A few months ago, I introduced you to a cool app + product – SmartLabels. This product allows you to organize and keep track of items in your home. When I learned that SmartLabels’ inventory management capabilities is now available, I wanted to get more information. I reached out to them to learn more about it. With information and the upgrade in hand, I then decided to check it out for myself!! The company made these upgrades keeping small businesses and retail stores in mind. These features mean a reasonably priced alternative to the other expensive inventory management options.
And while my pipe dream of having a small business of sorts is still a few blue moons away, I knew I can use it for my home to manage inventory of all the stuff I use on a regular basis. Plus, I realized I can use this as a trial run for my future. I will most likely end up motivating myself and get started on that bookish small business too.
Once again, I thank the SmartLabels company to give me a chance to try out their upgraded product and share all about it honestly with you, my readers.
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SmartLabels: Inventory Management Made Easy and Cool!
You can check out all the details for the basics of SmartLabels – what it is, how to use it, and my thoughts on the same – in this post here. In today’s post, I am focussing on the new features of the app, including inventory management, and how homes and small businesses can use them with all the pros, cons, and everything else in between too.
What is SmartLabels’ Inventory Management?
Using the information from SmartLabels’ website, and based on my own experience using it, here is a bit about what inventory management is and how SmartLabels’ product and app can help small business owners and even homes needing a way to manage inventory of various items (for any reason) in so many ways.
Inventory Management: The What and More
Put simply, the goal of inventory management is to have the right products in the right place at the right time. And this requires inventory visibility, which involves knowing what is in storage and where it is stored, as well as how much of it you have in stock. This information helps users plan when to order, how much to order, and where to store inventory.
Currently, there are a plethora of inventory management systems. Of course, the most basic way for small companies or single-person businesses to keep track of inventory could be paper, or maybe using spreadsheets. But this can get complicated very quickly. Many existing systems are either expensive or way too complex with unnecessary bells and whistles for smaller companies.
SmartLabels: Inventory Management
Here is where SmartLabels can help. It is exactly like what Goldilocks wants – something just right! Inventory management made easy, simple, and at an affordable price as well.
Say you are a small clothing business or have a eBay or Etsy store just starting off. Or maybe you run a mom-and-pop type store, or like my sometime-in-the-future plan, have a bookish-coffee-bakery place. No matter which one of these you have, you will need to manage and keep track of inventory so you can serve your customers better.
Small businesses deserve more than keeping track of inventory in excel or worse, on paper. But the existing solutions are so expensive and many of them make things very complicated. SmartLabels provides the perfect affordable solution for these inventory management issues for small businesses!! Here is a simple overview of SmartLabels’ inventory management system:
- Catalog your inventory with names, descriptions, pictures, as well as notes for reminding yourself what type of container it is in and its location.
- Use the inventory count feature that makes adding and removing individual items seamless.
- The search feature helps you find exactly what you are looking for and tells you where to find it.
How to Use SmartLabels for Inventory Management?
Like I mentioned earlier, we can use spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to keep track of inventories. Then there are other software applications that provide many other features but can be less cost-effective for small business owners. This is where SmartLabels helps, with the just-right Goldilocks factor with the combination of their QR-code stickers and mobile app.
A look at it step-by-step once again, but with focus on inventory management each time.
The Labels Themselves
First, simply purchase a pack of QR and color-coded stickers. You can get the original Smart Labels, Modern Smart labels, and Neon Smart labels. Each packet contains 48 labels in 4 different colors, and you can buy them on the SmartLabels Website, on Amazon, or Walmart.com
Next, download and install the SmartLabels mobile app on your phone (free to install, and has paid subscription options – more info below. You can install from the Apple app store or Google Play). This way, you have the app waiting and ready to scan those labels. All new customers can use the basic version of the app free for the first year. Or choose to upgrade at anytime to two different subscription plans:
- Essentials Package plan for $11.95/year: the basic features in the free option plus the ability to export a PDF containing your labels and items
- Professional Package for $29.95/year: This is the one needed for inventory management at its fullest (and at this annual subscription price, it is still cheaper than most other systems I have seen). This includes all the features in the Essentials package + unlimited number of labels in the app + ability to include inventory count (and change them easily).
Check out more about the subscription plans here.
Readying Your Inventory: Labeling
If you already have your inventory stored in containers/boxes/bins/shelves etc, you can start labeling those. So go ahead and put those stickers on your item containers. (I love these clear containers from Target for storage).
Tip: make sure the surface of the box is clean and not too smooth to make it stick better and longer. Maybe cover it with a clear tape carefully to laminate it (kind of).
Start Scanning those Labels: Inventory Management Begins Here
Now scan the codes using your smartphone. Fill in all the required data – this part is pretty straightforward, but here is a breakdown anyways so you can see all the awesome-coolness it offers.
Note: images right after this breakdown. Image 1 gives you a step-by-step – mostly! – I skipped a couple of steps – like adding description to the item for the name in this was enough; but image 2 has a different item with info in description field as well.
- Give a name/description for the container. Take a photo of the container/contents, enter the location, container type, and a short description as needed.
- Start entering all the items within that storage container.
- Enter a name for the item (and you could use that field to also enter how you manage to keep track of inventory – is it by number of items/count, or by weight, or any other quick, short notes for the item, in addition to the name itself)
- Use the Quantity field to add the count, the number of items, or any other value (lbs/etc)
- Use the Description field to enter other useful information to help manage inventory. Here, we can enter the cost of the item/the estimated sale price/any other notes (image 2 below) you need to make for each item.
- If you chose to move the items to another storage container, you can simply click on the ‘Move to Another SmartLabel’ button and scan the other label, and presto, you have moved it, and now have the new location ready, all within seconds.
Image 1: step-by-step
Image 2: Item description with additional info included
So, point, scan, enter information, and you are done!! Now you can start tracking your inventory, or rather, let the SmartLabels app help you track your inventory while you focus on your business and home and life!
SmartLabels is proving to be a really useful asset for me, and based on its capabilities, I know that it will help many users, in many ways, including
- home inventory management system. 👍🏻, I know! I am using it for this purpose. Having made my DH drive to the store at the last minute before a party because I realized that the item needed to make a certain dish is not in the kitchen and also not in the pantry/garage (where we store the extras), I realized recently I needed to start tracking what I have with some system other than my memory! SmartLabels is a great answer – one that helps me and is on my phone. Plus, I can use for more if and when I chose to start something of my own.
- inventory management for small businesses and retailers. Given I have already mentioned all that it can do, you already know how useful it can be!
Also, SmartLabels is an Amazon’s Choice item currently, so you can see it is something many people are using and loving as well!
And Now, the End of this Post
Dear reader, I am hoping you will give SmartLabels a look and see how it can help you. Maybe you plan to use it with a basic plan for simple home organization. Or you can actually use the advanced version to manage inventory (home or small business). And as always, I welcome your thoughts and comments on the post.