If you have a store or if you are working for one, you are surely familiar with what an inventory is.
For small stores, an inventory can be as simple as having a list on a notebook of all of the products, their cost, and their selling prices. However, for bigger stores, a more sophisticated and more systematic inventory strategy is needed.
If you are in need of an inventory system that is easy to create and update, at the same time organized and systematic, you will need to have your own control system by using control numbers on your products. This will make it faster for you to track fast-moving items that need to be replenished. The product code number will show up and provide information on how many more are in stock.
To create your own inventory system, follow the guidelines stated below.
- Materials that you will need:
- Inventory application
- List of all you products and corresponding product number
- Get an inventory software application. There are several inventory applications available in the market. Choose one that best fits your store and needs. There are many sophisticated ones that may be too complicated to use for beginners. Choose one that is easy to use, not just by you, but for anyone else who would have access to encode. At the very least, your application should enable you to list your products, assign their product code, show number of items available and sold, and cost of the product. It is also ideal to have the software record scheduled shipments and provide cost analysis. Search online for trial versions before purchasing the actual application. This will give you an opportunity to have a feel of the application first. Download and install the software on your computer.
- Encode. This is the longest part in creating your inventory system, especially if you have a lot of products to encode. Enter each item name and product code as well as the amount of the item. The price should already have your mark-up. Do not rush this step. Make sure your entries are correct because the whole system will rely to the information you provide.
- Provide shipping details. If you have regular customers that you ship items to, it would be best to also use the system to record their information. Input their names, address, and contact number. Also indicate when they need the items delivered. For some inventory software, a reminder can be displayed to remind you of your pending deliveries.
- Keep a hardcopy of your files. Print out a copy of your inventory on a regular basis for reference. You can use this to double check information even when you are not in your office and do not have access to the system.
Do not forget to save any changes you have done to the system, especially when encoding. In case the application crashes or in case of a power failure, you can still revert to the updated version. Also keep a back-up copy if the computer fails to boot or display your application.