Fishbowl expert gets Miakomo set up fast with a new inventory database and integrations so they can breathe easier
Every implementation of Fishbowl software is unique. Manufacturers, wholesalers, government entities, and many other organizations in dozens of industries use Fishbowl to manage their inventory, and they each need customized training and implementation. That said, there are some high-level criteria Fishbowl follows for each company that starts using its software. We will cover those criteria at the start of this case study and then show how Miakomo’s implementation went, in practice, to give you an idea of what your own experience will be like as you begin using Fishbowl in your business.
Fishbowl offers the following tools to its new customers to help them get up and running in preparation for their on-site training or virtual on-site
- Dedicated trainer’s direct phone number and email to answer questions
- Contact on at least a weekly basis to get the project moving fast
- Smooth transition from the Sales team to the Support team
- Implementer with an average of seven years of Fishbowl experience
- Implementation checklist provided up front, so the customer knows what needs to be done
- Customer portal where the customer can log in and see what is still pending and who is responsible
As we mentioned, Miakomo is the subject of this implementation case study.
Miakomo manufactures respirators, facemasks, and filters. Their reusable facemasks are unique because they can use any type of filter, and they are more durable than other N95 masks. “From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we faced huge demand for our products,” states Chandler McFarland, Miakomo Co-Founder. “It was a challenge to keep up with the unexpected high volume of sales.” Luckily, he was familiar with Fishbowl because he had used it previously, and he knew that it would be just the thing to help them increase their manufacturing efficiency. Thanks to his familiarity with the software, the training schedule was able to be much shorter than it would have been if no one on their staff had used Fishbowl before.
Preparations for the Implementation
Here is how the implementation process went for Miakomo. The same day that they received their Fishbowl package, they were emailed by Fishbowl Training & Support Director Kellen Hatch to set up a phone call to discover what their needs were. During the call, which also took place that day, he identified the following tasks that would need to be completed:
- Integrating ShipStation, Shopify, and QuickBooks Online with Fishbowl
- What manufacturing tools they would need in Fishbowl to work with their processes
- How to handle their fulfillment process and integrate with their third-party logistics (3PL) warehouse
- Deciding which personnel would attend the training and setting up the dates and times for the training to take place
Because of the restrictions on travel and other safety issues caused by COVID-19, they had to do a virtual on-site training. But that turned out to be a good thing because it saved a lot of travel time and expenses. Kellen was able to train them remotely using state-of-the-art cameras and other equipment at the Fishbowl office while all that the Miakomo employees needed to use was a mobile device.
Miakomo’s Training and Implementation
The training itself began just three days later on a Monday. We should stress that not every implementation will be this quick to schedule, especially if it is done in person and on site. But a virtual on-site training has more flexibility to be scheduled sooner and at a lower cost. Kellen began with an in-depth training session on how the Fishbowl software works. Then he moved on to an outline of the various modules and features that the employees would be working with on a daily basis, as well as an explanation of how the modules all work together.
After that, he began to build Miakomo’s database. This involved entering the company’s numerous parts, products, bills of materials, customers, vendors, warehouse locations, and user logins and permissions. The day ended with an overview of their new database.
Kellen completed the training and many other tasks on the following day. In the morning, he helped them configure, set up, and integrate the ShipStation and Shopify plugins with Fishbowl. He tested the software by creating and sending a live purchase order to a vendor within Fishbowl and then receiving a live purchase order within Fishbowl from a pre-existing purchase order.
Building on the database they created the previous day, he helped them add quantities and costs to all of the parts and products in the database. With this information in place, they could now generate and process a manufacture order, using raw goods to make a finished product.
He tested the 3PL integration by creating and shipping a sales order from the 3PL within Fishbowl and deducting the appropriate items on that sales order from their inventory. Tracking information for the order was generated and sent to Fishbowl, the customer, and Shopify.
Nearly everything was in place at this point. There were just a few more things to do involving the 3PL and QuickBooks Online. After lunch, Kellen went live with Fishbowl. Now, all orders placed by customers would be automatically sent to the 3PL. Once processed, the sales orders were then sent (along with their associated inventory and tracking information) to Fishbowl and Shopify for recording and order fulfillment.
The QuickBooks Online integration came last. They were careful to map part-specific accounts between the two solutions before exporting invoices, bills, manufacture orders, and inventory adjustments to QuickBooks Online. Then they set up a schedule for exports to QuickBooks Online from Fishbowl so that they will happen in the future on a regular basis.
With that, the Fishbowl training and implementation was done. Everything went without a hitch. Some implementations go smoother than others, and some take more than two days. Again, it’s the familiarity of a Miakomo employee with Fishbowl that enabled this one to go so swiftly. Fishbowl offers a variety of resources, including training videos, a documentation wiki, and support staff, to get you up to speed on the software before the implementation begins. We’re ready to answer your questions and help you get started with Fishbowl.
In Miakomo’s case, Fishbowl is now connected to their accounting, e-commerce, shipping, and 3PL solutions, and it’s helping them work in conjunction to automate the company’s manufacturing and order fulfillment processes. “We can now breathe much easier, knowing that Fishbowl is in place and running smoothly to help us get our lifesaving respirators, masks, and filters to the people who need them most,” McFarland notes. “I’m not sure how we would have survived without Fishbowl, or their ability to implement and conduct training with a virtual on-site.”
For more information about Miakomo and to see a list of their products, visit https://miakomo.com.