How many times have you heard someone say that inventory management software is essential for your business? We might be guilty of being part of that endless chorus here on the Fishbowl Blog. So, why do we need inventory management, exactly?
It is like some of the arguments you may have heard for using social media.1 “Everyone else is doing it.” “You are missing out if you don’t do it.” “There are lots of opportunities out there.” And so on. Now we are not saying there is anything wrong with social media, or inventory management system, for that matter. We are just asking, are they right for you?
The 3 Main Benefits of Using Inventory Management Software
It is easy to come up with all kinds of lists of what inventory management does for a business and why inventory management is important. For example, features, integrations, user rights, security, and more. But they all boil down to three main categories of benefits. And we can capture them in the following sentences:
- Inventory management solution saves time.
- Inventory management software saves money.
- An inventory management system makes managing inventory easier.
Let’s look at the reasoning behind these arguments for using inventory management software. And we will see if your business can benefit from using it.
1. Inventory Management Software Saves Time
Inventory management and inventory control can be a time-consuming task. And a manual inventory system compounds the problem. If you manage your inventory level or stock level in Excel spreadsheets or with pen and paper, you know how hard it is. Though repetition tends to make a person faster at it.
How much time would you really save by switching to an automated inventory system that uses different types of barcodes and scanners? It all depends on how big your business is, how many finished goods you handle, and what your priorities are. But it’s safe to say that any business would save time by using proper inventory management software.
Barcode scanners, in particular, speed up all sorts of warehouse processes. Think of picking, packing, shipping, ordering, receiving, and cycle counting with a scanner. Now that would dramatically supercharge your employees. Plus, your inventory data would be more accurate and up to date. This is a major time saver. Because you wouldn’t have to spend a lot of time cleaning your records of faulty data.
2. Inventory Management Software Saves Money
Most inventory management software providers charge an annual fee to use their products and get updates. You should weigh the cost of buying and learning the software against doing things the way you always have. Many of the savings come from reduced carrying costs and improved efficiency. If you move a lot of products, you can recoup the cost of the software faster than if you move a small number of products.
It takes fewer employees to accomplish the same jobs. That’s because of barcode scanners and other automation tools. These include automatic reorder points. Instead of having to hunt through inventory tracking records and warehouse shelves for out-of-stock items or finished goods, your warehouse management software can tell you when to reorder items that are getting low. Then you won’t miss out on sales or suffer excessive carrying costs.
3. It Makes Managing Inventory Easier
As small businesses mature into medium-sized businesses, they often expand into multiple locations. This, plus more employees and more customer orders, makes the task of inventory management more complex.
A little foresight goes a long way. Even if you have a small business right now, you may eventually grow it into a bigger business. Wouldn’t you like to be prepared for the changes inherent in that transition? When your staff is already familiar with an advanced inventory system, they can just keep using it to handle new challenges.
Try It Out for Yourself
So what do you think? Is inventory management software right for you? You can find out for yourself by signing up for a free online demo of Fishbowl software. Fishbowl is the #1 manufacturing and warehouse management software for Quickbooks users.
What are some reasons you have for using it or for not using it? We are definitely interested in hearing from you. If you are so inclined, please share your ideas in a comment below.
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.