When you run a business selling products, managing inventory is part of the equation. As a small business or one in its early days, you may not have a definitive system set up for inventory management. Nonetheless, this is something you’ll need as you go along so you can stay on top of inventory and keep up with growing sales.
It’s possible to get started by creating an inventory management template in Microsoft Excel. This can be a simple and affordable way to get started, especially since you likely already have access to Excel. Creating an inventory tracking spreadsheet in this program is a good way to bring your business to the next level from having no real system or just tracking everything on paper. It helps with your basic inventory needs until your business expands beyond it.
You can set up a simple inventory system Excel. How do you do it? Make sure your spreadsheet has a list of products with necessary details about them. It should include information like the number you have, and when and where to order new parts when inventory is low. It’s essential that relevant people continuously update these spreadsheets as products are sold. You may also carry out periodic inventory sessions to count products.
An inventory management template can make things easier for you to know what and how to track. Excel conveniently offers its own free inventory spreadsheet template, which you can find by going to create a new file and searching the available templates for the inventory one. This default spreadsheet includes pertinent information fields, including an inventory ID, name, description, unit price, quantity in stock, value, reorder level, reorder lead time, and quantity on order. You can also customize this template to fit your needs. For instance, you may want to add information like vendor details, location, categories, and more.
If you’d prefer a different template, you can search for one online. For example, you may want to try a free inventory spreadsheet template Google Sheets or Google a term like “free inventory spreadsheet template” to find available options.
You can further customize your Excel inventory template with formulas. You may be wondering how to create an inventory management system in Excel. You can use a free excel inventory template with formulas and ratios that are standard to use in relation to inventory. These formulas and ratios help your business processes run smoothly and make you more organized and efficient. Having a good inventory management system can even help your business thrive.
Some standard inventory ratios you’ll want to use include the cost of goods sold, inventory turnover, and average inventory. You learn the cost of goods sold by taking the cost of beginning and subtracting the yearly inventory, then adding additional inventory costs. Take that total and subtract the cost of end-year inventory.
Sales divided by inventory gives you your inventory turnover ratio. To learn your average inventory for a month, add together the inventory at the beginning and end of the month and divide it in half. Alternately, you could use a slightly altered formula to track average inventory for a different period of time, such as a season or a year. Formulas can help you figure out this data in your Excel inventory management template or Google Sheets inventory template.
If all of this sounds easy and straightforward for you, using formulas in Excel may work well for you in the beginning. However, many people find this method complicated. While Excel is a free platform that can help your business track inventory, its methods can be time-consuming and open the door for errors and misunderstandings. Excel does not provide an entirely user-friendly experience, but instead leaves a lot of room for learning the ropes.
Many people find it much easier to use inventory software like Ordoro instead of Excel or other free inventory management softwares. Ordoro makes it simple for online merchants to carry out omnichannel inventory, along with automated dropshipping and other ecommerce services, all in the same platform. This platform helps you simplify and streamline your workflow through software that does much of the work for you.
You might be wondering about how to carry out stock management in an Excel sheet. For example, you might want to create a stock inward+outward Excel sheet or track invoice and stock management in Excel template. This is something you can consider, but realistically, stock management isn’t entirely necessary if you are already doing inventory management.
There might be a need for separate stock management and inventory management tracking if your business creates items from parts. In this case, you may need to track inventory of your parts and then have a stock management system to track the finished products that are going to customers. But if your online store sells only finished products, tracking how inventory is moving through your business supply chain is what matters most. You’ll likely find that your business is wasting time and resources if you try to track both, and there will be a lot of overlap.
If you want to get technical, the term stock refers to the finished goods that go directly to the customer, whereas inventory can refer to those goods in addition to parts used to make them and work-in-process inventory. To make things even trickier, raw materials can be considered stock if your business is selling them directly to customers, thus making them your product. Recap: Raw materials are stock when you sell them directly to a consumer, whereas they are inventory when your business uses them to make something you sell to the consumer.
How technical you want to get with this may depend on the type of business you run and the industry you’re in. And when you have an ecommerce business, you can usually use these terms interchangeably. The technical differences don’t tend to matter as much in this type of business as long as you’re tracking your inventory. Overall, you’ll want to keep track of measures like what you currently have in stock, the amount that’s ready for selling to customers, and the amount of inventory you’re delivering. Software like Ordoro is the best option for managing stock and inventory.
Let’s face it, you probably take on a lot of roles as a small business owner. Taking care of everything yourself may work to get you started, but it doesn’t work forever. Instead of spending your precious time on operations, spend your time growing your business and focusing on the aspects that mean the most to you. Ordoro was created to help small business owners with that.
If you’re playing with a small business inventory spreadsheet template free of charge to get started with your inventory tracking, you may want to take the step to use inventory software like Ordoro instead. This software was created to help small companies solve inventory and workflow problems that large companies have at a smaller scale. This software is made just for smaller companies and fits within the budget of a small business.
Ordoro can help your workflow much better than a small business inventory spreadsheet template. It offers an easy-to-use operations hub that helps take care of many aspects of your inventory management in a more streamlined, updated way than a spreadsheet. This software can manage your suppliers, handle your dropshipping, track your stock or inventory, alert you when your inventory is low, automatically update product quantities, and more. It helps manage all the complexities of running a business while it’s much easier to use than spreadsheet formulas.
If you have a manufacturing and warehouse business, you may decide to start with a manufacturing inventory management Excel spreadsheet, but this won’t cut it in the long run. It won’t even help you run your business processes well in the beginning, as it doesn’t have the capacity for a complex business like yours.
Instead, businesses in this industry should invest in inventory management software like Ordoro. Having a business with a warehouse brings unique challenges. It’s difficult to keep up with stock and inventory when you rely on a spreadsheet because it has a lot of room for human error. For example, if someone doesn’t keep up with the spreadsheet or uses a formula incorrectly, your business can end up with product shortages, misrepresented stock, and other major problems.
Instead, your manufacturing business needs to rely on inventory management software that will automatically keep up with everything. Software like Ordoro can help by giving you stock alerts, keeping accurate records of your inventory and sales, using barcode identification, and providing other important features that streamline your complex business.
Ordoro helps you reduce many of the errors that can come with spreadsheets. For instance, barcode scanning cuts down on fulfillment errors, and automatically tracking inventory helps keep accurate records. Plus, it also helps with multi-carrier shipping, shipping labels, dropshipping and multichannel operations, keeping up with the complexity of your manufacturing business.