How Do I Choose the Best Manufacturing Inventory Software?

D. Nelson

Manufacturing inventory is a list of all the products and pieces of equipment that a manufacturing company might own or lease. Professionals who are responsible for inventory need to keep track of numbers and locations of items and may also need to record the health and functionality of different items. Manufacturing inventory software is a computer program designed to assist inventory managers so that they may perform their jobs more efficiently. To choose the best manufacturing inventory software, it can be helpful to consider the inventory solutions that you can most benefit from, the kind of manufacturing industry you work in, the quality, and the cost of software.

Man checking inventory with a portable device.
Man checking inventory with a portable device.

The spectrum of manufacturing inventory software available is designed to provide a variety of different solutions. For example, if you are interested in improving the operations of a receiving department, it can be helpful to find software that allows you to print receiving labels and record shipping and delivery dates. Inventory managers who need to optimize the process by which they record inventory may choose a program that can distribute and record bar codes.

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

Almost any industry that provides products to consumers requires manufacturing. For this reason, the manufacturing industry is broad, and the best choice of manufacturing inventory software may depend on the nature of your business. An inventory manager who works in an industry in which there is much design and assembly may choose software that allows him or her to generate a list or bill of materials based on models created by engineers. Professionals who work in fields such as the cosmetics industry may prefer software that enable them to generate orders based on recipes.

The quality of different kinds of manufacturing software tends to differ from product to product. It can often be difficult to choose which program will work best for your needs without first using it. Many professionals rely on trade publications that include write-ups of new software models. Others may utilize customer reviews and ratings. Recommendations from colleagues can be another helpful tool in choosing the best manufacturing inventory software.

Cost is another variable to consider when picking the best inventory software. The cheapest software is often the most basic, while complex software that allows for many different users and which performs a host of different functions can be more costly. Choosing the best can sometimes be a matter of listing required functions then deciding on software that offers those functions for the lowest price.

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