There are a number of software programs on the market. Here are some suggestions. Quick Books has an overall business software with inventory management capabilities. You can also go to Office Depot and pick up software at a reasonable price. Microsoft makes a software pack similar to Quick Books. I think it`s called MS Money. You can also go on line at Inbound Logistics and do a search for "Inventory Software." This magazine does comparison reviews of software for warehousing operations. You can also create a simple inventory program in Excel or Lotus. I used this type of program to track inventory at a mining company. Not recommended though. Very limited functions.
With that said, here are some issues you need to consider. First, what do you want your inventory program to do. All programs can be set up to track on hand inventory and give you a reorder point. But, not all can generate reports. It`s often helpful to have a report to show you yearly sales for each item for example. This tells you what items you need to stock a lot of and what items are just sitting on your shelf collecting dust. A major electronics retailer used this type of information to reduce the number of different items their stores had to carry. Stores went from 3500 different items in inventory down to 1900 items. Big savings as far as inventory dollars spent for the stores.
Yearly/monthly sales reports also give you an indication what months certain items sell in. Then you can stock your shelfs accordingly. A good example is coats. Inventory reports may show that a certain type of coat sells well in September. Using this information, a store can put in a big order for that type of coat to arrive at the end of August. Being able to selectively target when you need to order certain items can save you inventory dollars as well.
I also had a program that showed customer sales. This let me know which customers were buying product and how much product. This helped me market more affectively to customers that were likely to be repeat customers as apposed to one time buyers. In short, these reports provide valuable marketing information.
Other reports include an open P/O report, items committed to a job or customer and cycle count reports. These all help in managing an inventory.
If you would like more information, fee free to contact me at "email@example.com"
nevadascul2/20/2009 4:00 PM
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