understanding the stock levels make you invest money in the right amount of stock at the right time. POS systems also allows you to keep less stock levels at each location, be it store or the warehouse.
Improves Cash Flow- Inventory management allows you to spend money on the stock levels that sell.
Satisfies Customers- Inventory management focusses on customer satisfaction.
What is a Point of Sale System?
The Point Of Sale (POS) can be considered a central point of your retail business. The necessary components of your business like sales, inventory management, payment processing, and customer management system merge at retail POS.
When the customers pick an item from the store, walk to your billing counter, or check out things online, they are at the point of sale. The POS system is the combination of hardware and software components that completes the process when a business rings up a customer's order at a store POS.
Working on a POS system
- Customer at the point of sale selects items to buy either physically or online.
- POS system calculates the total price for customers' items. Point Of Sale POS also applies tips and taxes and keeps track of promo codes and loyalty coupons.
- Best POS systems accept payment using a credit card, cash, or check.
- POS software then completes the transaction and issues a receipt from point of sale. For online customers, a confirmation email is received from point of sale.
The latest POS software are much more than this though. Point Of Sale POS incorporate mobile point of sale, contactless payment options, e-commerce integration and much more for small businesses.
Managing inventory is a challenge for every retailer.
Managing inventory can be expensive and time-consuming, but there are solutions out there to help you.
FreeWarePoint of Sale - Free POS and Inventory Management Software
Point of sale systems not only act as the payment processing system but are essential means to achieve your business goals. Apart from making your daily operations easier and faster, the POS system stores customer data helps in inventory management and generates detailed business reports. A free POS system can cater to the need of small businesses with limited products as Point Of Sale POS might have restricted features.
Free retail POS and Inventory Management Software can be classified into two broad categories. Let's discuss both these POS systems through example.
On-Premise POS system
In an on-premise free POS system, the buyer installs the point of sale software in the terminal. The buyer is responsible to update and maintain the free retail POS software. There are two shortcomings. One, POS systems may require costly hardware, and second, they may ask for a dedicated IT professional for their maintenance.
For example, an on-premise free POS system can be a good fit for small businesses like small thrift shop owners. These require one cash register for their small business. The retailer will have the option to purchase, install and host the free POS software on the computer and update it as per required by the best POS systems. Additionally, hardware like barcode scanner, card reader, cash drawer, receipt printer, etc. for point of sale may also be required.
Cloud-based POS system
Cloud-based free POS systems can be accessed on any device including mobile apps. In a cloud-based free POS system, updates are pushed to the best POS, minimum upfront costs are incurred, and can be handled by 1-2 individuals. This is typically useful if you are using the point of sale software for multiple locations.
For example, a restaurant with multiple locations and a number of POS system points will be a good fit for a cloud-based POS system. It can centralize the payment processing, inventory management, loyalty program, and much more and can be accessed through a mobile app for the POS systems.
PaidPoint of Sale and Inventory Management Software
Most of the POS inventory software comes with basic features to ring sales, inventory management and generate basic reports. While free POS systems and inventory management software comes with restricted functions for the use of small businesses, paid software comes with all the features enabled.
Paid POS systems and inventory software caters to the need of larger businesses with multiple locations and best POS systems. In case of paid on-premise POS systems, multiple users can be facilitated to use the point of sale software, while paid cloud based point of sale software can be accessed at multiple locations on multiple mobile devices at the same time.
Best Free POS and Inventory Management Software
There are a few caveats associated with free point of sale software. Hardware to be purchased separately, point of sale system offers free trial to be updated to paid version. Open source POS software may give a tough time to cope with and come with limited features. Here is a list of some best free POS inventory software.
- Square POS system- One of the best free POS system available in feature-rich version.
- Imonggo POS system- Best free POS system for start-ups.
- Loyverse POS system- Cloud based free POS system for multiple locations.
- eHopper POS system- Best free POS system that can run on multiple devices.
- uniCenta POS system- Best free open source POS system widely used globally.
Managing inventory is a time-consuming and tedious task.
Inventory management software is designed to do just that.
Paid POS and Inventory Management Software
Paid POS inventory software is feature-rich and helps businesses excel in their profits in many ways. Here are some of the best POS systems and inventory management software for your consideration.
- Lightspeed- Lightspeed POS system is cloud-based software that offers inventory management, purchase orders, and vendor management. It charges a monthly fee of $59.
- Square- Square POS system charges up to $60 per month for its software. It's a cloud-based software and is widely used by businesses globally.
- Toast- Toast POS system charges up to $165 per month. It offers to generate customized reports, accounting software, and cloud-based services.
- Shopify- Shopify POS system charges up to $89 per month. It offers cloud based software with multiple functions.
- Vend- Vend POS system charges $99$159 per month. Its access is cloud based and offers to generate customized reports.
The POS inventory systems are point of sale software used by small business, retailers and restaurant owners to increase sales and use stored data to design loyalty programs. Customer satisfaction and high quality service can also be assured through such POS software.
These POS inventory software streamline back-office management through cloud based access on mobile devices. You need the right POS system for your business need to excel profits and deliver services.
Managing inventory and point of sale can be a complicated task.
The software may not be user-friendly, the customer service may not be helpful, or the cost may be too high.