Why the format you choose for keeping your inventory records can make or break your business

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Pesky sales people may have reached out to you several times about showing you new and automated ways of keeping your inventory information and your answer has probably been always the same:  “I am very much okay with how I do it  now”, and that’s perfectly fine. If you are determined to keep your manual inventory control system, by all means, keep it.  However, it never hurts to take a sneak peek at the other side too you know. Just to catch a glimpse of what’s going on there. In this post, we are going to do a quick comparison of your manual system and the computerized system so that next time that annoying sales person reaches out or that inventory software ad buzzes in your face, you’d be in the know.

Let’s rewind the good and the bad of manual inventory control.

Even the most skilled salesperson would have to concede to the obvious advantages of a manual inventory control system. The list is short but has some weight:

  1. It involves little cost. Your ledger, stock book and pen (or pencil) is all you need

2. It requires very little training in most cases. At this point, it may help to know that basic spreadsheets are considered manual.

Getting the fundamental benefits of manual inventory control out of the way, let’s talk about it’s scary disadvantages.

Your books are susceptible to theft, loss or damages. This can be a terrifying blow. It can also be open to lots of human error which in most cases, you cannot even detect or trace back. This makes it impossible to track theft and inventory losses. This doesn’t make manual inventory control a long term option for a growing business adding new products all the time.

It’s highly labor-intensive and impossible to accurately keep manual track of metrics such as what is running out of stock, what items the suppliers brought in, what is expiring,  when is the right time to order new items and even sharing inventory real time information with multiple stakeholders of the business.

As stated earlier, manual inventory control isn’t bad, but the question is, how much is your business worth to you to take all the risks and excessive time consumption involved.

Prepare yourself for a quick fact: The 2017 “State of Small Business Report” assembled by Wasp Barcode Technologies found that nearly half of all small businesses do not keep track of their inventory – not on paper, not on a spreadsheet, and not even sporadically on a piece of scrap paper conveniently pulled from a back pocket.

Let’s talk about all the bad and the good sides of computerized inventory control.

The usual culprits for the fears surrounding computerized systems are

  1. Internet connectivity reliability that most systems rely on
  2. Ongoing or high subscription costs associated with most systems
  3. Requires some high level of training and muscle memory to get used to
  4. Security of your data

If you have these fears, then they are legitimate and true…….. ..but, not for all systems. A computerised inventory control such as Sumundi Keepsales can help you access key sales functionality offline.  It’s entirely free to start using. Has lots of tutorials, manuals and active support to help get you familiarised in no time and even better, all your data is stored securely in the cloud with lots of backup and out of reach for bad actors.

Basically, you can swap your inventory books with a computerized system like Sumundi Keepsales and not feel the transition. Infact, you become more efficient and faster at what you do with  all the benefits of a computerized system minus all the disadvantages of a manual system.

The fundamental goals of an inventory control system whether manual or computerized is to help you control costs, gain insights into your business, reduce mistakes, errors, eliminate theft and be able to serve your customers properly with no disappointments. Your present system may be succeeding in this regard, but if you see your business growing from where it is now or adopting more digital channels, then a computerized system like Sumundi Keepsales may be a prudent move.

Whatever you ultimately decide, your determination to abide by the basics should serve you well.  You will always know and understand your business more than anyone else does.

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