One of the hardest things for a warehouse manager to do is keeping track of inventory.
For example, it’s not that uncommon to lose the occasional inventory item or to even ship the wrong one by mistake. The whole warehouse space might be overflowing with inventory, yet you still can’t find what you need—or you’re out of something you thought you had.
It’s safe to say that inventory tracking can be a major headache when you don’t have the proper tools or solutions to help you.
To ensure that you nail your inventory systems, we’ve put together this post with some solutions, systems, and inventory templates that can help you achieve your goals.
Before we get started, you might consider looking into software programs that can track inventory for you. Tools like TopShelf from Scout Inc. will help you digitally track, scan, and fulfill orders more consistently and more accurately. The best part of programs like this is that they are all-in-one solutions!
Let’s check out some great inventory checklist templates!
Excel sheets have been a staple of business processes since computers were first able to manage data. A well-kept excel sheet can help you keep track of inventory, profit and loss, and important dates such as shipping or receiving.
Excel sheets are also customizable, and with cloud services from Microsoft Office, you can share them and collaborate on them with others.
The advantage that you’ll find with Excel is that it’s saved directly to your computer, and you can turn on auto-save so that you don’t have to remember to save it before closing your laptop or shutting down your computer for the day. It would also be smart to save your inventory records in the cloud or an extra hard-drive. It’s never fun to lose your work when you spill coffee on your computer.
Here is a standard inventory template for Excel to try.
Google Sheets is another popular choice for spreadsheets. Google Sheets is run entirely in the cloud through the infrastructure built by Google Drive. This makes it easy to share, save, locate, and collaborate with others.
Almost all of the same options and tools on Excel are offered in Sheets, including the option to search for different templates when creating a new document.
Although having everything in the cloud can pose some problems for when there isn’t an internet connection, you can choose to have offline access with google drive and save all of your files to your computer as well. Offline access is a great feature, and it can really pay off when you need to edit on the go.
Don’t let the cloud scare you away; this is a great option for tracking inventory or managing your next project.
Find Sheets here!
PDF Expert is a simple and easy program that comes free of cost for the starter version. The smooth design allows you to customize and color-code your inventory list. This program isn’t very well known but has good reviews, including a recent one from macworld.com. You can use this program to view, create, and edit pdfs as well as reduce the size, among other great features.
The best part about this program is that it offers excellent usability between a lot of different Apple products and comes with some great templates. Here is a template for inventory checklists!
Please take note that this product is designed specifically for Mac, which is by far its biggest drawback.
If you’re looking for more education on how to use spreadsheets—as well as incorporating automation into them—then you might consider checking out Vertext 42. This online database offers templates, education, and more. Here are some templates from their site.
Understanding how spreadsheets work in Excel is no easy task. Most people enter a lot of the numbers manually without understanding that Excel can actually perform a lot of calculations for you automatically.
If you haven’t had any experience with Excel, then this video for beginners is a great place to start. And, of course, check out Vertex 42 for more educational content.
Getting Beyond Spreadsheets
There are so many different templates out there for inventory and tracking that finding the right template isn’t usually the problem. The problem tends to be centered around keeping those documents organized.
In today’s technology-filled world you don’t have to settle for manually tracking inventory. There are solutions on the market that allow you to almost fully automate these processes. One of them is Scout Inc.
Scout offers solutions like topShelf that allows you to automate your inventory process. This is done through a series of processes that track items from receiving to shipping. Scout offers the tools to scan your items in and can help you customize a plan to find the perfect software for your industry.
Don’t think you could keep track of the scanners? No problem! The topShelf program can utilize any smartphone camera to Receive, Pick, Pack, and Ship. For you, it means fewer mistakes and less money lost. For your customers, it means faster shipping times and more consistent service.
Scout also offers solutions to manage multiple warehouses, print labels, and barcodes, or validate and verify all of your incoming and outgoing shipments. Doing it all with one program isn’t for everyone but if you choose to go with one program you won’t be disappointed.
If you’re ready to make a jump away from spreadsheets and get your inventory systems on the right track, then reach out to Scout today to get started!