How to Make Fishbowl Inventory Work Better for Your Business


Optimize your Fishbowl Inventory software for maximum business efficiency
Optimize your Fishbowl Inventory software for maximum business efficiency.

Effective inventory management is crucial for any business to ensure that the right products are available to customers when they need them, while maximizing your own business processes. However, managing inventory can be a daunting task, particularly for small businesses. Fishbowl Inventory is a popular inventory management software that helps businesses streamline their stock management and supply chain processes, but is your business maximizing its full potential? Let’s cover how your business can run your Fishbowl software at full power.

Clean up your data

One of the most important steps businesses can take to make the most of Fishbowl Inventory is to ensure that their data is clean and accurate. This means regularly checking and updating product information, stock levels, and purchase orders. By keeping your data up-to-date, you can ensure that Fishbowl Inventory accurately reflects your current stock levels and order fulfillment needs. Clean up your businesses by:

  • Regularly updating product information, including product names, descriptions, and prices.
  • Ensuring stock levels are accurate and reflect the actual inventory on hand.
  • Reviewing purchase orders to ensure that they are up-to-date and reflect your current needs.
  • Removing obsolete or discontinued products from the system to prevent confusion and errors.
Integrating barcodes and barcode scanners can ramp up your Fishbowl effectiveness
Integrating barcodes and barcode scanners can ramp up your Fishbowl effectiveness.

Barcode Scanning

Implementing mobile barcode scanning is a powerful way to streamline your inventory management process and increase efficiency across the board. Solutions like Mobile Warehouse provides a mobile app that allows you to scan barcodes using your smartphone or tablet, and integrate directly into Fishbowl Inventory with benefits like:

  • Improved accuracy: Mobile barcode scanning helps reduce errors and improve accuracy by eliminating the need for manual data entry. With just a quick scan, you can update stock levels, fulfill orders, and more.
  • Increased efficiency: Mobile barcode scanning can help speed up your inventory management process by eliminating the need for manual data entry and reducing the time it takes to locate products in your warehouse.
  • Real-time data: Mobile barcode scanning allows you to update your inventory in real-time, providing you with up-to-date information on stock levels and product locations. This can help you make informed decisions about your inventory management process and avoid stockouts.
  • Flexibility: With the Mobile Warehouse app, you can scan barcodes using your smartphone or tablet, providing you with the flexibility to manage your inventory on the go. This can be especially useful for businesses with multiple locations or for employees who need to access inventory information from different locations.

Optimize your inventory

Organization is a key factor to optimize the use of Fishbowl Inventory, and ensures that your inventory is well-organized. 

  • Grouping similar products together to make them easier to locate and track.
  • Using barcodes to streamline the pick and pack process and reduce errors.
  • Implementing an ABC analysis to prioritize the most important products and ensure that they are always in stock.
  • Regularly conducting inventory counts and reconciling any discrepancies to ensure that your stock levels are accurate.

Use automation tools

Fishbowl Inventory offers a range of automation tools that can help businesses save time and improve efficiency. 

  • Automatic reorder points automatically generate purchase orders when stock levels fall below a certain threshold.
  • Barcode scanning speeds up receiving, moving, and shipping items.
  • Drop shipping allows businesses to fulfill orders directly from their suppliers, reducing the need for manual intervention.

Utilize reporting features

You can’t adjust business inventory if you don’t know your own numbers, and that is where the value of using Fishbowl Inventory’s reporting features is so important.. These features provide the vital data insights into your inventory and supply chain processes, enabling you to make more informed decisions. A handful of report examples you can generate with Fishbowl Inventory include:

  • Inventory Valuation Reports provide an overview of the value of your current inventory.
  • Sales Reports show you which products are selling well and which are not.
  • Purchase Order Reports help you track your purchasing history and identify any areas for improvement.

(here’s a quick video on some more reports)

Bringing a Fishbowl Expert onboard can make all the difference in your inventory process
Bringing a Fishbowl Expert onboard can make all the difference in your inventory process.

