Ah, reports. They help you make sense of unwieldy amounts of data that would otherwise be practically incomprehensible. And we’re going to report on the differences between manually and automatically generating reports on inventory data.
Excel is a multipurpose tool. It can be used in all sorts of ways, including as a means of storing information on inventory quantities, values, vendors, etc. It’s possible to set up Excel to generate reports and use all sorts of formulas and filters to generate complex structures to house your data. But it’s not the easiest thing in the world.
Reports generated through Excel may not be as detailed as you need them to be. They can be difficult to create, forcing employees to parse through a lot of data to get to what they’re looking for. Plus, if the worker who sets up and maintains your Excel spreadsheet ever leaves the company, you could have a serious problem on your hands. There most likely won’t be anyone else who is familiar enough with it to keep it going. There’s no formal instruction manual or detailed documentation of how everything was created and used. You’ll either have to get the person who created it to train others before he leaves or else have another worker figure it out on their own. If all else fails, they can come up with something new, but that just starts the cycle all over again.
A business automation platform uses Excel spreadsheets to import and export data, but that data is never meant to be permanently housed on them. All of the data on your parts, products, sales, suppliers, etc. can be distilled into detailed reports to spotlight key trends and data points. The Adjustment Report, Cost of Goods Sold by Account Summary, Gross Sales by Product or Salesperson, and Turnover Bar Graph or Pie Chart are just a handful of the dozens of reports available through Fishbowl and its partners.
All of Fishbowl’s reports can be viewed in the Reports module. You can use a number of reports to create many different types of barcodes to attach to parts. These are a huge help in reordering, receiving, picking, and tracking inventory. With so many reports at your disposal, you’ll have a much better opportunity to take control of your inventory management and be proactive in spotting trends and avoiding potential disruptions.
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.