Fellow stagers, are you seated? OK, I picked up the complete package of: inventory tracking/invoicing software, a wireless scanner, and barcode software for $440!!!!
Although Ambiance Staging is the relative new kid on the block we have already built up a sizable inventory of furniture and accessories. Though this has been great for us, it has proven more difficult than I imagined to keep track of my inventory. I don't know if you can relate but I found myself:
- buying new items last minute to fill in job to job and neglecting to tag and inventory them
- transferring items directly from one job to another with no accounting
- grabbing things for staging consultations on the go when I’m in a hurry neglecting to mark it out.
To top it off I rent furniture and accessories from 4 other sources, sometimes 2 sources per job, and work with several local and national furniture companies on some of the higher end homes. The end result is that our inventory tracking system was in a MUDDLE!
So I decided to dedicate some time to get organized. I bought some more great shelving from Costco, plastic bins, large Ziploc bag for bedsets and pillows, wire baskets in shelving for pillows, color coded stickers, labels, pens ++++ and got to work organizing my inventory and putting on the computer. I decided to just create my own template in excel but quickly became frustrated because I couldn’t customize it to my needs.
That’s when I discovered “Props On The Go” owned by Lucy Butcher, of Presentation is Everything. Lucy, a fellow stager in Colorado Springs, has been searching for the perfect inventory control software for almost 5 years and recently hit the jackpot with IMagic! I purchased the system from her on Monday and had downloaded it and was using it almost immediately. She simply e-mailed me the software key. I did a bit of research before I purchased, and spoke to another local company who had purchased and were extremely happy with the software. I found that comparable systems go for at least $1,500-2,000, but from what I can tell, there is no sacrifice in features or quality of product.
Some of the major benefits include:
- Barcode compatible so you can just zap your items for each job and it deducts them from the stock
- When they come back in, you simply zap them back into stock.
- You can upload a photo for each item!’
- Very flexible in allowing you to create categories, sub-categories.
- Allows you to have more than one warehouse location (as I do).
- Automatically creates invoices when you pull inventory (has several different ‘sales’ settings; for rental and resale for example).
- Doubles as a client database very useful for marketing
- Pulls stats and data to show activity graphs based on virtually any criterion you desire.
- Network compatible without having to purchase multiple keys
- Automatically notifies you when you’re running low on a certain stock item.
- Allows you to export to excel and other programs.
This software is very easy to use, versatile and robust. It has a virtually limitless stock quantity. You don’t have to be a computer type to pick this up! Fellow stagers, even those of you with relatively small stock or no big furniture; this software is a ‘no-brainer’! The invoicing, reporting/productivity tracking, and client database tools alone are worth the $189 you pay for the software. And although I considered purchasing the wireless scanner locally so that I wouldn't have to wait for it to be shipped, I found that computer stores in my area charged in the region of $400-450 for the scanners, so I opted to wait for the flic scanner. Besides it looked so much sleeker! Check it out! The scanner also had a better cache, but there's supposedly one coming out in the next month or 2 that will have a 4,000 item cache.
Should you decide to purchase please let Lucy know that you read my blog on Active Rain!