Megaventory Blog - Online Inventory Management Software, Order fulfillment and Control System
This is the company blog for megaventory, an online software that helps small businesses that buy, sell and manufacture physical products to manage sales, purchasing, manufacturing and inventory. We blog about new features and updates but also about enterprise software, small businesses, cloud computing and the industry in general.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Should Backdating Documents Happen?

In Megaventory, we take keeping track of every movement of the inventory very seriously. We believe that without this, an inventory and supply chain management system would lack value. However, we know that there are situations in which the original document is not valid or the dates are off. This is when backdating comes in handy, a feature that gives you flexibility while not losing track of the processes and documents. 


You may be asking yourself, but what is backdating? It is just dating a document with an earlier date than its actual date of execution. This might not be allowed, or not even be legal, especially when it comes to legal documents such as contracts. However, in day-to-day business scenarios, there are many cases when backdating is necessary.


These are some common situations in which you might find it helpful:

  • When among all documents required when recording sales, purchases, inventories, etc. an invoice ends up not being issued without any dishonesty intended. 

  • When for instance, a vendor supplies a product under a contract and later discovers that the customer didn’t sign it. In this case, a contract with the date of the supply is more valid than inserting the actual date of execution.

  • When the original document has been lost or destroyed and a replacement of the missing one is required. In this case, both parties might agree on the backdating of the document.

  • When you are first starting to use Megaventory, and you want to record some bills and invoices on their real date.


What Megaventory offers is a backdating feature that allows for any document that is being created to have its date set in the past (at a maximum of 180 days or 6 months). Furthermore, an already issued document can be canceled and a new one put into its place, on a date prior to the issue date of the latter. For tracking purposes, both the canceled document and the newly issued one get a document number.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Managing a Full Purchasing, Manufacturing and Selling Workflow with Serial Numbers


The serial number feature, essential for full traceability, allows Megaventory users to track the movements of individual items in their inventory right from the moment of purchase to the moment the goods are sold, and all throughout the manufacturing process. This is how you can monitor and manage serialized products in Megaventory.


Enabling serials numbers


First and foremost, start off by Enabling Serial Number Tracking by clicking on Account Setup under Settings. You can enable them when shipping (ie when selling and receiving Finished Goods) or when shipping and receiving (ie also when consuming Raw Materials and shipping goods as well).  

As shown below, you can also choose if you want the serial number to be unique per product or for it to be unique across all products. 




Once this is set, and before heading to the manufacturing process, you might face two different situations: you might want to add serial numbers to products you already have in stock, or you can just add serial numbers to incoming goods. In any case, you need to assign serial numbers to the stock before it can be used in a manufacturing process that tracks serial numbers.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

How To Personalize The Language And Terms In Megaventory


In Megaventory, we understand that switching to new software or changing the inventory management system might be challenging at times. This is why we don’t want the language to become a barrier. 
Megaventory can be used in English, Spanish, Greek, French, German, Arabic, Portuguese, and Romanian. And not only that. To make its use even more seamless, it also offers the chance for different users to use the software in different languages, and even to localize/translate terms in order to customize the interface
This can be very useful when first starting to use Megaventory, as it allows you to use your language of choice, create your own text strings, and maintain the company’s terminology. It is also great when: 
  • Using Megaventory in an international company, with users in different countries
  • Having international teams with different mother tongues
  • The client/partner is also granted access to Megaventory and uses different terminology
The possibilities and uses are countless, and you just have to follow these simple steps:

ORDER AND INVENTORY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE IN YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE
Are your company’s operations based in Germany and all your employees most comfortable when using German? Or are all your products and terminology also in German? Megaventory allows you to set the entire account in the language of your choice!
You just have to choose one of our available language packs, following this simple path: 
Head to the menu and click on Settings. Then, click on Account Setup and choose one of the language packs we offer. You will be able to see the changes just by clicking refresh!


Another way to do this is by clicking on Settings > Localize > Update Account Language, and to pick the language of your choice. 




