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Keeping track of inventory is many salon owners' least favorite task. Fortunately, salon software companies are making it easier by offering such tools as handheld devices that eliminate the need for manual counting and data entry, automatic tracking and reorder functionality and useful inventory reports. Harms Software Millennium integrates with personal digital assistants (PDAs), allowing management to conduct inventory counts, then sync with Millennium.net, which incorporates the changes into the software. The Remote Inventory Count (RIC) device offers similar functionality for Extended Technologies SalonBiz users, and Salon Iris users can choose from either a Metrologic Bar Code Scanner or ScanPal2 to perform this task.



To make reordering products more efficient, the Auto-Create feature in SalonBiz generates a purchase order based on the salon's sales and desired inventory levels. Millennium automatically creates purchase orders when on-hand counts dip below preset ordering levels. Salon Iris' handy Pop-up Reorder Reminder, which can be "grabbed" and "pinned" anywhere on the desktop, helps management stay on top of reordering products. To easily keep track of incoming shipments, Salon Iris will automatically update the product stock count, verify the wholesale price and print out a vendor check.

Many software programs provide useful inventory-related tools and reports that can help make businesses more lucrative. Millennium's Inventory Model Quantity Wizard, for example, optimizes model quantities based on sales history to eliminate overstocking or understocking, while the Slow Moving Inventory Wizard identifies which items aren't selling. Crimpers Management Software also helps minimize overstocking on slow movers by suggesting the optimum minimums for each item, based on current sales and usage history. Crimpers offers another useful report that indicates all products that are not priced properly to make the salon's desired markup. SalonBiz includes the Hot and Cold List by Sales Report, which displays the top and bottom 25 products sold by dollar amount, so that management can stock the proper number of top-selling items and create special promotions to speed sales of slow movers. Another valuable tool from SalonBiz is the Adjustment Summary Report, used for calculating the cost of products associated with performing services or used as retail testers. —L.A.

Crimpers Management Software: 877/727-4673; crimpers.com


Extended Technologies: 800/632-5527; extendedtechnologies.com


Harms Software: 888/813-2141; harms-software.com


Salon Iris: 888/803-4747; saloniris.com

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Lotus Abrams

Lotus Abrams