September 27, 2016

How to Improve Inventory Tracking: 5 Solutions for Small Businesses


inventory scanner

Being mobile is an absolute essential for small business entrepreneurs who need the flexibility to run their businesses from just about anywhere. This flexibility can come easily if your business deals with virtual services, like consulting. But if your company provides a physical sales product, you can’t escape the need to track inventory.

Enterprise-level inventory tracking systems are not only expensive, but they can also be complex and difficult to use. This can be especially frustrating if your inventory tracking needs are more on par with a small local storage room than giant warehouses on multiple continents. Good news: flexible cloud-based apps are making it easier to remotely manage stock without breaking the bank.

These are five of my favorites that can simplify your inventory tracking needs.

StockPile

Built by Canvus Applications, StockPile is a free (yes, it’s really and truly free) online inventory tracking system designed specifically for small businesses. The Canvus Applications team releases updates every quarter as they add new features and enhancements for daily operation management. Create inventory items (“stock”), assign them a location and quantity, and add/remove stock during a transaction. One potential downside some users have noted: StockPile isn’t great about handling units with decimals since it is built to handle single inventory units (e.g., 500 bags of flour rather than 10.5 kg of flour).

But this is a minor complaint about an otherwise solid inventory tracking system. Stockpile pledges to be forever free for unlimited uses, unlimited items, and unlimited locations. If you’re still tracking inventory with spreadsheets, this is a good “starter” inventory tracker app.

Wasp Barcode Technologies

Take the logistical nightmare out of tracking and auditing inventory supplies with Wasp Barcode Technologies. Their affordable inventory management software system reduces waste and makes inventory control a piece of cake. Built-in features include automated reports for managing inventory and quickly conducting audits. Notify suppliers when levels are low or items are past due.

Design your own inventory and shipping labels or choose from more than 100+ pre-designed templates with integrated barcode labeling software. Stop running out of stock, eliminate costly end-of-year inventory write-offs, and increase profitability by getting your products to the consumer faster.

JumpTech

JumpTech offers three great cloud and mobile-based inventory management systems. JumpStart, designed originally to assist healthcare providers, offers easy, automated recording of all supply transactions for better supply planning and management. Never lose an inner-office package again with InnerTrack, a smart package workflow tracking system for monitoring pickups, delivers and material transfers that eliminates manual processes and — even better — creates an easy-to-follow electronic audit trail. JumpCart is a streamline procurement platform designed to reduce ordering time and decrease inventory purchase errors. The apps all work with a mobile scanner that sends information instantly to the cloud so everyone’s on the same page about inventory status at all times. With software that’s so interactive it’s almost like having a real-life inventory manager on staff, JumpTech’s solutions are all built to utilize low-cost, cloud computing technology that’s compatible with mobile phones and tablets.

Goods Order Inventory System (GOIS) Pro

This Web and mobile app is built specifically to address the inventory management needs for small and mid-sized businesses. GOIS Pro uses your mobile camera as a barcode scanner to quickly pull up stock information and make on-the-go stock adjustments or transfer inventory from one location to another.

The flexible app includes useful features, like the ability to define some products as freebies or gifts, set discounts and manage tax rates. Line up multiple items within one order to be processed partially or at once using the multi-part procurement feature. Real-time synchronization means everyone on your team is working off the same up-to-date inventory data.

Stock Control

This simple inventory app covers all the basics without any unnecessary bells and whistles: list your items, sort them into categories, and import/export your inventory lists with CSV files. For precise stock level management, Stock Control allows for basic inventory tracking in multiple storage spaces and includes automatic shortage alerts for each item. The barcode scanner organizes items into groups and subsets. Stock Control includes mobile apps for iOS/Android and a desktop companion version.

Bottom Line

From mobile barcode scanning to automated alerts, inventory tracking apps are a must for simplifying small business management. Have a favorite that I missed? Share it in the comments below!

Inventory Scanner Photo via Shutterstock

3 Comments ▼

Brian Hughes


Brian Hughes Brian is a seasoned digital marketing expert who loves to write about subjects that help small businesses grow their brands and increase their rankings online. He accomplishes this through his agency Integrity Marketing & Consulting, which he founded in 2011.

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3 Reactions

  1. This is a big commitment for many small businesses because it moves them into areas they’re not comfortable. However, as you pointed out, tracking inventory is vital to success. You’ve got to do it somehow and a brief period of discomfort is worth it.

  2. Aira Bongco

    I thought that this will be all about tips. I was surprised that it was about technology. Although I can see how they can help, I am looking for a way to properly organize our inventory. I guess it depends on the nature of the business.

  3. How about traceability and authentication systems that can also help with inventory management? I am working with an agricultural producer who is going from bulk wholesale to packaged retail business. We are working on logo/packaging designs and will need to incorporate an authentication system into our packaging/inventory to prove the origin of our products to consumers. I am learning more about technologies from Kezzler, AuthentiGuard, AuthenticateIt, and iTrace. Do you have any recommendations on these types of systems?

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