Challenges of Using Spreadsheets for Inventory Management

Spreadsheet inventory management is a great way to manage your inventory. It is relatively easy to set up and maintain, and it gives you an overall picture of what you have in stock. You can track product information, and generate reports. It is also a great way to keep track of your profits and losses. If you are not familiar with how it works, there are also many resources available online that provide step-by-step instructions. 

Spreadsheet inventory management is excellent for small businesses and retailers. However, when the business starts growing, the distribution channels, storage, and warehouses, as well as the number of employees increase making it harder to keep an eye out on everything that’s happening in the business. 

Top 5 disadvantages of using spreadsheet inventory

One of the main disadvantages of using a spreadsheet inventory system is that it can be difficult to maintain accuracy in the data. Spreadsheets are designed to be used by humans, and manual entry can lead to errors or typos.

Additionally, spreadsheets are usually limited to a single user at a time, making it difficult to have multiple people make changes or additions to the inventory at the same time. Finally, spreadsheets are static, meaning that they don’t have the ability to link to external databases or make decisions based on the data, making it difficult to automate processes.

Listed below are just some of the disadvantages and the common ones you may encounter with spreadsheets inventory management.

  1. Data Entry Errors: When manually entering data into a spreadsheet, it’s easy to make typos or input incorrect information, which can create major errors in your inventory record.
  2. Outdated Reports: Spreadsheets are only as accurate as the data entered into them, which means that if the data is not updated regularly, the reports generated from them will be outdated and unreliable.
  3. Time-consuming: Spreadsheets are not the most efficient way to manage inventory. It can take a lot of time to enter and manage data in a spreadsheet, which could be better spent on other tasks.
  4. Lack of Automation: Manual data entry can be time-consuming and error-prone, but with spreadsheets, there is little to no way to automate most of the process.
  5. Security Concerns: Spreadsheets are vulnerable to malicious activity and can be easily corrupted or deleted. This could result in the loss of important inventory data.

How to organize spreadsheet inventory records?

Another disadvantage of spreadsheet inventory management is keeping inventory data organized and up-to-date. Here are some tips that can help out:

  • Utilize filters and sorting capabilities to quickly and easily organize data.
  • Automate data entry using formulas and functions.
  • Take advantage of data validation to prevent errors.
  • Develop a comprehensive naming convention for your spreadsheets and columns.
  • Regularly review and update your inventory to prevent outdated data.

Why you should switch to using inventory management software?

For the record, the tips above should be enough to manage small inventory data. However, everything changes when it comes to a larger scale of inventory data and how many people need to have access to it in real time. 

This is where inventory management software comes in. 

Advantages of using inventory management software

Switching to inventory management software is a great move because it helps to streamline processes, reduce costs, and provide a greater level of accuracy, control, and visibility over inventory.

With the right inventory management software, businesses can easily keep track of stock levels, quickly identify shortages, and accurately forecast future inventory needs. It also helps to reduce manual labor and paperwork associated with managing inventory, allowing businesses to focus on other aspects of their operations.

In short, inventory management software helps businesses save time and money while providing greater accuracy and control over their inventory. The following are just some of the advantages of using inventory management software:

  1. Improved accuracy: Inventory management software can help to ensure that your inventory records are always up-to-date and accurate. This can help you to avoid costly errors and ensure that your stock levels are always correct.
  2. Increased efficiency: It can help to streamline the process of ordering and receiving inventory, making it quicker and easier to manage your stock.
  3. Enhanced visibility: With inventory management software, you can easily view and track your inventory levels in real time. This helps you to keep a close eye on your stock and be aware of when you need to order more.
  4. Reduced costs: Keeping track of inventory manually can be time-consuming and expensive. You may need to hire people and assign them to do different tasks at a time because they can not be using the same excel sheet simultaneously and hiring another individual to incorporate different spreadsheets to create one report. With inventory management software, multiple users can do multiple tasks at the same time. 
  5. Improved customer satisfaction: Keeping accurate records of your inventory levels helps you to ensure that you always have the products your customers need. This helps to keep them satisfied and can improve your reputation as a reliable supplier.

Managing Inventory in a Spreadsheet and the Efficient Alternative

Inventory Management in Excel

Small businesses who are just getting started with inventory management find spreadsheet inventory tracking to be an appealing option. This is because a spreadsheet is more inexpensive, flexible, and keeps things straightforward. Employees and executives do not need to start out by learning a complex software structure. They only need to learn how to utilize Excel spreadsheets’ basic functions to begin adding to and keeping track of their inventory.

