Inventory Apps: A Guide for Small Business Owners
Staying organized should be a priority for any small business owner, especially where inventory is concerned. Keeping track of your inventory in an efficient manner is the only way to measure what’s coming in and what’s going out, and therefore, what needs to be replaced. Because inventory is a major expense for a small business, keeping organized in the inventory department can help make sure you are only spending money on items you need, when you need it.
Checking out a few different inventory management software and systems before choosing the one you want to use will give you an idea of what type works best for you. Every business is different. Furthermore, the various inventory tracking programs available today range in price. Here are a few low-cost inventory app options to consider—and even one that’s free! And remember, you don’t have to be super tech savvy to use these programs. They’re quite user-friendly.
1. SOS Inventory: If your business uses QuickBooks, this app has some great features that will integrate nicely with the data you already have stored. The Intuit App Center reports that this app was built specifically for the QuickBooks platform, so that data entry is streamlined and you don’t end up having to enter the same information twice. With SOS Inventory, you can also create sales orders, shipments and invoices, which aren’t all things you can do with QuickBooks alone.
The app supports multiple locations so that you can ship and receive from more than one place, transfer items between your various locations and track inventory stored at all of them. Every specific item can be tracked with a serial number, allowing you to keep close tabs on profit-and-loss figures.
Cost: SOS Inventory plans range from $25-$200 per month.
2. Lettuce: iPad users will want to check this one out. Installable only for iPad, you can get this app and its companion web app for your desktop or laptop computer for cloud-based information storage. Good for even more than inventory management, the program “integrates related systems such as order capture, payment processing, shipping and tracking, customer relationship management, and sales and order analysis,” according to Entrepreneur.com.
Lettuce offers a slew of integrations with online providers of small business services, a few of which your business probably uses: QuickBooks, Shopify, FedEx and UPS, just to name a few. Lettuce’s integration with online selling platforms eBay, Amazon and Etsy is coming soon, according to their website.
Cost: Lettuce is $59 per month, and $25 for each additional user on your plan.
3. JumpStock: Another cloud-based web app, JumpStock is made by Jump Technologies. This company also offers JumpTrack for proof-of-delivery services and JumpCart for order management, all of which are compatible with iPhone, iPad and Android devices. JumpStock is an open app, which means it can integrate with nearly any third-party system you may be using, according to their website. What’s more, it offers various levels of service: as your company and its needs grow, you can add new JumpStock tools to your package. For example, the app supports multiple vendors and locations, and provides requisitioning support for non-inventoried items.
Priding itself on error-free automation, JumpStock’s claim to fame is that it eliminates the need for someone with pen and paper in hand who must track and double-check inventory figures. A secure internet connection for scanning barcodes is all you need to use this hassle-free, error-free app.
Cost: JumpStart costs $99 per month.
4. Goods Order Inventory System: Compatible with iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows, this app tracks inventory, orders and sales on mobile devices. The iPhone and Android versions have already launched, and Blackberry versions will be launched soon. GOIS is currently a free app that is great for handling basic management and tracking of products, orders and sales. However, the program does not yet integrate with other software or services. It is possible to export your information from the database for viewing in a spreadsheet or similar tool, though.
GOIS will soon be expanding to offer GOIS Pro. This web-based premium version will have more advanced features than the original mobile app, for a fee.
There you have it—some of the newest and also some of the more well-established inventory management applications. Based on your business’s size, profit margin and sheer inventory volume, different inventory apps will work better for you than others. Check out these options and see if any of them are a fit for you.
If you are in need of funding to purchase inventory technology, consider Kabbage. A line of credit from Kabbage offers ongoing access to funds so you can make the investments you need to grow your business in the long-run.