Got a business that needs to have inventory tracked and managed? Like many businesses, you may have an Excel inventory management system. Excel can be a convenient and quick way to manage inventory for small or start-up businesses. However, as your business grows, Excel has limitations. Switching to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)inventory management system like Fishbowl
will help you manage your day-to-day business activities like:
- Accounting: budgeting, reporting, and financial results
- Project management
- Risk management and compliance
- Supply chain operation
Problems with Excel as an Inventory Management System
If you’ve been managing inventory manually using Excel, you’re not only wasting time but maybe making mistakes. From incorrect formulas and oversights to losing data if Excel crashes or doesn’t save properly. And because only one person can modify the files at a time, there’s a risk that information isn’t up to date.
Are you using Excel during stocktakes? In theory, it should manage your inventory, but if you’ve got a large amount, it can be hard to track. The limitations of Excel as an inventory management system are compounded if you have multiple locations where synchronising your inventory tracking becomes almost impossible.
Difficult to Scale & Outgrowing your Business Needs
Excel spreadsheets have become a popular choice for small business operators because:
- They come with Microsoft Office software
- They’re simple to use.
If you’ve been using Excel to create detailed reports and forecasts for the future, the data may not be accurate. Errors in data input and using old formulas that haven’t been updated can result in misleading business results.
Other limitations of using Excel as an inventory management system include:
- Potential mistakes when multiple people are using one spreadsheet
- Version control errors that can result in misleading business information being reported
- Lack of data analytic tools to create an audit trail.
Exponential Growth of Data & Your Business Requirements
Excel can be useful when creating multiple templates for data entry. But as your business grows and more people have access to the spreadsheets, there’s more likelihood that the templates have errors.
Lack of Real-Time Reporting
Did you know that Excel cannot track real-time inventory reporting? This means you’ll never know how much stock your business has, which can affect your future purchases and impact shipping. And if you don’t have accurate details of how much stock you’ve got, you may not be able to fill customer orders. ERP inventory management systems like Fishbowl are cloud-based solutions that track your inventory and provide accurate, real-time reporting.
What to Look for in an Excel Alternative?
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system like Fishbowl manages all your business information, including products, suppliers, employees, and customers. An ERP system:
- Supports and integrates financial data, so everyone in your company is aligned with revenues and costs
- Systematises manufacturing processes
- Standardises HR information, including wages, share benefits, and superannuation.
When you’re looking for an Excel alternative, the ERP systems must have the following characteristics:
- Central common database where all data is entered and stored once. This eliminates the likelihood of data entry errors common with Excel reporting spreadsheets.
- Modular design that incorporates all areas of your business, including human resources, accounting, sales and distribution, marketing, financial reporting, and manufacturing.Be able to generate information automatically from business intelligence
- tools and data reporting for the tax office and auditors to manufacturing reports. An ERP system with a centralised database will give real-time financial and business information.
What Benefits can you get from Excel Alternatives?
When you step away from using Excel to an ERP system, your business gets the following benefits.
- Efficient automation: Say goodbye to complicated formulas and multiple spreadsheets and templates. Being able to analyse your data with the press of a button can save you time and effort.
- Accurate and reliable data: Your business data is always up to date when you switch from Excel to An ERP system. Need a report in 30 minutes? Unlike Excel, an ERP system uses real-time information to obtain accurate business reports.
- Collaboration and portability: With all your data centralised, all team members can use an ERP system.
Data & Task Automation
ERP system data and task automation integrates processes in your business and breaks traditional silos. If your employees are working in one silo, they’ll have to wait on others before they can complete their work. By automating data and tasks, an ERP system processes and stores data in a centralised location accessible to all users who need to use it to perform their work.
Multi-system Data Source Integration
ERP systems like Fishbowl offer multi-system data source integration where everyone can easily access customer, sales, and product information. The different types of integration available include:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)-ERP integration: By connecting demand with supply, this integration gives you real-time customer contact and interaction information related to order management, fulfilment, and shipping.
