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23 Best Inventory Management Apps

September 1, 2023
Bill Kimball

However, inventory managers must also consider other factors such as weather, the health of the economy, shifts in demand and more. Inventory control helps companies buy the right amount of inventory at the right time. Also called stock control, the process helps optimize inventory levels, reduces storage costs and prevents stockouts.

business inventory

Cycle inventory does this by ordering material in lot sizes rather than on an as-needed basis. This type of inventory decreases the business’s dependence on the sequential nature of the production line and means that Machine B doesn’t have to wait for Machine A to finish before they can start. The Machine B operator can pull parts from decoupling stock even if Machine A is down for repairs. Despite these differences in activity and production time, manufacturers can maintain the workflow by holding decoupling inventory in stock. Secondary packing material is the box, bag, or other material you use for convenient storage and transportation of your product. Continuing with the laundry detergent example, the secondary packing material is the large box that holds four bottles of your product for bulk storage and shipping to retail locations.

Special Terms Used In Dealing With Inventory Management

Or work with a developer to create a custom inventory management software solution with the Square Items API. Have a solid system in place for tracking your stock levels, prioritizing the most expensive products. Effective software saves you time and money by doing much of the heavy lifting for you.

business inventory

The secondary goal of inventory proportionality is inventory minimization. By integrating accurate demand forecasting with inventory management, rather than only looking at past averages, a much more accurate and optimal outcome is expected. Integrating demand forecasting into inventory management in this way also allows for the prediction of the “can fit” point when inventory storage is limited on a per-product basis. Warehouse space is an essential element of efficient inventory and order management. Managing your space well means you can store more inventory and take full of advantage of your warehouse which helps you control costs and boost sales. Ensuring its accuracy requires a combination of the right software and the right policies and practices.

Inventory Losses

Standard cost accounting can hurt managers, workers, and firms in several ways. For example, a policy decision to increase inventory can harm a manufacturing manager’s performance evaluation. Increasing inventory requires increased production, which means that processes must operate at higher rates.

  • Understanding inventory best practices and analysis techniques will help you get the best return on investment for your business.
  • Nevertheless, you can use this type of inventory to plan production runs and prepare for peak demand.
  • Safety stock has carrying costs, but it supports customer satisfaction.
  • Inventory proportionality is used to balance the inventories of the different grades of motor fuel, each stored in dedicated tanks, in proportion to the sales of each grade.
  • They can also help you grow your business all the way to selling on multiple channels and in different markets.
  • Brigitte is a retail specialist and staff writer with brick and mortar management experience.

Small business inventory software helps managers accomplish all of this in a fraction of the amount of time it would take to do it all by hand. Although Apple’s iOS used to dominate the inventory management app landscape, strong inventory management apps for Android have quickly emerged too. These apps are all made for your smartphone, available in Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store and more. Many also include integrations with a variety of accounting, point of sale and other business software applications to ensure that supply line insights are available at every point within your company.

Netsuite Software For Managing All Your Inventory Needs

You need very good inventory management for this so you don’t lose track of shipments or items, but it can reduce costs. Customer service – Inventory management is crucial to customer service because it allows you to prevent faux pas such as allowing customers to order products that are no longer in stock. A good inventory management system will also allow you to track production and backorders, so you can tell interested customers when the item will be in stock. Backorders, or orders that are placed while a product is not available for shipment, are also useful for tracking the demand, allowing you to improve the availability of high-demand items. Inventory Turn is a financial accounting tool for evaluating inventory and it is not necessarily a management tool. The ratio may not be able to reflect the usability of future production demand, as well as customer demand.

That said, keep in mind that if a slightly more expensive inventory management system saves you time that would otherwise be spent manually tracking your inventory, you could still be saving money in the long run. The amount of inventory you have on hand — both now and in the future — will dictate the level of sophistication needed from your inventory management app. As you assess this, it’s critical that you think not just about today’s inventory, but also that you consider the long-term needs of your business. This is a completely free web-based option for your inventory management to kick off our list of the best inventory management apps. Ideally, your physical inventory counts will match your projected QOHs. If you have more or less of a product than anticipated, you will need to investigate the problem and reconcile the difference.

