In the blog post “The Quest for the Perfect Inventory Management Software,” we were hunting for the best solution to our inventory management needs. Now we’ll finish our search and talk about how to find the right solution, not just look for it.
There are two main criteria you should look at to find the best inventory management software: 1. what it does for you, and 2. what features you expect from it.
A great way to tell if inventory management software is right for you is if it produces the results you’re looking for. What are you looking for? Let’s talk about several things that should be high on your list.
Inventory Management Software Results
Cut costs: You should expect to save more money than you spend on inventory management software. Some software providers offer an ROI tool to help you find your breakeven point when your savings start exceeding your investment in the inventory software. You might be surprised how quickly it can pay for itself.
Increase efficiency: One of the main purposes of using inventory management software is to save time and make your company more efficient. With the right inventory software, you should see a decrease in the amount of time it takes to place orders, receive products, and pick, pack and ship products to customers.
Boost employee productivity: Inventory management software should be easy enough to learn that multiple employees can be trained on how to use it. Then you can start delegating inventory management responsibilities to more than one person. That way, if one of your inventory specialists takes a sick day or leaves the company, you don’t have to scramble to replace him or her. You’ve got several options.
Improve data accuracy: The goal is to have 100% accurate inventory records. The best way to do that is by using mobile wireless devices and product barcodes. Scanning barcodes is faster and more accurate than typing product information by hand. Make sure the inventory management solution you choose uses mobile barcode scanners so you’re not tied to a desktop computer. You should be able to update your inventory records from anywhere.
Optimize inventory levels: Idle inventory does you no good. Neither does an empty shelf. Too much inventory is a waste of money and too little is a missed opportunity. Inventory management software should use as much information as possible to gauge your inventory needs and make sure you have just enough inventory to meet demand.
Past performance: The right inventory management software should stand proudly behind its results. Its creators should showcase examples of how it has helped a variety of companies save money and succeed. Pay close attention to software providers’ inventory management case studies and decide whether or not you can benefit in similar ways to the companies you read about.
Inventory Management Software Features
We’ve talked about what you should expect the right inventory management software to do for you. Now here are some of the features and benefits you should probably expect inventory management software to have.
QuickBooks integration: Inventory management software should integrate seamlessly with QuickBooks. This is important because it saves time and makes the recordkeeping process more accurate. When you buy, sell or ship products, both your accounting software and inventory management software should be instantly updated with the same information. That means no double data entry and no chance of discrepancies arising between the two databases.
Multiple locations: Do you run a growing company that needs help managing inventory in more than one location? In this case, you should get an inventory management solution that is advanced enough to monitor inventory levels in multiple locations. It should help you quickly transfer products from one location to another to eliminate shortages.
Inventory tracking: No matter what kind of company you run, you need to keep track of all your parts and products. Inventory management software should help you see how much your parts cost, where they are, how many you have and when to reorder. You shouldn’t have to worry about losing expensive products anymore.
Support and training: Be sure to choose inventory management software that offers adequate training resources so you can get up and running on it quickly. You don’t want to get stuck with a complicated system you’re trying to learn on your own. Good inventory software providers should have training videos, support documentation, FAQs, support hotlines and more to answer your questions.
Strong ROI: Perhaps the most important benefit of using inventory management software is a return on investment. You should expect the software to pay for itself within a fairly short amount of time through cost savings and improved efficiency. You can use an ROI tool to see how quickly this will happen. You have to incorporate inventory management software into your budget. This is backed up by the blog post “So how much does Inventory Management Software cost?” Decide how much you’re willing to spend and then choose the best software in your price range. There are affordable options.
After going through all the features and benefits inventory management software should provide, you need to decide which one is best for your company. We recommend Fishbowl because it meets all these criteria, and it is the most popular inventory management software for QuickBooks users. You can schedule an inventory software demo to have an expert show you how it works. Check it out today!
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.