Maintaining inventory compliance
and upholding the requirements outlined by inventory legislation
should be prioritized by all companies that hold goods and materials for the purpose of resale. Although streamlined, accurate and compliant inventory management is a widespread goal among such firms, the methods and tools used to attain this can vary.Spreadsheets
Some owners of businesses that are extremely small, have a low inventory, or both believe spreadsheets are sufficient. Spreadsheets are a cheap and relatively user-friendly inventory management tool that some company owners see as a cost-effective alternative to investing in more sophisticated inventory technology
. However, they come with significant drawbacks. Spreadsheet-based inventory management is extremely hands-on, as it requires the people taking part in the process to manually count all inventory items before entering these values. It also involves the use of formulas that must be coded and implemented by hand. One data entry or formula error can throw off the veracity of the entire sheet.Barcodes
Barcode technology is a step up from spreadsheets. By affixing a unique barcode to each item in a warehouse or retail establishment, companies can use barcode scanners to keep track of inventory comings and goings, as well as record items' current locations. The data generated can help streamline efforts to locate particular pieces of inventory, and also provides companies with statistics that can be used to make buying decisions.RFID
Active radio frequency identification (RFID) technology uses fixed readers that automatically scan every RFID tag (similar to a barcode) that passes within a certain range of their locations. Meanwhile, passive RFID systems involve handheld scanners and operate in a similar way to the barcode process, although RFID has a longer range.Inventory software Inventory software
can be used in conjunction with these methods to store, collate and analyze collected data. By integrating solutions such as the Sage BusinessVision Inventory Modules, companies can automate processes and gain a greater understanding of inventory levels and trends.
The Inventory Control module facilitates the tracking of serialized inventory items, raw materials, manufactured parts and more, while the Order Entry module ensures accuracy and automatically calculates taxes, revenue and receivables. In conjunction with the Bill of Material offering, the Order Entry module makes sure needed items are automatically drawn from inventory. Lastly, the Purchase Order module streamlines the process of tracking elements such as vendors, payables and purchases.