Are you ready to manage your inventory in your own language?
Manage your sales, purchases and production with Megaventory now!
Sign up now for a free trial



Friday, June 19, 2020

Dealing With Inventory: A Few Costs To Keep In Mind

Running and managing the finances of a business is a tricky ordeal that requires you to monitor, track, and organize a company’s transactions, expenditures, and purchases. Among all the different performance measures, monitoring the way a company is performing in regard to sales, inventory levels, advertising or marketing, and profitability are a few of the important metrics that companies need to keep an eye on. 

This is especially important for those companies that are handling physical goods and inventory levels, and managing concepts like lead time, COGS or shipping expenditures, since these have become a whole new element to their financial and operational management, and make up a set of costs that companies need to be aware of. 

Transforming the Raw Material or Goods

The process of turning the raw materials or goods into a finished product, more often than not, requires time, energy, resources, and personnel to help along the way. These elements, minding the fact that the cost of these finished products has to factor in all these different costs incurred during the transformation, affect the financial statements such as balance sheet, income statement, or statement of cash flow. 

The factoring and allocation of all these costs itself, on the other hand, also plays a role in the financial success of the company. One last thing to keep a close eye on is the speed at which costs rise, and the speed at which products are selling, which will allow to keep the company in check financially and maintain the type of growth they are experiencing.

Managing Inventory Levels

Fulfilling the orders which have been made requires the necessary inventory on hand, so the number of orders or demand for a product play an important role when it comes to managing the level of inventory. 

While it is difficult to forecast the exact number of orders a company might have, over the course of running the business and its operations, the company can have a sense of the level of inventory they need to have on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. And not only that, but they also need to be aware of the storage costs and opportunity cost related to keeping said inventory level, in order to find the optimum. 

Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to managing inventory levels is the lead time or the time involved to obtain or produce new inventory. The lead times associated with a product or with a company are often one of the barriers it faces to fulfilling orders and ramping up production, since sometimes there is only so much a plant, a factory, or a system can produce, and it takes time for a new order, a new batch, or a new shipment to be processed. This lead time has an indirect but important effect in costs, and especially in liquidity, since it extends the period of time from when the order is placed to when the payment is received. 

Shipping or Freight Costs


The shipment of a good or the transportation of it comes with a financial component or a financial cost as well. There are different factors that partake into this role: the weight and dimensions of the product, the speed at which the good needs to be transported or shipped, or even whether the buyer or the seller is paying for the shipping. 


Fixed Costs


The machinery, equipment, and real estate a business needs are capital outlays that can sometimes be major and very significant in regard to the business, its operations, and its allocation of costs. Whether it is by buying or leasing, each company needs to be aware of the fixed costs it needs to incur in order to continue its operations. 


Employees and Payroll


On the flip side of human capital, is the payroll component. And with employees, there’s also the cost of hiring people, the onboarding process, and even the cost associated with firing people or having employees leave. All these costs have to be taken into consideration to maintain the financial wealth of the company.


            
 

Managing the finances behind a business that deals with physical products is an interesting and complex dynamic. Whether you’re looking at the prices of current inventory, the types of sales, orders, or demand that’s in the near future, or the expenses the business or company incurs during its operations, they all factor into the financial aspect of the business.


Howie Bick is the founder of The Analyst Handbook. The Analyst Handbook is a collection of 16 guides created to help current and aspiring Analysts advance their careers. Prior to founding The Analyst Handbook, Howie was a financial analyst.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Megaventory in the top 15 Gartner Category Leaders


This year we're once more happy and proud to have Megaventory included by Gartner's GetApp among the top 15 Inventory Management Category Leaders!

This is a result based on user reviews placed 100% by our customers in the Gartner sites such as getapp.com, capterra.com, and softwareadvice.com


GetApp Category Leaders for Inventory Management Jan-2020


We've found these tools to be invaluable to our customers that are in the process of shortlisting solutions for their company because they host authentic reviews from users who have been using our inventory management software specifically in their business (and not just people who create an account just to place a review as other sites do).

Furthermore, the filtering available allows prospective customers to see the reviews of existing users in the same situation (industry and company size) as them and make an informed decision about considering Megaventory.




At the same time, it's easy to get a quick overview of the application with the star rating and pros and cons section and know what to evaluate further by means of a trial account. Finally, their feature-by feature-comparison of an application with its direct competitors allows prospective users to get started on the right path to procure the best inventory management option available.






