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How do I Choose the Best Small Business Inventory Control Software?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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Choosing the right small business inventory control software can seem like a difficult task. With so many different software packages geared toward different types of inventory needs, the small business owner must sift through a lot of options in order to find the best inventory control software for his or her needs. Fortunately, it’s possible to narrow the search by considering a few basic characteristics, and identify two or three software packages that will do the job.

When evaluating options for small business inventory control software, it is critical that the package comes with the option to receive updates. This is because tax laws regarding inventories change from time to time. Many of the more comprehensive inventory control packages can use the information entered into the database to generate reports that make the process of calculating those taxes much simpler. For a small business with limited labor resources, this feature saves an appreciable amount of time.

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Flexibility is another characteristic to look for with small business inventory control software. Ideally, the software can easily import data from other programs used by the business, limiting the amount of data that must be manually entered. The software should also allow the option to build reports relevant to the small business, as well as have an ample supply of pre-loaded report formats. A truly flexible inventory software package will also allow more than one approach to determining when inventory items are replenished, as well as ways to override those inventory methods when necessary.

Cost is also very important when it comes to evaluating small business inventory control software. The goal is to balance the cost with the benefits gained by having access to specific tools contained in the software package. If a less expensive package will provide tools to aid in inventory tracking, or correcting various types of inventory problems, then the package may be a good buy. Should the business require additional functions that are not included, such as inventory audit or planning tools, then the less expensive package is really not the best deal. Also plan for growth; this makes it possible to select small business inventory software that will still be a good fit once the business has posted growth for a couple of consecutive years.

Many small business inventory control software packages provide the benefit of a free trial period. This is an excellent way to get a feel for how a given product works, and decide if the software does include all the functions you desire. If one product is not working out, cancel the trial and move on to the next candidate on the list. Within a short period of time, you’ll discover the ideal inventory control software for your business and be ready to get back to the task of growing your clientele.

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