How do I Choose the Best Inventory Management Software?

H. Bliss

Choosing the best inventory management software means examining aspects of your company's business, including size, storage capaciy, and type of inventory, to determine which inventory management software system will be right for your company. An inventory management software system should help a business reduce the costs of production. Businesses with inventory or operations in multiple locations should choose inventory management software with advanced inventory capabilities designed for multiple locations. Small businesses can generally operate on basic inventory management software designed for businesses with one inventory location.

A woman checking inventory.
A woman checking inventory.

A properly selected software package for inventory management can help benefit a company in more ways than simply streamline inventory. This type of software provides services and data that can reduce inventory storage costs. It can also reduce or eliminate service interruptions caused by a lack of on-hand inventory or insufficient ordering of materials. Most inventory management software packages also incorporate the ability to scan bar codes and facilitate sales transactions.

Keeping track of inventory with a barcode scanner.
Keeping track of inventory with a barcode scanner.

Software programs can help a company get its inventory under control, but they can also be used as part of a greater effort to improve operations in the company. Inventory management programs are a part of supply chain management practice. Supply chain management is a method geared toward controlling the flow of materials and inventory to maximize the profitability of operations for the company. Besides inventory management, supply chain management includes managing cash flow and coordinating shipment operations.

Considering the features your company needs from a software package can help ensure you get the best program for your business. Important features in an inventory management software system include the ability to track company inventory and display the information in a convenient interface for business purposes. Some inventory management systems can automatically order inventory on materials and product when the system records a drop below a set threshold. This can help companies that handle inventory reduce the amount of inventory that is unnecessarily in storage, which can in turn reduce costs for the company.

A small operation in need of a basic inventory management system should opt for less expensive software equipped with the limited features needed in a small to mid-sized operation. System features like automatic re-ordering can be helpful for a large company with deep pockets but may prove inconvenient for smaller budgets. For a business with limited funds, automatic transactions may be financially difficult to handle, rendering this advanced inventory feature unnecessary.

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