What to look for in an Inventory Management Software System

If you are working for a company and have been tasked with finding the right software to manage your inventory you want to make sure ahead of time that it will have all of the basic functionality to meet your needs. Most software is going to be able to handle basic inventory management functionality however some of the more advanced features may make the biggest impact on your bottom line. This article will attempt to break down both the basic features that any system should be able to handle and then look at some of the advanced features that you should be aware of.

Note: Inventory Software Systems can also be called Asset Tracking Software (ATS), Warehouse Management System (WMS) or Supply Chain Management Software (SCMS). They should all cover the same bsaic things and the terms are somewhat interchangeable.

Basic Software Components

  • Asset Tracking: This is the core of any inventory management software. Having the ability to track the inventory throughout the supply chain using a simple database. Look for the ability to support multiple warehouses and also the ability to track work in process inventory. Make sure the software has the ability to track inventory using barcode scanners (1D and 2D) and any type of serial numbering system your inventory might use.
  • Barcoding: Not only should the software be able to track inventory via barcodes it should have the ability to create barcodes for your inventory. Check this part of the program to make sure that it is easy to use and understand. Many people in your operation will likely have to create barcodes, so you want it to be easy to understand.
  • Receiving, Picking, Packing and Shipping: In any warehouse management system (WMS) it will need to have processes for handling these basic steps. As long as you test the program and all of this seems simple an automatic then you are good. I suggest testing the software through this entire process at least once before you buy so you can be sure it will meet whatever unique steps may exist in your processes.
  • Sales: Make sure the system has the basic functionality to automatically track sales and adjust inventory from the point of sale. This is pretty basic, but an absolute necessity for saving time and man hours.

Advanced Software Functionality

As an inventory manager, your goal is to always reduce the carrying costs of inventory while maintaining an acceptable (read: high) level of service. The inventory software that you purchase should help you achieve these goals. Beware however, because many software systems for managing inventory are somewhat passive. What I mean by that is they have all of the databases and they track inventory through the entire supply chain yet they do not make any recommendations on how to improve your processes. I know that purchasing an inventory management software system or warehouse management system (WMS) can be an expensive decision, therefore you want to make sure you will get the most out of it.

Ask any sales reps if their software can handle the following advanced functions:

  • Order Management: It is not enough to have a software system let you know when a certain inventory is low and that it is time to reorder. The system should manage ordering inventory based on DEMAND for the items, not just when they get down to safety stock. I consider this an advanced feature of any software system. Just because they have a reorder point calculator is not enough. It needs to use a Continuous Reorder Point System based on the Economic Order Quantity Model. Modules to handle this type of system for order management are typically not found in the cheaper software, however if you are at least a mid-sized business, this is an absolute must.
  • Warehouse Organization: For larger operations, having a system that can plan the organization of the inventory based on inventory velocity can really reduce the amount of inventory in your warehouse. Obviously, you will know whether or not this type of functionality is a requirement based on the type of operation you are running. But if you need it, make sure the system you are looking into has it.

Those are the basic requirements of any inventory management system or warehouse management system. This should help you ask the right questions when talking to various sales reps of products.Understanding Obsolete inventory is not a easy task. For details about inventory liquidation, just comment bellow. we will help you.

 

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