Inventory Software Shopping Guide
An inventory control software is an essential tool today. The technological revolution and e-commerce have caused purchase orders to follow each other at a dizzying pace, and inventory control often becomes difficult.
The problem is particularly complex in small and medium-sized companies, where the inventory module is still managed on paper, or with obsolete programs. With these traditional tools, which are not integrated into the rest of the process, disorder becomes widespread.
For this reason, having inventory software is vital to compete in a dynamic, digital and fast-paced business environment. But the options when choosing are many. There are free and paid stock control solutions, but they all vary depending on your needs and budget. In this buying guide, you will know all the necessary aspects to be able to choose the best inventory management program.
What is an inventory software?
Inventory software is a computer program that allows you to manage the registration, movements and control of arrival and departure of inventories within a company. An inventory refers to the set of stocks (physical objects) kept in a warehouse.
It is also known by the names: inventory control software and warehouse inventory software.
The software tool for inventory control provides the level of available stock at all times, with the inputs and outputs of items, both external and internal, in addition to establishing a relationship between items consumed and sold and customers.
All this is possible, since it is integrated into the digital system of each of the points of sale. Each of the types of inventory management software offers a system that allows you to record items in inventory.
They can be organized with a high degree of customization, for example, by sections, warehouses, prices, colors, expiration date, etc.
Inventory management is considered an important aspect in the strategic management of a company. Specifically, the tasks that are assumed in this management refer to the determination of registration methods and rotation points. In addition, it covers the forms of classification and inventory models, determined by the forms of control chosen.
How does inventory software work?
Inventories are constantly on the move. Whether it is a warehouse for raw materials or spare parts, or a stock warehouse for available products, every detail must be inventoried.
With the help of inventory control software, it is possible to record the inputs and outputs of the product, updating the quantities there are, as well as its access and distribution.
The inventory control system works by being able to connect the physical or online store with the inventory. For example, let’s imagine that we are a television manufacturer and we have 10 physical stores in different parts of the region.
Each of the stores must have an integrated digital sales system, which allows it to connect with the inventory software. In this way, every time we sell a television, the warehouse will know where the order came from, where it should be dispatched, and the details of the product to be withdrawn from the warehouse.
In turn, each store must receive an update in its system, where it will be able to know the stock of televisions in real time, before sending invoices. With this type of management software, it is possible to optimize these processes, and maximize control and efficiency.
Benefits of inventory software
Throughout this cycle, the benefits of implementing inventory control software include all parties.
First of all, the warehouse will be organized and managed without any stock being lost or confused with another, which improves the productivity and profitability of the warehouse department.
Second, inventory management allows each physical store not to place orders to the warehouse for stock that is not available. In addition, the points of sale and delivery can know exactly when the product or part was dispatched, and thus calculate the arrival times. With the order that a software allows to manage, additional shipping costs due to order delays are also avoided.
Third, and most important, is the benefit to the customer. For example, when the purchase is made online, the inventory software registers that the stock of the purchased product has gone down by one unit.
In this way, a problem is avoided that is usually more common than it should be: informing the customer that the purchased product is not in stock.
A brand’s image can diminish catastrophically when this happens, so checking the products in the online store, in a synchronized way, will give you a better customer experience.
Inventory Software Features
The features and functions of an Inventory Software may vary depending on the solution purchased. However, and in general, professional solutions offer:
- Mobile access, to be able to review the system from anywhere.
- Warehouse management: tools to organize and divide stock into categories.
- Reporting/Analysis: to understand stock flows and make strategic decisions
- Supplier management: quick contact solutions for suppliers.
- Multi-channel management: different contact channels integrated into the management software.
- Product Identification: This feature is particularly managed by barcode inventory software.
- Inventory optimization.
- Management of order renewals.
- Retail Inventory Management: tools for Retail Customer Warehouses.
- Alerts and automatic notifications to send to the different actors in the process.
- Manufacturing inventory management.
Types of inventory software
Inventory management software can be designed for a certain type of control or stock to be inventoried. Professional software usually covers all possibilities.
However, before choosing a solution, you must know: what will be inventoried, with what type of function and what will be the logistics. In addition, one piece of information that will help you choose a tool is the amount of stock to be inventoried per month.
From these three aspects, the different types of inventory software emerge:
- According to what we are going to inventory:
- Raw material inventory
- Stock of manufacturing supplies
- Factory product inventory
- Inventories of processed products
- Inventory of merchendise
- According to the inventory function:
- Inventory in transit
- According to stock logistics:
- For speculation
- In ducts
Inventory Software Pricing
As we mentioned, the pricing models of inventory software are conditioned by the number of orders per month and, for the most part, are grouped as follows:
- Basic Plan: 50 to 7499 orders
- Standard Plan: 7,500 to 14,999 orders
- Enterprise Plan: Unlimited orders.
*There are some free inventory and billing software available, but they contain limited functionality and services.
In conclusion, carrying out inventory management in a traditional way currently represents a considerable investment of time in various tasks. Therefore, organizations prefer to take advantage of the benefits of inventory software to streamline and simplify the processes it encompasses.
When selecting software of this type, do not forget to consider the additional costs and the number of warehouses you want to manage.
Entering ComparaSoftware you will be able to find different options and you will be able to make comparisons to know the software that best suits your company.