Using Excel inventory management, businesses can keep track of their current inventory. Users can manually input their product information into spreadsheet rows and columns to manage inventory counts, verify product availability, and update these data as things are sold or moved.

Building Inventory Management in Excel Spreadsheets

Most people are familiar with using spreadsheets so most employees are familiar or even proficient with it because they have been using it for years. It is easy to keep everyone on the same page because of this familiarity.

To start building an inventory tracking spreadsheet, it is essential that you are familiar with the program and how to organize your inventory data using category columns and manual product entry. 

  1. Create a Spreadsheet with your product information. You can start off by creating a spreadsheet with a list of all your products and their descriptions and information. This will serve as your product catalog or your products tab which will be very helpful to avoid entering repetitive information again and again. For starters, this consists of categories such as SKU or Product Number, Item Name, Description, Manufacturer, etc.
  2. Create a Spreadsheet tab for Inventory Tracking. This is a more comprehensive sheet. It usually includes It is also essential to have categorized columns to make it more organized and easier to filter out information. Depending on your business, you may add columns for quantity, quantity per package, and price.
  3. Set up Received and Sales sheets. These sheets’ categories and functions depend on your business needs. The Received tab is where all your purchase inventory whereas the Sales tab is for your sold inventory. These two tabs will determine your inventory on hand and see any discrepancies in your inventory data. 
  4. Make adjustments as you replenish your inventory or make sales. Though excel spreadsheets can do automatic functions, you still need to update some of the details manually to get an accurate inventory record. 

Disadvantages of Excel Spreadsheet Inventory Tracking

Why upgrade your inventory management system from excel? Spreadsheets are a vital tool for businesses, particularly those in beginning mode or with little resources to carry out basic processes or financial management, and we’re not here to underrate its features and usability. The complexity of your inventory management will, however, grow as you develop your business and advance to the next level.

When your business is expanding, some tasks become more tedious and even more difficult to find the time to update your sheet, manually track inventory, and monitor the distribution network. In other words, managing your growing firm with Excel spreadsheets will show to be highly constrained.

Let’s investigate why that is by taking a look at common concerns with Excel inventory management.

  • Time-consuming process. Maintaining your inventory spreadsheets takes time. It takes a lot of time to input, update, evaluate, and reconcile data. The list of these tasks just goes on.  And if you want to delegate any of those tasks to someone else, you’ll need to teach them how to use the Excel inventory template’s features so they can handle your data. While spreadsheets are useful for working with a single set of numbers, the demands on your time will increase considerably as soon as you expand your business and add more SKUs to your inventory list. Your efforts and energy should ideally be concentrated on profit-driving tasks that add value to your company. Spending the entire day entering data into a spreadsheet is not a good investment.
  • Lack of Security. Excel does not provide user logins or other security measures, therefore it is impossible to identify the person who made changes to the inventory spreadsheets. If you are not attentive, this lack of security could lead to serious issues in the future.
  • Lack of Automation. Although you can make formulas for cells, the data still needs to be manually entered into the cells. Most users use formulas, pivot tables, and conditional formatting to “automate” tasks and calculations within their Excel inventory management template. When you need to update inventory counts across different sales channels, monitor reorder levels when supplies run low, or move distribution centers to better fulfill orders, those functionalities, however, are relatively useless. Spreadsheets for managing inventories won’t work in any of these situations.
  • Greater risk for incurring errors. Human error is inevitable. However, there is a greater chance of making mistakes when hundreds of lines of data must be manually entered into an inventory spreadsheet. Every manual error has an impact on your bottom line, and even the most experienced and well-trained data entry specialist occasionally makes mistakes.
  • Maybe reliant on specific employees – employees, whether we like it or not, come and go. If the employee who designed or managed the inventory spreadsheet tracker quits, the following employee may find it challenging to fill that role unless the former has written extensive documentation of everything. 

By adopting an inventory management system such as CyberStockroom, you can eliminate all of these issues and get many more advantages. 

How to import spreadsheet inventory to an inventory management software

When you finally decide to switch to an inventory management system, one of your questions may be how you would be able to enter your inventory into the system?, do you need to add them one by one? or is there something you do to make it seamless?

For this example, we will be using CyberStockroom to see how to create products and locations in an inventory management system.

There are two ways to enter your inventory data into an inventory management system. First is manually adding them to your product catalog. This one is effective only when you have a few lists of products and they do not have a lot of variations. The second option is to upload your existing spreadsheet inventory into your inventory management system. It usually takes less than a minute to do this. 

Three simple steps to import your spreadsheet inventory.

