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4 Reasons Excel is a Poor Choice for Tracking Inventory

Whether your business consists of just a handful of employees or you are a big-time, Nationwide Corporation, chances are you have something in common, and that is the need for organization in the warehouse. Having organized inventory utilizing a great warehouse management system means you can provide consistent and reliable service to your customers. In this blog you will read about just four of the reasons that excel is a poor choice for tracking inventory in your warehouse.

Business owners like you generally have a choice between using a computerized, automated warehouse management systems or a manual inventory system, like Excel. A manual system offers numerous disadvantages like slower order processing, higher labor costs and larger inventory write-offs at the end of the year that could be avoided. Failing to do so could result in what seems like a small mistake here or there but those small mistakes can amount to a big profit-loss. If you want to satisfy client requests ahead of schedule you are looking in the right place.


1. Time is MoneyTime is Money!

For a very small business that carries a limited amount of inventory, or one that turns over inventory at a slow pace, a high-end WMS is, of course, unnecessary. For the rest of us, however, an efficient, automated system is imperative to getting product on and off the shelves on a tight schedule.

Training personnel how to operate Excel is surprisingly time-consuming. There are many commands and functions to learn and memorize; should your staff be less than proficient with Microsoft products; the learning process can take three times as long. And as soon as everybody is on board, the program gets updated!

Training employees to understand and manage warehouse management system is much more doable. With online how-to videos and specialists just a phone call away, your money is being invested, not thrown out.


2. Not So Picture-PerfectWarehouse Inventory Tracking Spreadsheet

Excel is a numbers-only program. What does the product look like? You’ll have to send someone over to double check. How much space is the inventory taking up on the floor? Again, an employee is going to have to drop everything to find a tape measure to assess the situation.

A WMS tracks each and every specific customer’s requirements, which will be saved forever in their online file. Want to know what their shipment looks like? Take a photo and store it with ease. Punch in measurements on a hand-held device when the product comes in for an easy check-in.


3. Lack of Real Time ResultsLack of Real Time Results

A disadvantage of manual inventory systems is that they can be highly labor-intensive to operate. The Excel program requires constant monitoring to ensure that each transaction is accounted for and that products are maintained at the appropriate stocking levels. It is also much more difficult to share inventory information throughout the business, because the lack of computerization makes accessing inventory records an extremely burdensome process. The time spent monitoring inventory levels could be used on more productive activities for the business…like gaining more customers!


4. To Err is HumanTo Err is Human

Using Excel would require relying heavily on warehouse workers, which greatly increases the likelihood of human error. People might forget to record a transaction or simply punch in the wrong number of goods. This results in needless additional orders that increase the company's inventory carrying costs and use up precious storage space. Inaccurate physical counts could also result in not ordering enough of a product, meaning your business could run out of a crucial item at the wrong time.

The efficiency that is brought by a warehouse management system to a business can be measures in many ways; lowering inventory write offs and shipping costs, increasing space utilization and efficiency, and allowing for true real-time reporting that can be used to measure performance and profitability are just to name a few.

A good warehouse management system is a necessary component to any business that is looking to keep up with growing customer demand and the ever changing business landscape. So quit throwing unnecessary money down the drain using excel to track your inventory and get a warehouse management system today!


Learn More about SphereWMS Warehouse Management Software