To manage and delegate complex tasks such as inventory management isn’t easy, even less with a poorly adapted tool, preventing it from happening. Within the list of several inventory management systems, Excel often appears to be the solution chosen by companies, but is it a wise choice ?
What is the purpose of inventory control ?
The inventory control or asset tracking is a company process used to indicate the inventory volume at a specific time and gives an accurate traceability of the equipment that can be from raw materials up until finished goods.
Being sure to maintain the proper amount of equipment at the right time and at the right place is a component of effective inventory control, limiting the risk of stockouts that can cause revenue loss.
In order to assure an effective inventory management, the assets must be listed in a system that indicates their value and location. Inventory management systems, manual and computerized can contain the following features :
- Reliable, fast and accurate traceability of the inventory (Where is the asset ? Is it in good condition ?)
- Assignment of stocks (Who is responsible for this ?)
- Inventory level tracking (Minimum stock quantity alert)
- Internal loan management
The use of Excel
Certainly, without additional costs it’s possible to implement an inventory system like Excel which is easy to use and quick to set up. However, Excel will quickly show its limits with a large number of assets, and in terms of fluidity and functionality.
Although this is an effective individual office tool for accomplishing many things in business, Excel has many disadvantages when it comes to inventory management :
First, it has a significant gap in real-time information sharing between updates. For each visualization of the data by the users, the sheet must be updated by the owner, which can create discrepancies in the accuracy of the data.
Its manual data entry is a source of great error potential especially since it’s very long, not to mention the sorting and the modifications that result from it.
Its undeveloped interface makes the display of the desired information very complex with the multiplication of columns and lines of data present. This also prevents having an overall view of the inventory, including the history of movements. It is difficult to follow a trend and make informed decisions.
Its lack of interactivity is also problematic. Companies are never immune from the risk of stock-outs and Excel unfortunately does not allow to send an alert indicating that an order must be made.
Excel is not designed to interact with the accounting software, forcing each movement of stocks and transactions to be entered.
Alternative Excel in inventory tracking
In short, Excel is not the optimal solution for optimized inventory management and tracking in your organization. It makes more sense to turn to an automated option, which remains at a low cost like Hector, our asset management tracking software..
To learn more about the use of automated inventory management software, we invite you to read this article covering the benefits and good practices of their implementation in your company.