The Limits of Excel Inventory Management

Excel is limited as an inventory management tool, Fishbowl BlogMany small and medium businesses struggle to manage their inventory efficiently. They spend a lot of money buying parts and products, and oftentimes they overshoot the mark and wind up with more than they need. And if they do that too often or don’t have a good system in place to make sure inventory gets used in a timely manner, those parts and products will sit in a warehouse too long and spoil or become obsolete.

On the flipside, many companies don’t order enough and so they run out of materials and products just when they need them. This slows down production lines and leaves shelves bare.

The trouble is that many small businesses try to keep using Excel spreadsheets or handwritten notes because that’s what they did when they were first getting started. But they can’t keep doing that forever. Excel can’t handle businesses’ needs once they reach a certain point of complexity.

It’s too easy for information to get lost or logged incorrectly in a spreadsheet. Plus, trying to find specific data on an order or product can be time-consuming and frustrating in Excel.

Businesses eventually need to upgrade to something better: inventory management software. By using software to automate your inventory management processes you can find the right balance in your inventory levels and speed up the ordering, receiving, manufacturing, and many other essential parts of your business.

Plus, it’s much easier to record data when you use a barcode scanner, and you know there won’t be any data entry errors when it’s not being typed by hand but transmitted wirelessly.

Excel as an inventory management solution is extremely limited in its capabilities while inventory management software allows you to break through those limitations and be more efficient. The only question is how much better off you’ll be for making the switch.


About Robert Lockard

Robert Lockard is a copywriter with Fishbowl. He writes for several blogs about inventory management, manufacturing, QuickBooks and small business. Fishbowl Inventory is the #1-requested inventory management software for QuickBooks users. Robert enjoys running, reading, writing, spending time with his wife and children, and watching movies. His favorite movies include Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Fiddler on the Roof, Back to the Future and Lawrence of Arabia.
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