Build your Inventory Management System with asset tracking
All businesses want to keep track of their assets and their inventory – often using an inventory management system to do so. What we mean by ‘assets’ is the sort of things that are used within the organization to help the business operate. For example, things like IT systems and computers, office equipment and stationery (photocopiers, staplers, etc.), warehousing equipment, tools (such as forklifts, trucks, ladders), as well as the people who work within the company.
Inventory, on the other hand, is made up of the goods and products that the organization holds in stock to sell to customers. This inventory may be housed in a warehouse, or it may be held on your behalf somewhere else (e.g. in a distribution center).
How an inventory management system works
From the earliest days of commerce, retailers have needed to keep track of their stock. You can probably go back far enough to store owners who would have been using an abacus to count the items they were keeping. Then through the ages to pencil and paper and towards more recent times, when a spreadsheet would have been the most common inventory management system that was used.
Since the internet inventory software solutions have become more common, with cloud-based systems being quite standard nowadays compared to a few years ago.
Fundamentally, what you need to do is keep an accurate record of each item you hold in stock and how many there are. Many more elements go into how inventory management systems work – such as taking account of geographic location, seasonal predictions, etc. But the essence of it is to keep track of where things are at any time.
When you combine an inventory management system with a suitable asset tracking system, you have the perfect mix for providing exactly the right information to base your business decisions on.
Benefits of asset tracking and inventory software solutions
There are many good reasons to incorporate an efficient software-based asset tracking and inventory management system in your business, such as:
- Reducing costs – you’ll be able to keep your stock costs down, reducing wastage and keep people employed more efficiently.
- Higher revenues – you can keep track of sales trends to ensure you’re always on top of where the products need to be.
- Efficiency improvements – you’ll have more accurate data and proper real-time statistics to work with.
- Better analysis – you’ll have better information to work with for coming up with vital insights for increased profits.
How to implement an asset tracking and inventory management system
The process you should adopt for putting together your asset tracking and inventory software solutions should include:
- Identifying objectives – determine what it is you want to track and how you should manage these assets/stock items.
- Technology planning – assess your current capabilities and whether it will fit with your future requirements.
- Roll out phase – initiate the roll out in stages, so you can iron out any potential problems as they arise.
What’s available for asset tracking and inventory management system solutions?
You can choose from a range of different types of technology:
Barcoding – Incorporating Scanners, Mobile Computers, and Printers. Scanners and Mobile Computers are the devices that scan the barcodes, so you should take account of their portability in terms of size and weight. Printers are required to create custom labels and tags for your items.
Radio Frequency and Identification (RFID) – Made up of RFID Tags, RFID Readers, and RFID Reading Mobile Computers. RFID Tags store the info that allows you to identify stock or asset items, which you can then use to locate and track the items in question. RFID Readers are the devices that interpret the data from the RFID Tags – as they operate using Radio Frequency, you don’t need to be in the “line of sight” to gather info like you would with a barcode scanner. Some Mobile Computers incorporate RFID Reading functionality as well as barcode scanning capabilities.
Software – you’ll need the relevant software for either the Barcode or RFID technology, depending on which you choose that fits best with your organization’s requirements.
Inventory management with asset tracking summary
There are several approaches you could take to building the ideal system for your business. Taking account of the items we discussed above will be a great first step to take for you to end up with the most effective and efficient inventory management system tailored for your needs.
For more help with building your system, talk to an expert.