Fishbowl Products–Selling Your Parts in Fishbowl

This is the second post about how to differentiate between Fishbowl Parts and Products…and some details about each.  In this post, we will discover how a Product is used, and maybe you’ll even find out some things that you didn’t know about your own products.

Money

What is a Product?

In Fishbowl, a Product is anything that you sell…so, if you put it on a Sales Order, it is considered a Product.  Period.  Yes, even samples are considered Products.

What Are the Different Types of Products, and What Can You do With Them?

Although there are many types of Parts in Fishbowl (as discussed in our last blog post), you can only associate products with the following types of parts: Inventory, Service, Non-Inventory, and Shipping.  This makes sense, if you think about it.  You wouldn’t be selling Overhead, Internal Use parts, or Labor (at least, not directly).

Products

Part and Product Association

As we mentioned in our last blog post, you can associate multiple Products with one Part.  This is important in many industries when you want to use the same inventory, but sell it to your customers with different names, or in different Unit Of Measure quantities.  For example, let’s say that you sell Part A to Customer 1 as Product X, but to Customer 2, you sell that same Part as Product Y.  You want to pull from the same pool of inventory, but you want your customers to see different things when they purchase your products.  That is why you can associate multiple Products with one Part.  Are you confused yet?

Another great thing to know about Products is the Kitting feature.  A Kit is really just a group of Products that are sold together as a package deal.  This is different than manufacturing, because you do not build a Kit and stock it on your shelves.  In this case, the Kit is placed on a Sales Order, and each of the Products would be picked individually from your shelves after the order has been entered.  If you are interested in creating Kits, you can do so in the Product Module (just use the little black arrow next to “New”).

We hope this information has helped clear up some of the confusion about Parts vs. Products in Fishbowl.  As always, you are welcome to let us know if you need more explanation on this topic.

Fishbowl Parts vs. Products

In this series, we will explore the differences between a part and a product in Fishbowl Inventory.  If you are new to Fishbowl, sometimes this can be a confusing concept, especially if you are coming from QuickBooks, which only uses “Items”.  In this post, let’s talk about how Fishbowl treats Parts.

PartsWhat is a Part?

In Fishbowl, Parts are anything that can be purchased, consumed, transferred, picked, manufactured, cycled, scrapped, etc.  In other words, a Part is what you use in your everyday business.  The only thing you cannot do with a Part, in Fishbowl, is sell it.  Selling is reserved for your Products.  We will talk more about products in our next post.

What Are the Different Types of Parts, and What Can You Do With Them?

  • Inventory.  Inventory-type parts are the most common for most businesses…for obvious reasons.  Inventory-type parts can be purchased, received, tracked (e.g. serial numbers, lot numbers, and expiration dates), consumed during manufacturing, created from manufacturing activities, and inventoried.
  • Non-Inventory, Service, Internal Use, Capital Equipment, and Shipping.  All of these part types can be purchased,received, consumed during manufacturing, and created from manufacturing activities (though this may not be wise, from an accounting standpoint).  These parts cannot be tracked by Serial Number, Lot Number, Expiration Date, etc.  They also cannot be inventoried.
  • Labor and Overhead.  The only use for Labor- and Overhead-type parts is in the Manufacturing module.  These parts cannot be purchased, nor can they be received.  However, they can be consumed or created during the manufacturing process.

Part and Product Association

One last thing to remember about Fishbowl Parts:

You can have multiple Products associated with one Part, but you cannot have multiple Parts associated with one Product.  Just let that sink in for a minute.

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.