Inventory Management For Your Business
Inventory management helps your business grow at beneficial & profitable rates. Get your business organized and ready for growth with top inventory management systems.
Managing your inventory is an essential part of running a business. True inventory management goes beyond organizational processes, however. Understanding what you do and do not have in stock maximizes profits and avoids unnecessary expenses. What can a modern inventory management system do for my business in 2021?
Inventory management helps your business grow at the most beneficial and profitable rates possible. Inventory analytics track what your customers purchase the most, from what parts of the country/world and when. Proper inventory management is essentially a tool for understanding how to market your products and brand. What are the various types of inventory management systems available today? What are the average costs for purchasing inventory management software in 2021? Read ahead for an informative guide on purchasing an inventory management system for your business today.
Inventory Management Systems 101
Managing inventory is an integral part of operating your business. The process is organizational in nature but also involves much more. True inventory management helps maximize profits, while avoiding unnecessary expenses. Taking inventory used to be done by hand. Modern times allow customer-reach for some businesses to expand across the U.S. and various regions of the world. Therefore most inventory management is handled on computer systems, using complex software to perform detailed tasks and calculations.
What does a digital inventory management system do? How is it helpful? Modern inventory management systems combine advanced hardware and software-based technology to identify products in stock, generate sales reports and process customer analytics. Inventory management systems also include handheld barcode scanners, printers and more. Employees capable of operating inventory management software and handling inventory policies/procedures are also part of your inventory management system.
Who Can Use Inventory Management Systems
Inventory management systems are designed for small and large businesses alike. Any business selling products and in need of organizational processes to manage them has use for an inventory management system. Retail stores are perhaps the most common example of businesses requiring inventory management platforms. Most fast food restaurants also require some type of inventory management system geared toward their type of business. Factories and warehouses require large, comprehensive inventory management systems to handle labeling, shipping, packaging, coding and more. Hospitals, schools, churches, colleges, banks, eBay stores, Amazon and more all need high-end inventory management systems to operate properly.
Average Cost for Inventory Management Systems
It is nearly impossible to calculate an exact average cost of inventory management systems in 2021 because of the volume and vastly different types systems available. The price of an inventory management system is also dependent on the size of your business and the amount of employees using the platform. Free versions are available as well as free trial periods. Free versions might be useful for small startups or online sole-proprietorships, but they also have specific limitations. Free trial periods might include unrestricted free versions for a limited amount of time.
Do you run an accounting firm? QuickBooks has full purchase options for approximately $500 and $40 per month subscriptions. Are you operating a major warehouses and/or factory? A complete inventory and accounting Enterprise Resource Planning ERP system might cost between approximately $20,000 and $40,000.
Finding the average cost for an inventory management system best suited for your business requires research and comparing what systems similar companies are using today. How many users do you have? What are your deployment methods and/or total number of SKUs? The following is a list of several popular inventory management systems and approximate pricing when available:
Zoho Inventory (free plans; paid pricing from $59/month).
Fishbowl (Free demo scheduling; pricing by private request only).
Benefits for Small & Large Businesses
Inventory management systems offer multiple benefits for small and large businesses alike. The end goals of running a business always include meeting the needs of your customers and also making a profit. Inventory management systems benefit both small and large businesses by helping them achieve these goals through organization, analytics and structure.
Large retail and/or warehouse-related businesses usually have a lot of inventory. Without the help of a comprehensive inventory management system it might be impossible for many large businesses to operate at all. How do inventory management systems benefit smaller businesses? When your company is first starting out it might be challenging to know what to re-stock and when. Inventory management software analytics helps track customer purchase habits. Intuitive software helps anticipate what dates certain products will need to be restocked, allowing you to make purchases in advance. These types of functions are highly beneficial to smaller, and especially newer businesses in need of some assistance when handling inventory to make the most profits possible.
Types of Available Inventory Systems Today
The most basic type of digital inventory system available today is the spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are still part of even the most complex inventory manages systems, but are far too limited to handle the national and global reach of most companies in 2021. Cloud based inventory systems store all data on servers, with access granted to a specific amount of users (employees, management, etc.) and units (warehouses, offices, etc.). Public, private and hybrid cloud-based inventory systems are all available, each having its own unique set of benefits and features.
Advanced types of inventory systems are capable of integrating with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and more. Large systems for massive retail chains such as Walmart, Target and Macy’s are required to handle immense volumes of sales and purchases. Larger inventory management systems are often fully customizable at Enterprise Plan levels for specific pricing. Software as a service (SaaS) inventory systems are most beneficial for small to mid-size companies due to affordable pricing, convenient monthly subscriptions and some level of customization.