Assuming that you have created your inventory map with all your locations, the following are the steps to start fully utilizing your inventory management system:

1. Create new products

Make your spreadsheet ready with the basic information you need. You can create as many products and columns as you need to make your record more organized and easy to filter out. 

2. Match the columns in your file to your product fields

The system will determine which columns are for which items. 

3. Check the products into your locations

After the first two steps above, your products are now uploaded to your product catalog. You can then start checking in products to your locations. 

When you’re ready to switch from spreadsheet inventory and want to try out a user-friendly yet offers a huge upgrade? CyberStockroom may be a good fit! Sign up through this link

Serialized Inventory Tracking: What is it and How Does it Work?

The quantity of each product is one of the most crucial pieces of information to monitor in the majority of inventory management processes. Most of the time, your inventory requirements are met as long as you are aware of how much of the stock for each product is entering through the back door and out through the front. But what if you need to track individual inventory separately from the total product quantity?

What is serialized inventory?

There are many cases in which individual items in your storage and products being sold need to have unique identifiers. Serialized inventory is the tracking of individual units or products using distinctive series of numbers or alpha-numeric combinations. Serial numbers indicate a particular product or a component of a product. 

One example of this is the computers and peripherals in a corporate business. When the pandemic hits, IT people have to be wise in tracking where and to whom the equipment are being assigned. Also, in the medical field, it is common to use unique identifiers to track high-value items not only for inventory management purposes but for easily tracking equipment’s lifecycle and also for the management of repair and warranties in case of any claims are needed.

How to create serial numbers for your inventory?

Below are the different ways to set up inventory serial numbers or product serialization. This process depends on your industry and the items you are tracking:

  • Use the serial numbers created by your inventory management system
  • Any number provided by the manufacturer
  • Create your serial number 
  • Generate  QR Codes

Serialization is different from having SKUs. These two are commonly mistaken to be the same but they are not. Serialization is being used for the thorough traceability of individual units or items whereas SKUs are location-specific identification that is commonly used in retail businesses and warehouses.

What technology can support the serialization of inventory?

We need to know that serialized tracking of inventory is effective and efficient but that is the case only when is executed properly. Manual tracking of inventory will not work because the use of numbers is a high risk of human error. 

Barcoding is the most important ingredient to have success in serialized tracking of inventory and to get the barcode system running, you have to have an inventory management system that supports barcoding. From there, you should be able to track individual serial numbers from receiving them at the dock to their final destination.

Inventory Management: Tracking Expiration Dates

Why do you track inventory expiration dates? That is either because your business might be run by a regulatory agency that forces you to monitor inventory expiration dates, or it is just for inventory management when you want to sell the oldest inventory first before you sell the new ones.

Tracking inventory alone is already a long and tedious process. It takes time and can cost you a lot, especially when you have multiple locations and your items are moving a lot.

So whatever the reason is, it is already a part of inventory management and it is important to have this part properly set up in your procedures to avoid piling up problems with obsolescence and losses.

Importance of expiration date tracking in inventory management

Keeping an eye on your inventory expiry dates is one way to become more efficient in handling your inventory. This is very crucial, and a keen eye is needed to monitor expiration dates, not only with the existing items in your inventory but also for the incoming batches.

Expired items lead to substantial capital losses. The common strategy is to rotate stock on the shelves. The sooner the product expiration dates should be rotated to the front and the later the expiry date should be put to the rear.

The first-in, first-out (FIFO) stocking strategy is the foundation of most inventory control strategies.

Even though FIFO is a very straightforward procedure, why do businesses still fail to do this? It is because they don’t know which items are about to expire or already expired in the first place!

The importance of expiration dates is knowing what items and when these items would go bad. When you are aware of this, you will be prepared and make some adjustments such as putting them in front of newer items for sale or selling them at markdown prices to your customers.

Is there any Inventory Management Software that has an expiration date feature?

Absolutely! There are a lot, actually. But how expiration date indicator should appear in your inventory management system? If you are using excel, it should have a color coding that will prompt you to restock your inventory.

For inventory management systems, it should clearly show not just the items that are about to expire or already expired. It should show and allow you to see where these items are located in your inventory.

Inventory expiration date tracking goes hand and hand with inventory level tracking solutions. Both are quite useful when it comes to keeping the ideal inventory level and avoiding obsolescence. Expiration dates aren’t just for perishable goods, they can also be used as a reminder for routine maintenance or auditing. This is also where the useful life of certain equipment may be set to determine if it performed its function for the specified amount of time or to use as a reference if it has to be replaced soon.

