How To Find the Right Inventory Software

There are many inventory programs on the market. How should you decide which inventory software to buy? Inventory software programs can be costly, but the right system will satisfy your business needs at a reasonable price. Here are three simple steps to help you get started as quickly as possible.

Step 1: Determine your small to medium business needs. The best way to do this is to take into account your current requirements. Remember to look ahead and include future business requirements in your planning!

Step 2: Understand your problems or issues that arise during your everyday operations. For example, many business owners still use spreadsheets to manage or count inventory, which is a manual process. The use of spreadsheets is cumbersome and error prone. They require human input. You know what happens if one small error occurs: It creates a chain reaction of inventory mistakes, causing shortages or overages. These mistakes cost money and hurt customer service in the long run.

Step 3: Choose your software vendor or manufacturer. This is the hardest step in this process because many factors affect your decision.

  • Budget: how much can you really afford to spend? If you shop only on price without considering the business process, you will soon find that the inventory software you bought fails to meet your short and long-term needs
  • Business Size: If you are a small business (SMB) then look for small business software. If you’re a medium sized business (MSB) then look for appropriately-sized software.
  • Internet: Use the internet to look for software companies that market to your business size.
  • Collect Product Information: Inventory software manufacturers offer free online information, demos and product literature.
  • Select an Inventory Software Vendor: Pick five or more vendors and review product information. Fill out on-line request forms for three of the vendors or arrange sales calls. During the call express your needs. Be as clear as you can about what you’re trying to accomplish.

Many inventory software programs support most computer operating systems like Microsoft Windows, Windows Mobile and Pocket PC using SQL Express and business accounting software

If you shop wisely for inventory software, you should have every expectation that you will reduce the use of paper and the errors caused by human entry mistakes! This means better customer service, better inventory control and less time spent chasing down problems. That equals a very good return on your investment.