Better Than Spreadsheets

Article Summary

Spreadsheet is a document type designed for putting data into columns and rows. Knowing exactly what a spreadsheet can can’t do and what will help explain why company need something more complex when it comes to inventory management. Flowtrac’s software solutions could be the answer for you.

What are Spreadsheets? 

There are many brands of spreadsheets. A few of the most commonly known spreadsheets are Microsoft’s Excel, Google’s Sheets, Apple’s Numbers, and The Document Foundation’s LibreOffice.

Spreadsheets are electronic programs that can perform calculations on the data entered into various cells of the spreadsheet. Think of them as accounting worksheets in electronic form. But they can also be used for other purposes. Its strength lies in its potential for calculations. However, spreadsheets are also often used to simply store information in an easy and organized way. 

Spreadsheets vs. Databases

Spreadsheets are different from databases in several ways. They are not interchangeable. Instead of storing information in cells, a database stores data in tables. Databases use structured query language (SQL) to manipulate the tables of data. One of its strengths compared to spreadsheets is its capacity for efficient, secure, and faster retrieval of data. Prior to entering raw data into a database, the field must already be set for a certain time of data, or the user gets an error until corrected. That makes for a nice safety net for keeping data in good shape.

There are several types of databases depending on the needed purpose. For example, there are relational databases, non-relational databases, database warehouses. Databases can be open source,  cloud-based, and even self-driven. 

Spreadsheet vs. Flowtrac’s Inventory Management Software  

Flowtrac’s software solutions take it a step further. We design inventory management software for all industries. If you’re ready to graduate from antiquated method of tracking inventory using spreadsheets, Flowtrac could be the answer. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Flowtrac can be installed on your phone for easy scanning of inventory and locations. Spreadsheets don’t have a scanning system, not to mention are too small and tedious to operate on smaller screens. 
  • Flowtrac connects all your data, and spreadsheets do not. Locations, vendors, customers, company buildings, products, orders, and more are all interwoven instead siloed into different tabs of spreadsheets. This means that Flowtrac can store all the information about your products into easy-to-read layouts instead of trying to keep track of details of an item across individual spreadsheet cells. 
  • Flowtrac goes beyond just storing the data like a spreadsheet. It generates barcode labels, creates allocations, helps you set mins/maxs based upon forecasting analysis, and more. Spreadsheets just house data rather than turn your data into active information.