Recently I was introduced to qItem, an online inventory system. A question often asked by businesses is do we have enough in stock? This question is made more complicated when you’re dealing with assembled items.
It’s one thing to know how many remote controls you have in stock. It’s quite another to know if you have enough parts in stock to build 50 more remote controls.
According to their web sites, qItem keeps track of your data, and it knows a thing or two about its structure (actually, you told it, during data entry). With this knowledge, qItem is eager to assist in your decision making process.
For example, qItem can provide a comprehensive view on the items usage and structure. On a single screen, for any item, you can see not only what goes inside of it, but also where it is used and how!.
If you need a simple inventory system, qItem might be for you. But there’s a glaring omission. Since it does not seamlessly connect to an accounting program, you’ll probably have to do some kind of double entry. You can export inventory data, but it does not appear to be seamless.
You can get a free trial of qItem and I’d love your input.
I asked qItem how does it integrate with a payment system? QItem can export, however, in a real time situation there did not appear to be a purchase or sales mechanism. It appeared to be double entry?
Yes, at this time it is a double-entry, but with a reason. Like most small businesses we find that many run some variation of QuickBooks or similar software for their costing/accounting platform.
Because of its flexibility, QuickBooks is as good as you make it.
In our case, and in case of many of the folks that we have heard from, the entries made into QuickBooks are vendor/supplier driven, not necessary detailed enough for proper inventory analysis. In your example, if the 10 bolts were purchased from vendor XYZ for $20, of which 5 bolts were $3/each and the other 5 were $1/each, that breakdown would often not find itself into QuickBooks, and the entry would be $20 for 10 bolts, Vendor XYZ. To muddy the waters even more, what if the purchase of these bolts and item costs were to vary from multiple vendors, how can you keep track of that history?
With qItems, we tried to provide a stand-alone, simple environment to allow this type of tracking to happen. Sometimes, it is double-entry, in other cases, it is a one step data export. In some cases, it may be the only place where this level of detail is entered. Being a small business, designing for a small business, we felt that the ability to track with BOM and inventory in mind was critical, albeit at a cost of possible data entry duplication. Having said that, we are working on providing in future releases of qItem built-in “feeds” that would grab the Item Master from QuickBooks and others and allow some of this costing information to flow through.
As you well know there are more complicated sophisticated system that will keep track of very detail without ‘duplicate’ data entry. the trade-off of these systems, of course, is the cost, complexity, and learning curve.
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