Although many businesses today already have inventory software which they use, most of those businesses are using software that is out of date and therefore not as efficient as it could be. Today the top inventory software has the ability to monitor batch numbers, expiry dates and serial numbers as well as being able to read bar codes. All of these things are extremely important for the correct management of inventory control and if your system does not have all these capabilities, you are leaving your business wide open to suffering the effects of human error whilst entering specific data. Basically the less human interaction that is needed, with an inventory control system, the better, as there are too many occurrences of data being improperly entered and thereby causing financial losses. Obviously if you have proficient data entry staff, the number of errors may be less but human error is always present. Whereas a secretary or typist may enter a wrong letter, the word may still be understandable but if a data entry clerk enters the wrong digit on a part number, it may never be discovered and stock may therefore be lost. Bar coding was invented for just this reason and now if an item has a bar code, that code need only be scanned for the program to know exactly what the item is and register it accordingly. Of course, the code can be scanned at more times than just entry into the inventory, it can also be scanned if stocks are moved within a warehouse and of course they can be scanned when stocks finally leave a warehouse.
Maintaining a correct inventory plays many roles within a business. Not only does it tell a manager what value of stock is held and itemize that stock, it also allows a manger to ascertain when replenishments are needed to be ordered, although with most modern software the manager can program the software to do that for them. An accurate inventory can show management how fast stocks are turning over and allow them to correctly anticipate how much stock is needed to be held on hand. Good inventory management can also indicate when a business may be suffering from staff pilfering and although this is something that is very hard to completely eliminate, it can assist the manager in keeping the instances down to a minimum.
Perhaps one of the best advantages that inventory software has is that it can provide management with up to date records, graphs, stocks or reports at a moment’s notice, something that with manual inventory control would require at least one day’s notice and then be one day out of date. If a business does not have an up to date inventory program, they may be expending too much manual labour on data entry tasking that is less reliable than a bar scanning system and as all manual labour is expensive, out of date software may be costing the business money which is needed elsewhere.