Running your own business requires constant evaluation. You need to be 100% sure you take the right path on the way to success. This is where inventory management tools may help. The first thing you need to care about is business inventory.
It comes as an integral part of any company despite the field or size. Are you sure you have a well-planned inventory management system? Do you have all the necessary goods and items when you need them? How can inventory tools help to avoid financial losses when the stock exceeds or runs out of products?
These are the issues we will try to figure out. Here at Soft4Business.info, we will discuss some fundamental techniques of using inventory tools. You will find out what to search for in a brilliant inventory management system. We will describe practical ways of implementing the system featuring best practices to keep your business inventory under control.
The Elements of Inventory Management Tools
First of all, we need to figure out what inventory management is. Every small business owner wants to have sold the right good at the right time. He or she wants the product to be on time in a perfect condition. When the sales go up, you might also want to have the specific quantity of the product to meet the customers’ demand. If everything is done in a proper way, you can reduce costs and maximize revenue.
An effective inventory can let you handle the task. Instruments like open source inventory tools let you track the stock in real time. You are always aware of such crucial aspects as:
- The number of available products.
- The best time for selling specific types of goods.
- The product’s condition.
In other words, you can prevent your business from running out of goods as well as products exceeding the stock. An effective inventory management makes it easy to control the time and quantity of products sold. It prevents goods from obsolescence and spoilage. You do not need to spend more on warehouses or extra storage facilities.
Moreover, some open source inventory tools like Square cone as an all-in-one solution. It is actually an inventory tool and cafe POS system at the same time. Now, let’s have a look at baseline functions open source inventory management tools should have.
What Should Inventory Management Tools Do?
Open source inventory management tools come as a multi-functional software. The platform features several fundamental features. They are aimed at helping small businesses to handle various tasks in real time. A good software inventory tool is supposed to:
- Monitor your business inventory in real time.
- Predict the demand.
- Prevent products from running out.
- Predict the product shortage.
- Prevent from exceeding raw materials and excess stock.
- Analyze stats and generate reports.
- Access analytics and reports via mobile device or desktop.
Flexibility is another crucial feature of any network inventory. It will be great if it can be accessed right from the POS system. It saves time and ensures a more effective business inventory management. Moreover, it should provide access to all management tools from various locations. A good solution for business with several sites or a huge chain.
Best Practices of Using Inventory Management Tools
Some business owners may find it hard to use open source network inventory tools for the first time. We decided to help when getting started Here is the list of some simple and best practices to make your business inventory management as effective as possible.
ABC Product Classification
A good idea is to divide all your inventory items into 3 major categories by value. The higher the value of the item is, the higher the category. The best bet is to make three classifications such as A, B, and C. It will ensure a tighter management and control by prioritizing inventory items of higher value. Have a look at the chart below to see how the practice can be implemented under real business conditions:
|Classification||Percentage||Consumption value per year|
More Inventory Management Best Practices
ABC analysis is not the only thing you need to remember. Here are some other effective best practices for you:
- Set Up the Forecasting. Once you are able to fine-tune the forecasting, you will bring your business to success. It is vital to make accurate predictions when it comes to product figures related to sales, quantity, time, etc.
- First In, First Out – a so-called FIFO approach considers selling products in the same chronological order.
- Clarify Low-Turn Stock – track the stock and identify products that are not sold for a long period. Maybe it is high time you actually stopped stocking them.
- Perform Regular Stock Audit – a simple count of all your inventory items can be a good idea. Open source inventory tools will do the task for you.
The Bottom Line
Establishing an efficient inventory management is vital for small business. This is where inventory tools may come in handy. On the on hand, they let you keep control over all the products. On the other hand, they help to boost sales, make accurate predictions and offer good at the right place and time. Advanced open source solutions make it easy to ensure a proper inventory management process combined with some simple best practices.