Multiple Currencies? How About Multiple Languages!

Fishbowl Inventory Gives you the Option to Use Multiple Currencies, which is helpful, but…what if you need to offer multiple languages to your customers, salespeople, or warehouse employees?

Warehouse

Multi-Lingual Warehouses.  Yes, It’s a Thing.

In our ever-changing world of culture and linguistics, it is becoming more important to have software that can speak the languages of our employees.  Although Fishbowl Inventory does not have the option to use any languages except English, LilyPad Mobile Warehouse gives you the option of using other languages in your warehouse operations.  Why does that matter?  Well, it helps to cut down on mistakes, while also giving your employees a better understanding of the software.

What if My Salespeople Speak a Different Language?

LilyPad Vortex gives you the option to use multiple languages in your sales platform.  This can be advantageous for your salespeople and for your customers.  LilyPad Vortex is a B2B sales platform that allows your salespeople and customers to log in and place orders that are then transferred directly to Fishbowl Inventory.  If there are language barriers when trying to place orders, they could make costly errors or even stop using it altogether.

If you don’t need a new language, but instead need to see different grammar within the site, LilyPad Vortex can be “translated” with your preferred words.  If you’d rather see “Service Order” instead of “Sales Order”, or if you need industry-specific terms, that’s not a problem in LilyPad Vortex.

Summary

If you, your salespeople, your warehouse employees, or your customers are struggling to understand Fishbowl Inventory because of a language barrier, take a look at LilyPad Mobile Warehouse and LilyPad Vortex.

Contact Us to find out more about how to make Fishbowl Inventory work better for you.

Fishbowl Inventory Reorder Levels

When it comes to purchasing in Fishbowl Inventory, Reorder Levels can go a long way to help ensure that you have the on-hand quantities that you need, while at the same time, helping you to keep from over-purchasing inventory that will tie up your cash flow.

Reorder Point (Minimum Quantity)

When creating your reorder levels, you will need to choose a Reorder Point, or as some people call it: minimum quantity.  The Reorder Point allows you to set the quantity at which point you will need to re-order your inventory to be able to fulfill the demand for that item.  Our advice is that you keep enough inventory on hand to be able to fulfill all sales and manufacturing activities that happen from one order period to another.  This quantity can vary widely from one item to the next, depending on your sales and use of those items.  For that reason, it may be wise to monitor your activities over a period of time so that you can have a more educated approach to setting your Reorder Points.

Order Up To Level (Maximum Quantity)

On the other side of the spectrum, you will need to determine what your Order Up To Level will be.  In other words, this is the maximum quantity that you can have on hand for any given item.  When you reorder your parts, one of the difficulties of maintaining your warehouse is the fact that you need to have space to put everything that is coming in.  If you are forced to put inventory into spaces where it doesn’t belong, there can be a ripple effect that can cause problems in other areas of the warehouse.  Before long, you could be facing a time-consuming, expensive fix that could have been avoided.

By Location Group, or Company-Wide

There are two options when using Reorder Levels:

  1. Company-Wide.  This option will allow you to set one Reorder Point and one Order Up To Level for each of your parts.  This is a simple and effective option if you only have one Location Group in Fishbowl, or if you want to keep track of overall inventory rather than separating it by Location Group.
  2. Location Group.  This option allows you to create Reorder Points and Order Up To Levels for each of your parts for each Location Group.  You will be able to set varying inventory levels for each of your warehouses to account for the different sizes or capacities within those warehouses.

Auto-Reorder

After you have set up your Reorder Levels, you can now use the Reorder Report, and the Auto-PO function more effectively.

The Reorder Report (a standard report that comes with the Fishbowl Inventory installation) will show you what inventory needs to be purchased in order to fulfill current demand.  When you set up Reorder Levels, those numbers are included on the report in order to help you keep the right amount of inventory on hand at all times.

The Auto-PO function will also take the Reorder Levels into consideration when calculating the quantities that need to be reordered.  This feature of Fishbowl Inventory can work without having Reorder Levels set up, but, much like the Reorder Report, you will be prompted to order enough inventory to keep your warehouse properly stocked if you have set up your Reorder Levels.