Related Articles:

Barcoding: Key to Inventory Visibility

There are quite a few different ways to keep track of your inventory. You can either write everything down on paper, you can design a spreadsheet, or use excel, and create your own formulas. Or, you can create a lot of things easier by using an inventory management system to automate things for you. 

Inventory management must be done correctly if warehouse operations, order fulfillment, receiving, and customer service is to be improved. However, other estimates claim that almost half of small and midsize enterprises either don’t maintain inventories at all or do so manually.


Barcoding inventory is the faster way to communicate inventory information across business operations. The time it takes to scan barcodes and retrieve data on a system when needed is shorter than manually typing and searching information. 

Given the efficiency of barcoding in locating and managing inventory in general, it can boost inventory visibility. Managing inventory without real-time barcode scanning will only get more difficult as the business expands its number of products and warehouses.

You can achieve and experience the benefits of inventory visibility with barcoding. 

Top 5 Benefits of Barcoding Inventory

Avoid unnecessary labor costs.

Manual labor requires more time and effort. Picking the correct product and quantity, auditing inventory, or simply locating products in the storage or warehouse is difficult when done manually. And, as the business demand goes higher, you can only hire more people to keep up with the volume.

With barcode scanners, there’s a lot of time and costs you can save when you can easily look up the information you need instead of typing and searching everything manually.

Avoid picking errors

Picking inventory is one of the important processes in business operations, especially in retail. Cost may be significantly greater in industries that handle expensive goods. Employees may unintentionally pick the incorrect item, pick the incorrect quantity, put inventory in the incorrect location, and make data entries or counting errors. 

Most of these issues can be solved by barcode scanning and inventory tracking solutions which works side by side to get instant and accurate data in just a few seconds.

No more unnecessary buffer inventory

Without proper inventory data, most businesses increase their inventory to make up for their lack of visibility. This is an expensive investment because it leads to more wastage as well as pointless purchases and increased inventory costs. Increased write-offs and write-downs accompanying increased inventories can reduce profitability.

Avoid Data Entry Errors

Manual data entry errors are inevitable. Once those errors are present in your inventory system, they result in inventory issues and shipment errors that can be challenging to identify and fix. It can also affect your customers’ experience and may lead to losses.

There is no chance of error when keying products and quantities using barcode scanning because every data entry is automated.

Inventory Visibility

Multiple locations and increasing customer demand can have a big toll on the business process when locating and managing inventory manually. Without accurate and real-time inventory data, it is impossible to determine the issues you may have in your inventory processes. With barcoding, you can easily find and make note of the real-time inventory levels and locate them fast when needed, and make the necessary adjustments.

The information generated by barcode scanning is the key to having ideal inventory visibility. It can be used to locate the operational inefficiencies in your inventory management process, as well as to spot errors and gauge how well you’re meeting both internal and external goals and consumer expectations.

If you have not used barcode scanning to help you track and manage your inventory, you are probably paying extra costs and taking unnecessary risks due to wasted labor, excess inventory, and other errors that could ultimately cost you a lot and may lead to losing customers.

Top 5 Challenges of Inventory Visibility

When your inventory is hard to find or identify in the warehouse, it results in incomplete, inaccurate, or even delayed products or service fulfillment. Receiving and finding the right stock is vital to efficient inventory management and great customer experiences.

The more the merrier?

Inventory visibility seems simple in meaning. It means knowing what you have on hand and where that inventory is located at any given moment. However, If we look deeper into it, we will realize that it is actually that thing that connects the most crucial aspects of inventory management.

So how does it affect the business when there is a lack of inventory visibility? After we talk about the benefits of inventory visibility, let’s also talk about the challenges. There are lots of negative impacts a lack of visibility can have on any business operation but these are the top 5 challenges your business has to deal with if you have little to no visibility over your inventory.

Challenges of Inventory Visibility

Does your inventory look like this?

1. Prolonged shipment/turnaround times

It’s not enough to know whether you have an item in stock, you also need to show where these items are located. In some cases, fulfilling orders can be cumbersome. There is a lot of pressure in processing orders when you have challenges in looking up the availability of the inventory, and if there is an available inventory, how long the fulfillment team can locate the available inventory and ship them?

This applies to rendering services as well. Spare parts or van stock inventory are pretty small but still hard to manage. Why? Because they move around a lot in multiple locations. If you lack visibility and can’t locate things in the fastest way, you will then have a higher turnaround time.

