For a very small business that carries a limited amount of inventory or that turns over inventory slowly, a mechanized inventory system is unnecessary. The business owner can easily keep track of how much merchandise is on hand with a manual system, or simply by applying the "eyeball test" to see if it is time to order more. The owner won't need to spend money on inventory software or take the time to learn how to operate it. Sense of Control
A manual system gives a small business owner a greater sense of control. Rather than relying on a computer to indicate when it's time to reorder, the owner can manage the process on his own. The need to view his merchandise on a regular basis, such as when counting stock before placing an order, gives him the opportunity to assess the condition of his merchandise, reducing the chance of a customer receiving damaged goods. Labor-Intensive
A disadvantage of manual inventory systems is that they can be highly labor-intensive to operate. They require continuous monitoring to ensure that each transaction is accounted for and that products are maintained at the appropriate stocking levels. It is also more difficult to share inventory information throughout the business, because the lack of computerization makes accessing inventory records a more cumbersome process. The time spent monitoring inventory levels could be used on more productive activities for the business. Human Error
A manual inventory system relies heavily on the actions of people, which increases the possibility of human error. People might forget to record a transaction or simply miscount the number of goods. This results in needless additional orders that increase the company's inventory carrying costs and use up precious storage space. Inaccurate physical counts could also result in not ordering enough of a product, meaning the business could run out of a crucial item at the wrong time.
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