The familiarity of spreadsheets makes them an attractive option for inventory management. Most companies already use Excel spreadsheets to track something in their business, so using Excel to manage inventory often seems like a logical, solid idea. Unfortunately, Excel has limitations that can negatively affect inventory management, and it simply cannot compete with a dedicated inventory tracking system. Here are four reasons why inventory tracking software that uses barcodes and/or RFID is a better choice than Excel.
#1 – Excel Is Not Reliable
Data entry in Excel is the main source of inaccuracies, as any data is entered manually. A careless keystroke or mouse click can result in entering information in to the wrong cell, which can then lead to overwriting information that is already there. If formulas are used, a small mistake in that formula can not only be difficult to find, but it can affect multiple cells across the spreadsheet. A tremendous amount of time is wasted when an error must be located and corrected across many cells. Inventory tracking systems ensure data accuracy and prevent wasted time by vastly reducing the potential for human error.
#2 – Excel Is Not Real-Time
Excel does not provide real time inventory counts and data. Without that information, decisions may be made before updates to the spreadsheet are complete. This can lead to multiple issues, including not knowing the stock you have on hand and ordering too much or too little replenishment stock, even with a diligent staff monitoring stock and supplies. Inventory tracking software provides real-time data at every step of the supply chain, and it can do so across multiple locations.
#3 – Excel Cannot Support Multiple Concurrent User Access
Excel is designed so that only one person can enter data or make changes at a time. Once a spreadsheet is copied, it can be difficult to determine which copy is the most current. Excel also does not promote accountability either. There is no way to determine who made the last changes to the spreadsheet, which can make it difficult to know which employee to go to if there are questions. Stock shrink could also become a problem, as altering Excel records to conceal fraud and other dishonest activities can be easily accomplished. Inventory tracking software allows for multiple users at the same time at different locations. Every data change is easily tracked to a specific employee, thereby reducing shrink and fraud.
#4 – Excel Data Can Be Difficult to Analyze
There can be a mountain of data in a spreadsheet. As time goes on, it can become difficult to see what is actually relevant to the questions you have or the information you need. There is also a lack of confidence that the information you have in the spreadsheet is up-to-date and accurate. With inventory tracking software, inventory analysis and forecasting are easier, faster and you know you can rely on the data.
ToolHound’s Inventory Tracking Software
Inventory tracking software from ToolHound can do everything that spreadsheets can do and much, much more. As a best-in-class inventory tracking software, ToolHound optimizes construction operations and saves companies money, in the long run, better than Excel-based systems. ToolHound’s specialized inventory tracking software will mitigate the risk of error, support multiple users, update in real time, track users’ action and provide correct, complete data for business intelligence.