2. Excessive safety stock which increases inventory carrying cost

You can never opt out of the inventory carrying cost. It plays a very good role in management but it can be a big risk to the business when not monitored. Problems with excessive inventory start when there is no visibility on the actual number of items available, and when there is no confidence about the number of items on hand. You will start buying more buffer inventory which will lead to product piling up.

Inventory visibility can help a lot in minimizing costs like this. Visibility gives confidence that you have the right amount of inventory available at the right time.

3. Risk of Underselling and Overselling Inventory

The risk of underselling and overselling happens in businesses with multiple locations and channels. When there is not enough inventory data that shows all the available inventory in all warehouses and channels, we tend to either oversell or undersell. 

We usually undersell when we are too scared that we go beyond the inventory threshold. Oversell, on the other hand, happens when we are too confident in the number of the inventory we have on hand and we keep on selling items that are no longer available.

It is good that a business has a set inventory threshold and even better the threshold is distributed across the business operation. This means we have centralized access to our inventory data. There will be no mismatched information on inventory levels and we can also leverage our stocks in every location.

4. Inventory Loss or Shrinkage

There are lots of causes of inventory loss but the most common is the lack of inventory visibility. When we do not have visibility over our inventory, we are already opening an opportunity for products to be stolen or damaged without any accountability.

5.  Poor communication and data management

When our business expands and starts to have multiple warehouses and storage locations, it becomes more and more difficult to communicate the reports of one location to another. The separation of data for each location may lead to a lack of visibility and goods stacking up in your storage. 

Good communication starts with good inventory data management. An inventory management system or unified inventory management allows us to have a bird’s eye view of our operations and eliminate other challenges in managing our inventory. When everyone is looking at the same thing, management becomes simpler. There will be no discrepancies between different people’s assessments of the inventory data. Everyone in the company has access to the same data and can make data-driven decisions for the business.

Why you should use an inventory management system?

An inventory management system makes everything easier but the most important feature that a system can offer is inventory visibility which we now know, a very important and usually cannot be done perfectly by people. 

The convenience being offered by an inventory management system exceeds the small investment that will come out of your budget.

Learn more about the real Inventory Visibility and try it for free HERE!

Top 5 Benefits of Inventory Visibility

Can you find all your products?

Inventory visibility contributes to maximizing growth and efficiency within the business. Sometimes in inventory management, it can be difficult to manage and oversee everything. Success in having ideal visibility over your inventory demands a lot of effort especially when you are doing the processes manually. 

Not just in retail, but also in other industries such as manufacturing and industrial plants, inventory management and visibility play an important role. In times of production problems, it is important that there is always a spare inventory available, and easily accessible to fix issues to avoid costly losses.

Inventory visibility in overall inventory management is very significant. Below let’s talk about the top benefits of having inventory visibility.

Benefits of Inventory Visibility

1. Allows having an accurate record of inventory levels

Inventory visibility doesn’t stop at knowing what you have, knowing how many you have and where everything is located across every location promotes having an accurate inventory level. When auditing inventory levels, it will not be as accurate if you can’t locate everything.

Having an accurate record of inventory levels also allows you to replenish just the right amount of products required to sustain a certain cycle before you order again for a new batch of inventory. This helps avoids overstocking and outdated products sitting on your shelves

2. Improves customer experience

Without real-time views into inventory, you risk losing customers who can easily find an alternative retailer or supplier where they know they can purchase from how and when they prefer. The more inventory visibility you have, the easier it is to monitor stock levels across channels and maintain enough inventory to meet customer demand and prevent delays in fulfillment. With improved visibility, you have the ability to optimize stock levels across your network.

3. Increases management efficiency

It is hard to overlook things when you have visibility. Manual inventory tracking requires multiple resources such as lots of time and manpower but with a help of systems like inventory management software improves management efficiency and promotes real-time visibility. When you have the right amount of visibility, it is more efficient to look after your overall inventory.

4. Locating products easier and simpler

We would not want outdated products sitting in our inventory, eating up space somewhere just because we could not locate them. Outdated products will eventually be written off if not disposed of on time. Before these products become unsellable, there is still a way to dispose of them by selling them at a discounted price or exchanging these for new items with the supplier. Locating inventory when you have like a bird’s-eye view of your inventory is something that helps a lot.

5. Supports better decision making

Good inventory visibility yields accurate data records. Data-driven decision-making prevents costly mistakes such as ordering more or less inventory than it should be which could lead to losses and customer disappointment.

Modern Inventory Visibility

When we look back to where inventory management sits in a business operation before, we will see that it was not made to cover multiple retail channels across multiple locations. It usually can manage only the location where inventory is located and where it is being sold and there are separate inventory records for every location a business has.

