Stock Control Software: Features, Costs, Success Factors
The Essence of Stock Control Software
Stock control software, or inventory control software, stores complete stock data and enables the monitoring and analysis of stock levels, costs and value of stock items. It helps easily locate stock items and sends alerts when stock replenishment is required.
Benefits of stock control software
- Minimized risk of stock-outs due to simplified stock level monitoring.
- Optimized stock carrying costs due to no overstocking issues.
- Reduced labor costs and streamlined completion of sales orders due to automated stock control routines.
FAQ about stock control software
Types of stock in stock control software
Usually, stock control software dynamically categorizes stock items in 3 groups (the categorization can be deepened and adjusted to the specific needs of a business):
- On-hand stock – refers to the total quantity of the stored stock.
- Reserved stock – includes ordered stock items that are still in a warehouse.
- Available stock – is the stock that can be ordered, or on-hand minus reserved stock.
How stock control software is different from inventory management software
Stock control software monitors real-time stock data (stock levels, condition, and location of stock items) and streamlines ongoing operations like receiving stock, conducting stock audits, completing sales orders, etc.
Inventory management software is focused on deeper analytics and strategic planning, using stock and sales data to elicit actionable insights for stock optimization, such as setting up optimal stock levels and forecasting customer and lead time demand.
Stock control software can be used as a standalone application or as a part of inventory management software. If you currently have a limited budget, you may start with the implementation of stock control software and add capabilities for stock optimization and demand forecasting as your business grows.
Implementation of stock control methods
Calculation of optimal stock levels
(e.g., based on the economic order quantity (EOQ) formula) and reorder points (based on the reorder point formula).
How does stock control software help? It enables the setup of reorder points for each stock group and sending automated reorder alerts. For large businesses, the system may also leverage AI-based stock optimization and demand forecasting capabilities.
Strategy for selling stock
such as first in, first out (FIFO) to ensure perishable and regulated stock is shipped out in good condition.
How does stock control software help? It offers batch control with expiration date tracking.
Regular stock analysis
to timely detect problems with stock control processes and sales tactics and find opportunities to improve them. Such opportunities may include cycle counts to spot stock discrepancies, as well as stock sales analytics.
How does stock control software help? Custom stock software consolidates stock-related data and automatically generates stock reports (stock shortage reports, ABC analysis reports, cycle count reports, etc.).
Advanced technology for stock control: barcode and RFID
Barcode and RFID technology automate stock control operations, such as stock level monitoring, stock items tracking and stock audits.
- Semi-automation (scanner has to be manipulated by a warehouse worker).
- Scanning one barcode at a time.
- High accuracy.
- Fully automated scanning.
- Processing multiple RFID tags at a time.
- Better durability.
- Enhanced stock data security due to data encryption.
The choice of stock controlling technology depends on your budget, business needs, and stock specifics (type of stock, layout of sites/warehouses). RFID technology ultimately streamlines stock control and stock handling operations, but its implementation is more expensive and time-consuming. We recommend considering it for organizations with enterprise-scale stock control operations and/or expensive and perishable stock at hand.
Stock database management
- Automated and manual stock data upload.
- Bulk stock data processing (e.g., data import and export from/to integrated systems such as ERP, CRM, and others).
- Stock data versioning, backup, and recovery.
- Role-based stock database access.
- Storage of user activity logs.
Stock item management
- Stock cataloging with filtering and metadata search of stock items.
- Creating and editing stock item summary (containing images, SKU and barcodes, physical characteristics of stock items, such as size and colors, pricing info, etc.).
- Stock bundling and kitting (grouping the same or related items into a single item).
- Stock levels monitoring (on-hand stock, reserved and available stock).
- Setup of reorder levels and alerts for low-stock items.
- Restock history (quantity and price of purchased items, dates, locations, suppliers and responsible buyers, etc.).
- Batch control (to track expiration dates for perishable groups of items).
Stock items tracking
- Tracking of stock items status and location.
- Automated tracking with barcode or RFID technology.
Sales order management
- Sales order creation and status tracking.
- Automated invoice generation and approval.
- Automated stock reservation for a sales order.
- Automated packing slips creation.
Purchase order management
- Purchase order creation and approval.
- Purchase order status tracking and history overview.
