Before you decide which inventory management software is the right one for your company, you should ask yourself five simple questions. Knowing the answers to these five questions will help you be more confident when you make your choice.
1. Do I need inventory management software?
The answer to this question should be at the heart of your decision. I’ve already discussed whether or not you need inventory management software, and I’m including it here because it’s a pretty important question to ask before selecting an inventory software solution.
Has your company reached the point where your sales are increasing and the task of managing customer orders is becoming overwhelming? Have you outgrown QuickBooks as an inventory management solution? Now could be the right time to invest in inventory management software. But if you’re a small startup with few inventory management needs, you could wait a little longer before you need to take that leap.
2. What features do I need to run my business better?
If you decide the time is right to invest in inventory management software, you should look into the details. What, specifically, does your company lack, and how can inventory management software help you improve those areas?
For instance, barcode scanners can help you speed up manufacturing processes, picking, packing and shipping products, and locating inventory. Inventory tracking software lets you manage inventory in multiple locations. There are many other examples of ways inventory management software solves logistical challenges. You just need to figure out which ones you need solved.
3. Does this inventory management software integrate with QuickBooks?
QuickBooks is the most popular accounting software for small businesses in the United States, but it’s not enough to handle complex inventory management tasks. You can keep using QuickBooks by adding inventory management software to it.
Make sure the inventory management software you purchase integrates with QuickBooks. If it does integrate properly, you should be able to update your accounting and inventory software at the same time when you purchase products, sell products or transfer them. This saves time and makes it easier to keep your accounting and inventory records up to date.
4. How much am I willing to pay?
If you want inventory management software, you need to fit it into your budget. Small businesses have limited resources, so they must spend money wisely and make sure they get a lot of value out of their purchases.
This goes right along with knowing what features you need this software to have. If you find a solution that is affordable but lacks key features, you’ll probably have to replace it in a few years as you grow beyond its capabilities. That’s an expensive proposition compared to finding a solution that’s affordable, robust and that pays for itself quickly.
5. How long will it take to learn the software?
Make sure the inventory management software you’re looking at has enough training resources to allow you to quickly learn and implement it. Depending on your needs, you might prefer attending a training session at the software provider’s office, participating in an online training session, or having a trainer come to your office. The software provider should be flexible and allow you to do what is most comfortable for you.
The software should be user friendly so you can train more than one employee on how to use it. That way, you can spread inventory management tasks across more workers and easily replace employees when they leave and you hire new ones.
Write down your responses to these questions, talk about them with other decision makers in your company, and then move forward with confidence! You can sign up for a free trial of Fishbowl Inventory right now to see if it’s the right inventory management software for you.
Robert Lockard is a copywriter with Fishbowl. He writes for several blogs about inventory management, manufacturing, QuickBooks, and small business. Fishbowl is the #1-requested manufacturing and warehouse management software for QuickBooks users. Robert enjoys running, reading, writing, spending time with his wife and children, and watching movies.