Cloud inventory management
The phrase cloud-based or cloud-hosted inventory management system generally means two things: (1) that your data is stored in a secure data center, and (2) that you can access your data from a web browser. This type of stock control software has the following benefits,
- you (or your employees) can access your account from different locations
- you can access your account from any computer
- you can use a tablet or mobile device
- all people accessing the account share a consistent view of the data
- you don't bear the IT costs and hassle of maintaining your own database system
- your data is backed up automatically
- you always have the latest version of the software; never need to worry about upgrading
- you can pay for the service by month instead of an up-front payment
- unifies Mac inventory management and PC inventory management, so employees can work on any computer
integrates with Quickbooks desktop software as Quickbooks stock control so you can continue to use Quickbooks for your accounting while having cloud inventory management accessible from multiple computers or locations
Some of the benefits of cloud inventory management software can be achieved with a system installed on your own server by using VPN or enabling people to login to your system directly through some other means. You obviously bear the burden of support if you host your own server, but in exchange you have the comfort of knowing that the entire system is within your control.
In the past, some companies have been concerned about the security of cloud inventory management, but as cloud-hosted systems and browsers have rapidly matured in the last few years, the security concerns have been largely mitigated or some would say entirely erased. Cloud-hosted software companies and their data center providers point out that if you host your own servers and provide network access from outside your walls then it is arguably more likely your own system is less secure than a cloud stock control software system managed by a full time IT staff.
Example from Finale Inventory
Here is an example video of using the Finale inventory control system to make a purchase order and sales order.
Overview (short example)