Nowadays, customer experience becomes more sophisticated each day. Their convenience in purchasing is more of a significant factor now for a business’s growth and the range of channels in which consumers would like to be able to able to access products has enhanced significantly. Having the right level of inventory visibility of what you have in stock is essential to make sure you fulfill what you’re consumers are expecting to be available as shown in these channels. 

How do inventory management systems help improve inventory visibility?

Inventory management systems made the processes simpler. On top of that, it also helps increase the visibility of your inventory. Aside from the top benefits of the inventory management system listed above, there are other features that can help us generally with our inventory. 

The most important aspect of inventory visibility, however, is not always available in all inventory management systems. When we say visibility, the most common criteria are being aware or having access only to the products and quantities you have. What we commonly fail to focus on is the location

When we miss focusing on the location of our inventory, we are risking having overstock and outdated and expired products. Location is essential in inventory visibility, especially when you have multiple locations and warehouses. 

Looking for real Inventory Visibility? You can learn more HERE and try it for free!

Managing Commercial Staging Inventory

Now that almost everything is starting to go back to normal after the pandemic slowed down, the offices that implemented the work-at-home setup are now going back to their workplace. Those who gave up their offices entirely during the pandemic have started to look for spaces again. This gives business opportunities to Staging companies especially those that specialize in commercial office staging to prosper once again.

Why do you need a Staging Inventory Management System?

Commercial Staging is one way to upgrade the property’s value instantly. It is making the property more marketable. The idea is you are selling this picture as the buyer’s prospective work environment, not just a bare workspace. It is to differentiate your office or commercial property from the competition by staging it. It showcases the selling points of the property. Potential buyers or tenants will have a more immersive imagination of feeling the space because staging the furniture and appliances will help them realize the actual size of the space.

Properties that do not have a good floor plan, offices that look gloomy, and are not situated in a very good location are the best candidates for staging. With the help of staging, offices set to be sold or rented become easier to market.

If we will search for some testimonies about how staging helps, we will find plenty of developers and owners saying that even properties with low value were sold fast because of staging.

Staging Inventory Management System

Staging is fun until more and more projects start to come and inventories are moving simultaneously from everywhere. It’s not a bad thing to have this problem because it means the business is performing well, however, you need to be keener in solving these problems to avoid issues related to inventory management from piling up.

Managing your staging inventory very well, especially when you both have your staging furniture or rent them, is essential. All furniture and appliances should be categorized properly and kept tracked all the time. 

This is where a staging inventory management system will come in. It helps in every way of managing all your items. It allows users to know what they have, how much they have, and where are they located.

One of the most powerful features of a Staging Inventory Management System is Barcoding.

Barcoding Your Staging Inventory

Why do you need to start using barcoding your inventory? The benefit of barcoding in home and commercial staging is the same as other businesses, to reduce human errors. It is very common in inventory management for people to just screen the data they’re and/or rely on their muscle memory. This is the main cause of the errors.

With the help of barcoding managing things such as locating items, checking in/out, and reviewing product details, everything becomes faster and more accurate.

Another benefit of barcoding your inventory helps you to reduce your time in organizing your record. When checking items, you don’t need to write them down, go to your computer and sort the items one by one. You just need to scan them and the data will load into your inventory system where you can check anytime.

Downloading Inventory Reports

Aside from barcoding, another best feature a staging inventory system can offer is the option to download all your inventory details. Most of the time, storage and warehouses are limited in this type of business so there will be a time that you need to audit and check how much furniture you have, how many art, decors, and beddings you are available for a new project, check for items that you are less likely to use in the future and have to dispose of or sell them.

There are two types of reports that are downloadable for important reasons.

  • Product details. You should be able to download your product details for auditing, for making sure every item from a certain project is checked out at the end of the project, or for some unforeseen events (fire, robbery, etc.). When you’re able to download reports of a certain staging project, you won’t need to worry about compiling all product details for filing claims. 
  • Activity history. This report should show the changes made in your inventory. Activity history should show the name of the user who made the change, when, and in what location. It helps you keep track of any unusual activity that occurs with your stock in addition to all of your daily activities. Everything will be accounted for.

If you can download all your inventory information, you can easily create a report instead of going into the warehouse, roaming around,  and counting every item manually. Especially when your niche is an office staging business that has some electronics and appliances that need upgrading or changing from time to time to match the current trends.


How to Manage Staging Inventory 

What is Home Staging in Real Estate?

