Inventory management may not be the most glamorous side of running a Company, but it is among the most important.
An inventory management app can be a useful tool for assisting a merchant or restaurateur do precisely that. The challenge is picking the right one.
What is an Inventory Management App
An inventory management app will help you manage your inventory directly from a mobile device like a smartphone or a tablet. Getting one can be as simple as a fast download to your smartphone. Like every app, they typically come in free and premium versions. But before you go out and get one, assessing your choices is essential. For many companies, it can almost be a waste to choose a simple app when modern Cloud POS systems already come with built-in stock management functionality.
POS System vs. Inventory App
In some cases, it might even help you save money by consolidating several tools you’re paying for separately. You can expect to pay about the same price a month for a full POS system that can manage your inventory and much more. Because of this, picking a POS system over an inventory management app is the smarter choice for most businesses.
The Cost of a Point of Sale System
In terms of cost, your most significant investment will be a one-time purchase of an iPad or Android tablet computer to conduct your POS software. You can expect to pay from $400 to $1,200 depending on the brand and model you select.
In addition to a tablet, a retail shop (for example), will also need hardware like the below list to complete the POS system:
Purchasing a full POS system instead of just a stock app will cost more, but you get more out of it in the long term. A POS system helps you manage all aspects of your business more efficiently; it doesn’t start and stop with stock control.
Must-Have POS System Features
- Process transactions for Various payment methods
- Manage staff
- Run basic marketing programs (such as loyalty programs and email marketing)
- Manage customer relationships
- Provide analytics and reports using real-time information and historical analysis
If you download an inventory tracker app, you’re going to need to purchase several other apps to get the exact same business management capabilities that are natively built into a POS system. By consolidating tools, not only do you get the features you want, but you will also save time and money.
Reports For Your Inventory
One of the most crucial benefits of a POS system is that it can give you analytics and reporting tools that help you stay on top of inventory management, in addition to a range of other business purposes. By way of instance, your POS system’s reporting should cover sales performance, sales trends, employee hours, high-level marketing insights, and profitability metrics at a minimum. All of these can be used together to get a high-level view of your enterprise. By way of example, loss prevention is an issue within most businesses, irrespective of industry. If you’re managing inventory effectively by keeping your eye on your reports, it is much easier for you to spot when quantities don’t add up. When you look at your employee management accounts, you might notice that individual staff members are usually on the clock when items go missing, you can use this data to make the hard, but necessary choice to investigate and possibly discipline these employees.
Inventory reports can also help you get a better understanding of your supply chain and the different costs associated with it. You can track the various aspects of your supply chain like vendors, overhead costs, and inventory costs, profit margins per item, and more to help you understand where your money is going and where you can optimize costs. Some systems allow you to track this data across company locations and many warehouses, so you have access to all your business information at one place.
Customer behavior may not seem like a necessary part of inventory management, but knowing what customers buy determines what inventory a business has. This is why it’s essential for a company to know its market and promote itself effectively. A POS system gives you the capability to do all of this in one place. You can know who your best customers are, how they like to pay, and what they’re buying so you can better promote yourself to those who already shop with you. As you track your customer shopping habits you have the ability to keep track of what alarms they receive.
POS systems also have marketing software. Marketing gives you a better understanding of what clients want and lets clients know what your store offers. Outreach choices like email campaigns are a smart way of reaching a mass audience and encourage people to walk through your doors. Once they’re there, you can start to personalize your connection with them to make sure they come back.
POS systems give small business owners the choice to integrate email advertising tools. This permits you to manage your subscribers and track the discounts clients have already used. In case you’ve got a loyalty program at your store, offer it to every customer. You can join them up fast and keep track of that as well directly through your POS.
Emailing your customer their receipt is also an effective method. Set the name of your store, its address, even a logo and social media links as a reminder back to your shop.
Gift cards are a branding and marketing strategy that gives potential customers a greater incentive to shop with you. People are more inclined to shop someplace new after being given a gift card. In addition, they are more likely to spend full price on an item and may even spend more than the gift card’s value. They’re easy to display; just present them at the register for customers to see when they check out. Perhaps you will get some free money out of it.
Marketing applications is an add-on to your standard POS system. However, it’s another very simple installation process that doesn’t take away from the performance of your system while it’s already been set up. It is an invaluable part of your company that gives you the not only the resources but the structure to properly execute a marketing strategy.
Inventory apps do not even begin to touch on the advantages of a marketing program. Without one, your business is losing out on potential customers regularly. Inventory apps are useful for taking stock, but POS systems do this, too. Easily find serial numbers and UPC codes for each item to help you stay organized. It doesn’t matter whether your retail business is a brick and mortar store or online; a POS system handles inventory through different sales channels.
POS systems already have inventory management software, so there is no need to have another app. This software provides you with an inventory tracker, access to invoices, and purchase orders even when a company has multiple warehouses or locations. Inventory control is also managed through different departments and categories for even greater organization.
Systems automatically update when customers make a purchase, and all the information about each area of your business is available to you in one place. You can quickly check what you have in stock, what just is not selling anymore and what needs to be restocked.
You can’t have a company without sales, and that is one thing a stock app can’t do. A modern POS system manages your cash flow and is set up to take a variety of forms of payment. The information from sales can also be used to show you which items are selling so you can take control of your inventory and make the best choices for your business.
Picking the proper POS system is more than just inventory. You’re going to want something which can be your ears and eyes when you’re away from your company. And you need a system that lets you view aspects of your store from anywhere. Here are a few options for you to consider.
ShopKeep POS is a cloud-based POS solution that gives business owners full control of their inventory. The system lets you manage thousands of items. It is possible to handle large groups of stock and inventory in multiple locations at one time. You can make sure all your very best selling items are never out of inventory by setting up automatic order”triggers” and keep everything organized directly from the POS. If you are running a restaurant, you can even track raw ingredients. These reports are individualized so every aspect of your business has analytics to refer back to and you can cross-reference those reports to make the most informed decisions possible.
Square is known for its ability to make payments but has recently expanded to include a complete POS system. Even though it’s a cloud-based system, Square only allows you to manage your inventory on an iPad, and you can not manage inventory from a smartphone.
Vend is another POS system that focuses on retail businesses and restaurants. Their inventory management system allows you to do many of the very same things as many other systems. However, phone support costs extra so if you ever need quick help, this is something to think about.
A POS system does exactly what an inventory management app can do and then some. To find a fully immersive experience for your business, it’s best to have a single system to do everything. Investing in the perfect system can produce a small business more productive and profitable than ever before.
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