No inventory management strategy is one-size-fits-all. Different products require unique specifications — and you must account for all of them in your inventory management process.
With all this variance, inventory management can be extremely time-consuming if you are constantly looking for ways to track changing product information.
The solution? A customizable inventory list template that accounts for all the necessary information you need to record for a product. With an inventory list template, you can easily update your numbers, see all your products in one place, and glean insights from data in your spreadsheet.
As a small business owner, you need a template to account for the nuances of your market, like seasonality, supply chain variance, and more. As a result, it’s important to find a template catered to your specific industry. Below, you can explore and download the following inventory list templates:
Later on, we’ll explain what all templates should include, how you can create a template for your business, and the benefits of automating your inventory management process.
In its simplest form, an inventory list includes basic product information like price, description, and quantity.
Product sellers dealing with only a few products can leverage a simple inventory list but may need to pivot to a more complex template once inventory needs become more involved. Download the template below to get started.
Retail inventory management templates can be relatively similar to simple inventory templates, but should track a few more components like:
Once you sell more products regularly, it’s pivotal to know what your turnaround times look like. Include days per reorder in your primary inventory list so you can reorder in advance and never run out of stock.
For manufacturers, tracking inventory presents a separate set of challenges because you have to track four different categories of inventory:
Accurately tracking manufacturing inventory is particularly important, as miscues can lead to more considerable supply chain repercussions, slower manufacturing lead times, and fractured customer relationships. Manufacturers also track lead time to understand how long it will take to get specific products to customers.
Manufacturers track relatively the same product information as retailers, but batch goods into four different categories, as seen below:
Wholesale inventory list templates need to account for the warehouses or large volumes of inventory that wholesalers deal with to accurately keep track of all their products. As a result, wholesale inventory lists additionally track:
Being as specific as possible is key when accounting for location. Our template drills down to the exact row and slot that products are located in.
Inventory list templates help businesses track and manage stock by providing an organized spreadsheet where all product information can live. While inventory list templates will vary by industry, some universal elements include:
With all this information in one place, it’s easier to quickly see:
If you elect to create an inventory spreadsheet yourself, you can do so in a few simple steps. Here’s how:
All you need to create an inventory list template is a spreadsheet. You can create one through Google Sheets or Excel or expedite the process with a template like ours.
Create unity and consistency across verticals by adding your company’s branding to your spreadsheet. This list will serve as your single source of truth, so it’s best to include branding.
Next, you add your columns or categories. This will be the information you need to regularly track and update, like available quantity, item description, price, reorder time, etc.
If you’re starting from scratch, using a pre-fixed template is helpful so you know you’re not leaving any columns out.
Once you create the structure for your spreadsheet, you can then fill it in with current product information. Perform this step slowly and carefully. All product information must be accurate when you’re filling out your spreadsheet.
Once you’ve filled out your spreadsheet with product information, name and save it. Make sure you’re calling it something specific and relevant. You’ll be frequently accessing it, so be sure you’re naming it something you’ll be able to find easily.
The job is far from over after you create your spreadsheet. The next step will be to update it regularly so product information is always up to date and accurate. This means:
This can be a major headache for product sellers, especially if you need to spend time on other projects. Automated inventory management will do this for you and can be a significant timesaver for small businesses looking to ditch spreadsheets.
The major shortcoming of spreadsheet templates is their inability to grow as your business does. As you gain customers and increase sales, your time spent updating your spreadsheets will also grow — time you should be dedicating more time to growing your business.
Additionally, as business takes off, more processes will enter, and the equation and existing processes will become more complex. You’ll need to think about warehouse management, supply chain optimization, and planning how to scale your business.
With all this on your plate, you won’t have time to manually update a spreadsheet, and your time may be more valuable spent somewhere else. Opting for an automated inventory management software like Cin7 allows you to connect all your processes in a single source of truth designed to grow and scale with your business.
With an automated system, you can:
Still wondering about how to get started with your inventory list? We’ve got you covered. Here are a few common questions and answers about creating a comprehensive inventory list.
You can make a simple inventory list by opening a spreadsheet, listing your products and relevant categories about your products, and then filling in those categories with product information.
Once you create this spreadsheet, you’ll update it as product information changes.
The best inventory spreadsheets remain consistently updated, track all pertinent categories, and are well-organized.
Additionally, make sure you’re using a platform that your team is comfortable and familiar with. Excel and Google Sheets are effective choices when it comes to building an inventory list.
You can use Google Sheets for inventory lists the same way you’d use Excel. If your team uses Google Workspace already, using Google Sheets can be an effective way to guarantee all team members have access to the inventory list.
Having a spreadsheet for inventory can be effective in the early stages of your business, but it’s not a scalable strategy.
Inventory management can become an overwhelming and complicated task. Instead of editing and updating spreadsheets, explore a system that does all this for you — and more.
Cin7 employs Connected Inventory Performance to help small businesses grow with ease. With an advanced suite of features and an emphasis on automation, Cin7 takes the legwork out of inventory management so you can focus on building your business.
Start a free trial today to learn more
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