What Does the Next Release of Fishbowl Inventory Mean For You?

In February, Fishbowl Inventory is planning their first release of 2017, and we bet you’re wondering what to expect.  Is it going to be a simple update to fix bugs, a complete makeover of the software, or something in between?  Let’s see what Fishbowl has to say!

The BIG News: They’re Changing Their Database Management System!

Fishbowl is changing from the Firebird database manager to a MySQL database manager.  What does this mean for all of us?  MySQL is supposed to be faster, meaning that you will have less waiting time while processing your orders.  MySQL is also more stable.  Hopefully, this means that there will be fewer reasons to call the Fishbowl Support Team (not that we don’t love talking to support).

Let’s Not Forget Some of the Other Feature Updates

Among the various fixes and updates, you should see the following in the new release:

  • Export to/import from XLS and XLSX files.  What does that mean?  It means that you can use regular excel files to change information in, add information to, or remove information from, Fishbowl.  The only option we used to have is to use .csv files, which can still be manipulated in excel, but are sometimes a little finicky.
  • Adding a markup to your shipping rates.  This will help all of you who are using Carton-Based Shipping, and are sick of manually increasing the shipping prices on the sales order after they have been added from the shipping module.  It looks like this is going to be a percentage-based markup.  We’re all interested to see how it works.
  • There is now a button in the Bill of Materials Module that will allow you to access the multi-level bill of materials report.  While this report is not new, and accessibility to the report from the Bill of Materials Module is not a novel concept, it might be more fun to click the button, rather than opening the drop-down “Reports” menu.

We Can Fix It

Some Things to Remember When Updating, and How we Can Help:

  1. Your custom reports may not work any more.  Don’t worry, we can fix them!
  2. Your integrations may break (check with your supplier to see if your integration is compatible).  We can fix these, as well!
  3. The world may end!  Well, maybe not, but we suggest you don’t update to the newest version of Fishbowl for at least 3 to 4 weeks after the release.  We know…it’s tempting to hit the upgrade button as soon as it becomes available.  Don’t give in!  We need to give enough time for them to figure out all of the bugs.
  4. Once you’re ready to pull the trigger, it sounds like the update may take a while…so, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to complete the update before beginning work for the day.

Remember, we are here to help with anything related to Fishbowl.  Let us know if you have any questions about all  of the upcoming changes to Fishbowl.

Saying Farewell to 2016

As we come to the end of the year, it’s customary to look back a little. Sometimes it is hard to do in a business which is always looking forward.

However, when you get a chance, the things that stick out are the people. Although the products and places are important, it’s the people that make the difference.

Celebrating The Past

This year we celebrated our 10th year of partnership with Fishbowl. I remember vividly being at a Client and having them show us this software called Fishbowl which they had just bought. At the time, we were working with other software solutions and were impressed enough by what we saw to give them a call. They told us what a big company they were and we said the same. Both of us stretched the truth a bit. We went to partner training that April which Fishbowl had conveniently scheduled for the same time as the Brigham Young University and Utah Valley State College (now Utah Valley University) commencements, so the nearest hotel rooms were 50 miles away. First discovery: Utah has traffic. Second discovery: outstanding people and a great product.  A lot has changed since then but the basis of the relationship has never faltered – trust and respect. Thanks for 10 great years and many more.

partnership

Celebrating The Present

Another thing we celebrate is how cool our clients are. We have the most interesting people use our products and services.  It is amazing.  From day to day, week to week, we “work” for distributors and manufacturers who make and sell just about anything you can imagine, and some you can’t (believe me). Just getting to interact with all these people and their businesses makes this the greatest job in the world. This year we learned about whoopee cushions, organic goat feed, custom 4-wheel drive vehicles, gluing guns, and wine bottles (empty, unfortunately) to name a few.  In blogs to come, we’ll introduce you to some of them.

Celebrating The Future

business-growth

This year we also expanded in other ways, adding people and even a new office in sunny Florida. This is either to service our growing client base in the Southeast or to give us a respite from the Northern winters – you guess. Our team continues to grow with talented, committed teammates offering the best service and smarts in the business.

And of course, we have a new website with a blog which will remind us to share with you and thank you more often. That may turn out to be the best development of all of them.

Sharpe Concepts and LilyPad Applications release LilyPad Mobile Warehouse 3.0

Pick in LMW

LilyPad Applications have released our next leap forward with LilyPad Mobile Warehouse. Master Pack functionality now gives the user more data input options by utilizing Outer Box (Master Pack) and Inner Box (Inner Pack) UPC codes, and associated quantity calculations, to identify picking, packing, and receiving in bulk. The Master Pack functionality is also utilized in nearly all LilyPad Mobile Warehouse modules.

Master Pack functionality is only available in LilyPad Mobile Warehouse, solidifying LilyPad Applications’ top leader standing as THE Fishbowl Premier Partner!

But wait, there’s more!!!

LilyPad Mobile Warehouse now allows the user to Apply Payments to Sales Order creation including taking credit card payments through a third party gateway platform built into LilyPad Mobile Warehouse.

Check out our Release Notes for more information or click here to Get Involved with LilyPad today!

Scan 2D Barcodes with the New LilyPad Add-on to Fishbowl

With the help of LilyPad Applications’ new Mobile Warehouse product, Fishbowl customers can now scan 2D barcodes rather than just 1D barcodes. This is a big deal because it lets you do much more with your barcode scanners in a shorter amount of time. You can scan a single barcode and populate dozens of fields in Fishbowl at the same time.

To understand how this works, let’s first talk about the difference between 1D and 2D barcodes.
barcode-xt2

1D vs. 2D Barcodes

Fishbowl has traditionally allowed companies to scan UPCs and other linear or 1D barcodes to:

  • Access detailed part information
  • Cycle count inventory
  • Update inventory quantities
  • Reorder products
  • And more

Each 1D barcode is connected to a specific file in Fishbowl’s database, and scanning it allows you to gain access to the data in that file. UPCs and other similar barcodes are generally rectangular in shape and made up of a number of white and black lines along with various numbers and/or letters on the top or bottom.

2D barcodes, on the other hand, are often smaller and contain all sorts of nonlinear designs, such as pixels, dots, and squares. Think of QR codes. Those are 2D barcodes, and they are scanned not just horizontally but vertically, as well. Thus, they can contain geometrically more information than standard 1D barcodes.

1D barcodes can be scanned with a laser scanner while 2D barcodes can only be read by using a device that takes a picture of them and treats them as an image, not just a string of code. Luckily, most smartphones and tablets work well in this capacity.

LilyPad Mobile Warehouse

Let’s return to LilyPad Mobile Warehouse. As noted earlier, this solution gives Fishbowl customers the ability to create, map, and scan 2D barcodes.

“Now, an electronics distributor can pull in 100 serial numbers off a case of product, or a food packager can pull part number, price, lot number, and expiration date, all from a single scan,” said Sal Cucinella, CEO of LilyPad Applications.

This is particularly useful for companies in the following industries:

  • Electronics
  • Food
  • Medical
  • Pharmaceutical