Welcome to the 200th blog post on the Fishbowl Inventory Blog! I’ve been responsible for 187 of those posts so far. I’ve been amazed by how many guest bloggers have published great content on this blog over the past two years, as well. We’ve had QuickBooks expert Shannon Tucker, several Fishbowl employees, and a number of other industry experts on here.
When I reached the 100th blog post in May 2011, I celebrated by asking the question: Is Fishbowl a Good Inventory Management System? In keeping with that tradition, this time around I’ll ask: What is the best way to manage inventory?
There are three main ways I’ll talk about. So let’s see which one is the best:
By Hand – Some businesses actually manage their inventory by writing down inventory counts, supplier information and other data on paper. This inventory management method is deceptively simple and extremely cumbersome. Startups with a tiny amount of inventory might be able to get away with this for a while, but they’ll have to start using some kind of software as they grow. After all, when was the last time you saw a big business keeping track of its inventory in a notebook?
Excel Spreadsheets – This is a little better. Excel inventory management is helpful because it lets small businesses set up a crude inventory management system without having to learn a new software program. However, Excel is an improvised solution, at best. It doesn’t allow you to track products with barcode scanners and it doesn’t automatically sync with QuickBooks, so you’ll have to enter the same information in two different places whenever you order, ship and/or sell products. It’s a good first step, but Excel isn’t ideal for most businesses.
Inventory Management Software – Now we’re talking. This is by far the best method for managing inventory. Inventory management software gives you the tools you need to scan products’ barcodes, balance inventory levels, track products by lot number, serial number, etc., manage multiple warehouses, and so much more.
Fishbowl Inventory is a great inventory management solution for small and midsize businesses. Its features are customizable, so you can start small and as your revenues and needs grow, you can add more tools. That way, you won’t have to switch software every few years. You can stay with the same one and avoid expensive and time-consuming re-training. In addition, Fishbowl integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks. This means that you don’t have to enter the same data in your inventory management and accounting software. So errors will be much less likely to creep into your data, and you’ll save time.
There you go. The best way to manage your inventory is to use inventory management software, specifically Fishbowl Inventory. Sign up for a free inventory software demo, and keep coming back to the Fishbowl Inventory Blog because we’ve got another 100 blog posts coming your way this year!
Robert Lockard is a copywriter with Fishbowl. He writes for several blogs about inventory management, manufacturing, QuickBooks, and small business. Fishbowl is the #1-requested manufacturing and warehouse management software for QuickBooks users. Robert enjoys running, reading, writing, spending time with his wife and children, and watching movies.