Let’s start with the basics of the processes in a manufacturing setting. Whether your company is building something large, such as a car, or something small, such as a toy car, every piece of material needed to make these items must be accounted for, as do the hours it takes to build the product.
To track a car’s specifications, sales orders or work orders must be made. Different stages of production may go into each product, which also needs to be monitored. Inventory may need to be tracked at raw material and at a finished goods level. No matter the scenario, getting a handle on inventory will enable you to have a true picture of your financials.
QuickBooks offers a feature called Advanced Inventory with one of its QuickBooks Enterprise versions. Advanced Inventory includes, among other things, bin location tracking, barcode scanning, FIFO inventory costing, serial number or lot tracking, and multi-location inventory.
If you are using QuickBooks Online and need some of these features, then you need to look at a third-party add-on that can deal with more complex inventory and manufacturing needs. Just a couple examples in the market today are LOCATE Inventory or SOS Inventory. Both are cloud-based solutions that integrate with QuickBooks Online. These solutions expand the options for users to track multi-location inventory; sales orders; PayPal integration; pick, pack, and ship; and more. New add-ons are constantly coming available, so be on the lookout!
When choosing an inventory tracking solution for your business, consider the following:
- Current financial software. Make sure the third-party app you are looking at integrates with your current software. If it does not, you may need to consider migrating to a different accounting package or choosing a different add-on.
- Cost. Ask about price per user or transaction. Does support cost extra?
- Company growth. Will the software grow as your company grows? Your business may not be selling online yet; however, if and when it does, the business will need the solution to integrate with a website shopping cart.
- Ease of use. A complicated inventory tracking system may cost you more in training costs if your users cannot get a handle on how it works.
Every manufacturing and inventory business is different, but what is the same is the need for process control, parts management, and tracking the related costs.
If you’d like help finding the right inventory solution for your business, give us a call and we’ll be in touch right away.