Best Way to Organize Inventory for a Continuing Operation

In 2011, i started doing some online retailing, and through a lot of hard work, i am happy to say that in 2013 i mailed out a few thousand products.

I am a one man operation and with so much product going in and out, is there a simple way for me to keep track of inventory?

Most of my products have barcodes. Is there a relatively inexpensive system where i can scan a barcode as it comes in and mark as 100 received. And as i mail them out, scan them as they are leaving my “warehouse.”
Hope that makes sense. Thanks!

Is this a in-and-out type of business where no alterations are made to the product? Or are there other in house things that must be done to the items before they are ready for sale, sort of a production step?

What is the volume of items and transactions? And what other information would you like to track? I would ask yourself a few more questions before deciding upon purchasing an inventory control system.

Quite a lot can be done using an Excel spreadsheet. Product on hand, product ordered, product available, shipping dates per customer, etc. This sort of spreadsheet you can make yourself.

It all depends on what you are expecting and willing to spend. For a one person operation even simple inventory tracking systems can be spendy.

Use the search term “UPC inventory system” and you should find some products of interest.

Thanks for that!

This is just a straight retail operation, i buy large quantities and ship smaller quantities.

Right now i use Excel for everything, it is quite effective but i would just like some more automated.

Ex supply chain guy and current computer guy with some experience at point of sale systems.

How many unique items are we talking here. Some of the retail website backends have pretty robust inventory management functions and if you needed something more specific there are tons of folks out there who can customize joomla stores and such to do your bidding.

One other system might be something like Quickbooks Pro. They have some fairly good inventory features, quickbooks Point of Sale also has a ton of good inventory features but is also much pricier (like $1800) and is not a true accounting program but will dump cleanly into regular quickbooks accounting software. Several of my customers use quickbooks pro for all their order processing stuff.

The killer IMHO is once you start looking at thousands of different items and helpers you will need a locator system with order picking functions. THAT is where things get messy and will either require custom quickbooks plugins or a totally different solution.

if you feel like taking on a little steeper learning curve, you can try to build a system in Microsoft access. A basic inventory system is pretty easy and you can slowly build a system that works the way you want it to.