If your company is still managing inventory and other asset management functions using a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, there is much more than the extra time you’re spending at stake. You may be risking lost records, file security, and company efficiencies as well. 

For many, it’s time to ditch the spreadsheet and learn why inventory management software is more effective, more efficient, and more secure. Companies in every industry are migrating away from spreadsheets and towards online, cloud-based software solutions for managing inventory — getting valuable data and records off of local hard drives and into the cloud, where they’ll never get lost, and where anyone can access them — anywhere and at any time.

Inventory Management Software vs. Spreadsheets and Documents

Companies in the consumables space, for example, use accessible, intuitive online systems for their inventory management, relying on easy-to-use software for managing bulk items by quantity level. Such software is great for organizing consumables and supplies in the event of an emergency, such as bottles of water, first aid kits, medicines, clothes, batteries, flashlights, lighters, matches, hand sanitizers, disinfectant cleaning supplies, protective face masks, water purification tablets, meals-ready-to-eat (MRE), canned food rations, and other items. 

Inventory is easily managed by location using a common barcode or QR code to streamline data entry and securely log inventory. Let’s see a spreadsheet do that!

Online inventory management software is the perfect alternative to a clunky, labor-intensive spreadsheet, which can be prone to mistakes, broken formulas, or errors committed during manual data entry. These solutions are being adopted by those who need a quick, straightforward tool that they can access from anywhere their work may take them. 

Browser-based inventory software allows you to log in from anywhere with an internet connection to check inventory levels, learn when critical components were last stocked, manage shipments, create barcodes and QR-code labels, or inspect how many supplies are available on hand now to take out at the touch of a few buttons. Spreadsheets, on the other hand, can only tell a story of numbers and records that someone inputs into a “database” — they can’t tell the user what those numbers mean or what action they should take as a result. For example, if supply is low, can a spreadsheet send you a notification that resources are low and it’s time to reorder or reallocate? No. But a modern inventory management platform surely can.

What to Look for in Inventory Management Software to Replace Your Spreadsheets

Not all inventory management solutions are created equal. Some can be intimidating to the average user, so look for solutions that offer simplicity and ease of use. 

  • User-Friendly Interface: Your team will more quickly embrace and adopt what’s known as a user-friendly graphical user interface, or GUI. Look for one that allows the user to add assets by importing from your spreadsheets, rather than one at a time, manually entering records.
  • Online Help Desk for User Support: The most effective inventory management systems allow the user to search for answers to commonly asked questions in a knowledge base of helpful how-to articles. Or even better, find solutions that allow support requests to be submitted via a live help desk.
  • Secure Connections with Routine Data Backups: We’ve all heard horror stories about documents that are lost to a crashed hard drive or someone forgetting to hit “Save.” Modern inventory management systems go way beyond the modern “auto save” functionality of some spreadsheet software. Look for one that offers enhanced security to securely access your information in the cloud, along with routine data backups backed by AWS (Amazon Web Services) hosting services or similar.
  • Flexible, Affordable, and Accessible: In the modern environment, where people and companies are increasingly on the go and working remotely, be sure your inventory management system allows everyone to access assets and inventory anywhere their job takes them. Be sure to find a Web-based system for which there is no software to download and install. And above all, find a solution that’s affordable. If you’re replacing your spreadsheets with modern inventory management software, it must be more than effective…it must be affordable as well!

Can a Spreadsheet Do More than Store Inventory Records?

One of the primary benefits of cloud-based inventory management software is its ability to improve efficiencies. If your business started small and grew slowly over time—or even if it started small and grew quickly—you may still be in the habit of counting your inventory manually. Aside from the hassle of counting each item by hand, tallying them up on paper, and inputting data into a spreadsheet, there’s also the fact that keeping track of inventory this way is often inaccurate. Even with the most careful counting, human error is likely. Inventory management software reduces the likelihood of errors, saves you time, and lets you track your inventory in real-time.

Careful tracking will improve the efficiency of your operations and employee workflows. It’s easy to see where your efforts should be focused when you can keep track of your stock—and manufacturing more of what your customers are buying can also improve your bottom line. Software that replaces spreadsheets will reduce human error, improve efficiencies, lower inventory-management costs, and perform many of the tasks your team is spending their time and energy on. 

Effective inventory management software will allow them to ditch the time they spend on data entry in spreadsheets and free up time to spend on more mission-critical priorities. For example, a spreadsheet cannot in any way serve a customer. But inventory management software has many benefits related to customer service. It also allows you to act when stock is low or sold out and can send notifications when stock is running low. You won’t have to issue refunds to irritated customers who buy something you don’t have, to provide just one example.

To learn more about how your company can finally ditch the spreadsheet once and for all, visit tramor.com to see why inventory management software is more effective, more secure, and more efficient than any spreadsheet could ever hope to be.