It’s Time To Start Managing Your Inventories With Spreadsheets
Inventory management is more than just keeping track of how much stock you have on a back shelf. Inventory management is an important part of business operations which includes tracking sales and managing communications with suppliers. For some companies, they may keep all of their inventory on site. Other companies may have multiple stores or warehouses around the country or even the world.
eCommerce stores can move products around the globe without ever even laying eyes on their inventory. They may purchase from a supplier, and have their inventory shipped directly to a 3rd party warehouse that deals with shipping and returns for them. The company still needs to manage their inventories from a distance so they know how to manage their supply chain. So how do they do it? Most companies manage their inventory in one of two ways: with spreadsheets, or with inventory management software.
As we know, buying and implementing dedicated software can be costly and complicated. If you choose a software, you need to make sure they have good customer support if you will need to download or purchase the update, if they will assist you in integrating their platform with your systems. Additionally, these software often have complex features that the average company doesn’t even need to manage their inventory.
This Is Where Spreadsheets Come In
Companies have always used spreadsheets to manage inventory, haven’t they? They are an outdated and complex way to manage data, right? Not exactly. Spreadsheets have always been an efficient way to track and organize data, but they have been significantly improved over the last few years. If you are a Google Sheets user, you can harness the power of Google add-ons to increase efficiency and automate the way you manage inventory no matter what industry you are in. Whether you are in retail, food-management, or any other inventory heavy industry, properly managing your inventory is vital to the success of your company.
Using spreadsheets is a low-cost way to manage your inventory. You can develop systems in-house, or use free or inexpensive ready-made templates and add-ons to get you started. Using Google Sheets is free, and Excel is relatively inexpensive to implement and offers some ready-made templates as well. As your business grows, you may need to switch to a software, or a spreadsheet and software combination system to accommodate your business. But small to medium-sized companies and many large companies thrive using spreadsheets to manage inventory.
Identify Your Pain Points and Save Money
Poor inventory management can suck up your profits! Whether it’s a restaurant with spoiled food, or a retailer paying for warehouse space for products they can’t sell until next season, having too much inventory can be as much of hindrance as not having enough. You can use spreadsheets to spot trends in your data and properly forecast your inventory needs. Forecasting is a challenge, no doubt, but having historical records can help you improve your results.
Multiple departments need to have access to inventory information–sales, marketing, finance, purchasing, business development–they all need some form of inventory data to keep business operations in motion.
You can use Google Sheets and an add-on like Sheetgo to share important information with various departments. You can share and automatically update certain spreadsheets, or create spreadsheets that multiple users can edit and modify. What is great about Google Sheets is that it tracks all changes. So, you can which users are operating within the spreadsheet, and you can choose various permission levels for specific users.
Create Beautiful Reports and Dashboards With Add-ons
Many people think of spreadsheets as boring, complicated, raw data. Ok, this can be true. But fortunately, there are some amazing add-ons out there that can transform that data into really awesome reports or dashboards that you can use to analyze various metrics or present easy to understand data to non-technical colleagues. There are also add-ons that integrate with apps; so that you can update inventory and access your data dashboards right from mobile devices. This great for warehouse workers who aren’t always glued to a computer!