You started a business, you have products ready to go out the door and sales coming in. One piece of inventory goes out, you replace it with another. Easy enough! Or so you thought.

Suddenly, an order gets returned, another is lost in transit, you’re setting inventory aside for the farmer’s market this weekend and, you have a request for multiple pieces in one order. Out of nowhere, tracking inventory is getting more and more complicated by the minute.

Running a business is tough enough, but having to handle the issues that come with inventory – supply chain, tracking, ordering, etc. – can be a stressful full time job; forget everything else that needs to get done.  Inventory management, especially for small and medium sized businesses, can make or break your year.

So, when is it time for additional inventory management software with Shopify? We’ve nailed down the top three instances that are tell-tale signs you need to upgrade.

What is Inventory Management?

Before we talk about the three signs, let’s make sure we’re on the same page about how to define “inventory management.”

According to Investopedia, “Inventory management refers to the process of ordering, storing and using a company’s inventory. This includes the management of raw materials, components and finished products, as well as warehousing and processing such items.”

In other words, it’s a lot to track and manage on a daily basis! If you’re a small business, this can quickly take over the majority of your time.

Then come the issues of too much or too little inventory. Not enough inventory limits your sales and could hurt the brand affinity you are trying to develop with current and new customers. On the other hand, too much inventory carries the risk of damage, theft, spoilage or shifts in demand.

In addition, if inventory is not sold in a timely manner or within a particular quarter, you run the risk of having to dispose of it at clearance prices or simply destroy it, both of which wreak havoc on profits.

More than that, inventory management also includes tracking materials, resources and components. The same applies here – order too much and you risk losing money to damage, spoilage, etc.

Tracking all these aspects of business is time-consuming and if you have found yourself thinking, “there has to be an easier way to do this,” you’re right!

Three Signs You Need Inventory Management Software

1 – You sell in more places than your Shopify store (online marketplaces, farmer’s markets, retail stores, boutiques etc)

Shopify is a great resource for businesses and their inventory tracker is a streamlined solution for brands that limit their sales to their website.

However, in today’s competitive landscape, it’s crucial for you to make your products available in a variety of formats in order to increase market share, sales, and brand awareness. Which means selling in online marketplaces, farmer’s markets, retail stores, boutiques, and more.

That’s exactly when inventory management starts to get extra tricky and how you know it’s time to invest in a more sophisticated software program.

2 – You’re up to your ears in spreadsheets

If you are in finance or accounting, we have no doubt you love a good spreadsheet. But, for the rest of us business owners that are wearing multiple hats, the tedious task of maintaining up-to-date spreadsheets makes us want to throw our laptop at the wall. And don’t even get us started on formula creation!

We’ll be fair, spreadsheets work pretty well to start. Especially if your inventory tracking is limited to one product. Our rule of thumb is if it takes you longer to remember how your spreadsheet work than it does to find the information you need, it’s time to switch to a more streamlined software.

3 – Your business requires the tracking of raw goods, supplies, or materials in addition to finished-inventory

If you are tracking more than inventory, you need to upgrade! That’s where we come in. Fiddle is an easy-to-use software that tracks your inventory of finished goods in addition to the inventory of raw goods, supplies, and materials (even if they’re stored at a co-packer, 3PL or any other location).

Fiddle’s ability to provide this crucial insight all in one dashboard ensures that you are on the pulse of knowing exactly what is going on with your business at all times!

If you find yourself answering “yes” to any of the questions above, it’s time for you to consider a better solution to tracking materials, inventory, and sales.

Let us help you get a snapshot of your business so you can prevent running out of stock, overselling, or understocking. Check out our home page to learn more and start a Free 14 Day Trial with no credit card required.

Or, schedule a free product demo to learn how we can help your brand!