You don’t need to be a big company with vast resources to effectively manage your inventory. Basically, you have three options: doing it by hand, with Excel spreadsheets or with some type of inventory software. Rather than giving a long, boring explanation of all of these, I’ll give a list of some of the pros and cons of using each one:
- No initial cost
- No software to learn
- Easily accessible data
- Easy to misplace or enter incorrect data
- Difficult to organize data
- Low initial cost
- Simple to learn software
- Easy to organize data
- No automation
- Easy to enter incorrect data
- Unable to create detailed reports from data
Inventory Management Software
- Automation and increased efficiency
- Accurate data entry
- Able to organize data into detailed reports
- High initial cost
- Software training required
Even though inventory management software has a higher initial cost than the other inventory management methods, it will cost less in the long run because it increases efficiency and reduces unnecessary costs. The first two methods are good for startups and small businesses that don’t yet work with a lot of inventory. But as you grow, you’ll need to get a more permanent solution.
I recommend checking out Fishbowl Inventory. Its features are scalable, so you can gradually add new features as the needs arise. That way, it’s affordable at the start, and you can keep using it for many years. Now that’s smart inventory management on a budget.
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.