Home Staging is a vital element of the real estate industry. It is not just decorating, putting things where you think it’s best, and hoping that the design will come out great. Staging basically means preparing the home for a potential buyer. When selling a home, it is essential that the buyer feels an emotional connection to the property. 

Buyers can get this connection only when the property is staged in a setting where they can imagine themselves living in the property and understand the spaces very well because of the portrayed surroundings. 

Home staging involves decorating, rearranging furniture, and positioning other aesthetic strategies to help the property highlight its selling point and boost its market value. It contributes to the overall improvement of the property. Making it more appealing to as many potential buyers as possible will result in a faster and more profitable sale of the property. 

Home Staging Inventory

Staging inventory is very different from the typical warehouse inventory. Every piece is moving around a lot in multiple project locations every couple of months or even weeks depending on the business size or demand. 

Given this setup, it’s truly hard to keep track of where things are located, which locations have what items, which moving truck has what items, and basically track everything that goes out and goes back of the warehouse.

Common Questions home stagers may have about staging inventory

Since Home Staging became part of the norm in selling real estate properties, it has come to the attention of many stagers that inventory plays a huge role in business success. 

The following are some of the inventory staging questions, especially for those who just started in this industry.

  • How to store the inventory?
  • How to organize staging inventory?
  • What physical tools help in organizing inventory?
  • What inventory system do they use to keep track of staging inventory?

How to store the Staging Inventory?

Storing the staging inventory is very important in this business because most of the time, space is limited. Not maximizing the space for inventory or disorganization may lead to some serious problems, such as the risk of needing additional investment for more storage space or items can get damaged when not stored properly.

Stagers organize and maximize their storage space by doing the following

  • Stacking up chairs and tables with furniture blankets in between to avoid damages
  • Hanging things on the walls
  • Using restaurant shelving to maximize storage
  • Use clear containers with labels for accessories such as kitchen accessories, living room accessories, etc. 
  • Categorizing items by type and keeping similar items by section
  • Keeping items accessible to see what’s available easily 

How to organize the Staging inventory?

The key to organizing the staging inventory is ensuring items are easily accessible and easily seen where they are. The first step is to group and categorize your items.
Grouping items is putting similar items together. Such as putting all art prints together on a shelf where you can effortlessly check when you need them for installation and keeping huge items such as media consoles, coffee tables, or range seatings grouped in one section or room.

Categorizing things is simply gathering items used specifically for certain sections of the property. Accessories, for example, you can put them in a container labeled with different categories such as living room, bathroom, kitchen accessories, and so on. 

How to manage and keep track of your Inventory?

Given the nature of this business, you can easily lose track of your Staging items particularly when peak seasons, and you have multiple staging projects simultaneously. How do you check which items are installed in which project? How many furniture or chairs do you have left in your warehouse available for a new project?

This is where a suitable inventory tracking system will come in handy. Some uses excel in tracking inventory which is very good when you’re business is at the starting phase. When it starts to grow, you’ll see some of the limitations it can do. It can limit to single-person use, has a high risk of human error, and has no activity or transaction history that is inducive to having accountability. 

A Staging Inventory Management System, on the other hand, can do a lot of things. The following are things an inventory system can do. 

Important Features a Staging Inventory Management System must have

Product Catalog

A product catalog is the list of all items in your inventory. It’s not necessarily part of the inventory but this contains all the product information such as price, description, specification, weight, size, and so on.

Customizable fields

This is very helpful in organizing your inventory to easily identify every item you may have. You can either add or remove specifications depending on what information you need for business operations. Below are some of the essential fields you must have in your inventory:

  • Price field. Determines the original value of the item, essential when reporting a loss, or damage in times of a disaster. 
  • Purchase date. It can be used reference to calculate your item’s potential value when you decide to sell. Remember, trends and preferences change almost every day in every market so we can’t keep the same furniture and fixtures forever. 
  • Product description. It helps you quickly identify items by their characteristics such as color, size, and category

Downloadable report

You should be able to download a report especially when it’s time to pack up the things you installed in a specific project. Having a report like this is like having a checklist to make sure that everything installed for a certain project is coming back to your warehouse.

Transaction or Activity History

Staging inventory is very dynamic. There are times that many people need to move things around for different projects making it hard to keep track of which items are being checked out by who, or which items are being placed for what project. Having an inventory system that can track the user’s transactions such as the items that have been checked out, when, and to what project they were installed is the key to having everything accounted for.

Attaching pictures and other files

Having pictures of your items installed into a certain staging project can also help you file claims in case of fire or a disaster. You should be able to keep this in your inventory as well. Another perk of this is being able to install pictures of your items in your product catalog. This can help staging designers easily look for things and they won’t need to roam around the warehouse to pick which items to put in a project.

