How to select & implement Inventory software successfully

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Without strong systems and processes, your business can grind to a halt with wasted time, money or even worse, missed opportunities.

If you are fed up with inaccurate stock management and loss of revenue in your business you are not alone!

When it comes to inventory management there are 3 questions every business owner should be asking themselves:

1 – Do you spend hours, or even an entire day, in a spreadsheet or inadequate software trying to manage your inventory?

2 – Do you have incorrect stock levels, with your team often struggling to fulfill customer orders accurately, or on time?

3 – Are you putting up with an ‘ok’ solution, or have you been meaning to look into a better inventory management system to save both time and money but never get around to it?

If you answer yes to any of these questions then an invnetory management software solution could be the answer for you.

 

Frustrated with your inventory and warehouse

BEFORE YOU JUMP IN HAVE YOU CONSIDERED …

Software Implementation look before you leap

 

Implementing new business software is a big task. If you have done this in the past you will know that it is not always smooth sailing and there are some key considerations before you jump in the deep and realise you are not ready to swim.

·         Do you have adequate resources in man power to be able to do the extra set up work as well as running your business day-to-day?

·         Have you got buy in from key staff members? The earlier you get them involved in the process the better. Getting them involved at the tail end of the decision-making process may result in push back or resistance to change.

·         Are you willing to change? If you keep doing the same things the same way, you will get the same result. There may be changes in the ways you do things, and changes in the way that the new software handles your existing daily tasks, stay open to this as no two systems are the same, but as long as you get the end result you desire change is good.

·         Who is going to be your “Project Master”? You need one person that is going to take ownership of the project and commit to driving the implementation. This person will be the “go to” for data, process, and internal people management, this can be a big task but taking ownership is a key factor for success!

NOW LET’S DIG A BIT DEEPER …

So you have come this far and you think that you need an inventory management or manufacturing software solution, but let’s dig a bit deeper to identify the real reasons why you need it.

·         Have you outgrown your existing system? 

·         Do you not have an existing system and the spreadsheets, and pieces of paper are just not cutting it anymore?

·         Are you wanting to drive efficiencies with integrated systems?

·         Could a new system help with reducing double entry?

·         Barcode scanning for picking accuracy and compliance?

·         Serial number, batch number and lot number tracking?

 

There are many reasons why you will need a system to manage your inventory, manufacturing, and warehouse procedures, but identifying these is a very important step that allows you to accurately asses your options in the market. 

Dig deeper with Fishbowl Inventory

When buying any software solution for your business, you should determine if the benefits are greater than the cost. Most commonly this is done by calculating an ROI (Return On Investment). There are several ways to calculate this, but the most common and practical method when looking at new software is calculating the payback period on the purchase price, which can include software and training, or the software alone.

You know your business better than anyone so only you can calculate a true ROI, but we at Fishbowl have tried to assist by providing this basic ROI calculator. As you start this process there are important concepts you should consider. We have outlined these processes in an easy-to-follow ROI Tool.

Fishbowl Inventory ROI Tool

Within the first 4 months of implementation, our initial investment has been recouped 5 times over.

ALFRED MAZZAFERRO

MANAGING DIRECTOR, DURMAZ IMPORTERS & WHOLESALERS

 

Throwing money at software is not always the answer. There are geniune reasons why you will outgrow the use of spreadsheets and/or your accounting system when trying to manage inventory.  Issues such as multiple warehouses, bin locations, needing warehouse or manufacturing processes, barcode scanning, special pricing levels for customers, these are all genuine reasons for needing a propper inventory and manufacturing software solution.

Efficiencies will result by implementing the right solution. On day one you might not recognise these efficenecies as you are in learning mode, but you will see that good software will reduce double or even tripple handling of orders and offer modern electronic ways to enter this information.

Barcode scanning is a great way to drive accuracy and efficiency. If you are constantly letting your customers down with incorrect items deing picked and shipped, barcode scanning will put an end to this.

Tracking serial numbers, lot numbers or batch numbers is a kep reporting requirement in many industries. What happens when you have to do a product recall or warranty issue for tracked items? Do you have to dig out a ring binder and search through for the relevant paperwork? If so there is a better more efficient way and that is to let software store this for you.

Fishbowl Inventory ROI Average Savings

But which solution should I choose?

Fishbowl Inventory - Software Implementation guide

 

If you have completed the above step, you will have your list of reasons why you need a new solution. This serves as your compass from here on. Its easy to get lost in the bright lights with each provider telling you how amazing they are, keep focused on what is important to you.