- E-Commerce-ERP integration helps your business shift to contactless sales and services quickly. By providing your customers with browsing, ordering, and payment capability integrated with your ERP, you can rest assured your inventory is up to date and can be shipped quickly.
- Customer Service-ERP integration: By providing superior levels of customer service, your business will reduce churn, improve customer satisfaction, and respond to any customer enquiries fast. Integrating your customer service software with an ERP system is a seamless way to enhance your customer service.
Enhanced Inventory & Product Business Reporting
Unlike Excel, an ERP inventory management system like Fishbowl provides accurate, real-time reporting. With over 150 standard reports that offer various filters and options, you get up-to-date information that can be scheduled and saved to Excel or PDF automatically. The types of reports you can generate include:
- Margins on product sales
- Information on which stock to reorder
- Which barcode labels to use.
The business-specific reporting available on Fishbowl gives you the ability to develop reports that may be critical to your day-to-day operations. From inventory forecasting or commission reports to manufacturing schedule reports.
With easy-to-use Business Intelligence (BI) dashboards, Fishbowl can also connect to your current Dashboard tools like Microsoft Power BI, Google Data Studio, or Klipfolio.
Why use Fishbowl Inventory as an Excel Alternative?
Does your accounting software give you real-time reporting? Are you confident the information in your Excel spreadsheets and templates is accurate? Fishbowl inventory management solutions have been created for businesses that want to reach their potential and successfully grow to the next level. From knowing your stock levels to ensuring you deliver products to your customers on time, every time.
In-Depth Inventory & Order Management
Fishbowl inventory management solutions allow you to view your inventory across unlimited locations. You can also carry out simple stocktakes by location or across the entire business. Automation of processes in your business includes reordering, picking, reporting, and shipping.
The order management feature allows you to manage the sales package from pricing and ordering to picking, packing, and shipping.
Intuitive Inventory Tracking & Alerts
Fishbowl inventory management solutions also offer asset tracking. This advanced, affordable solution gives you all the tools you need to manage multiple warehouses, monitor expiration dates, increase efficiency, track shipments, and auto-reorder materials. Fishbowl inventory tracking and alerts include:
- Unlimited number of parts
- Unlimited number of locations
- Unlimited number of users
- Lot tracking and serial number tracking of parts
Seamless Barcode Inventory Management
By using barcode scanning, Fishbowl allows you to create efficiencies and accuracy in your business so you can:
- Track 1,000’s thousands of unique parts across multiple locations.
- Incorporate barcoding technology in your warehouse to speed up day-to-day processes and increase accuracy.
What does Fishbowl Inventory Offer as an Inventory Management System?
As an Inventory Management System, Fishbowl Inventory offers:
- ERP software
- Xero, Microsoft BI, and Fishbowl Data Integration
- Easy migration from Excel to Fishbowl.
Benefits of ERP software as an Inventory Management System
Using ERP software as an Inventory Management System has the following benefits.
- Full integration of information
- Clear identification of products
- Better safety and control of your inventory
- Automation of purchase orders and inventory restocking
- Improved decision making
- Increased control over financial reports
- Improved customer service
- More efficient operations and logistics management.
Xero, Microsoft BI & Fishbowl Data Integration
Does your business use Xero or Microsoft BI? If so, Fishbowl Data Integration easily integrates so your day-to-day operations are managed in Fishbowl while Xero and Microsoft BI manage your accounting.
Fishbowl Data Integration allows you to manage every part of your business operation easily, from quotes and invoices to purchase orders and stock control.
When your financial data is entered into Fishbowl, Xero and Microsoft BI will automatically be updated via live data feeds.
Worry-Free Excel to Fishbowl Migration
For businesses that are still using Excel, it’s easy to migrate all your data to Fishbowl. Worry-free data migration using Fishbowl includes:
- Importing and exporting information using CSV (Commas Separated Values) files
- Importing and exporting data using TXT, XLS, and XLSX files.
Want to find out more about Fishbowl Inventory?
Ready to say goodbye to Excel as an Inventory Management System? Contact us here.