Now I’m going to answer the all-important question: How do I get the best value for my money when I purchase inventory control software? There are four main ways to answer this question: cost, features, scaling, and integration.
It’s not just the initial price of the software you need to take into account when deciding if it’s the best deal. You also need to add in the cost of software training, support, renewal fees, additional users, and hardware. In the long run, what will the cost-benefit ratio look like? It’s impossible to know the ultimate answer to that question, but try to look out as far as you can.
Inventory control software should give you a variety of features, including the ability to:
- Check inventory levels in real time
- Cycle count your inventory
- Track inventory in more than one location
- Create multilevel bills of materials and work orders
- Print and scan barcodes
- Track inventory by serial number, revision number, lot number, expiration date and more
Make sure it does everything you need it to do.
You should purchase software that is scalable so it will meet your needs for many years. It’s expensive and a waste of time to have to switch software platforms every few years when you outgrow one’s functionality. All of that extra money and time spent on new software and training would be better put to use if you make the best possible choice the first time and stay with the same software for many years.
Good inventory control software should be able to add multiple-location tracking, advanced manufacturing, and numerous other features to its core functionality. That way, you don’t have to pay for features you don’t need at the start, but they’re easily accessible when you need to make the jump to something more complex.
If you use QuickBooks for your accounting, it’s a good idea to get an inventory control solution that integrates well with it. This will keep your inventory and accounting records accurate so you won’t have to go in at the end of every month and fix discrepancies, like most companies with a manual inventory system do.
You should also be sure the inventory software works with your online shopping cart, if you run an ecommerce website. There’s plenty of other software that companies use, and it works best when each one is connected.
The Best Value
If you keep these four points in mind when searching through inventory control software options, you should be able to make a wise choice and get the most bang for your buck.
Be sure to come back next week to get the answer to another inventory management question.
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.