Sales and inventory systems track purchases, incoming shipments, stored inventory and sales transactions throughout an organization. Sales and inventory systems can be as simple as a pen-and-paper system, or as complex as an enterprise software package connecting accounting databases, inventory information and point-of-sale terminals across several continents. No matter the scale, business owners deploy these systems to accomplish a number of general objectives. Understanding the objectives served by these systems can help you design and implement the ideal system for your business.
Keeping costs under control is one way to contribute to bottom-line profits. A distinct benefit of sales and inventory systems is their ability to control costs throughout an organization. These systems can meet strategic objectives for reducing waste, spoilage and incidents of mishandling by tracking inventory from purchases all the way through sales to end customers. Inventory systems can track inventory loss statistics and create daily reports for front-line managers, allowing the managers to address specific issues in their specific stores.
Inventory and sales systems also help to reduce theft and collusion, which can be a persistent problem in certain businesses, such as retail operations. Inventory systems match up purchases with sales records to ensure that all items that coming in are either being sold or are accounted for in inventory storage counts. Inventory systems can simplify physical audits by printing detailed reports of inventory expected to be on hand, or by integrating with tracking technologies such as RFID tags to speed up auditing processes. Systems that include security tags for inventory items and which track sales by salesperson ID can reduce incidents of collusion, making it more difficult for frontline employees to misuse company discounts or assist in theft.
Automated inventory systems can help to simplify accounting activities in a company, serving the objectives of increased productivity and efficiency, as well as reduced costs. Inventory and sales systems can create regular, automated reports for accounting staff, giving them instant access to timely information to be used in posting to ledger accounts, creating reports for management and drafting financial statements.
No matter what objectives a company sets as a part of its strategic plan, the ability to monitor progress toward goals is essential. The tracking and reporting capabilities of these systems makes achieving goals more transparent, as employees can access timely information on their progress toward revenue goals, cost-reduction goals and other inventory- and sales-related objectives.
- stock-taking image by Maksim Shebeko from Fotolia.com