Is Your Excel Inventory Template Holding You Back? - Small Business Solutions from Denise O'Berry

Is Your Excel Inventory Template Holding You Back?

If you’re using excel spreadsheets to manage your inventory (or even just pen and paper), you’re not alone.

With all the challenges that come with running a business, figuring out what to use to manage inventory sometimes gets put on the back burner.

So what do most business owners do?

They’ll fire up Microsoft Excel, use an inventory template and call it a day.

While an Excel inventory template might work when you’re just starting out or have a small number of items, you might run into challenges down the road.

But there’s a better way!

In this post, we’ll look at the challenges of inventory templates and how specifically designed inventory software might be the solution you’re looking for.

Inventory Templates Are Instantly Out Of Date

As soon as a sale is made or stock is purchased, you’ll have to manually adjust your spreadsheet.

Meanwhile, inventory software such as inFlow Inventory will automatically reduce your stock when you process a sales order. And conversely, when a purchase order is received, inventory is added in.


It can make your work life so much easier!

You’ll also be saving yourself quite a bit a time not having to do two separate entries. Now you could easily adjust your inventory template, but that means you’ll still have to create a sales order somewhere else. Why do that when time is such a precious commodity?

Spreadsheet Formulas Can Get Out Of Hand

As your business grows, your inventory needs will grow too. What if you need to start tracking serial numbers? Different locations? Something else? You’ll soon find your spreadsheet becoming bloated with formulas, exceptions and notes. Ugh!

Dedicated inventory software can easily take care of all of this and much more. Plus, if you need flexibility, you can add custom fields specific to your type of business.


Spreadsheet Templates Aren’t Made For Sharing

There isn’t a great solution to share inventory templates with colleagues and members of your team.  Sure, you could try using Google Docs or Office 365, but you can’t set access rights.

Plus, if something goes astray, it’s up to the original creator (usually you!) to get things fixed. On the other hand, inventory software will give you user management plus allow your whole team to be in sync with one central inventory database.

Templates Don’t Help You With Forecasting

Cash flow is king, right?

But what happens if you end up buying too much inventory that ties up all your cash? Or if your products are in demand, but you run out of stock?  Unfortunately a spreadsheet doesn’t typically give you much insight into forecasting demand or planning ahead.

Inventory software comes with reports such as “Estimated Inventory Duration” which helps predict how much stock you’ll need. Plus you’ll be able to set automatic reorder points to never miss a sale because of a lack of inventory.

Isn’t Your Business Worth It?

While you might be operating on a tight budget, it’s well worth the small investment to upgrade to a proper inventory control system.

You’ll save time on paperwork, free up cash held in excess inventory and improve your inventory accuracy which can save you from expensive mistakes. Not to mention, you’ll be able to devote your time saved to other important business tasks.

Take a look at what inventory software can do for your business by getting the Free Edition of inFlow Inventory at

About the Author Denise O'Berry

Hello! I'm Denise, Your Strategic Partner -- Let me guess. You bought into the hustle, hustle, hustle vibe and now you're on the brink of burnout. You keep setting your alarm for earlier in the day, but don't gain anything from it -- except bleary eyes and frustration about how little you've accomplished at the end of the day. I get it. I've walked in those shoes and they aren't a good fit for anyone. Let me help get you where you want to go without all the stress and frustration.Click here to learn more.