The thing with taking inventory is this: While you spend time counting the things you want to sell, you're not actually selling them. Speed is of the essence, so Intuit has introduced a new physical inventory scanner to go along with its QuickBooks Point of Sale software that it claims can shave valuable hours off the time required. Retailers can take a wireless, handheld scanner all over the store - from the front window displays to the storage racks all the way in the back - to scan product barcodes in batches, and when the scanner is replaced in the cradle, it automatically downloads the inventory information into the QuickBooks POS system.
In addition to saving time, using the scanner should increase accuracy, and QuickBooks POS can then track and update the accurate inventory data as sales are rung up, sending out alerts when stock drops below pre-set levels, and even generating purchase orders to replenish crucial stock.
Price: Physical Inventory Scanner - $719.95. Basic QuickBooks Point of Sale - $799.95; with hardware - $1,499.95. Pro and Pro Multi-Store editions available.
HP targets SMBs
It's not enough to have a top-quality printer - you have to have something worth printing. As part of its aggressive attempts to reach more of the small and midsized business market, HP has announced a wide range of printers that are both faster and easier on the budget, and is also working with industry leaders to offer graphic design expertise to its customers.
Among the printing possibilities that are appropriate for small businesses are the LaserJet 1020, HP's most affordable laser printer, and the 1022, with high printing speeds and wireless models available. The even-less-expensive Business Inkjet 1000 prints large numbers of pages quickly and cheaply, while the workhorse Business Inkjet 2800 prints even more quickly and in sizes up to 13 in. by 19 in. The Deskjet 9800 series also handles larger page sizes at high speeds. And that's just the beginning - there are plenty more, covering just about any configuration of page size, speed and print quality that an SMB can come up with.
To give that snazzy color printer you've just bought something exciting to print, HP has teamed up with LogoWorks, a company that specializes in affordable, Web-based logo design services, to help small businesses get a customized logo created in just a few days. LogoWorks is also consulting with HP to offer a free course on logo creation and business identity. Visit www.hp.com/go/logoworks to learn more about the logo service, and www.hplearningcenter.com for more information on the course.
Price: HP LaserJet 1020 - starts at $179; 1022 - starts at $199; Business Inkjet 1000 - starts at $149; Deskjet 9800 series - starts at $299; Color LaserJet 2600n - starts at $399; for others, contact vendor. Logo packages - $265.
Cartesis ES Magnitude
Two trends converge in Cartesis' new Cartesis ES Magnitude application: The expansion of businesses across industries and countries, and their growing desire for more accurate information about their performance. ES Magnitude is a financial consolidations and management reporting solution that can help users quickly assess and report on the state of their business, while producing consolidated accounts that comply with global accounting principles and regulatory requirements.
The software adapts to different industry structures and supports major business changes, increasing compliance efficiency by unifying global consolidation requirements, automating control processes, strengthening security and providing comprehensive traceability. All that, and it claims simplicity, too, with a user-friendly interface, helpful wizards and more intuitive modeling.
Price: Contact vendor.
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