ADAPTABLE AND AFFORDABLE
Comware has over 30 years of experience with barcoding for Inventory Tracking and Control solutions: Scanning hardware, barcode label printers, software etc. for stock takes, receiving, putting away, picking, packing & dispatching stock, etc.
Sometimes there is confusion between inventory and assets.
Inventory is usually either raw materials or finished goods that are held in a warehouse and then either used in manufacturing or sold; whereas assets are items that are purchased for operational use (equipment, computers, vehicles, etc.) often depreciated, sometimes repaired and eventually replaced.
INVENTORY VS. WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
While Warehouse Management Software (WMS) and Inventory Control Software seem to be thrown around interchangeably, they are quite different — but which do you need? Certainly the high costs of operating without one of these solutions is likely to be a primary factor in starting the review process.
Simply put, Inventory Control Software is used to manage inbound, outbound and stock on hand combined together with a simple barcode-based system.
A WMS however also supports and optimizes warehouse or distribution center management by facilitating management in daily planning, organizing staffing, directing and controlling the utilization of available resources to move and store materials in, within, and out of a warehouse, while supporting staff in the performance of material movement and storage in and around a warehouse.
It’s important to assess what your company needs to determine whether an inventory management system or warehouse management system is needed but a small to medium business would often only need Inventory Control whereas a medium to large business or Enterprise is more likely to need a WMS.
The type and cost of either solution can vary greatly, but in our experience,
it is extremely important for you to know the return on investment (R.O.I.) that you can expect to receive so that you can receive approval for an adequate and realistic budget.
Then defining your project’s functional & technical requirements is appropriate but this may require a specialist’s assistance.
In some cases a point solution is adequate. Typically these solutions are reasonably simple and not integrated with other business systems although they may share data (e.g. via import / export). They commonly consist of data capture hardware, basic data capture software plus some Professional and/or Technical services.
These days there are many software options that should be considered first particularly of you are using Small Business Software products like MYOB, XERO, etc. They offer 3rd party add-ons that may be the best choice.
If stand-alone software is more appropriate, options range from low cost packages with basic features to moderate cost packages with more advanced features including:
- single or multi user
- support for barcodes and RFID
- check in / check out functions
- PC based, server based or web based (traditional licences or Cloud / SAAS)
- support Android based mobile Barcode computers and/or USB cabled or cordless barcode scanners
- all-in-one or modular design
- user configurable fields
- standard and custom reports
- barcode printing
- and much, much more
- integration options (although this may be cost prohibitive)
We recognize that customers have different buying preferences and budgets so we are flexible in the way that we provide them:
DIY packages starting from around $2,000 (but realistically more than that once you add up basic software & hardware) Plenty of on-line video demos and training makes this easier
Similar to Basic DIY but with a day of expert help starting from around $3,500 (usually delivered as a combination of remote support plus further on-line training & support). Extra support can be purchased.
Advanced versions of software or alternative packages (including traditional licenses, subscription – usually web based or hybrid) plus expert help. Prices can start from around $10,000 or less if purchased via monthly/annual subscriptions.
PLEASE NOTE: These prices are a typical minimum amount and don’t take into account multiple barcode hardware devices or large scale wireless infrastructure (for example).
It’s often the little things that make a difference!
Accessories, consumables, experience can sometimes be the difference between an OK implementation and an excellent one.
Comware can supply everything from durable location labels to holsters for barcode equipment along with the know how to advise what will work best for you.
Our recommendation is that Comware is engaged early to ensure the specification, evaluation and selection process delivers the best outcomes.
If you just want to purchase an “off the shelf package” from us or from another provider we can just supply you with hardware, labels etc.
However many poorly planned software implementations (both small and large scale) do fail so we recommend you consider professional services to assist with implementation planning, documenting, integration, data import, training and on-going support.