You’re a small business owner working with a tight budget and a lean team. You have to carefully allocate your resources to make sure your business can turn a profit. And you aren’t sure if investing in stock control software is the best way to spend your money. You aren’t alone. According to the State of Small Business Report, 46% of SMB’s with 11-500 employees don’t currently track stock or are currently using a manual process such as Excel to track stock numbers.

And truly, many small businesses use Excel as their initial inventory management tool as it is easy to use and readily available on most computers. However, as soon as your business starts to scale and grow Excel basically not your best option.

Here are three signs that it’s time to start looking for a new solution.

  • Anyone involved with supply chain/inventory management always has to ask before accessing data: is this the latest version?
  • You expand to multiple warehouses with multiple suppliers.
  • You have more than 2 people who work with and update inventory management data. Once you have several people accessing and updating data, Excel can turn into a nightmare.

Excel for Inventory Management is Risky

Here are some risks of using Excel for inventory management:

1. Making Mistakes

It is easy to make mistakes in Excel, but difficult to find errors on sheets of numbers and data. To avoid mistakes, you will need to have strict management, proper organization, and regular auditing practices in place for your inventory management spreadsheets. This can be a time-consuming and mind-numbing process, but it’s really the only way to stay on top of human error.

2. Out-of-Date Information

Excel is not a real-time inventory management solution. In short, you will never be able to see the real inventory value at that moment. When using Excel for inventory management, it’s important to make sure that it is updated as often as possible.

3. Accessibility

Excel limits accessibility for multiple users. Only one user can have access to an Excel spreadsheet at a time. When you start holding inventory at more than one location, more team members fall into the mix. Additionally, Excel does not have version control and cannot track who is making changes to the worksheet. If there are inaccurate counts, it is challenging to know which employee to follow-up with. When several people edit at once, a spreadsheet might get saved under multiple versions with conflicting information.

4. Present tense only

One of the biggest issues many people have with Excel is not being able to analyze historical data. By managing your inventory in a spreadsheet you are limiting your view of the business to how it is right now. Also you are missing the opportunity to make informed decisions about what your inventory position will be in the future. 

5. Inaccurate Reporting

One small mistake in a formula or miscalculation can have a huge impact on the rest of your numbers across multiple worksheets. You can use a few simple Excel formulas to calculate information automatically for total sales and total profit. But when it comes time to make recommendations based on that data, you need to be constantly checking and rechecking your calculations for accuracy.

Upgrade from Excel with Elmasys Inventory

The best way to take advantage of all the features you’ve been missing with Excel is to work with Elmasys Inventory. At Elmasys Inventory, we understand the needs of business owners, inventory managers and etc. We built our inventory management platform to allow businesses to migrate from Excel as quickly and painlessly as possible. Most companies can migrate from Excel and use Elmasys Inventory to manage their inventory in a little as a few days.

To find out if ElmaSys is a good fit for your business, click here for a demo. We’re confident our services will beat your spreadsheet system, help you increase efficiency and grow your business.