Don’t get distracted buy amazing features that some systems offer if you are never going to use them. This leads me to the next point, what type of set up is right for your business; an “all in one” solution vs. a “modular eco system”?

All in one solutions” can be great, but this also comes with a high price tag. This can be a good option if you have the resources (time and money) to put into the daily management of it. On the other side there is the “Modular Eco System” option that allows you to choose your preferred supplier for each part of the business. Pick your favourite Accounting software, pick your favourite Inventory software, pick your favourite eCommerce platform, pick your preferred CRM software, and so on until you have created your perfect business eco-system. This is the modern approach, and as long as they are able to integrate with each other it is a fantastic option to have a low cost easy to manage solution in place.

 

So, what systems do you currently use that are great and don’t need to change?

How do you sell – Online, Sales Reps, Trade shows, domestically or internationally? 

Consider these before you move onto selecting your preferred software solution.

Yeah yeah, but tell me which one I should choose!

Well, sorry I can’t do that, this will be defined by your compass, remember stick to it and you will be guided in the right direction.

Most inventory software will accurately tell you how much stock you have got. They will all take your money and get you set up, but how you get to this “go live” and especially what happens after you are live should be key considerations in your selection process.

·         Can you call your contact and talk to them on the phone, or are you restricted to online chat or only being able to wait for them to call you?

·         Do they offer onsite face to face implementation in your business?

·         How many years of implementation experience do they have, and do they understand your business?

·         Do they have support available by phone (that you don’t have to wait on hold for an hour) when you really need it and you have made a big mistake, or your warehouse team are screaming at you because something isn’t going right?

·         Do you feel you can form a long term relationship with them? When you call in do they ask for your account number or do they know you by name. 

Fishbowl Inventory_Navigate your way to inventory success

Remember that software is 50% of the solution, knowing how to use it and ensuring that accurate data is being entered in is the other 50%. This is why face-to-face onsite implementation is worth its weight in gold. Your implementation specialist should be well versed in warehouse and manufacturing workflows, after all this is what you are paying for. You can learn software functionality via a Zoom training session, but you will miss out on all real added value by having someone visit you onsite as they will idnetify any issues or efficiencies straight away . 

Remember, this is going to be the software that you use to run your business, you will be using it every day, so you want the software and the support and the relationship to all be as strong as each other.

Decision made, now how do you implement the software successfully?

Implementation success with Fishbowl Inventory

 

Setting up software is easy, but doing it right is what is important. Here are some key elements to ensure you sail into the sunset with a smile on your dial.

·         Get your ducks in a row. Align your expectations, get staff buy in, know what you need vs what’s nice to have, and have your “Project Master” primed and ready for action.

·         Select a software partner that is there for you when you need them. Phone support should be near the top of your list.

·         Know your processes, and be open to changes if they result in efficiencies, but don’t implement a foreign operational workflow that takes you a year to get your head around.

Efficiencies should be gained early on in the roll out, maybe not when you are learning on day one, but definitely soon enough that your business doesn’t suffer from the changes made.

·         Take ownership for the project. At the end of the day, you are the one left with the end result, so make sure you are ready to take hold of the project and drive your way past the potholes and navigate your way to the best roll out possible.

As you can see, selecting and successfully implementing can be made a whole lot easier if you have your ducks in a row before you jump in.

Now … it’s our turn to “wow” you with our amazingness to highlight why Fishbowl is a get option.

With 20 years of successful software implementation under our belt, and with local phone support, and onsite implementation in your business, here are some reasons why Fishbowl is an industry leader.

Streamline your operations with Fishbowl Inventory - Free 14 day trial

10 reasons WHY you should use Fishbowl

Inventory Management software provides your business with the proper operational platform that you need to manage your purchasing processes, inward goods, stock management, manufacturing, and dispatch of your customer orders. Having these correct systems and processes in place gives you greater business stability.

