Friday, July 25, 2008

Controlling Bead Inventory

I’ve been trying to figure out how to manage and organize all of my beads and I think I finally have part of it figured out…although, I’m still trying to work on storage.

I purchased plastic boxes with separators….about 8 x 11 or so, like many places sell. I think most craft stores sell them and Harbor Freight sells them for a couple of bucks a piece, too. So, I’ve been putting each kind of bead in a section in a box. I then got one of those labelers that prints a nicely typed label. I have marked each box with a number and each section of the box has a number assigned to it. I decided to do it like the old “Battleship” game…each row is a letter and each column is a number, so the first section in the 1st box would be 1A1.

I then had an “angel” friend (Thank you, Andy!!) VOLUNTEER to count all of my beads and label all of the boxes for me! (I think I have close to 40 boxes. Each box has between 12 and 31 sections.) She made a list of what is in every box along with the count.

I also purchased Art Affair software (which, by the way, I LOVE). Now I am putting each of the beads into the computer inventory. Where I don’t have the original invoice, I go online and try to find the same or a similar bead and estimate the cost. I know this isn’t perfect, but at least I’ll be able to put the correct info in for new purchases. This also allows me to cost out my pieces correctly and I can keep instructions and photos, too, along with sales information.

When I get “caught up” (do we ever get caught up? LOL!!), then I can print out a lovely catalog of all of my finished pieces so that I leave it with someone or whatever.

By the way, I tried Jewelry Designer Manager Pro/Deluxe for several years. I really like Art Affair better. It seems easier to use and has more functions. It even includes a calendar for keeping track of shows. Oh, and both keep vendor info, too and associate the vendor with the bead. That way, you’ll know where to buy more!!