Inventory Shrinkage: Preventing Loss and Theft by Managing Inventory

What is Shrinkage?

Inventory shrinkage means the number of products in stock falls below the number indicated on the inventory list. The discrepancy could be caused by clerical errors, damaged or lost products, or theft from the point of purchase to the point of sale.

What are the Main Causes of Inventory Shrinkage?

There are different causes of inventory shrinkage depending on the type of business. In retail environments, these are some of the most common that contribute to inventory shrinkage:

  1. Employee theft and customer theft/shoplifting
  2. Administrative error
  3. Damaged or expired products

Missing items in the supply chain can be caused by a lot of factors. Inventory shrinkage in logistics and warehouses is caused by the factors listed above as well as the following:

  1. Over shipments and short-receipts 
  2. Substitution of good items to subquality items
  3. Re-classifications of goods

Employee Theft

Employee theft is one of the causes of inventory shrinkage. It refers to stealing or misuse of business property for personal reasons without documentation or authorization.

This is very damaging in every business. It happens every step along the process from manufacturing to shipping to warehousing to retail.

Employee Theft affects a lot of aspects of the business and primarily costs. To recoup the losses, businesses may try to increase orders to reach the ideal profit margin or increase the price of products. But with this method, they are putting more finances into acquiring goods to sell and might also lose price-sensitive consumers looking elsewhere to find similar products with lower prices. 

The things that are commonly stolen are not just money, it can also be the following:
  • Supplies Theft. Employees take office supplies such as items for manufacturing, computer peripherals, notebooks, and other small items that are still big in cost when accumulated
  • Merchandise theft. When employees are stealing items that are supposed to be sold to the customers.
  • Information and Time Theft. Information theft is trading a company’s private information or selling company designs and time theft is when an employee is not working while on the clock and still being paid.

Why Do Employees Steal?

Theft can be encouraged by several factors but the common factors are motivation and opportunity. One of the motives for people to take stuff is because they are underpaid. Employees may be overworked, therefore stealing something, whether it’s time or money, is acceptable since they believe it’s owed to them. 

The opportunity to steal is another contributor to employee theft. If the company’s security is lax, there will always be an opportunity to steal, which will motivate those employees who already have ulterior motives.

Why Does Employee Theft Matter?

If you’re wondering if employee theft is an expense, the answer is a big YES! and it’s a huge expense especially when it accumulates over time.

Though it may be costly to protect valuable assets and investigate employee theft, there are several reasons why businesses need to do so. Here are some of the negative results of employee theft:

Profit loss

Suppose a business loses inventory due to employee theft. In that case, it will be unable to recover the cost of the inventory because there will be no inventory to sell or return to the vendor.

Losing customers over the price increase

Some businesses try to recover losses by increasing the price of available goods to account for the losses in inventory. This means the customers will be the ones to shoulder the costs and this has a huge impact especially when the customers have a sensitive budget where a slight change in price affects their buying behavior, worst is when they try to look for other merchants for alternatives.

Problems in business operations

Because of theft losses, businesses may allocate more funds to other areas such as security. They invest in more security guards, CCTVs, and other technology just to decrease the occurrence. This results in a further decrease in profits and also a decrease in purchasing capacity.

How to Prevent Employee Theft?

Given the numerous negative effects of theft on every business, we must take action to minimize it. The following are the simple yet effective ways to reduce shrinkage:

  1. Tighten security.
  2. Hire and assign reliable employees.
  3. Check transactions each day.
  4. Reduce or eliminate human errors by using a system.
  5. Keeping a record of the losses.

Use of Inventory Management System

Human errors and omissions can be avoided by automating the inventory management process. A dedicated inventory management system can assist in reducing human stock handling and inventory shrinkage.

All people participating in the inventory management process will be held accountable by the software. It will track the inventory’s location from point to point and provide logs for all users that made adjustments to the inventory.

Aside from reducing risks of shrinkage, inventory management systems also offer other features that can optimize inventory processes. One of these features is inventory visibility which makes it easier to locate things in your inventory and make sure inventory levels are at the optimal level.


Because there are so many ways for one person to steal, organizations must make good use of resources to effectively protect the most valuable items. Using inventory management software is one method to reduce the risk of employee theft and inventory shrinkage in general, but you should also consider if employees feel appreciated and whether your gratitude for their efforts is reflected in their pay. This will eliminate any thoughts of resentment, which might lead to the motivation to steal goods they believe they are owed.

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