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Systems for keeping track of inventory

paperfactory37771468.jpg One of the most important aspect of any company's operations is keeping track of inventory.It may seem like a pretty obvious point, but you would be surprised to find out how many people don't have any idea what they have in their inventory, what they need to complete their inventory, and how they move through their inventory as customers purchase products and services.In order to run a successful business and have successful operations, you absolutely must have a concrete and efficient system for keeping track of your inventory.

There are a number of different ways that you can keep track of your inventory.The most basic system for keeping track of inventory is an exercise generally known as stock taking.Stock taking, plain and simple, just means that you make an inventory of your stock.In that inventory, or simple list, you note the location of each piece of stock and its value.Many organizations take stock of their inventory once a year in order to report it to their accounting departments.

When you have barcodes on your inventory, then taking inventory of your stock is much simpler and easier.Barcodes also help you keep track of your inventory and help you know where your inventory is.However, your annual stock taking can still take a very long time.In order to cut down on the time that it takes in order to keep track of your inventory, many organizations make use of radio frequency identification in order to use hand-held readers to tag inventory.If you use hand held readers and radio frequency identification, also known as RFID, then it is much easier for you to know where your inventory is at all times.

No matter what system you decide to implement in order to keep track of your inventory, that system must include the following elements and be able to do the following tasks:

  1. track all stock levels

  2. make orders

  3. issue stock

The simplest-but not necessarily easiest-system for keeping track of your inventory is the stock book.Stock books are best for small businesses that don't have a lot of items in their inventory.Stock books let you keep a log of all the inventory which has been received and what been issued.Then you can use a simple re-order system along with your stock book.A more complex system is the stock card system.The stock card system gives each type of stock a card that has a description of that type of stock, its value, its location, and its re-order levels, quantities, and lead times.The cards also include supplier details and information about the past stock history.

A more sophisticated system of keeping track of your inventory is called radio frequency identification, or RFID.Radio frequency identification lets you identify individual products and their components, and then lets you track them from production of products to the time when they are sold.You have to tag each inventory item with a radio frequency identification tag, which is a microchip plus an aerial which digitally contains all of the necessary and pertinent information about the product.You put the tag in either plastic or paper, and then attach the tag to either the product or its packaging.The radio frequency identification reader then both transmits and receives radio signals from the tag, letting you track exactly where your individual product is.The readers collect the information and then transmit the information to software which keeps track of inventory items.

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