Home > Forums
Topic Title: Inventory Mgt Sofware for very small business?
Topic Summary: Inventory Mgt Sofware for very small business
Created On: 08/08/2014 09:05 AM
Linear : Threading
Send to a Friend Send to a Friend
Search Topic Search Topic
Topic Tools Topic Tools
View similar topics View similar topics
View topic in raw text format. Print this topic.
08/11/2014 06:25 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
AndyJawlik
Andrew Jawlik



Can anyone recommend a simple Inventory Management program for a very small business (12 employees). Inexpensive or free would be good

They currently have one location where everything is stored and any employee can take what they need on a daily basis. They are always running out of stock. For some items there is a lead time of 1 - 2 weeks to reorder.

The business is constructing and maintaining raised-bed gardens for homeowners. Stock includes seeds, soil, plants, irrigation lines and fittings, etc.

Teams are out on the road servicing customers all day. They come in once a day to get items and orders.

Thanks,
Andy
08/12/2014 07:07 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
100569
Daniel Markovitz



Why do you need software? Could you get by with a simple two-bin kanban, with inventory levels adjusted based on lead time and usage? My hunch is that software will only make inventory management more opaque, less accurate, and more time consuming to manage.

dan markovitz
08/15/2014 08:20 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
SelwynDavies
Selwyn Davies



Hi, Kanban seems an ideal resolution, however if needed to use a database what about Access ? I'm sure there are database templates for stock control for access available freely on the net.
however try these people - I've installed their software and kit - very good but I'm out of date with prices. www.Waspbarcode.co.uk

this is their blurb...


Barcode Scanner, Stock

Control, & Asset Tracking
Wasp Barcode manufactures barcode software & productivity systems for small business. Products include barcode scanners, stock control software, barcode printers, asset tracking, time & attendance systems, and Point of Sale (ePOS) systems.

Barcode based data capture and tracking systems from Wasp help small business owners manage their companies more efficiently with improved productivity and profitability. All hardware and software systems are ready-to-use, right out of the box and are not scaled down versions of complicated enterprise products. With Wasp, small business owners and managers will spend less time learning new products and more time running their companies. For more than 20 years, Wasp has developed a loyal base of 250,000 customers.

Regards
Selwyn
08/15/2014 08:21 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
SelwynDavies
Selwyn Davies



Kanban sounds great however what about free database templates for access if they have it or use excel?

a company I have used is good kit but I am out of touch with prices. www.Waspbarcode.co.uk

this is their blurb...Barcode Scanner, Stock

Control, & Asset Tracking
Wasp Barcode manufactures barcode software & productivity systems for small business. Products include barcode scanners, stock control software, barcode printers, asset tracking, time & attendance systems, and Point of Sale (ePOS) systems.

Barcode based data capture and tracking systems from Wasp help small business owners manage their companies more efficiently with improved productivity and profitability. All hardware and software systems are ready-to-use, right out of the box and are not scaled down versions of complicated enterprise products. With Wasp, small business owners and managers will spend less time learning new products and more time running their companies. For more than 20 years, Wasp has developed a loyal base of 250,000 customers.

Gain stock visibility and management of your stock with Wasp stock control. Reduce inventory stock outs. Manage stock reorder levels. Check in / check out. Stock control software & management solutions include stock control software and bundles with mobile devices. Stock control software can also be purchased without a mobile device.
08/15/2014 08:22 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
Gensi7
Simon Cunnane



Interesting.

Agree with Dan that software might not be the solution particularly if you say "any employee can take what they need on a daily basis". However, some cost-effective mobile apps are listed and discussed at two links below: (I am not affiliated to any of the products listed).

- http://www.igeeksblog.com/ipad...tory-management-apps/
- http://www.techrepublic.com/bl...r-managing-inventory/

There are other questions that arise though:

- Can jobs be surveyed beforehand and an approximate Bill of Materials developed based on past experience? One person could be responsible for this and another responsible for assessing and ordering inventory as required. This pre-planning could help to prevent the sudden rush each day by the individual crews who might think they know what's needed for each job but inevitable take "buffer stock" just-in-csae!
- Can items such as soil be stored (as Dan suggested) in a 2-bin scenario? Bags of soil/seeds etc usually come in bulk delivered on pallets. If possible, store two pallets side-by-side with the rule that all bags must be taken from one pallet before opening the other. When this first pallet is emptied that should trigger a signal that someone (ideally just one person) needs to place a Purchase Order to the relevant supplier.
- Same for other items, irrigation lines can come in 50m coils, can the business keep two coils stocked and use the same principle? Or tie a ribbon at the 10m mark and when this is reached, use that as the re-ordering signal.
- Software is just a way of automating something. If the manual process is already wasteful or not working well, all software does is make this happen much quicker without solving the problem.

Some food for thought in any case, please let us know how it progresses.

Regards,
Simon.
08/15/2014 08:22 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
AndyJawlik
Andrew Jawlik



I guess I think of kanban as more for production and movement of parts. There are 6 different types of kanban cards that I know of, and it seemed like it would be more complicated than a very simple inventory program might be.

It would be good if the program could be on the cloud. The users are workers are on the road, servicing customers. If they could see that something was not in stock, for e.g., they wouldn't make a wasted trip in to "the shop".
08/15/2014 08:22 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
308260
Tim Anderson



Hi,

it seems a simple software solution is quite a jump from nothing at all. Simple ones are hard to find anyway. The Toyota Way Handbook describes why software comes after process improvement- Principle 9' Make Technology fit with people and processes' explains it better than I could so I won't try.

Can you visually tell when something needs re-ordering and can you then signal(kanban) the ordering process? You are likely to spend a years wages of someone finding, buying, enabling and implementing it and then it needs managing, updating, waiting for changes etc.