Training and Support from Verified Partners

Purchasing training for the Fishbowl Inventory software can be a great investment for your business, and with Fishbowl verified partners, your business can receive additional onboarding, training, and support to fully optimize the benefits of the software and avoid potential errors and inefficiencies. Here are some reasons why you should consider purchasing verified partner training for your Fishbowl software:

  • Comprehensive training: Proper onboarding starts you and your employees with best practices and knowledge of the software’s features and functionalities. This training will create a knowledge base to leverage the software’s capabilities and improve your management process.
  • Customizable training: Depending on your business needs, you can purchase different levels of training, from basic to advanced, and even industry specific training tailored to your business needs. This ensures that your employees are trained on the specific features that are relevant to your business and can make the most of the software.
  • Time-saving: By purchasing training, you can avoid the time and effort it takes to learn the software on your own and reduce further complications down the road. Instead of slowly learning by trial and error,  you can get up to speed quickly and efficiently, and start using the software to improve your inventory management process right away.
  • Ongoing support: Support from a Fishbowl Partner provides you with ongoing support and resources, such as access to training materials and online resources, while also providing the most up-to-date information. 

To purchase training for Fishbowl Inventory, you can contact a Fishbowl Partner to start your intake, evaluate your business needs, and start in-person or online training, depending on your preferences and availability.


Fishbowl Inventory is a powerful tool for small businesses to manage their inventory and streamline their supply chain processes, and it can be continually improved by  following the tips outlined in this post. Whether it’s cleaning up your data,  incorporating barcode scanning, optimizing your inventory, using automation tools, utilizing reporting features, or receiving partner verified training,  there are many ways to make the most of Fishbowl Inventory and boost your small business’s success.

How Inventory Software Can Improve Your Pallet Handling Process

moving inventory with pallets saves time
moving inventory with pallets saves time

Pallet handling can be a challenging process for manufacturers and warehouses due to the risk of human error, inefficient workflows, lack of visibility, or even lack of proper tools. However, inventory software can help streamline the process and make it more accurate, efficient, and transparent. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of inventory software for pallet handling and how it can help you optimize your workflows.

The Challenges of Pallet Handling

Before we dive into how inventory software can help with pallet handling, let’s take a look at some of the challenges that manufacturers and warehouses face:

  • Human error: Pallet handling involves a lot of manual data entry, which increases the risk of errors. The greater the item count of the pallet, the higher the probability for mistakes.
  • Inefficient processes: Pallet handling can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process if not optimized for your space.
  • Lack of visibility: Without real-time inventory tracking, it can be difficult to know the exact location and status of your pallets.
  • Lack of proper tools: without integrated barcodes and barcode scanners, a lot of time is lost to simply process a pallet and have its contents ready for storage or manufacturing.

How Inventory Software Can Help

Inventory software can improve the pallet handling process in several ways:

  • Increased accuracy: By using barcode scanners and automated data entry, inventory software can greatly reduce the risk of human error in pallet handling.
  • Optimized workflows: With customizable workflows, you can tailor the pallet handling process to your specific needs and optimize it for maximum efficiency.
  • Real-time visibility: With real-time inventory tracking, you’ll always know the location and status of your pallets, which can help you prevent stockouts and overstocks.
  • Mobile inventory software: By using mobile inventory software, workers can move around the warehouse while scanning barcodes and updating inventory data in real-time.
pallets can store and move large amounts of inventory
pallets can store and move large amounts of inventory

Key Features of Inventory Software for Pallet Handling

If you’re considering using inventory software for pallet handling, here are some key features to look for:

  • Barcode scanners: Barcode scanners are an essential tool for accurate and efficient data entry in pallet handling.
  • Real-time inventory tracking: Real-time inventory tracking can help you prevent stockouts and overstocks by giving you visibility into your inventory levels.
  • Customizable workflows: Creating a workflow custom to your company and process optimizes the entire handling process for maximum efficiency and accuracy.
  • Automated alerts and notifications: Automated alerts and notifications can help you stay informed of any issues or changes in your inventory.

How Can Pallet Management Software Improve Your Business?

Imagine a manufacturing company that has been relying on a manual process for pallet handling. The employees are required to manually record the movement of every pallet and inventory change on a spreadsheet. As a result, there are several instances of errors, delays, and inaccuracies in the process, and now employees have to spend extra time correcting these errors, leading to decreased productivity and increased operational costs. The company realizes the need to implement inventory software for pallet handling to improve the process.

