What should I consider when choosing Business Management / Accounting Software - Part 2

Stock - Inventory Management and Control

Author: mrt/Sunday, 25 November 2012/Categories: Business Management Software

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If your business supplies products to customers, Inventory / Stock Control is a critical requirement for your business.

Stock Holding Control
Making sure you can supply customers product requirements but not hold too much stock is very important for your cash flow and customer retention. You need to be able to manage Minimum and Maximum Stock levels per product. Is your business seasonal, do you need to be able to workout stock requirements for the busy period and the quiet periods? Do you need to know the lead times for stock arrival from time of order? What if your management software could recommend what you need to order and create a Purchase order based on that order. If you answer yes to any of the above questions you need to investigate more advanced Business Management / Accounting Software Options. Basic software cannot normally handle these requirements.

Multiple Product / Inventory Pricing Options
Having flexible product pricing options is an important consideration. Does your business require multiple level prices like retail and trade etc? Do you provide special pricing based on volume? eg A customer buys 10 units he gets a discount or special price if he buys 20 he gets a even better price. Do some of your customers get individual special pricing on certain products? Do you need to apply on the fly discounts during the invoicing process?

Serial No Tracking
If your products have a serial number how do you manage this. Serial number tracking is really useful when dealing with products that have a warranty. If the product has a serial number you can validate the item when a warranty issue arises.
Also tracking serial number can be handy in the event of theft. If your products do have serial numbers it is worth recording and tracking these numbers.

Lot Tracking
Lot Tracking functionality can be used to separate Products into different varieties, For example You could have a Blue Shirt Product that comes in various sizes. In the case you create 1 Product Item for a Blue Shirt which is then split into Sizes using the Lot Number Feature. Other uses for Lost Numbers are Food Products that can be listed by Expiry Date, also products like Carpet Roles. A Carpet Role may be the same colour but there are variances in the Shade. You can use Lot Tracking to manage the Dye Lot Numbers. If your product range includes any products similar to these Lot Tracking can benefit your business.

Do you store your product range in the same location. Multi-Warehousing can help you manage stock more efficiently. You can have dispatch warehouses in other locations. With Multi-Warehousing you can have different pricing at each warehouse. track stock in transit between warehouses. Manage re-order levels in each Warehouse. It is important to note a warehouse could be a mobile van. Many business's like electricians, plumbers, computer repairers carry limited stock in  their van or vehicle. You can name each vehicle as a warehouse and effectively manage the stock in those vehicles. Most higher level Business Management Software can handle Multi-Warehousing.

Bill of Materials (BOM) / Manufacturing
Some basic Accounting programs have a basic Bill of Material or Kitting functionality. If your business sells products that are assembled from other stock you may benefit from advanced Bill of Materials found in higher level Business Management Software. Advanced features offer Multiple Levels of Bill of Material Assembly and and Disassembly. Some Examples: You have Drums of product like Oil that you buy in 240 Litres that you need to bring into stock as 1 Litres. Advanced BOM can convert a 240 Litre Drum into 240 single litres during the purchase order process. Another example may be a product that has different levels of assembly. You may have a BOM that assembles 5 Screw Drivers into a Screw Driver Kit that you sell. You may assemble 4 Spanners into a Spanner kit that you sell. Then you may also have a Toolbox Kit that Assembles a Tool Case and the Spanner and Screw Driver Kits. To achieve this you need Multiple level BOM.

Negative Stock Feature
While a Negative Stock function can cause problems it is essential for some business's to operate efficiently. Most Stock control systems will not let you invoice a product that is not in stock. Having the Negative Stock Feature enables you to process the invoice and bring the stock in at a later time. There are many pros and cons with negative stock but some business's cannot run smoothly without it.

You can look at some Advanced Business Management Software here
Sage 50 Accounts Pro
Sage Pastel Evolution



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