Standard cost accounting uses ratios called efficiencies that compare the labour and materials actually used to produce a good with those that the same goods would have required under “standard” conditions. As long as actual and standard conditions are similar, few problems arise. Unfortunately, standard cost accounting methods developed about 100 years ago, when labor comprised the most important cost in manufactured goods.

Point-of-sale technology can help your small business track inventory and stock in real-time. When items sell, your software automatically updates to show inventory levels and the cost of goods on hand. As the name suggests, POS technology is used at the point a sale is made, and it can be used in the manufacturing process to track supplies and raw materials as they are used. Your POS software should integrate seamlessly with your inventory management system to help you easily track ingoing and outgoing inventory. When done correctly and with integrated software, you remove data entry errors from your inventory counting and you have better reporting capabilities.

Many businesses find it helpful to have tighter controls over higher-value items by grouping inventory items into A, B, and C categories. Essential machinery isn’t always in working order, so it’s important to manage those assets. Monitoring your machinery and its parts is crucial to understanding its life cycle, so you can be prepared before issues arise. The sum of the three components is the business inventories figure. The monthly survey has a table that breaks down the three numbers with a sequential comparison to the previous month and a year-over-year comparison . Also, the report shows “adjusted” figures that take into account seasonality.

How To Accurately Receive Stock Shipments

The verb “inventory” refers to the act of counting or listing items. As an accounting term, inventory refers to all stock in the various production stages and is a current asset. By keeping stock, both retailers and manufacturers can continue to sell or build items. However, while inventory is an asset on the balance sheet, too much inventory can become a practical liability. Odoo offers a double-entry invoicing system to track every stage of your inventory’s movement. Plus, Odoo offers plenty of additional business management apps, including CRM, invoicing, POS and more.

Primary packing material includes the box, bag, or other material that encloses your product while on retail display. If your business manufactures laundry detergent, your primary packing material is the box or bottle that customers pull off the grocery store shelf.

Even with the best inventory management plan, issues can still arise where you need products ASAP to fulfill an order. If there is a quality control issue or a discrepancy with a purchase order , having a good relationship with your supplier can help resolve these issues quickly. While some inventory management software costs hundreds or even thousands of dollars, Square’s cloud-based software is free with sign-up. Spreadsheets aren’t an effective inventory management tool because they have to be updated manually, which is time consuming and means the data is almost always out of date. Also, spreadsheets can’t scale with your business, can’t communicate with your POS, and don’t show you how your products are selling. If you need a more complex solution, Square’s POS integrates beautifully with Stitch Labs, Shopventory, and DEAR to manage inventory across multiple channels.

Organize Your Stockroom Or Warehouse

Alternatively, there are features within POS systems like Lightspeed that you can use to make your POs easier and more efficient. In addition to creating a log of all your products and their information, you will also need to file all of your vendors’ information into your system. Lightspeed allows you to make detailed product pages where you can store all of your product information. The Conference Board is a not-for-profit research organization which distributes vital economic information to its peer-to-peer business members.

Demand forecasting is the practice of predicting customer demand by looking at past buying trends, such as promotions and seasonality. Accurately predicting demand provides a better understanding of how much inventory you’ll need and reduces the need to store surplus stock.

Lean inventory management means ‘trimming the fat’ and keeping a fluid supply chain in place. Small business owners face many challenges when they’re just getting started, such as securing financing, finding customers and managing inventory. As small businesses grow they think they have to leave their accounting solution for a more expensive solution to take their business to the next level. It’s an affordable and robust inventory management software that’s flexible and can grow with you. It seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks so that your accounting and inventory data is centralized and in sync.