Inventory Software Simplifies the Process by Delegating It to Employees
Without modern inventory software, businesses often have to close for several days a year. Stocks are counted and documented for short periods of time instead of keeping track of inventory levels and consumables throughout the year. In times of remote work and cloud software, the classic, analogue inventory has fewer and fewer advantages.
Contemporary Inventory Management: App Instead of Slips of Paper
It is a laborious and inefficient process: the traditional filling out of paper lists during inventory to then manually transfer the collected data to Excel lists on the computer. It is no coincidence that for years we have been seeing more and more employees in warehouses and factory halls pointing a barcode scanner at packaging and equipment. Especially in production and trade, companies are increasingly turning to digital solutions.
However, it is not necessary to directly face all the challenges of Industry 4.0. Often, inventory software alone already brings about positive changes for the operational process. This is not only true for the retail and shipping sectors. Construction companies and service providers also benefit from digital inventory management. It provides a permanent overview of all vehicles, machines, IT equipment, furniture and consumables – from the warehouse to the remote workplaces to the workplaces of the employees.
It is worthwhile for companies of all sizes to distribute the inventory over several shoulders and to stretch it out over time. Inventory management software that runs on employees’ devices as well as on office computers organises this process – and prevents data loss due to hardware defects or short-term illness.
How Inventory Software Works: QR-Code for Object Identification
With inventory software, inventory officers can outsource parts of the process to employees. They know their equipment and vehicles. They often know better about raw material or machine parts than inventory assistants or external service providers.
An increasingly popular software for inventory management is Timly. The programme can be installed on the company’s own servers, but is usually purchased with secure cloud storage included. Company managers can activate access to the online inventory database for different employees. However, no user account is needed to enter inventory data, only an inventory invitation.
This is quickly sent in Timly, so that the inventory officer can fulfil his administrative role. Among other things, he or she can ask colleagues in the home office to enter their used company objects into the software or to confirm their continued use.
Generally, modern inventory programmes work with code labels on the inventory. In the past, these were often barcodes, but QR codes are becoming more and more popular. These can be easily scanned by smartphone and tablet, which takes you to the database entry of the inventory object. Depending on personal authorisation, information can be read or changed in this way.
Does Inventory Software Need Scanners and PCs?
Remote workers can be asked to scan their borrowed assets from home, not only for inventory purposes, but also to get an overview of the available company technology. This is possible without special hardware such as MDE devices; a common mobile device with a camera is sufficient.
But also warehouse workers, craftsmen or employees on assembly do not have to be equipped with MDE devices. For the inventory software, the normal company smartphone or work tablet equipped with the corresponding inventory app is sufficient.
Inventory software, such as Timly, ensures transparency in the company. Through a continuous inventory in real time, the administrative effort is reduced in total. In the end, this is worth money: having a centralised overview of the company inventory at all times reduces costs due to loss of materials and search efforts.
The compliance functions are also helpful: The integrated maintenance planner organises inspection intervals, maintenance documents and the scheduling of external service providers. Clear statistics on the age and performance of machines, vehicles, plants and equipment are generated.
A specialised, fee-based inventory software like Timly can be used flexibly and is adapted to the respective working environment and industry: User interface and database fields can be individually configured after purchase, and the competent inventory software team is available for additional software needs.
Better Than an Inventory Excel Template: Cloud-Based Software
Quite a few small and medium-sized companies still plan to store the data collected during inventory in Excel lists. They look for templates and hope that these will cover all the fields and topics that play a role in their everyday business. Unfortunately, inventorying with Excel quickly becomes confusing. Flexibility also suffers from a certain amount of data. In very large tables, employees easily look in the wrong cell and thus confuse dates, locations or status information.
With inventory software that works like Timly, on the other hand, you always know whether the target state of the inventory corresponds to the actual state. This transparency about inventory assets prevents equipment loss and downtime. Smart asset tracking software is key. The full overview of equipment, furniture and vehicles made possible by inventory software also includes being able, as a manager, to see which employees have already started their part of the inventory.
In the Timly Cloud, all inventory data is stored in such a way that authorised persons can access it from practically anywhere, instead of having to send and version an Excel spreadsheet.
Can Good Inventory Software Be Free?
Companies that have realised that an ordinary spreadsheet is not enough for stocktaking and perpetual inventory management are sometimes looking around for freeware stocktaking software. These do exist. They are usually bait offers where only rudimentary features can really be used “for free”.
Other free inventory programmes originate from the needs of individual companies and sectors and would have to be adapted at great expense to the needs of other companies. There are also numerous reports on efficient inventory software to be found on the internet.
Companies that prefer things to be uncomplicated and do not want to risk opportunity costs are better off opting directly for a fee-based solution where support and configuration are included in the scope of services. This type of software cost usually pays for itself after a short time which is why many businesses are already relying on innovative tools to help with their asset management.
Not only does employee satisfaction increase, but also occupational safety thanks to the maintenance planner functions that are included in comprehensive inventory software such as Timly.