Every organization in the world needs to keep tabs on their inventory. Retailers and product companies might need to track the stocks in their warehouse. A manufacturer will want to monitor its raw materials. And although a services company may not sell tangible goods, other things such as equipment, supplies, monetary instruments and even people count as inventory too. Regardless of the industry or field, every company or organization needs to have a tracking mechanism for their inventory. And to do that, it’s essential to find the right inventory management software.
Inventory management software
There’s no shortage of inventory management software out there these days. At the top of the market are full-blown Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software like SAP ERP and Oracle NetSuite. These are pretty expensive because inventory management is just one of many modules that these proprietary applications offer. If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, you can go with mid-tier applications like Microsoft Dynamics or Zoho Inventory. And at the other end of the spectrum, there are free alternatives like Bitrix24, and opensource options like Odoo or ABC Inventory. As you can see, they come in all shapes and sizes. It all depends on what kind of business problem you are trying to solve.
Are there any simpler options available? Yes – spreadsheets! They are the best alternative to inventory management software. They are highly customizable, easy to use and require minimal training to operate. We can quickly configure them to suit our needs. It feels more tangible since we can readily see the interplay between datasets. One of the challenges with spreadsheets of earlier days was that they were standalone applications with little means to sync data between users. With Google Sheets, that problem is completely eliminated. It is now the most real-time spreadsheet application on the planet. Users can operate Google Sheets from multiple warehouse locations to access and input relevant data. So it makes sense to consider using spreadsheets for our inventory management purposes.
You might think setting up an inventory workflow may take some effort. But there is good news. You don’t have to be a tech expert to build one from scratch. We have a myriad of free and ready-made spreadsheet templates that you can use to hit the ground running. We’ll discuss a few of them here.
This company develops useful templates that can be used for a variety of purposes. Traditionally they provided templates for Microsoft Office products, but Vertex42 has recently moved into the Google Sheets space as well. However, unlike their Excel templates that are available for download, you need to install the Vertex42 add-on in Google Sheets to be able to use their inventory management templates. They have a whole bunch of template categories, and Inventory is one of them. Under this category, there are different types of inventory templates that you can pick and start using.
This company has a range of innovative product offerings aimed at reducing the operational complexity of small and medium sized businesses. TradeGecko has come up with a free spreadsheet template that is very easy to understand and use. You can access it from here – make your own copy and get busy!
A spreadsheet-based alternative to inventory management software
You are all set! 🙂
Good luck finding the right inventory management software for your company’s needs and purposes, with the help of these inventory management templates.