inventory tracking methods

Online retailers commonly outsource inventory management and logistics to third-party logistics (3PL) providers. 3PLs handle inventory receipt, storage, movement, and tracking, freeing up resources but potentially leading to added costs and loss of control. Dedicated inventory management systems track stock, forecast demand and generate reports. An inventory tracking system is a software or set of tools designed to monitor, record, and manage the movement of inventory items within a business.

This inventory is often sold below cost or donated, which costs small business owners cash. Lightspeed offers one of the best inventory management products among POS systems. Users have access to a detailed inventory management system that tracks product availability across multiple locations and can set automatic reorder points so you don’t run out.

Integrated inventory solutions

It’s simple for small businesses, especially those who don’t want to set up or learn to use inventory software. Follow the step-by-step guide outlined in this blog post to create your inventory tracker. Incorporate critical elements such as stock quantity tracking, location management, reorder point alerts, product information management, and reporting capabilities. By building an inventory tracker, you can gain real-time visibility into your inventory, streamline operations, and make data-driven decisions for better inventory management. These tables capture essential information such as product details, supplier information, order details, and customer orders, allowing you to streamline inventory tracking and management processes. Managing stocks and inventory is a critical task for businesses, but it often comes with the burden of implementing costly ERP systems or relying on manual spreadsheet tracking.

  • Tracking inventory will help you keep items in stock, provide timely shipments, and improve your business’s profits by eliminating lost inventory.
  • Knack’s versatility means you can incorporate complex business logic into your app, from automated calculations to sophisticated reporting features, ensuring a holistic approach to inventory management.
  • You can check real-time inventory levels at each fulfillment center at any time and set automatic reorder levels, so you are notified when stock is running low.
  • Monitoring inventory levels and locations will give you insight into seasonal and location-based trends, which in turn will support effective demand forecasting.
  • Things move fast in a warehouse, and it’s important that you can move with it and get accurate inventory counts no matter where you are.

In addition, it should also alert you what you need to reorder based on the quantity in store, orders placed and even the year’s season. This system — which can sync sales, payments, inventory and customer data to a business’s QuickBooks Desktop account — allows users to monitor sales and track inventory changes. QuickBooks Desktop Point of Sale also automatically updates inventory based on sales. Shopify, a popular POS system for online businesses, allows users to view their current inventory, automatically adjust inventory levels and receive alerts when it’s time to order more of a certain product.

Experience the simplest inventory management software.

It represents the array of goods currently for sale (finished goods), those being used in the creation of products to be sold (work in process), or the items required to facilitate this process (raw materials). When managing inventory, consider factors like staffing decisions, seasonal demand, and purchasing schedules. Look for cost-saving opportunities throughout the supply chain, from suppliers to warehouses to customers. Most SaaS solutions are cloud-based and mobile-friendly, integrating well with other software. They suit businesses requiring multi-user access and stock tracking across multiple locations. Your products are your bread and butter, but if you’re not sufficiently tracking your inventory, there’s a good chance you’ll incur excess costs that can negatively impact your bottom line.

  • Shopify POS comes with tools to help you manage warehouse and store inventory in one place.
  • This can ensure you always have an updated inventory, which helps you keep a sufficient amount in stock to fulfill orders and avoid running out.
  • However, regular cycle counts and periodic audits are recommended to maintain accurate inventory records.
  • You can also view the history of inventory adjustments and transfers for variants tracked by Shopify.
  • There’s no getting around that, especially when you have a constantly revolving inventory with a lot of moving pieces.

When inventory quantity reaches the minimum level, a new order should be placed. Inventory tracking is no easy task, and that’s because inventory turnover can be so complicated to keep up with. This workflow acts as a blueprint for building your inventory tracker and ensures a structured approach. There are several inventory apps currently available that even integrate with online storefronts, such as Shopify. If your company’s stock is constantly in rotation, the effort of tracking it may not be worth the result.

It’s time-consuming

Kinks along the supply chain can drastically affect fulfillment times, which can impact your customer’s experience. Tracking inventory can benefit all areas of the supply chain, from raw material manufacturing to picking and packing to shipment and delivery. Accidentally overstocking items can be a safety hazard on the warehouse floor, not to mention a waste of funds. An effective system will make optimization much easier, as you’ll enjoy accurate stock information.

  • Brewed Delights, a popular coffee shop in the heart of Boston, offers a range of coffee beans, snacks, and coffee-related merchandise.
  • One key to determining inventory reorder levels is efficient inventory tracking.
  • Regularly conduct inventory audits to identify inefficiencies and detect theft, damaged goods, or spoilage.
  • Inventory tracking and supply chain management are closely interconnected aspects of business operations.
  • So, with a glance at the SKU, employees know exactly what an item is and other key details such as where it’s stored and how it displays or ships.

Many service businesses also keep perishable inventory, such as meat, bread and other items that lose their value over time until they eventually become worthless. There are many different kinds of service businesses, so their inventories will vary. For companies that produce or make their own products, work in progress inventory refers to products that are still inventory tracking methods in the process of being made. Work in progress inventory, also known as work in process inventory, includes products at several stages of the production cycle. For the company that sells candles, both candles currently being made and candles that have been made — but still need to be checked for quality before they can be sold — are work in progress inventory.