Auto ROP

Remember: Fishbowl Inventory also has the option to automatically calculate your reorder levels based on historical transactions.  Make sure you have plenty of transaction history (3 to 6 months) in Fishbowl Inventory before you go down this road, though.  Otherwise, your reorder levels could be skewed.

As always, feel free to comment below, or contact us with any questions.

Fishbowl Inventory Custom Tracking

Fishbowl Inventory gives you the ability to set up custom tracking on each of your parts.  For example, if you need to keep track of a Batch Number, or Creation Date for your parts, you can create custom tracking for your parts, and then add the information as your inventory comes into Fishbowl Inventory via Purchase Orders, Work Orders, etc.

Red 3D barcode

The Setup

The setup is fairly simple.  Just go into the Part Module, and then open the Module Options (click Tools->Module Options).  Once you’re in the Module Options, navigate to the “Tracking” tab.  You should see some tracking options that come with the database by default.  You can either edit the existing tracking options, or you can create a new one.

You will have eight options when choosing what type of tracking you’re dealing with:

  • Text
  • Date
  • Expiration Date
  • Serial Number
  • Money
  • Quantity
  • Count
  • Checkbox

Once you determine the type and have entered the Name and Abbreviation, you can then begin activating that tracking for all of the parts you want to track.

Activate Custom Tracking on Your Parts

After you have created your custom tracking options, you need to determine which of your parts you want to track by those options.  To turn the tracking on, open the part and navigate to the “Details” tab.  About halfway down the page, you will see the Tracking section.  You will click the checkbox to the left of the tracking option and then save your changes.  If you have inventory already on hand for that part, you will be prompted to enter the tracking information for that inventory before you can continue to the next activity.

How Custom Tracking Comes Into Play

As soon as you bring new inventory into your Fishbowl Inventory database, you will have to assign the tracking information (if your parts are tracked, that is).  Once the tracking information has been assigned, you will then be able to see that information in the Inventory Module.  You will also be required to choose specific tracking information when picking inventory for Sales Orders, Manufacture Orders, etc.  Essentially, the tracking information follows the part from the beginning of its life cycle in Fishbowl Inventory until it leaves the system.

Remember: if you decide to use custom tracking in your Fishbowl Inventory database, you are making a commitment.  Tracking your parts brings an extra layer of accountability, and therefore, it takes more effort on your part.  Some people go into it blindly, and then find that they become swamped with the extra effort that they are putting into their system.  If nothing else, be prepared for the extra time you will spend in Fishbowl.

As always, feel free to comment or contact us with any questions you have.

Changing Units of Measure in Fishbowl Inventory

Units of Measure can be a tricky thing in Fishbowl Inventory, especially if you are trying to change them after your parts have already been loaded.  Here are a few things you need to be aware of when trying to change your Parts’ Units of Measure.

Unit of Measure

You May Need to Remove the Vendor Association

If your Vendor’s Units of Measure don’t match the Unit of Measure that you intend for your Part, Fishbowl Inventory will not allow it.  The vendor’s Unit of Measure must match the new Unit of Measure.  Alternatively, you can remove the Vendor associations, and then restore them after the change has been made.

You Must Remove the Part From Associated Bills of Materials

If your part is on a Bill of Materials, you cannot change the Unit of Measure for that part.  You will have to remove the part from any Bills of Materials that it is associated with, even if the Unit of Measure on the Bill of Materials matches your desired Part Unit of Measure.

The Part and Associated Products Cannot be on Any Open Orders

There’s no way around this.  If your part is on any open orders, or if an associated product is on any open orders, you cannot change the Unit of Measure of the part.  This includes Estimates and Bid Requests.  You will have to either remove the part from open orders or fulfill the orders to then be able to change the Unit of Measure.

You Cannot Change From Any Unit of Measure to “Each”

If you want to change your unit of measure to “Each”, you are out of luck.  The only way to change a Part’s Unit of Measure to “Each” is to inactivate the part, change the part number so that it can be reused, and then create a new part with the “Each” Unit of Measure.

The best course of action, as always, is to double-check that your Units of Measure are correct when you first upload them.  But, if it’s too late for that, follow the above steps to make the needed changes.

As always, leave a comment, or contact us with any feedback or questions.