Corporations that mass manufacture a variety of products may have the money to purchase pricy software and equipment that will help them to track their massive inventory, but small businesses have neither the budget nor the need for such a setup. And yet, all businesses should have a system for tracking inventory if they want to ensure that it isn’t falling off the truck somewhere along the way and losing them money. While you can certainly use an old-school system that consists of little more than printouts that senders, receivers, and warehouse managers must check (after counting the inventory and verifying labels), there are more efficient ways to accomplish this task. And the Nest Egg app for your favorite iDevices could be just the tool you’re seeking.
Although this application has mainly been touted as a tool for home use (to keep a running inventory for insurance purposes, in case of theft or natural disaster), it can work equally well for small businesses trying to ensure that their office equipment and other inventory isn’t walking out the front door. And it comes with several useful features to help you track everything. First and foremost, the app provides scanner functionality that will recognize both UPC and EAN barcodes (although you can also enter items by serial number or other information). As long as your inventory has applicable barcode labels you can easily use your iPhone or iPad camera to snap pics and add items to your “collection” (or check them against the list you already have to ensure that nothing is missing). You can also create categories, making it easy to form separate lists for specific products that you manufacture so that you can easily check your inventory for just one item.
You can even create categories for equipment that you utilize in your office (computers, furniture, supplies, etc.). Suppose, for example, that you provide smartphones, tablets, or laptops for employee use. You can use this app to scan these items and enter relevant information about who has checked them out (via the lending feature). But of course, you can attach a lot more information, including manufacturer data (you can even register numbers to get updates on recalls), warranty and expiration details, and photos (including product pics and receipts, for example).
For $2.99 a pop you can even add the app to employee devices so that those who are in charge of tracking inventory at various locations may easily do so. Thanks to backup and reporting options, you can even have these employees create reports and email them to you so that you always know what’s going on with inventory at offsite locations (manufacturing plants and storage warehouses, for example). So the app is pretty useful on multiple fronts. Not only can it track the inventory in your office setting, but it may also be used to ensure accurate counts of the products your company manufactures. You don’t need a background in cost management consulting to know that tracking inventory is an important part of keeping your business in the black. And with Nest Egg you can easily catalog every item that your business counts as an asset, be it the computers you use to run your company or the products that you sell to the public.
Thanks to Evan Fischer for this guest post. He is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.