Are you ready to optimize how you manage your inventory?
Manage your sales and purchases with Megaventory now
Sign up now for a free trial





The Category Leaders badge is a trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved. GetApp Category Leaders constitute the subjective opinions of individual end-user reviews, ratings, and data applied against a documented methodology; they neither represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, GetApp or its affiliates.

Monday, February 17, 2020

5 Cyber Security Threats You Might Not Be Aware Of

This is a guest post by Lynne Jeffery, the Head of Public Safety Solutions at NEC New Zealand. Lynne has over 20 years’ experience in the global technology sector with a specific expertise in biometrics and cyber security solutions. 

Cyber security continues to be a hot topic in 2020. Despite advancements in Cyber Security solutions, 2019 has already seen 4 billion records breached, according to Norton. These vary from mega-breaches that grab the headlines and tend to hit large global organisations to the hundreds, possibly thousands of less familiar data hacks that often go unreported in the media.

Over the past months, organisations such as Capital One, Georgia Tech and even the UK Police have been hit with data breaches. Norton reported that there was a 54% increase in the reported number of breaches in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018 – a sign that cyber security remains a very real threat for businesses large and small.

Whilst cyber security threats like phishing attacks and Internet of Things (IoT)-related threats are widely reported and combated, it’s often the less well-known cyber security threats that cause the most damage for businesses.

5 lesser-known cyber security threats


There are many reasons why organisations leave themselves open to cyber security threats. Having a robust cyber security policy and investing in cyber security software can help to mitigate against the majority of threats, however it’s sometimes the lesser-known cyber security threats that can fall under the radar of both policies and software solutions.

Here are five of the lesser-known cyber security threats that have caused problems for organisations large and small.

1.      Supply chain


Whilst your own cyber security measures and policy may be extremely robust, other organisations within the supply chain might not have the same level of security and this can lead to issues for you and your business.

With the increase of information sharing and the ways and means we have of sharing data, so too the opportunities for exploitation increase. The best way to mitigate against cyber security threats within the supply chain is to work closely with suppliers or partners in the chain to ensure your cyber security policies and security measures are aligned.

Software is one way of mitigating against cyber security threats, however education plays just as important a role and the opportunity to pull suppliers and partners together can also help to reduce the cost to all businesses in the supply chain when it comes to cyber security education.

2.      Backing up to the cloud


The cloud presents many opportunities for businesses and employees to work remotely and to ensure information is backed up. With the increase in flexibility and functionality, however, comes a variety of threats to cyber security that need to be controlled and managed.

One of the big issues comes when people back up corporate information (such as contacts) to their personal iCloud/Google account. If employees use personal devices to access their work files through the cloud, it becomes more difficult to manage the apps that they are downloading and the permissions they are granting to those apps. Quite innocently, employees can grant third party apps access to your secure data via the cloud and a breach becomes possible.

It’s important for organisations to control any applications that have access to their network through a strict vetting process. Education is also a key part of ensuring that in this day and age of BYOD, employees are aware of the threats of third-party apps and the vetting process you have in place.

3.      Untrusted browser extensions




Browser extensions can be brilliant. They can help us to go about our day to day jobs more efficiently and provide us insights directly in our browser that we may previously have had to work a lot harder to find.

A process that often gets overlooked in cyber security policies is the vetting of these browser extensions. These should be vetted like any other piece of software. At the end of the day, they potentially have the opportunity to see and track everything you are doing online presenting a serious threat to cyber security.

Whether you are vetting them personally or your IT department keeps a closer eye on them for you, all extensions should be vetted like an app or piece of software. Check for the permissions they ask for, check the background of the developers and any other apps/extensions they have developed and look at the reviews left by other users. Keep browser extensions to a minimum – the ones that are essential to your day to day work.

4.      Weak passwords


This might not fall in the lesser-known bracket, however for a lot of people, it falls into the ‘never changed it or haven’t changed it for a long time’ bracket.

In an age where businesses large and small are relying more on more on cloud-based services that require password access, one of the big problems face by organisations is employees selecting passwords that are too weak and easily guessed. Another issue is using the same password for multiple accounts.

