CPA Practice Advisor

SEP 2018

Today's Technology for Tomorrow's Firm.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 33

16 SEPTEMBER 2018 ■ REVIEW: INVENTORY MANAGEMENT By Mary Girsch-Bock Business Success Depends on Inventory As I drove past a restaurant, I was bombarded with signs advertising a new special. On a whim, I pulled into the parking lot, ready to try their new special. I sat down at one of the comfortable tables and placed my order with the waitress, who looked at me for a long moment then said, “I’m sorry, but we’re out of that.” I got up and left. As I drove away, I thought how much this restaurant had spent on local advertising, only to run out of the product they were advertising. I also wondered how many customers walked out, and how much money they ultimately lost in the process. Here are some other examples of how important inventory is to the success of a business. Every employee at Larry’s business receives a laptop and a cell phone, enabling them to work remotely. But if no one is tracking them, Larry has no idea how many laptops they’ve given out, who has them, how many have been returned, or how many may be missing. Then there’s Joan, whose manufacturing business assembles and sells a component for small aircraft. But the assembly line is down today because they discovered that one of the items needed to assemble the component is out of stock. Meanwhile, Joan’s competitor across town is busy working on a large rush order that just came in from one of Joan’s regular customers. We are living in a world of instant gratification. When we buy something, we want it now. We don’t want to wait if a product is on backorder. We’ll just find another retailer who has the item in stock, another restaurant that sells the food we desire, another manufacturer that has the component we need. That’s why your business success depends on inventory management. While losing potential customers by running out of stock can hurt a business’s long-term health, not managing inventory properly can have other negative effects. How does a retailer know what items are selling, and what items are not, if they don’t track inventory? How do they know how much of a product to order, or how much not to order? While the last thing a business wants is to run out of inventory, like the restaurant above, the next to last thing they want is to store a large amount of inventory that is not being moved at all. Managing inventory properly also works as a terrific theft deterrent. With management well-informed on inventory levels, removing items from inventory will immediately alert managers to possible theft. For manufacturers, the lack of proper inventory management can result in a delay in products being assembled and shipped, which means a delay in monies received. And if you’re constantly delaying shipment, it’s likely that your customers will simply turn to another manufacturer, one that manages their inventory properly. In fact, many business owners have turned to inventory management applications to help them manage their in-house assets, such as computers and laptops that are checked in and out by employees. Bottom line, if you have inventory, you should have an adequate way to manage that inventory properly. The good news is that there are more inventory management options available at various price points than ever before. The products reviewed here, like their pricing, vary tremendously. We also looked at two inventory-related apps. We don’t assign star ratings to the apps, because these inexpensive tools are not meant to compete with full-featured systems. Instead, they provide useful features that may be sufficient for some smaller entities, or can be used alongside a full inventory system. Throughout the review process, we looked for particular features that are important to those in search of an inventory management product, such as deployment method available, mobile accessibility, asset and inventory tracking capability, barcode REMOTE/CLOUD ACCESSIBILITY MOBILE APPS AVAILABLE ASSET/INVENTORY TRACKING SERIAL # TRACKING BARCODE PRINTING/ LABELING ITEM IMAGES KITTING CAPABILITY MULTIPLE PRICING LEVELS VOLUME PRICING & DISCOUNTS MULTIPLE VALUATION LEVELS INVENTORY REPORTING INTEGRATION WITH ACCT APPLICATIONS INTEGRATION WITH POS & E-COMMERCE HELP & SUPPORT INVENTORY APPS GOCANVAS x x x x x x x SOS INVENTORY x x x x x x x x x x ACCTIVATE INVENTORY x x x x x x x x x x x x x x ADVANCEPRO x x x x x x x x x x x x x* x ASSET PANDA x x x x x x x x EZOFFICEINVENTORY x x x x x x x FISHBOWL WAREHOUSE x x x x x x x x x x x x x x iNFLOW INVENTORY x x x x x x x x x x x x x OFFICEWISE x x x x x WASP INVENTORY x x x x x x x x x x ZOHO INVENTORY x x** x x x x x x x x x * optional module **ios only

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of CPA Practice Advisor - SEP 2018