2019-03-14 11:00:25What's New in QBOEnglishhttps://quickbooks.intuit.com/blog/us_blog/uploads/2019/03/Inventory.jpeghttps://quickbooks.intuit.com/blog/whats-new/locate-inventory-inventory-management-built-to-scale/LOCATE Inventory: Inventory Management Built to Scale

LOCATE Inventory: Inventory Management Built to Scale

6 min read

I am George Keliher, founder and CEO of LOCATE Inventory. I’ve been in the hardware business for more than 40 years, first as a kid working in my grandfather’s steel and tool company, then as an entrepreneur starting and growing several hardware businesses of my own. During this time, I learned first-hand the complexities of how to manage stock, sell at a profit by knowing your cost and account for that profit to succeed. After selling my last business, I decided to teach others what I had learned, so in 2004 I started a consulting company specifically for mid-size, inventory-based businesses using QuickBooks®.

Working with these companies and learning their pain points, we found that they were continuously hitting limitations with their existing inventory software. Our mission as a company became to extend the capabilities of these inventory programs by developing shopping cart integrations, utility software tools and custom reports.

Then, around 2012, we saw a technology refresh emerging, as the market began to shift from desktop to cloud-based software. We realized that in order to meet the challenges ahead, and for our customers to continue growing, we would need to find an inventory platform that could keep up with advancing technology and the evolving needs of our target market.

We found no viable solutions.

Inventory software developers were either focused on the small business or enterprise market; mid-size companies were being ignored and underserved. That’s when we realized, “our customers deserve better – and we can DO better.” We knew that in order for our customers to compete, we would need to lead the way. So, relying on our 10 years of hands-on experience, we proceeded to build LOCATE.

Functionality and Main Features

We’ve developed a cloud-based inventory and workflow management platform designed to help small- and mid-sized businesses scale within the QuickBooks ecosystem. LOCATE’s comprehensive features fit various business models by offering dynamic workflows for sales, fulfillment, manufacturing and beyond.

In the past, inventory-based accounting for mid-market companies was often a challenge. It was difficult for businesses to understand their costing and profits because there was simply too much unnecessary data being sent to QuickBooks from their inventory software. For higher-volume companies, this also meant they were quickly outgrowing their inventory and accounting platforms, but were not ready to jump to an ERP system and did not want to leave QuickBooks.

LOCATE set out to change that by building every workflow around our own internal ledger and chart of accounts, which allows us to summarize the bulk of a company’s transactional data into a single, daily journal entry. That means we can send less data to QuickBooks while retaining full visibility in LOCATE though detailed audit trails and internal accounting reports. LOCATE’s batched accounting model keeps businesses growing, while QuickBooks stays lean and clean. This is a huge benefit to accountants and makes reconciliation a breeze.

For businesses, this unlocks incredible growth potential by eliminating all data caps and limitations. LOCATE customers can fulfill as many orders in as many warehouses with as many products for as many customers as they need!

What Sets Us Apart

We didn’t just set out to build software; we were determined to create a solution for an underserved market. In our years as consultants, we saw first-hand the pain points our clients experienced every day – and we felt them, too! We built LOCATE on that foundation of industry knowledge and practical experience with a single goal in mind: help our customers succeed.

We also believe that customer success extends far beyond the functionality of an application. That’s why we offer 24/7 in-house support for all customers, a free mobile application, included integrations to 30+ platforms and more.

LOCATE has no data caps, tiered pricing or add-on fees for any of our existing features or integrations; we want users to take advantage of everything LOCATE has to offer. More importantly, we believe the software you use should encourage and accelerate growth, not inhibit it!

In addition, we are the only inventory program for the mid market that makes accounting an integral part of the transaction with our own ledger and chart of accounts. Functionality-wise, this makes LOCATE more like an ERP system, without the enterprise-level cost and complexity. This enables smaller companies to grow exponentially and prevents larger companies from being forced out of QuickBooks before they are ready.

Customer Feedback

Customer feedback has been absolutely integral to LOCATE’s development. Not only did we start with the experience of our 3,000+ consulting clients already in mind, but we also sought feedback from real customers as LOCATE was built. Every workflow and feature in LOCATE was designed with the end-user in mind. We believe this to be one of the main reasons LOCATE has 100% customer retention!

Even now, our team meets weekly to review customer feedback and requests; our development road-map is largely driven by the needs and priorities of our clients.

Working With QuickBooks

We were fortunate enough to be one of the top 10 apps in the 2017 100k SmallBiz App Showdown. This helped us launch LOCATE at QuickBooks Connect with a larger presence than we could have ever imagined, and bring our solution to even more users and partners in the QuickBooks ecosystem. That experience has absolutely been instrumental in LOCATE’s growth over the past couple of years.

Since then, the amazing team at Intuit® Developer has continued to accelerate our growth by connecting us with additional opportunities like the Developer Success Program, which we recently joined in January 2019. We are excited that Intuit is seeking to meet the needs of larger, more complex companies. This helps smaller businesses feel confident that their growth will be supported and encouraged!

Who We Cater To

LOCATE was primarily designed for the “M” in SMB, but LOCATE can be a great fit for any product-based company with at least five users. Our average customer has 10-25 users and fulfills 50-1,000 orders a day. Our robust workflows cater to companies in nearly any industry and support multiple business models, including eCommerce retail, wholesale, distribution, manufacturing and co-packing.

Way Forward

The mid market SMB company is the backbone of the American economy, creating more jobs and gross domestic product than most sectors of the economy. These companies are also the most misunderstood and underserved sector of the market in terms of inventory software. Available software is either too simplistic or too expensive without the corresponding value of accessibility. LOCATE has put together a team of developers who understand this need, and bring to this market the efficiency of the latest technology, scalability of unlimited data, access to the vast amount of metadata, and security that has previously only been available with an ERP system.

LOCATE is redefining the trajectory of business growth for inventory-based companies by breaking the cycle of buying, implementing and outgrowing inventory management software. We designed a platform that is accessible to smaller businesses, yet filled with the features and scalability they will need as they grow. From the basics, such as kitting, barcoding, tracking and standard warehouse operations, to more advanced options, including manufacturing, wave picking, and dynamic workflows, LOCATE brings the power of an ERP system to the QuickBooks market. For accountants, our continuously summarized transactions and internal inventory ledger are game-changers. These features streamline the accounting process by eliminating the transmission of unnecessary data to QuickBooks, while retaining comprehensive audit trails throughout LOCATE.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.
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