It’s not easy to reduce overhead costs without sacrificing sales. But without an automated system for managing and tracking goods, companies do just that. Manual data entry and physical inventories often result in expensive errors that add overages, cause costly write offs, and even halt production.
What if there was an affordable way to prevent all of this and actually minimize costs while maximizing your operations—regardless of your company size and industry?
With the right inventory control system, you will:
Inventory control solutions automatically manage and track “temporary” goods that companies sell, distribute, or consume. Examples include merchandise, office supplies, and raw materials. Because these items are constantly used, it’s important to know how many you have in stock, the location of these items, and when it’s time to reorder. An inventory control system automatically monitors this process, providing needed visibility for efficient, accurate ordering.
Unlike inventory objects that are considered temporary, assets are permanent items companies use internally. They may depreciate over time or be allocated to employees, who may use them outside company walls. Examples of assets include equipment, computers/laptops, and office furniture. There are solutions specific to tracking assets so it’s important that you know the difference before you start to shop.
Once you’ve decided whether to manage inventory or track assets (or both), you’re ready to choose a solution. Complete systems consist of the following components:
A basic inventory management system is ideal for small businesses and single-location companies that need to manage their inventory. While features vary, most systems:
Some solutions offer more detailed views and reports. That’s why it’s important to consider your needs before you buy.
Before buying hardware, consider the types of labels you need. For example, do you require a barcode label that withstands high heat or a radio frequency identification tag (RFID) that quickly scans entire pallets as they enter and leave the dock? Always think “labels first” to ensure the inventory control system meets your exact requirements.
Mobile computers and scanners are ideal for managing inventory because employees can freely move throughout buildings to perform essential tasks. But know your needs before you shop to ensure an ideal fit. Handheld scanning devices have a wide range of features, such as durability, scanner type, and style (including fixed-mount, gun style, or pistol-grip). There are even models that protect against dust, extreme temperatures, and drops on concrete floors.
Thermal barcode printers usually work best for inventory control because they print quality barcodes that are easily scanned. They also print labels on demand or in high quantities. In fact, knowing the volume you plan to print is key to selecting the right printer. So is knowing the label size and desired printing speed so you can correctly choose from a variety of industrial, desktop, and mobile printers—including those you can wear.
There’s one more thing to consider before you buy: a wireless network. If you want a secure environment from which to scan in real time, contact us. We can evaluate your facilities and recommend and install a wireless solution that’s specific to your operations.
And if you are in the manufacturing or warehousing industries, we can help you select a warehouse management system (WMS) that builds upon the features of a simple inventory control solution. A WMS is perfect for organizations that require a fully integrated, real-time material management system in a multi-facility warehousing operation. It can automate receiving, picking, and shipping; proactively prompt inventory cycle counts; and transfer data in real time.
Don’t worry. You may not need to completely change your inventory system. There are affordable, customizable solutions we can add to your existing system to solve your unique requirements, such as adhering to new governmental regulations and operating successfully in unusual environments. Contact us to learn more.