How do I Choose the Best Inventory Tracking System?

Larry Ray Palmer

There are several things that should be considered when choosing an inventory tracking system for your business. By understanding what your company needs from inventory tracking software and how much any potential benefits are worth, it is easier to make an informed purchasing decision regarding this type of software. Finding the best inventory tracking system for your company can eliminate inventory problems and make the job of managing your product and supply lines easier. Understanding the features that are available and the abilities of the various inventory tracking systems will ensure that you are getting a system that will meet your needs and be the best fit for your company.

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

The first consideration when one begins looking for an inventory tracking system is knowing what types of inventory you need to track. If your inventory is strictly customer inventory or products for sale that you produce on site, your inventory tracking system will require different capabilities than that of a business that is reselling items it has purchased from another vendor. While, in the first example, one would need to track products and several individual supplies for creating the product, the reseller may only need to track the actual number of units on hand.

Smaller companies may still track inventory manually.
Smaller companies may still track inventory manually.

You also need to decide exactly what you want your inventory tracking system to be able to do. If you need a detailed analysis of your sales and expenditures for each and every product with complete inventory charts, you can expect to pay a lot more for these features than the business that just wants to catalog the different products on its merchandising table at a trade show. Knowing what tasks you need your inventory tracking system to be capable of performing before you start shopping is important to finding the best fit for your needs. You may find as you research the available products in more detail, that there are additional features that you would like your system to have, but knowing what you need before you begin the search can help you narrow the results down to the best options in a much more efficient manner.

In choosing any inventory tracking software for your company, you need to evaluate the abilities of the people who will be responsible for using the system. While you can buy state-of-the-art inventory management plans and computer inventory software that can do everything from running an inventory audit to tracking your shipments, if you cannot understand how to make it work, it is going to be useless to you. Pick an inventory tracking system that can provide all of the features you need without going beyond the realm of where you or your inventory management team are comfortable with the technology.

You should also factor in costs when choosing the best inventory tracking system for your business. While there are many expensive computer inventory software suites on the market today, those who are seeking to manage a small inventory may find these software suites are not a cost-effective solution. There are many excellent freeware or low-cost inventory management programs available online that may be more suitable to your company's needs and budget.

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