There are a number of software solutions out there to help businesses manage more tightly controlled password security including third party sites such as One Password or LastPass. Google also provides its own password management service through the Chrome browser which will help to auto-generate highly secured passwords and store them for you.

Multi-factor authentication is perhaps the most secure way to go. This means that employees will need more than just a password to gain access to business accounts. Steps can include verification texts sent to a mobile device or using authentication applications.

5.      Dodgy USB sticks


The innocent USB stick can be a cause of major cyber security issues if they are not managed correctly. Some of this is done with malicious intent – viruses are pre-loaded to USBs before the even hit the stores and unwittingly, people transfer a virus to their computer thinking they are using a brand new, clean USB.

As with most of the items on this list, education is important. Ensuring all your employees know where the USBs have come from that they are plugging in to their computers is the first step in preventing a cyber security incident.

Company-wide, it’s important to keep operating systems up-to-date and make sure you have effective anti-virus software installed. If you are unsure about a USB device, run a virus scan on it before you open any files.



Summary


Moving more and more into 2020, cyber security is more important than ever. With the number of breaches increasing in 2019 compared to the previous year, cyber criminals are finding more sophisticated ways of breaching cyber security measures. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure your cyber security policy is robust and that you have a comprehensive educational program in place to ensure your employees are aware of all the latest threats as well as some of the lesser-known cyber security threats mentioned above.

Image credits: Daniel Frese froPexelsenergepic.com from PexelsKaboompics .com from Pexels

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Getting Started with Magento as your Online Sales Channel

Having gone through the key advantages of adopting Magento as your solution of choice when it comes to e-commerce, we now consider the benefits it brings in more detail and look into how to get started with it. For that, we have invited Syed Muneeb Ul Hasan, the Magento Community Manager at Cloudways, the popular Managed Magento Hosting Platform to provide insights

Magento is a leading Content Management System (CMS) that offers all the standard elements and functions that are essential for a successful web store. It is the premier go-to CMS for web store owners that have thousands of products to offer, deal with a large volume of traffic and provide a comprehensive set of features and designs.

More than 250,000 merchants around the world are currently using Magento to power their e-commerce stores. Henceforth, Magento is a go-to choice for many online businesses. 

Magento doesn’t only support big organizations like Nike, Liverpool Football Club, Coca Cola, Ford, FoxConnect, Warby Parker, Olympus, etc. but it’s also the backbone of many Small and Midsize Businesses (SMBs) and growing startups.

In this post, you will see why an online business should choose Magento for selling its products online, and what factors to consider while building an e-commerce store with Magento.

Benefits of Magento as a Sales Channel



I’m not sugar-coating things about Magento. It’s true, I am a die-hard fan of Magento for e-commerce. It comes down to premium features, user-friendly navigation, a commendable structure that makes the store performance outstanding.  

Many reasons tend to entice big companies and other online merchants to choose Magento e-commerce to sustain their online businesses. Here are some of the essential reasons that developers and store owners tend to prefer Magento over other e-commerce platforms.

Reliability

Magento was already a popular CMS out there, but it got a business boost after acquisition by Adobe in 2018. It further enhanced the brand’s reputation and image in the community. 

Magento is considered as a reliable e-commerce platform because it’s an open-source that offers robust features and flexibility. Following are some of the important points that make Magento a reliable platform for e-commerce businesses.
  • Magento allows you to manage multiple websites from a single admin panel for a particular version.
  • Developers are free to customize themes as per various requirements. 
  • As a store owner, you can leverage with a Magento CMS for the landing page.
  • Moreover, Magento is 100% SEO friendly, offers one-page checkout, various shipping options, secure payment gateways and much more.
Highly Scalable & Flexible

Magento CMS is capable enough to handle more than 80,000 transactions per hour and manage up to half a million products on one site. It’s one of the advantages of using Magento for your online business. 

It means that you can expand your store at any time as your business expands, especially during the peak sales season.  
Security

Security is an important factor for any online business. The developers at Magento are keen to protect every single e-commerce website from vulnerabilities and brute force attacks. Moreover, they try their level best to ensure ironclad security by realizing new updates and security patches regularly.