By implementing inventory software, the company can streamline the pallet handling process, reduce errors, and increase efficiency. The software can automate data entry through barcode scanning, providing accurate and real-time inventory tracking. Additionally, the software can enable customizable workflows that optimize the pallet handling process to meet the specific needs of the company.

This implementation can save the company both time and money. The automation of data entry can reduce the amount of time spent on manual processes, and the real-time visibility into inventory levels can help prevent stockouts and overstocks, ultimately reducing operational costs. The use of inventory software can also reduce errors, which can minimize the time required for employees to correct these errors, freeing up their time (and yours) for more important tasks.

mobile warehouse software makes pallet handling easy
mobile warehouse software makes pallet handling easy

Last Piece of the Pallet Handling Puzzle

If a businesses wants to fully optimize their pallet handling process, they would integrate a mobile warehouse app that provides Pallet Management Functionality. This type of software provides the ultimate efficiency in its use of inventory software, allowing users to receive, move, and pick entire pallets without having to first process every item or material on the pallet.

With a pallet management function, employees can receive entire pallets directly off a truck, scan them into the system using a barcode scanner, or build entire pallets in a single module. The Mobile Warehouse App automatically updates the inventory levels and provides real-time insight into the current stock levels. Users can also move entire pallets from one location to another using the app, and automatically update inventory levels to reflect new pallet locations.

Pallet Management provides the ultimate efficiency of process, time, and accuracy.


By using inventory software, you can greatly improve the pallet handling process in your manufacturing or warehouse setting. Whether you’re looking to reduce errors, optimize workflows, or gain real-time visibility into your inventory levels, inventory software can help you achieve your goals. Be sure to look for key features like barcode scanners, real-time inventory tracking, and customizable workflows when choosing an inventory software solution for your pallet handling process. With the right software and workflows in place, you’ll be able to streamline your operations and achieve greater efficiency and accuracy.


Simplify multi-channel sales with a CSV Data Exchange

Here’s a familiar scenario:

You sell products online, but like many e-commerce based businesses, you want to sell across as many available channels as possible to maximize reach and potential revenue. More channels means more merchants, more shopping carts, more potential for conflicting data across orders and inventory, and more headaches. In this case, how can a business get more, but not have to do a lot more? It comes down to what (file) type you are and how you use it.

What is CSV?

Comma Separated Values, or CSV, is a file format for exchanging data between different software and tools, and it is an important topic we’ve covered in the past. CSV provides a simple and straightforward way to store data in a text file, where each line represents a row in the data and each comma-separated value represents a column. CSV files can be easily created and stored in spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or LibreOffice Calc, making it a popular choice for exchanging data between different applications and platforms.

Using CSV for data exchange provides simplicity, flexibility, and wide compatibility with different software and solutions, meaning you can quickly transfer data between different systems, automate data processes, and store large amounts of data in a structured and organized manner.

How to Create a CSV File for Inventory Management in a Business

Creating a CSV file for inventory management in a business is a straightforward process that requires an investment of time and can be created with the following steps:

  1. Pick a spreadsheet program.
  2. Create a new sheet or workbook to store the inventory data.
  3. Define the columns for the inventory data, including columns for item name, item code, item description, quantity, and any other relevant information for your business–Fishbowl has import/export instructions  that can be used for reference in designing your own sheet.
  4. Enter the data for each item in the inventory into the appropriate columns.
  5. Save the file as a CSV file format .
  6. Import the data into the inventory management system or database by following the system’s instructions for importing data from a CSV file.

By following these steps, businesses can easily create a CSV file for inventory management, allowing them to import and export inventory data for analysis and decision-making.

