“Fishbowl may be a niche-filler, but it’s no weakling stopgap measure,” says Pam Baker in her review of Fishbowl on SmallBusinessComputing.com. “The popular inventory management add-on for QuickBooks does a commendable job keeping inventory assets in full view and on the move for small businesses.”
She does a great job covering Fishbowl’s features and explaining inventory management concepts, so I’ll let her do most of the talking in this blog post and throw in my two cents as needed.
Baker is a much more prolific writer than me. She’s written for newspapers like The New York Times and Knight Ridder, magazines like ComputerWorld and Institutional Investor, and websites like CIO.com. She’s been around the block, digitally speaking. So it’s no surprise that she has a lot of interesting things to say about Fishbowl.
How Fishbowl Tracks Inventory
Baker begins by giving a quick overview of how Fishbowl helps businesses keep track of their inventory:
“You can tell, for example, that you have 15 widgets in Warehouse A, 30 in Warehouse B, 50 en route to Retailer XYZ, one under your desk and three that your top salesmen are currently carrying around for demonstrations. The system can track inventory by nearly any criteria such as lot numbers, expiration dates, revision labels and serial numbers or any combination thereof.”
That’s inventory tracking in a nutshell. Wow, she just started, and I’m already impressed by how concisely she explains complex ideas. Excellent.
Reordering Products with a Click
The main purpose of tracking inventory is to make sure you always have enough products in stock to meet demand. And when it’s time to reorder products, Fishbowl has a way of making that easier.
“If you find that the total number of widgets on hand is too low, you can reorder widgets, or the raw materials to make the widgets, from approved vendors in your system. You can rank the vendors according to any preference you wish from price points to delivery reliability. Reordering is thus simplified to a click.”
That’s a really cool feature – being able to rank suppliers based on different factors that are important to you. If you’re willing to pay a little more for the peace of mind that comes from a supplier who always does the job right, then you can put the most dependable ones at the top of the list. Or if price is the most important factor, you can adjust for that, as well.
Integration with Multiple Systems
A big reason why Fishbowl works so well as an inventory management solution is that it joins so many systems together into a comprehensive solution. From warehouse management to fulfillment processes to back-end accounting, all of it connects through Fishbowl.
“The system integrates with FedEx and UPS so shipment weights are automatically entered from the warehouse data,” Baker says. “Contact info, shipping address, and shipping option (overnight, ground, etc.) are automatically ported from the sales form, and the shipping label is thus automatically generated. Invoicing is handled through integration with QuickBooks.”
In short, the whole picking, packing and shipping process in the warehouse (in addition to other inventory management processes) is much easier with Fishbowl’s automated system.
Ideal for SMBs
Baker mentions many other aspects of Fishbowl and comes to this conclusion: “This product is ideal for small businesses and smaller-end mid-market businesses with basic to complex inventory and asset tracking needs.”
Be sure to check out her whole article by clicking the link at the start of this blog post. And get an inventory software demo to see Fishbowl’s powerful inventory management tools in action.
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.