High-Performance 

Magento brings peace in your life and wiped out all your slow page loading, slow searching, and other speed-related woes. Magento uses modern technology that includes Varnish, Memcached, FPC, Redis, and other optimized database options. All together brings the top-notch e-commerce performance with high user engagement while utilizing minimal server resources.
Better Mobile Experience 

Most of the online buyers prefer smartphones over laptops or personal computers. According to the statistics, 79% of smartphone users had made a purchase online using their smartphones during the last six months of the year 2019.

It’s necessary to consider a responsive store design for your Magento online store that is compatible with any kind of device. Moreover, it offers a better shopping experience and meets the demands of your users, Magento offers HTML5, allows adjusting the image size and support product videos.
Ease of Integration

Third-party extensions and themes play a vital role in the development of a Magento-powered online store. Magento is an e-commerce platform that easily integrates a large number of third-party services including payment gateways, shipping, order tracking features, etc.

Progressive Web Application (PWA)

Magento recently built its own Progressive Web Application (PWA) studio that introduces the new-era of frontend web development. The Magento PWA Studio helps developers build an e-commerce platform that offers high speed, capable to run in offline mode, and is readily responsive to all types of screens, etc. 

Custom Development 

Developers love the word ”Open Source”. Magento facilitates developers allowing them to make changes in the source code and have full control over custom development. Being a developer, you can customize the online store as per the requirements of the merchants.
Magento Pricing 

Magento has two major variants, one is Magento Community Edition that’s for a developer that doesn’t charge any cost. You just have to download and start developing your e-commerce store right away. The other one is Magento Enterprise Edition that comes with a lot more additional and premium features. Magento Commerce pricing starts from $22,000 and high as $190,000 per year.

Additional Magento-related costs will also come into play. Check out a typical list of estimates in the following pricing table for Magento.

Development with an Agency
From $25/hr
Development with a Freelancer
From $10/hr
Development with own In-house Team
From $60,000/yr
Pricing  of Magento Themes
$0 – $200
Pricing of Magento Extensions
$50 – $500
Graphics/Animation/Videos
$10,000 – $18,000
Domain Registration
$10 – $500
Hosting
From $10/month
Maintenance
$80 – $125/hr

Magento Editions, Installation and Hosting

The Magento Community Edition is the premier choice for many companies that are serious about e-commerce but are only getting started at it. It’s free of cost and it is capable enough to deal with a large number of products as well. It is compatible with Magento 1.x – 2.3.x. Meanwhile, The Magento Enterprise Edition comes with a price tag, which unlocks more exciting features and technical support. 


If you are willing to use Magento, you must understand that different Magento versions have a different set of requirements that you need to fulfill. For instance, if you want to use Magento 2.3 for your online store development, you must ensure that the following technical requirements are fulfilled to get an optimized and flawless store performance:

·         MySQL 5.6, 5.7
·         MariaDB 10.0, 10.1, 10.2
·         Percona 5.7
·         MySQL NDB Cluster 7.4.*
·         PHP versions: 7.1.3, 7.2.0
·         Apache 2.2 or 2.4
·         Varnish version 4.x or 5.2
·         Redis version 3.2, 4.0, 5.0
·         RabbitMQ version 3.7.x
The installation of the above requirements typically isn’t a piece of cake. It takes a lot of effort, time and energy in this time-consuming installation process.

However, if you don’t want to get into the technicalities, then a 
managed Magento hosting solution is one reliable approach that meets all the requirements that Magento supports, and it will enable you to install Magento easily. 

Here’s a quick way to
launch your Magento server with Cloudways and get all the server requirements to streamline your store’s processes.

Final Words

As this post comes to an end, I assume that you are motivated and ready to start the e-commerce aspect of your business with Magento. I hope after reading this, building an e-commerce store with Magento shouldn’t be stressing you and you might have a road map to start your store.

In my opinion, Magento is among the best options to get started with your e-commerce effort and scale it to the new horizons of success. Above all, Magento has a great community and customer support team which is always ready to assist developers and online merchants. 


If you have any point of view or any feedback around this post, don’t forget to use the comment section below.



Megaventory note: Once your Magento version is available in Cloudways you can install the Megaventory extension to start managing your Magento stock too across multiple locations, user permissions and other such configurations.