Inventory control systems
Manufacturers keep track of the parts or ingredients that go into making products, in addition to the products themselves. The parts and ingredients are purchased from suppliers and shipped to company storage locations in the same process used by wholesalers and distributors, except manufacturers then assemble the parts (discrete manufacturing) or combine the ingredients (process manufacturing) in work orders to create the products that the company sells.
In the discrete manufacturing case, the products are built from a bill of materials that defines the required parts. In the process manufacturing case, the products are kits and are created from formulas that define the quantities of ingredients required to create a given quantity of product.
From this point forward, the process is the same as for wholesalers and distributors: the products are kept as stock items, sometimes transferred between company locations, and ultimately sold to customers. As for other types of businesses, the sales may include packing the products into cases or handling units. A sale may originate from a quote for the customer, and may involve an invoice being generated.
Materials requirements planning, or MRP, builds upon the concepts of inventory control systems by extending the time frame of consideration from keeping track of what you have in the present to planning what you can manufacture or have available to sell in the future. The MRP sets forth what resources you need to order and when, and what sales orders you can release and when.
Finale is a basic inventory control system for manufacturing without materials requirements planning built in. Small to medium sized manufacturers may find MRP software overbearing for the complexity of their actual planning needs. The combination of Finale as an inventory control system plus Excel for MRP is the right level of tools for a large class of companies.
Lots and serial numbers
Some types of products have expiry dates, or serial numbers, or other properties identified by lot or batch. Thus stock may not just be quantities of a particular product, but of a particular lot. For these types of products, the stock item in the block diagram above encompasses the properties of the particular stock item instances that vary from batch to batch or item to item.
Stock control software
There is a lot in common between manufacturing software and wholesale and distribution software on the sell side of the inventory management process, so stock control software tends to be the same across these businesses for stock on hand, whether it was purchased from suppliers or manufactured internally.
Examples from Finale Inventory
Here are a few example videos of using Finale Inventory.
Creating large sales orders (quickly)
Boxing and packing
Importing a product list from Excel