7 Reasons to Move Away from Spreadsheets to Manage Inventory

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It’s easy to get attached to your current inventory management systems. After all, chances are, they have worked for your business for several years. You may worry about the learning curve of moving away from spreadsheets as well as the potential expenses associated with moving to a comprehensive inventory management system. 

However, spreadsheets may not provide you with the insights into your inventory and ordering processes that you need to fully manage your inventory as effectively as possible.

Consider these advantages of moving away from spreadsheets and to a comprehensive inventory management system for your business.

1. Available Inventory Insights

Spreadsheets won’t provide you with clear, immediate insights into your available inventory.

When you use spreadsheets to manage your inventory, you’ll need to update those spreadsheets regularly to have the insights you need into your inventory. 

Not only that, but you can also easily forget to update relevant cells or discover that you don’t have all the insights you need into exactly where your inventory is. An inventory management system, on the other hand, can provide you with comprehensive data into your available inventory. Inventory control is a critical part of managing your business effectively and ensuring that you have the insights you need. Unfortunately, spreadsheets can lead to delays in the inventory control process. An inventory management system provides much more up-to-date information.

2. Inventory Alerts

Spreadsheets don’t provide alerts when you’re running low on critical inventory.

Maintaining your inventory is an important part of ensuring that your customers have access to the items they need when they’re ready to buy. 

You need to keep a consistent supply of inventory coming in, from the raw materials you may need to construct your finished products to the items that customers buy. Unfortunately, a spreadsheet can’t issue reminders when you’re running low on the items you need most. 

As a result, you may lose track of exactly how many of a specific item you have on hand, especially during busy seasons or when sales increase unexpectedly. Items that don’t sell as often, but that may prove critical to your customers when they are ready to purchase them, can also fall through the cracks, and it could be some time before you notice.

With an inventory management system, on the other hand, you can set your system to provide you with alerts when you’re running short on vital supplies. Then, you can place orders before you need them.

3. Automatic Ordering

Your spreadsheets won’t take care of ordering for you. An inventory management system doesn’t just track your inventory. 

It can also, in some cases, take care of ordering for you, when your inventory of specific items dips below a set point. As a result, you will be less likely to run out of vital inventory and more likely to keep the inventory management process as smooth as possible.

4. Time Concerns

An inventory management system can save you time by automating many critical inventory control processes. Keeping up with the inventory for your business is an ongoing process. 

You don’t just need to know how much inventory you have on hand at any given moment, you may need to arrange for more ordering, manage multiple sources for your inventory to help deal with shortages or shipping delays, and ensure that you have a steady stream of raw materials coming in so that you can keep up with demand. 

An effective inventory management system can automate many of those basic processes, saving you time and making it easier to keep up with your inventory and sales.

5. Demand Forecasting

Many businesses have key seasons during which they have more sales than others. For example, many retailers make more than 19% of their total revenue during the holiday season each year. Back-to-school shopping season, which now starts earlier than ever, may mean higher sales of clothing, electronics, and school supplies.

If you’re looking at a spreadsheet alone, however, you may have a hard time getting the information you need to determine just how much your sales will increase during those vital seasons. Not only will you have to do a physical look back to determine how much sales will increase, including making those calculations manually, you may have to remember what your busy seasons are, or carefully track them through your system. When you have a solid inventory management system, on the other hand, the system can calculate those periods of increased demand for you.

6. Money

Making the transition to an inventory management system can help save your company money. Spreadsheets are highly inefficient when it comes to calculating your inventory management needs. 

You may end up spending countless man-hours on inventory management. Not only that, but you may also have a highly inefficient ordering system that leads to increased shipping costs or delays in providing customers with the inventory they need, which may ultimately lead to significant lost profits for your business. An inventory management system, on the other hand, can substantially cut the costs associated with managing your inventory, making it easier for you to maintain your budget and save on your overall inventory management efforts.

7. Error Control

Manual inventory tracking can lead to a number of unexpected errors and complications. 

When errors do occur, it can prove costly and time-consuming to hunt them down. Inventory management systems, on the other hand, substantially reduce those errors, which can help decrease your costs, ensure that you have a steady stream of inventory, and help keep your customers satisfied. 

Are you ready to make the move away from inventory spreadsheets and choose an inventory management system that fits your needs? 

Do you need an inventory management system designed to consider the needs of your business, from demand forecasting to automatic ordering? StockIQ can help. Contact us today to learn more about our inventory management solutions and how they can help streamline your business processes and make it easier for you to meet your goals. 

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