Warehouse operations are vital to the success of any small business. A warehouse that runs smoothly can help maximize productivity while also potentially saving you time and money. And inventory management is one of the most important aspects of a well-run warehouse.
Every business has its own way of managing inventory, but Excel seems like an obvious choice because it is easy to access and many people are familiar with using it. However, these spreadsheets may be slowing your business down and preventing it from flourishing. Consider some of the drawbacks to Excel inventory tracking and why an automated management system, such as Boxstorm, might be a better choice for your organization.
Why Excel Spreadsheets Hold Back Your Warehouse Inventory Management
Since its creation more than 30 years ago, Excel has become a staple for companies across many industries, according to Investopedia. While you can use Excel for a variety of purposes, it is not the best option for your inventory management. Some of the biggest disadvantages to using Excel include:
Poor Visual Organization
Spreadsheets are not the most intuitive way to look at data. Columns and rows of numbers can be visually overwhelming, especially for large inventory reports. Although many people are familiar with Excel, casual users are probably not knowledgeable enough to utilize the graph and chart creation features of the program, leaving them with poorly organized data. If you have trouble understanding the state of your inventory, you will struggle to meet the needs of your business.
Spreadsheets Omit Important Information
Although they are useful, spreadsheets often exclude important information; in fact, you may not even realize what kind of data you’ve missed. Raw data simply can’t show everything you need to know.
It can also be difficult to analyze the information, leading to misinterpretations that affect your business. You may not be able to look at historical trends, find relevant insights, or relate the data back to your day-to-day work. This can lead to confusion among your team or an inaccurate representation of the state of your inventory, which can prevent your business from reaching its full potential.
Excel Is Non-Collaborative
Collaboration is a key component of many tasks and projects in the workplace, especially when managing and tracking inventory. However, when using Excel spreadsheets, you cannot collaborate in real time.
If you want to share a spreadsheet with your employees or coworkers, you must send it via email or a messaging service. This constant back and forth can make it difficult to track any changes, and it could be easy to lose the spreadsheet in someone’s inbox. To continually grow your business, your coworkers and employees must have the most up-to-date and accurate data.
How Inventory Management Software Is Better for Your Warehouse
Excel may organize data poorly, omit important information, and inhibit real-time collaboration. It has been a standard tool for many organizations for decades, but it is outdated and unable to meet the needs of the modern business world. However, inventory management software can easily keep up with the demands of a small business’s warehouse due to its updated features and improved user experience.
Compared to more recently developed and specialized programs, Excel is old and outdated, particularly in its lack of automation. To keep your spreadsheets current, you have to update them manually. Not only does this take up valuable time, but manual updates can lead to mistakes due to user error.
An automated inventory management system can eliminate those mistakes while freeing up your valuable time to focus on other tasks. In addition, you will get more accurate and current data about your inventory, which can improve the productivity and efficiency of your business.
Integrates Seamlessly with Other Business Solutions
Because it is automated and cloud-based, Boxstorm can easily integrate with other business solutions. Instead of importing data from a spreadsheet or simply looking at two separate documents, you can access it directly from other programs and online services. From accounting systems to sales orders, you can keep up with all of your information without difficulty. Boxstorm is compatible with several services popular with small business owners, including QuickBooks Online, Shopify, and Stripe.
Better User Experience
Overall, Boxstorm’s automated inventory tracking software offers a better user experience than an Excel spreadsheet. When used to manage your warehouse, Excel spreadsheets are visually unattractive, can be difficult to work with, and do not always give you all the information you need to successfully run your business. Small businesses need more support with inventory management than Excel can give as they expand. Inventory management software can provide that support and elevate your business to the next level.
Boxstorm is a modern way of looking at your inventory data, especially as your warehouse operations expand. It is free and has many of the same features as Excel while offering so much more than just a spreadsheet. Not only can Boxstorm improve how you manage your inventory, it can also help your business thrive.