- Setup of preferred suppliers for particular stock items.
Explore Our Inventory Software Demo
A sample application for stock managers shows how its key features, like real-time monitoring of multi-location stock levels, tracking of purchase orders and sales orders and automated stock reporting, improve stock control efficiency.
ScienceSoft recommends integrating stock control software with the following back-office solutions to eliminate double data entry across disparate systems and build a resilient supply chain:
- Stock control software + ERP – to provide employees from other business departments with real-time stock information.
- Stock control software + inventory management software/module – to automatically transfer data on stock levels and sales into an inventory management solution and access its advanced analytics features, such as stock optimization and demand forecasting.
- Stock control software + CRM – to keep sales managers updated on stock availability; to automatically transfer sales order details from CRM to stock control software for quicker order completion.
- Stock control software + supplier relationship management (SRM) software/supplier portal – to automatically transfer information on suppliers and their current capacity from SRM software to streamline purchasing in stock control software; to enable tracking of order statuses in both solutions.
A high level of workflow automation for inventory specialists
via automated data routing (purchase orders, etc.) between involved specialists based on pre-defined rules, stock shortage alerts, auto-generated replenishment orders, automated reports, and integrations with relevant business systems (ERP, CRM, etc.) to eliminate manual data entry.
Stock data visibility and analytics
to get a 360-degree overview of real-time and historical stock data to avoid the issues of stock-outs and overstocks.
Stock Control Software Implementation: Success Stories by ScienceSoft
Stock Control Software for Herbal Medicine Manufacturer
- Monitoring the herbs stock at the stages of harvesting, internal packaging and storing.
- Solution integration with an electronic scale for the automated upload of weighing information.
- Easy inventory database navigation.
Customer’s benefit: more convenient and efficient control over inventory data and operations at scale.
SaaS Module for Food Inventory Management
- Managing and storing data on raw food items, final products, recipes, manufacturers, and more.
- Assigning user-defined SKU values.
- Real-time inventory level monitoring.
- Automated updates of stock data upon inventory utilization for production and selling.
Customer’s benefit: optimized inventory levels.
Restaurant Inventory Management Software
- Permission-based access for restaurant executives, managers, barmen, etc.
- Web and mobile access to the up-to-date menu for restaurant guests.
- Drill-down dashboards to track, manage and transfer stock items.
- Inventory order management.
Customer’s benefit: streamlined inventory management, enhanced team productivity, improved client experience.
The cost factors for implementing stock control software include:
- The number and complexity of software features (e.g., RFID tracking or AI-based demand planning will increase budget requirements).
- Complexity of integrations with other systems, e.g., integration with legacy solutions (ERP, CRM, etc.).
- Data migration procedures required to transfer stock data from a previously used database (spreadsheets or legacy software).
A midsize business can expect investments ranging between $80,000 and $250,000.
When Custom Stock Control Software is Your Best Choice
ScienceSoft recommends custom stock controlling software as a more investment-wise and efficient option than platform-based software when:
Stock control software consulting
- Analyze your business needs for stock control.
- Define an optimal set of stock control software features.
- Help decide between platform-based and custom stock control software.
- Design a secure and scalable architecture for stock control software (for custom software).
- Prepare an integration roadmap (with ERP, CRM, SRM).
- Prepare UX and UI prototypes (optional).
- Estimate implementation costs and time budget, as well as possible ROI.
Stock control software development
- Elicits functional and non-functional requirements for stock control software.
- Designs a secure and scalable architecture of stock control software (for custom software).
- Designs UX and UI tailored to your specific stock control workflows (for custom software).
- Develops the front end and the back end of stock control software / sets up and customizes platform-based stock control software.
- Integrates stock control software with other systems (ERP, CRM, SRM, etc.).
- Provides end-to-end quality assurance.
- Provides post-implementation support and software evolution.
ScienceSoft is an IT consulting and software development company headquartered in McKinney, TX. We help businesses implement inventory control management systems to avoid stock-outs, optimize stock costs and automate stock control workflows. Being ISO 9001 and ISO 27001-certified, we rely on a mature quality management system and guarantee cooperation with us does not pose any risks to our customers' data security. For more details on our approach, feel free to check our offer on software development services.