I have a very good client who runs a profitable used appliance and appliance repair business. He is one of those dudes who has a list of people who can take care of anything for you and he does excellent work himself, so I use him all the time to take care of various things for me. It’s always good to have someone like Carlos, a man with many talents and connections to take care of those many things that I can’t or don’t want to handle myself. I consider myself fortunate to know him.
One of the main things he does is buy used appliances and then, if he figures it’s not worthwhile to fix them, he’ll cannibalize them and save the parts he can to sell to customers who can’t locate old parts that manufacturers no longer make. Good idea, huh?
A Call from Carlos
So, the other day, my phone rings. It was Carlos. It’s always good to hear from him. He’s decided he wants to put all these used spare parts up on his website and sell them that way instead of just hawking them locally. “Another great idea,” says I. “Let me see what I can come up with.”
Now I’d never made a website with an inventory on it before, but the idea sounded intriguing to me, so I set to work.
The beautiful thing about WordPress of course, and one of the many reasons I always recommend it, is that there is a plugin for everything. All you have to do is search for it.
So I did.
A Nifty Plugin Called “WP Inventory Manager”
And I came across a nifty little plugin called “WP Inventory Manager” that suited our needs perfectly. This plugin comes in a free version that works pretty well for simple applications like ours. It should be more than OK for any small operation.
To quote from the website, WP Inventory Manager is “designed to help you manage inventory, display it on your website (if you want), and provide you with the tools you need whether you are displaying 5 item or 5,000. The ability to manage products through this easy to use tool makes inventory management simple.” And it does that pretty well.
One of the more convenient features is the reserve form function that allows customers to reserve an item from your inventory.
All the label titles are modifiable too, so you can customize the display however you choose.
For a mere $14.99 a year you can purchase a license that entitles you to free support and free updates to the plugin. The support is via email, which I’m not usually a big fan of, but that seems to be the way of the world lately and these guys do a crack up job of it. I had a problem with one bit of the implementation process, contacted the support team and got an answer back in only an hour or so. And they got the problem fixed lickety-split.
They offer several add-ons that can be had for a reasonable cost, add-ons like Advanced Inventory Manager, Advanced User Control and Ledger. I haven’t had to avail myself of any of these yet, but, if they are as easy to use for the casual user as the basic plugin, they should be a piece of cake. Check their Add-On page to see what’s available.
East to Implement
It comes with very good and complete documentation from the website and is quite easy to implement. I got it working for a few of Carlos’s spare parts in about 30 minutes. Of course, if you want to make it look really pretty and work exactly the way you want it to work, you’ll have to spend a wee bit more time than that—but not much more, I think.
All in all this is a really great plugin for small businesses who need to keep track of their inventory on a real time basis.
Thanks for reading my blog post. I hope you enjoyed it and maybe even learned something from it. Let me know what you think about it. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 352-610-6444 or toll free at 855-644-4393.