 

Here are some key reasons why Fishbowl should be part of your business this coming Financial Year:

 

  1. Manage your business, not your Accounts: Managing your customers orders and operations should be your number one focus. Let Fishbowl take care of this, and your accounts will look after themselves.
  2. Barcode scanning in your warehouse: Eliminate data entry errors. Use barcode scanners to instantly update your inventory records instead of manually typing in data.
  3. Save time and money: No more double data entry thanks to Fishbowl’s seamless integrations.
  4. Increase security: Get your staff out of your Accounting system. Assign user rights to staff to restrict information viewing, and access rights for certain tasks.
  5. Eliminate stock outages: Implement accurate Reorder points using the Auto ROP calculator in Fishbowl to make sure you have the stock that you need, when you need it.
  6. Manage customer backorders: Fishbowl allows you to take orders and prepayments for goods that you do not have in stock yet, these are called backorders. As soon as the stock arrives you are notified and you can dispatch the order!
  7. Full manufacturing software: Forget the spreadsheets and clipboards, and utilise the full manufacturing tools such as the Bill of Materials and Manufacturing Orders and scheduling calendar.
  8. True Landed Costs: Fishbowl handles multi-currency, and has a fantastic Reconciling processes for making sure that freight, port service charges, and any other costs associated to getting the goods to your warehouse.
  9. Gain control : Stop fighting fires and get on the front foot with a business that is in control. Correct systems and processes, accurate costings and dynamic reporting all at your fingertips.
  10. Get detailed reports: Fishbowl lets you analyse your inventory, sales and purchasing data to spot trends and other valuable insights. Dashboards, automated scheduled reporting to your inbox, live data reporting, and live excel data feeds are all available with Fishbowl.

FISHBOWL CLIENT REVIEWS

“Our business has been growing for a number of years, exponentially. So we were looking at ways to improve our business processes and in particular across our warehouse. One of the issues we had was basically with an accounting system which was just exactly that. It didn’t really handle warehousing as such and all the requirements of a warehouse system. The inventory management was a key thing and that’s been provided by Fishbowl. It’s also allowed us to standardise our business processes which was something lacking in a business which is growing, and we needed to have systems in place to stabilise the business.

Since we’ve stabilised the Warehouse and it’s basic Warehousing functions, we are now looking at things like a web-based sales application for sales team etc. We’re expanding beyond the basics of what we originally expected of Fishbowl. Over the next 6-12 months we’ll go to the next level of development in our business because we’ll be using things which integrate well with Fishbowl.

ADRIAN SNAIDERO

FINANCIAL CONTROLLER, 12 BOTTLES

 

The picking process has become a lot more streamlined. The use of barcodes and the scanning software (Fishbowl Go) has meant that it has been very easy to train new staff within the business.

SID SAMUEL

SALES & OPERATIONS, FILTERMAX

 

 

Fishbowl has definitely brought everything together and it’s also helpful that we’ve got Fishbowl within our 3 businesses because we’re able to use it together and the visibility of the inventory and where everything is at with the sales orders, and the access to the data and reports that we can create from it just make it all so much easier to handle.

ALEX PALLOT

IT MANAGER, EVERTEN GROUP

 

Bring your inventory management system to a whole new level of efficiency by signing up for a free trial of Fishbowl!

Try it for yourself! Free of charge, no credit card required …

Watch this short video to hear Simon Jupe explain in more detail how Fishbowl can help you.

Fishbowl will apply correct systems & processes in your inventory and manufacturing workflow to provide you with correct costs and reporting, accurate inventory levels, and happy customers.

How is Fishbowl Implemented?

 

When Fishbowl is implemented into your business, it’s not just a tool to manage your inventory levels, sales, purchasing, and manufacturing processes, but a way to make sure that your data is complete and accurate. With better workflows, in-depth reporting and minimising errors, Fishbowl saves time through removing the need for double data entry.

All software that we sell is backed up with an implementation plan where you have a dedicated Fishbowl Consultant to make sure the software is implemented the way that your business and workflow needs it to be. Your Consultant visits you onsite for implementation and staff training so that they see your operation and you can run through real life workflow scenarios to ensure you use Fishbowl in the way that is right for you.

This importance of onsite training cannot be over emphasised. Any company that tells you they understand your business process without having ever actually seeing it themselves, can only know half the story.

Once live, we provide amazing Service & Support with all the support team based in our Queensland office. You can pick up the phone to call us and we will help you through your questions. Real people, based here in Australia.

It’s not just about the data, it’s also about the people. We pride ourselves in having the best local team on the planet, with all support and sales done through our beautiful Sunshine Coast office, 7:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

CONTACT US

If this sounds like it could help you then give us a call now, because if you start now you will have your business functioning the right way with Fishbowl Inventory.

Fishbowl has been successfully developing and implementing inventory management software for 20 years!

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