Top inventory tracking software
Inventory tracking software is an important management tool that benefits businesses of all sizes. For the majority of small businesses a single inventory tracking software package is false economy. These software packages have many integrated features and are outstanding however most small businesses will have no need for such an elaborate piece of software. The most cost effective inventory tracking software is accounting software with an inventory tracking module.
Accounting packages which include inventory tracking software are by far the best way to go. These all in one packages are tried and tested so there will be no bugs, have excellent after sales and support services and be reasonably cheap. In addition, you not only get an inventory tracking software package but an accounts package as well.
My top 5 inventory tracking software consists of accounting packages complete with the inventory tracking feature that are best for small businesses, and not the stand alone all singing and all dancing inventory tracking software packages.
At around $185 QuickBooks pro is not the cheapest of inventory tracking software packages, but it is not the most expensive either. QuickBooks Pro is a comprehensive accounting package that includes sales ledger, purchase ledger, general ledger, banking, payroll, reporting and
QuickBooks Pro has an excellent support and after sales service. The software has an inbuilt help function however there is also an online support service via the Intuit website if you find yourself stuck. The website also contains updates, upgrades, frequently asked questions, installation guides and trouble shooting. If you want a telephone support service you will have to pay, however it is not too much.
QuickBooks Pro has a basic inventory management system but it should be more than adequate for most small businesses. This module can track inventory, manage backorders, set inventory levels and set re-order levels amongst more. One of the biggest criticisms of the QuickBooks inventory management system is that it does not support product images. The ability to see the product lines is a good feature, however it is not essential and given the cost of QuickBooks the fact you can’t see product images it not really an issue.
QuickBooks Pro is so easy to use and it is something a complete novice can pick up very quickly and with no formal training. Whilst basic the inventory tracking module is more than adequate and works perfectly. In fact, all modules in QuickBooks Pro works exceptionally well and they integrate with no problems whatsoever.
At around $2,300 DacEasy is the most expensive accounting package that incorporates an inventory tracking software module in my top 5. Whilst expensive DacEasy does include accounting, order entry, payroll, job costing and business centre. As a bonus you get point of sale
software, a year of tax updates and a gold support package that lasts for a year. Many small businesses are not going to have a need for all the features of DacEasy and will, therefore, be a waste of money. However, for all those businesses that will use all the features DacEasy represents great value for money and is well worth a look.
The DacEasy support and after sales service is second to none, but given the cost of the software this is to be expected. All DacEasy users have unlimited access to both an online helpdesk and telephone help desk and there is always someone available to help. The help team are trained, experienced and true specialists. If your problem can’t be fixed over the phone you can zip and email your software to the help team and they will sort it out for you and then email it back to you.
The inventory tracking system is excellent and it is possible to track loads of information including general, purchasing, sales, billing and customer information about all inventory items. It is possible to track sizes, weights and all measures and since DacEasy supports images, you can even see pictures of each product. With DacEasy you can also track the location of each item in a multiple warehouses and stores, if you have them of course. There is so much information available it is all too easy to get overwhelmed and have an information overload.
DacEasy is the complete software solution, although it does come with a hefty price tag. Many small businesses will not need such an elaborate bit of software, however if all the features are going to be
useful DacEasy offers the most cost effective solution.
At around $35 Bookkeeper is the cheapest of the of the inventory tracking software packages in my top 5.
BookKeeper is one of the most basic accounting packages ever, but given the price this is to be expected. BookKeeper is a no frills software package that has the most basic features.
BookKeeper is exceptionally easy to use and is suitable for complete novices. Despite the low price there is a good online support and after sales package. Users do have access to a telephone support
desk however obtaining the number is a real nightmare. In order to get the helpdesk number you have to trawl through the endless number of frequently asked questions. The support desk clearly wants the telephone option to be the very last resort.
The inventory tracking module is very basic and provides very little information. You can track items via product codes and you can store the location of the products, the average cost (which is calculated via the module) and the selling price of the product. This may be enough for some small businesses and if your business falls in to this category, then great. If, however, you need to store additional information and want the ability to generate more reports BookKeeper is not the inventory tracking software for you.
So, if you and your business can make do with a basic accounting package and even more basic inventory tracking software system BookKeeper is going to be the cheapest solution and at $35 you really can’t complain. If you need a more sophisticated package BookKeeper is not for you, but it is still worthy of being in the top 5.
At around $800 CYMA is in the middle price bracket of the inventory tracking software tracking packages in my top 5.
CYMA is one of the best software packages on the market, however you need to buy several different modules to cover all basic accounting needs, and all of these modules are sold separately.
The support and after sales service is very good, however you need a different support package for each module you buy, so it can work out quite expensive. The price may be prohibitive for small businesses. There are a few support packages you can buy, none of which are particularly cheap.
CYMA module are complex and difficult to get to grips with and it is designed for computer savvy people. If you want a basic and no frills package CYMA is definitely not for you. It is only once you get to grips with CYMA that you will truly understand how good and how powerful this software is. This software is fully customizable so you can tailor it to your business’s needs.
The inventory tracking module is second to none and is excellent. This software supports images and web links, allows user defined re-order levels, allows real-time tracking, provides reports on physical count variances, allows for LIFO costing, allows for FIFO costing, can handle multiple warehouses and locations and much more. This inventory tracking system is ideal for small to medium sized businesses that deals with a high volume and turnover of inventory. Small businesses may find this a bit of an over kill though.
CYMA is an excellent piece of software that is very powerful. Having to buy different modules and different support packages for each and every module is going to work out expensive however if your business has a complex accounts and inventory system it is definitely worth the additional cost. CYMA is likely to be too much for small businesses with simple accounts and inventory systems.
5) Cougar Mountain
At around $1,600 Cougar Mountain is another expensive piece of software. Cougar Mountain is the most difficult software package to use in my top 5. The user face is awkward and doesn’t always make sense, so it is going to take a bit of time to get to grips with.
The support and after sales service is good, however you do need to be a registered user to access online help and advice, tutorials, frequently asked questions and training manuals. There is also a
telephone based support desk however this is very expensive and you are recommended to try and solve any issues via the online resources as far as possible.
The inventory tracking module is excellent and allows you to add an image to each product line, specify exactly where each product is located, create drop shipments and specify the costing method of each product line, i.e. FIFO, LIFO or AVCO.
The inventory tracking module is Cougar Mountains strong point, but is this enough to make the software worth buying? The software is difficult to use and to get to grips with, the support is good but not as good as other software providers and the software is expensive.
The most cost effective way of buying inventory tracking software is to buy an accounting package with an inventory module. So, rather than looking for a piece of software that solely deals with inventory tracking buy an accounting package.
If you run a micro business that can operate a simple inventory tracking system and basic accounts system BookKeeper is bar far the best way to go. The problem with BookKeeper is that it is too simple and will not be good enough for the majority of businesses.
QuickBooks Pro is an excellent choice for small to medium sized businesses that do not have a complex inventory system. QuickBooks Pro is easy to use, cheap and works very well. It is a piece of software you can pick up and learn to use very quickly, making it ideal for many business users.
For businesses with more complex inventory systems CYMA is the best software package. It is not the cheapest of packages and it is difficult to learn to use but it is an exceptionally powerful piece of software that is suitable for both small and medium sized businesses.
When choosing inventory tracking software you need to weigh up the costs and the benefits. Having access to a lot of information is goo but there are times when you can have too much and the excess is a total waste of time. Because of this software like the DacEasy is far too sophisticated and only really suitable for large businesses with very complex inventory tracking software needs.