Probably best to look at the value stream(current) and the impact on lead times etc, hone it down and really understand the data and process. Then think about software( briefly) before starting again. Then you will get to a point that you know exactly what the software needs to do to support your process and get it built to spec. with nothing extra added. Ot decide you don't actually need it. The two-bin kanban is a lot easier to maintain and operate. And it's visual.

hope this helps. Good luck with your Lean efforts.

Tim Anderson
08/15/2014 08:22 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
serenamcarthur
serena mcarthur



Hi Andy
I would suggest the Kanban system that Daniel makes reference to. I worked with a group before of 30 office employees and we had alot of issues with office supplies and running out. Lead time wasnt an issue for us but the amount of very small purchase orders was too high for that group.
We put in a Kanban system - we were able to obtain lists for our vendors of we ordered in the past and the qty ordered in the year, which helped us to determine how many bins we needed and fom qty review using your lead time, will help determine how much stock you should keep on hand. as the supplies reached their kanban limit, a card was there with all the purchase details and placed in a area for the Ordering Officer to pick up. The Ordering officer will order and place the cards on a board to let staff know at a glance what had been ordered.
It was realtively inexpensive to put in and took about a week.
Good Luck!!
08/26/2014 06:19 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
AndyJawlik
Andrew Jawlik



Thanks to all for the thoughtful suggestions. It sounds a Kanban system could be a good solution.

But I should probably understand the problem better before coming to conclusions. The owner is having his folks dig into the situation and provide more specifics on the problem, and hopefully some metrics. Then we'll have a better handle on things.

Thanks much,
Andy
04/16/2015 06:24 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
micagordon
mica gordon



Originally posted by: SelwynDavies

Hi, Kanban seems an ideal resolution, however if needed to use a database what about Access ? I'm sure there are database templates for stock control for access available freely on the net.

however try these people - I've installed their software and kit - very good but I'm out of date with prices. www.Waspbarcode.co.uk



this is their blurb...





Barcode Scanner, Stock



Control, & Asset Tracking

Wasp Barcode manufactures barcode software & productivity systems for small business. Products include barcode scanners, stock control software, barcode printers, asset tracking, time & attendance systems, and Point of Sale (ePOS) systems.



Barcode based data capture and tracking systems from Wasp help small business owners manage their companies more efficiently with improved productivity and profitability. All hardware and software systems are ready-to-use, right out of the box and are not scaled down versions of complicated enterprise products. With Wasp, small business owners and managers will spend less time learning new products and more time running their companies. For more than 20 years, Wasp has developed a loyal base of 250,000 customers.



Regards

Selwyn


For bar code scanner, .net bar code scanner library maybe helpful.
10/18/2016 07:11 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
335131
Mohan G



Have a look at 'Challan and Invoice Printing System' software here: http://atulconsultancy.co.in/c...oice-printing-system/
I have been using it for past few months and found it useful for my small business. Hope this would be useful to someone.

regards
11/22/2016 08:04 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
335908
Norbert Madyar



Try EasyERP. It's an ERP which also has an inventory module. I'm using it for my small e-commerce business. There are 2 versions - desktop and web-based, so it's very flexible. Anyway, I prefer to use web-based version. Also it's free ( you have to pay only for customization, but it's not necessary if you have a small business). Here is the link, hope it will help you https://easyerp.com/
03/06/2017 10:30 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
338655
Louis Williams



I suggest that you get in touch with <a href="http://www.warehouse-management.co.uk">business inventory management software</a> providers. Explain to them the nature of your business, its size, and your needs. Aside from the fact that you can buy inventory software from these providers, you can also get useful recommendations from their experts. Hope this helps!
04/28/2017 09:36 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
GarryOne
Garry One



Recently I wrote the article about warehouse optimization and I really recommend you take a look at it - Best ways for warehouse optimization This article worth reading
10/20/2017 09:30 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
AudreyF
Audrey FAVRE



Id' suggest you to try erplain websiteerplain, an inventory and order management software.
It was built specifically for small businesses. It is a web app and do not require any IT or upfront cost.

It will help you managing your stock:
- Define your safety stock level and set reorder points.
- Track inventory for each of your sales locations / warehouses
- Create purchase orders and backorders from sales order if inventory is low
- Real time data - your team can work with the same data, wherever they are and whenever they need.
- Barcode support
- Order processing support (create invoices from estimate or sales orders...)
04/06/2018 12:26 PM
Print this message

Author Icon
MarySmith
Mary Smith



Hello! Try XRP Warehouse Management System from Meade Willis. ???????? XRP Warehouse Management System from Meade Willis. Of course, the capabilities of this system exceed your needs, but as your company grows you will not have to switch to a new system. A detailed description of this system is available here: http://www.meadewillis.com/warehouse-management-system
04/06/2018 12:33 PM
Print this message

Author Icon
348622
Lylene C



Hi
I would recommend an app that will handle all your inventory management needs. Something like EMERGE App. https://emergeapp.net/

EMERGE App offers free account as well. With first user free forever, meaning the first user can try the app without paying a single dollar.

Hope you guys like it.
04/06/2018 12:36 PM
Print this message

Author Icon
343377
Mohammad Ali



07/17/2018 09:14 AM
Print this message

Author Icon
351991
Alex Black



When it comes to services, there is no "best" software as you need to understand what is best for your business.

For example, if your eCommerce store has a live chat, your visitors will contact you and you. Here is what you need form a CRM:

Visitor ID
Country
Email of the visitor
First Visit Day
Operation System
These are the main things you need from your customer engagement software
Note: These forums are moderated by the Lean Enterprise Institute. All posts are reviewed within 24-48 hours prior to appearing on the site. Views expressed in these forums do not necessarily represent the views of the Lean Enterprise Institute.