An inventory management system is a means of keeping track of an organization’s parts, products and other assets. There are four main ways to manage your inventory, so let’s look at each and see which one will work best for your business:
By Hand. Startups often manage their inventory by hand in the beginning because they don’t have a large amount of products or orders to deal with. However, as their operations get larger and more complicated, they often turn to something a little more powerful.
Spreadsheets. Microsoft Excel is a useful tool for small businesses. It allows you to input a great deal of data in one place. But Excel spreadsheets are basically clean slates, and it’s up to you to make them useful by setting up formulas to make sense of all the data. That is a lot of work for a temporary solution.
Accounting Software. Some accounting software solutions (like QuickBooks) provide a limited number of inventory management features. This is an improvement over Excel, but it still isn’t a permanent solution because as small businesses grown into midsize businesses they often find that they need even more functionality to handle multiple locations and other new challenges.
Inventory Management Software. Fishbowl is a popular manufacturing and warehouse management solution that offers a highly customizable feature set to small and midsize businesses for an affordable price. It’s easy to add new features to it (like barcoding, manufacturing, warehouse management and more) so you can keep using it for years instead of having to learn a new inventory management system every few years.
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