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Inventory Software Review

The Merriam-Webster dictionary explains the definition of ‘inventory’ as an itemized list of current assets or a list of the quantity of goods and materials on hand. Inventory is not only a list of current assets, but it is THE most valuable asset. With this in mind, it is easy to see how the ability to control and manage inventory has been a crucial piece of running successful business for as long as commerce has existed. Consequently, programs to help businesses keep careful track of their goods and raw materials originated in the 1960s, with the advent of software programming.

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Inventory Software Review

Inventory is not static.  It is a constantly changing record of available materials. Manufacturers keep records of materials from which to make product as well as records of products already made and waiting in the warehouse to either be sold or delivered. Inventory control is, therefore, necessary for manufacturers because it is what guides the needed flexibility in order for businesses to deal with outgoing orders, incoming stock, backorders, returns, or dead stock among one or many warehouses and store locations.  The best way to manage an accurate control over inventory is to use inventory software.

It was early in the 60s that J.I. Case (a construction machinery company) and workers from IBM combined their ideas and their effort, and created software they called Material Requirements Planning or MRP. Although the application software was a bit awkward to operate, to some extent it was capable of performing its specified task of helping manufacturers oversee inventory. Early in the 70s, SAP –a company formed by five engineers, was founded. SAP produced standard software for more integrated business procedures than just managing inventory. By 1980, JD Edwards had already started to work on the second generation of MRP, called Manufacturing Resources Planning (MRP) II. This software utilized newer applications for coordinating certain businesses processes such as: product planning, part purchasing, and product distribution. Still, the focus of MRP II remained the process of inventory control.

An Inventory Software Review of the market today would unearth inventory control software that is much more complex. In fact, an array of the features and functions is quite impressive.  For example, nowadays inventory software: integrates with Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and General Ledger; maintains total data for each item, including quantity on-hand, on-order, held, pending, vendors, substitute items, and transaction history for years; allows up to eight price levels per items with markup or discount  price level definitions; provides templates for rapid creation of similar inventory items; provides physical inventory capabilities with simple inventory count processes; generates instant inquiry of part information including receipts, issues, returns, and adjustments; allows for inventory to be moved between warehouses without any problems by tracking quantities for multiple locations when needed; permits inventory counting while transactions are being processed; allows inventory adjustments by quantities and costs; accepts various methods of pricing per part; stores images of parts; uses last, LIFO, and FIFO costing methods to note inventory adjustments; tracks minimum and maximum stocking levels per part; accepts up to five product attributes in the description of each part; permits pricing information for parts to be updated automatically through global price change feature; allocates items to different journal entries, if needed; works with various methods of inventory counting; automatically discontinues a part after the last item is sold; accepts imported inventory data for new products; defines restocking fees per item; works with various ways to search for inventory items (SKU, UPC, Description, Department, Category, Attribute, and Intellisearch; supports entry of unit cost and unit price with precision up to five decimal places; and allows unlimited codes to be assigned as alternate methods to lookup inventory items.

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