What does it take to implement inventory software in your business? Let’s find out as we explore how to implement these three main types of inventory software:
Desktop inventory software offers the most advanced features because it has not yet been possible to create online solutions and apps that can offer the same functionality at the same speed as a desktop solution.Employee Training
There are many training options for this option. You can have an expert from the software provider come to your place of business and spend a few days training as many of your employees as you like to help you get the system up and running. With Fishbowl, for example, you can also watch a number of training videos, visit a documentation wiki if you have questions about the software, and call a support hotline to get answers to questions quickly.Hardware and Technology Requirements
Desktop inventory software requires both a server and a client to properly run the software. They are both installed on the same computer, so there is just a single user experience.
Each inventory software has different technical specifications. We will use Fishbowl as an example for this section. If you have a PC, you will want to use Windows 7 or newer for the best results. For Apple computers, Mac OS 10.7.3 or newer is a good idea to stick to. And some software may even be compatible with the Linux operating system. If you have a small database that handles less than 100 work orders and shipments a day, you should have a server/client computer with a 2.3 GHz Processor (Quad Core) and 12 GB of RAM. If you have a large database that handles more than 100 work orders and shipments a day, you should have a server/client computer with a 3.4 GHz Processor (Quad Core Plus) and 16 GB of RAM.Personnel Needed to Implement
Because of the labor involved in implementing this type of inventory software, you will most likely want to have an IT specialist on site. You should have them trained on the software and/or have someone else trained on the software to share the load.
Cloud-based inventory software does not need to be downloaded onto a device. You can simply open a Web browser and go to the appropriate Web page to access. If you prefer, you can also download an app onto your smartphone or tablet, but you do not have to download and maintain a server or client.Employee Training
Depending on the software, you will have varying types of training options. We will use Boxstorm as an example. To get started with this type of software, you can watch a few training videos or look at instructions offered on the website of the company that provides the software. It should offer plenty of walkthroughs to help you get on your feet. The software is generally going to be relatively simple and so you may need to call the support hotline at the start, but you will not necessarily need to have an expert come to your office to do an in-depth training session.Hardware and Technology Requirements
Cloud-based inventory software, such as Boxstorm, is available on virtually any device, so the hardware and technology specifications aren’t as strict as the ones for the desktop option. As long as the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch you are using has iOS 9.3 or newer, it should be fine. And as long as the other smartphone or tablet you are using has the Android 4.4 or newer operating system, it should also be fine.
In addition, make sure that the mobile device is designed for 4.7 inches high definition (1280 x 720 pixels) or larger. It should have a 1.7 GHz multi-core CPU with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of Flash memory. Keep in mind, though, that as time goes by and operating systems and devices change, old ones may not be supported anymore and so it will always be a good idea to stay on top of changes in technology.Personnel Needed to Implement
Since there is nothing to install beyond a simple app, there is little to maintain. In fact, updates are often made to the software automatically without requiring you to run any files or modify anything by yourself. It is a user-friendly system.
The main difference between server network inventory software and desktop inventory software is that the former has a server that is installed on one device and accessed by clients that are installed on several other devices while the latter has the server and client installed on a single device. It should be noted that this type of software is the most complex to set up and maintain of the three options.Employee Training
The same training services are available for this type of software setup as the desktop inventory software. Since you are accessing the server on multiple devices, you will most likely require deeper training than if you were using the simpler desktop one. So you should probably get in-person training from an expert. Luckily, you will most likely have access to videos and written documentation, among the other training resources.Hardware and Technology Requirements
The server computers should follow the same technical specifications that are laid out in the desktop section above. We will again use Fishbowl as the example of inventory software. For a small database, each client computer should also have a 2.3 GHz Processor, but this one doesn’t need to have a Quad Core and it just needs 8 GB of RAM. For a large database, the client computers should have 3 GHz Processors and 8 GB of RAM. The server houses your actual company file and the client allows several users to access the server at the same time and customize their experience with the software. Each user can be assigned specific access rights to the software to prevent unauthorized changes.Personnel Needed to Implement
Accessing the server via a number of client computers may require a great deal of technical support. In addition, maintaining the server computer and the database will be a somewhat demanding task. For these reasons, you should consider having an IT specialist, as well as any other technical-minded staff members you may need, to keep everything running smoothly.
Fishbowl offers all three of these inventory software types, as well as training and support for them: