Manual Inventory Method
The manual inventory method is typically defined as tracking inventory without the use of computerized system, which typically utilize software, scanners, barcodes, real-time reporting, etc. A manual inventory system tracks inventory with a pen and clipboard, a stock book, or with an Excel spreadsheet. Manual inventory entails regularly updating inventory counts through physical counting on a daily basis, along with determining the transactions are affected by inventory movement.
Here are a few advantages of the manual inventory method:
- Low cost/No cost
- No time invested to learn an inventory control system
- Sense of control
Here are a few disadvantages of a manual inventory control system:
- Time consuming
- Labor intensive since it requires users to physically count inventory
- Prone to human error
- No real time reporting
- Poor communication among employees
- Requires employees to keep a written log of inventory going in and out.
- Burdensome paperwork
For a very small business with limited income, the manual inventory method might be effective. However, most businesses with no computerized inventory management system in place may experience lower productivity, inventory shortages and missing equipment.
In general, it is necessary to weigh the cost of an inventory management system versus the cost of employees’ time to track inventory and count inventory. You may find that an inventory control solution pays for itself since employees are able to spend time on other things than monitoring inventory.
If you are currently using the manual inventory method, consider TRXio, an affordable, simple-to-use inventory management system that is a great option for small business inventory management. For more information on a manual inventory system versus an inventory control solution, please contact us at 844-868-7225.