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Integrating with a Stock Control system


#1

Hi Glen
I have a number of clients that would like to switch to using QF but are prevented from doing so as they need an inventory system. I know you’ve previously said that you currently have no plans for developing an inventory system but what about integrating with one that is already available and provide a free entry level version? I have found a few options if it is something that might be considered


Inventory management
Accounting for stock levels
Inventory for variable weight items
Ordering And Receiving Stock items
Any update with this?
Account Size XL
#2

QuickFile already has an inventory system which allows you to create templated items and services you can call into your invoices. You can read more about this here:

http://help.quickfile.co.uk/main/1/setting_up_reusable_inventory_items.htm

What we don’t have is a full blown stock control system. This would typically monitor stock levels and auto-journal stock balances. We have discussed looking at an integration although there appears to be limited cloud based solutions for stock control at this time. If you’ve had any experiencing using any particular system we’d be more than happy to look at a possible integration.


#3

Its a full blown stock control system that these customers need.

Cloud based system I found the following:
http://www.skywareinventory.com/

But also found these two which appear to be PC based so not sure whether you can do anything with them
http://almyta.com/abc_inventory_software.asp
http://abcaus-excel-inventory-template-and-tracker-.en.softonic.com/

Just out of interest what would the cost of commissioning it as an add-on be? You can email me direct on this if you’d rather - info@ashden-accountants.co.uk


#4

I thought I’d come back to you with a few more cloud based options. I must confess I have not tested any of these applications but I’ve read a handful of positive reviews about each system.



http://tidystock.com/

Developing our own native stock control system is not likely to be something we will pursue at this time. The main focus for us is keeping our core accounting application lightweight and scalable, adding more complexity will make this harder for us. Plus we don’t want to reinvent the wheel if we can integrate with a good, well established platform.

As soon as I have some free time I’ll start looking at some of these systems in more detail and I will open a dialogue with the various software vendors to see how we can move this forward. If anyone wishes to provide some feedback on the above suggestions that would be excellent.


#5

I think I’d rather see it integrated with an offline stock control system as this is what I will be using. Accounting and other infrequently used things I can see the benefit of cloud based and it also doesn’t really affect me too much either way. Stock control is something I would not be sticking in the cloud at any time in the foreseeable future for various reasons, mainly due to the amount of local hardware it would have to ingrate with and the fact it needs to be up 24/7 and not have anyone else playing with it for any reason adding and removing features and tweaking things willy nilly.


#6

I’m not really sure how an integration would work with an offline application. Most desktop software doesn’t really play well with cloud applications, it would likely be a very clunky process of downloading CSVs and importing adjustments into the accounting system. I’m open to suggestions, but not really clear on how it would work at this stage?


#7

Could the dropbox integration not be used for this (file uploads/downloads) ?

Would probably need to confirm updates from the file in dropbox to avoid accidents of putting the incorrect file in dropbox,

downloading and uploading, wouldn’t be a problem to me as its no different than downloading invoices or uploading bank statements.

Also with dropbox you have the file version history, which you can recover previous files if you added the incorrect file.

Just my thoughts, we dont use inventory management at min, although we should, none of the software we have tried is suitable as we sell on amazon/ebay and paypal, also over the phone and soon website, most have good features, but none tick all the boxes needed, most are limited to a few accounting API’s that they link in with but this is very basic.

Only if i was able to take features from 3 or 4 of the software i have tried would it be suitable/workable for the all the above.

And the fact that most software starts as a solution to solve one persons problem and when these are solved, then software development goes stale or the time and manpower required to develop/maintain and even cost becomes an issue.

While i think the above would be an invaluable feature to quickfile, i fear the task of it being possible may be hard, without extra resources or some sort of funding from customers to help prevent my previous paragraph from happening.


#8

I took a look at these and there doesn’t appear to be any free entry level option. They monthly fees also seem quite steep which would then render the integration pointless but I guess thats down to the individual user.

Skyware Inventory is free with no restriction on number of locations or products, it just becomes a paid for option if you want more than 1 user.

Having said that its quite basic and doesn’t even retain customer details


#9

It is a big task to get right and I can fully understand why you wouldn’t even attempt it.

I think it would work the wrong way round if it would work at all. The last EPOS system (which did the physical inventory as well) I installed used an remote SQL database hosted online which was shared with the ecommerce side of the project so any stock movements were updated in both systems simultaneously. This needs the inventory software to be able to work in a reasonably open and uncomplicated manner so Quickfile could interrogate it also, which I feel is where a lot of these solutions would fall down as I doubt the backend was meant for open sharing.

I think it’s back to the way I was going to do it originally and have something using the Quickfile API to pass client details and invoice info up and down.


#10

This is a bit of a hurdle, as I’m thinking that I’ll have to use a spreadsheet for stock. All I need in quickfile is a column for stock cost and another for sale price so you can work out the profit.

I’m baffled why this is not possible.

I must add that I am amazed how good Quickfiles is. Having come from excel spreadsheets with receipts all over the place this is a revelation.


#11

I guess it’s a case of finding something that works for all users. Even something seemingly easy like adding a column for the stock price and calculating margins is very complex, particularly when it comes to linking all this information into the ledgers and keeping it perfectly in sync.

Our preference has always been to seek out a 3rd party application and integrate via an API. Developing internally would take weeks, possibly months to get right. It’s a whole domain in itself!

It may be worth (if you haven’t already) looking at the projects module, this would allow you to calculate profitability based on grouping your sales and purchases under a common tag.

Pleased to hear everything else is working out for you, and you’ve managed to simplify your accounting!


#12

One Idea would be to introduce functionality a bit at a time. For example, a stock item in the existing inventory file would need a Last Stock Checked Date and a Starting Balance with purchases and Sales affecting a current balance. That would provide an initial solution with no financial postings involved. The current balance could be recalculated each time stock is received or sold or transactions deleted. A Stock adjustment facility may be needed though.


#13

Free cloud based stock control i have trialled

https://www.salesbinder.com
http://www.skywareinventory.com

Other ones that are very good but not free.



http://tidystock.com

I’m currently using salesbinder, will like to see options to integrate any of the above to quickfile.


#14

This is the kind of thing where I would have pictured the integration working the other way around - a plugin for the stock control system that talks to the QuickFile API to make the necessary accounting entries. I’ve been investigating epos systems recently and as a programmer I’m considering how easy it would be to add a plugin to an epos tool to automatically create a sales invoice in QuickFile when you take a Z reading on the till.

If/when this comes to fruition I’d be happy to share it with the community.


#15

Well said. I don’t think an offline system would work at all. Also integrating various requirements just over complicates like SAP ORACLE EXACT.
Keep it simple


#16

If you are looking for a free entrylevel version, I would recommend trying out Emerge App. Its one of the fastest growing inventory management solution used many wholesalers and retailers.

Though I have to mention there are plenty of good mentions here.


#17

You can try Inventory Software Services .


#18

hi, is anyone operating a successful stock integration with quickfile?

scott.