Stock control and inventory software are one of the effective modern technology solutions extensively offered today. Aside from automating inventory procedures, these systems look into and incorporate all areas of a company’s inventory processes which include purchasing, ordering, delivery, turn over monitoring, product reordering, and warehouse storage space management.
Inventory Software: Inventory Control and Management
A supply control system offers a holistic approach to regulating supplies throughout a retail company’s sale channels or an organization’s different storehouses. Its real function is to promote as well as facilitate techniques that optimize efficiency and accuracy in the supply chain while maintaining adequate supply to cater to consumer or individual needs. Specifically, it controls the inventory at the firm’s warehouse facility and keeps track of what items are in stock, their location in the stockroom, condition, availability, and also warehouse lay-outing that helps with an easier ordering and arrangement procedure.
An inventory software looks over the entire scope of inventory processes including inventory control. However, while it usually subsets a basic inventory control system, it also entails other handy, required attributes like supply barcoding and barcode scanning, demand forecasting and alert automation, item replenishment, accounting integration, supply monitoring across multiple locations, and timely inventory record generation that basically aids in firm decision-making. Most importantly, it sees that the business has the right supply of the best products at the right time.
Barcode Technology In Modern Inventory Software
Many inventory software feature barcode systems which require a barcode scanner and reader in order to transmit and reflect the scanned data to the computer where the inventory software is installed. It eliminates the manual, time consuming, and error-prone labelling recording or encoding of inventory movements in the computer. Without a doubt, the barcode technology offers a way accurate and efficient inventory recording process, facilitating a more real time update on inventory levels.
Here’s why you should choose an inventory software with QR label and barcoding feature:
- Time consuming and error-prone data recording is eradicated.
- Manual data entry mistakes are eliminated.
- Recording becomes a no brainer; technology will do the work for you.
- Scanning is fast and easy yet accuracy is guaranteed.
- Real time updating of inventories is achieved.
- Business management team is instantly alerted when an item reaches its reordering point.
- Documentation and reporting is streamlined.
- Inventory movements within warehouses and between various locations are easily facilitated and tracked.
The concept of automating inventory control and management processes entails a paperless management of inventory data through the use of a centralized database storage. This significantly contributes in achieving an accurate data analysis, storage, data retrieval and a timely, and easily accessible reports generation. The automation is expected to eradicate the time-consuming yet error-prone paper-based inventory filing but majority of inventory software developed today also feature automated identification of inventory items through barcode labels or asset tags which means to best utilize the program, investing in hardware tools for barcode labelling and barcode label scanning is most of the time necessary.
A number of inventory methodologies like just-in-time, FIFO or first in first out, LIFO or last in first out, and ABC analysis have been introduced are usually incorporated in inventory management programs designed for retail business requirements. But for many decades now, controlling inventories for company use has been done in accordance with two different inventory control methods, i.e. perpetual and periodic.
Periodic Inventory System
Unlike perpetual, periodic inventory systems do not monitor inventory figures on a daily basis. Instead, they allow companies to just keep track of the beginning and ending inventory levels within the set period. Ironically, this type of control monitors data using physical inventory counts which when completed, the balance accounted from the purchases shifts into the inventory count and corresponding adjustment shall be then done on the ending inventory balances. This approach is where organizations can choose whether to calculate the ending inventory cost using FIFO or LIFO method.
However, using periodic inventory approach also has its disadvantages. First, the massive physical inventory counts can significantly affect and hamper a normal business day and the labor needed makes it better appropriate for smaller enterprises. Moreover, unfriendly time constraints can pressure staff to perform a quicker inventory count, increasing the likelihood of errors and affecting the accuracy of data. Lastly, errors and frauds can be more prevalent because control over inventory is not continuous and the long phases between inventory counts can only amplify instead of regulating inventory count discrepancies.
Perpetual Inventory System
Many inventory software use perpetual inventory method because in this approach, updating of inventory records is done on real time. That means inventory item balances automatically adjust upon receipt or withdrawal of inventory items. Most businesses prefer perpetual inventory method because of how it provides up to date inventory records and a better handling of minimal physical inventory counts. When utilized properly, inventory software using perpetual inventory method can be the most efficient solution there is in tracking inventory because of how accurate results can be delivered on a continual basis. Inventory software that features remote access across multiple locations usually incorporate the logic of perpetual inventory method to give business owners the advantage of tracking and monitoring real time inventory records even if they are out of town.
On the downside, many studies believe that perpetual inventory method is only viable if a company is willing to invest a huge amount to achieve a better inventory management. This is because it usually requires specialized hardware tools and software that demand a higher implementation cost. Moreover, perpetual inventory can mean additional daily workloads to some companies that strictly require accuracy of data. In this case, the staff would need to make daily inventory counts to ensure that figures shown on the system coincide with the actual inventory figures. Nonetheless, although this sounds like a massive hassle, it is expected to significantly reduce incidence of missing or stolen items that would have been detected late.
Automating inventory controls and processes comes with a hefty price but the return of investment is evident. But if you plan to purchase one, always go for the software that has the features that your business truly needs. Moreover, as much as possible, choose the software that is web-based and mobile friendly. This way, you’ll be able to track the condition of your inventories wherever and whenever you prefer.