It might seem anachronistic to talk about managing antiques with state-of-the-art inventory management software. But the truth is that you can track virtually anything with modern tools. Antiques are no exception. You can use the following features found in inventory management software to keep a close eye on your antiques:
- Tracking criteria
- Multiple locations
- Barcode scanning
- Point of sale
We’ll go through each of these topics in this blog post. And then you’ll be free to decide if an inventory solution is a worthwhile investment for your antique business.1
Variety of Tracking Criteria
One of the most valuable tools you’ll receive in an inventory management solution is all of the tracking criteria:
- Lot numbers track large groups of items that arrived in the same shipment.
- Serial numbers distinguish individual items from all others.
- Expiration dates allow to see when goods are scheduled to go bad.
- Revision levels let you know when an item was modified in the system.
- Custom criteria enable you to create your own tracking methods.
Not only are you able to track inventory with a variety of criteria, but you can also track inventory across a variety of locations. These include warehouses, retail stores, offices, and more. Plus, you can create sub-locations at each place where you store inventory to separate different departments, areas, aisles, shelves, and bins. That way, you will know exactly where to find items in each location and where to store new items as they arrive at each one.
Simply scan a barcode to pull up detailed information on your inventory. With the latest technology, you can download an app onto a smartphone or tablet and use it to scan an item’s barcode to see its quantity in stock at multiple locations, as well as its default vendor, cost, price, etc. Then you can create purchase orders and sales orders, receive, pick, pack, and ship items, and much more on a mobile device to maintain a healthy inventory balance.
If you plan on selling antiques through a third party, you’ll need to be able to consign them. Antique inventory management software gives you the ability to assign inventory to specific locations and customers for easy tracking of who has which items. You can add inventory via purchase orders and transfer orders, and you can remove inventory via sales orders and transfer orders. When a store sells your consigned items, the software will record the transaction and make sure you get compensated.
Integration with a Point-of-Sale Solution
Speaking of compensation, you may want to integrate your inventory software with a point-of-sale solution to accept payments from customers. Integrating the two solutions together allows them to automatically update your inventory records when you make a sale. Even if you don’t currently do business with customers, you may still want to leave the possibility open in the future. So we recommend you check each inventory software provider to see if they offer point-of-sale and other integrations that could prove useful.
Old Antiques, New Software
Just because your wares are old doesn’t mean your method of tracking them can’t be brand-new. Antique inventory software, just like any other small business inventory software, gives you the advanced tools you need to boost efficiency and ensure nothing slips through the cracks.
Sign up for an online demo of Fishbowl’s inventory software today to learn how it can help you with your antique inventory management. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
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.