Why CSV files matter in inventory management

Consider what a simplified file format provides for an inventory based business:

  1. Ease of use: CSV files can be easily created and edited using spreadsheet programs, making it a simple process to manage inventory data.
  2. Data accuracy: By using a spreadsheet program to create and edit CSV files, businesses can ensure that the data is clean, consistent, and accurate, reducing the risk of errors in the inventory data.
  3. Time-saving: With the ability to import and export large amounts of data quickly and easily, businesses can save time compared to manual data entry or using other file formats.
  4. Scalability: CSV files can be used for small data sets or large data sets, making it an ideal solution for businesses of any size.
  5. Compatibility: CSV files are compatible with a wide range of software, including database systems, inventory management systems, and spreadsheet programs, making it easy to exchange data between different systems.

Speaking of Compatibility…

Compatibility is a key feature to CSV files in their ability to read and capture, import and export, with any real inventory system, and provides all the pieces to maximize our e-commerce, multi-channel scenario at the start.

  • Your business can create CSV files to capture all necessary item information
  • An inventory system can import and export with that CSV data
  • A CSV Data Exchange Hub can run all your CSV data in real-time across any connected channel and cart

A real world use case is a business employing their CSV data exchange to send sales orders to their 3PL warehouse for shipping, and then through the same data exchange pull back the shipping info from the 3PL, in the same format, into the business’ inventory software.

The end result is a streamlined process with maximized channel potential to grow your business and drastically reduce error and labor costs.

Best practices for working with CSV data

Working with CSV data requires following best practices to ensure data cleanliness and consistency, privacy and security, and to handle large data sets. Here are some tips:

  • Keep the data is clean and consistent, with no errors or missing values
  • Ensure that sensitive data is protected either by encrypting the data or storing it in a secure location
  • For large data sets, split the data into smaller files or use compression to reduce the file size

What to Avoid When Creating CSV Data for Inventory Management in E-Commerce

While a CSV data exchange is a straightforward and simple method for managing inventory data, there are a few common mistakes to avoid in order to ensure that the data is accurate and effective.

Here are some things to avoid when creating CSV data for inventory management in a business:

  1. Inconsistent data format: Using the same format throughout the CSV file is important for accurate data analysis. This includes using the same number of columns, data types, and units of measurement.
  2. Incorrect data: Accurate data is essential to all business processes, including checking for typos, missing data, or incorrect data.
  3. Sensitive data in plain text: If the CSV file contains sensitive data, such as personal information or financial data, it is important to either encrypt the data or store it in a secure location to protect it from unauthorized access.
  4. Overcomplicating the data: While it may be tempting to add additional data to the CSV file, it is important to keep the data simple and straightforward to ensure it’s easy to import and analyze.
  5. Ignoring best practices for large data sets: If the CSV file contains a large amount of data, follow best practices for working with large data sets, such as splitting the data into smaller files or using data compression.


CSV is a simple and straightforward file format for exchanging data between different software and tools across your e-commerce business. With its ease of use and wide compatibility, it is a popular choice for data exchange, whether for small or large data sets. By following best practices and using tools such as spreadsheet programs, you can easily and effectively streamline your e-commerce data and simplify your multi-channel sales with a CSV Data Exchange.

Maximizing Your Business Efficiency with 2D Barcode Scanning

Bar coding has revolutionized the way businesses manage their inventory and track their products, but the barcode scanner and UPC (universal product code) was first instituted in a small grocery chain back in 1974. Technology has made an advancement or two since then, but a lot of inventory based companies still rely on barcodes technology that is nearly 50 years old, despite the need for greater data capture.

1D vs 2D Barcodes

Like any advancing technology, the differences between a 1D and 2D scanner come down to data, how much they can read, and the amount of information they can store.

1D barcode scanners, also known as linear barcode scanners, are designed to read traditional barcodes that are made up of a series of parallel lines of varying widths. These barcodes typically store a limited amount of information, such as a product’s identifier number or price, and are commonly used in retail settings for inventory management, point-of-sale transactions, or warehouse logistics. 1D barcode scanners typically use a laser to read the barcodes and are often created in a “gun” form factor.

2D barcode scanners on the other hand, are capable of reading a wider variety of barcode formats that use patterns of squares, dots, and other shapes to store information, and it is this ability to store significantly more data than 1D barcodes. 2D barcodes can store up to 2000 characters, and can be used to store almost any variety of information, including images, website addresses, and binary data. 

2D barcode scanners are also produced in more form actors, and can be either handheld or fixed and often use imaging technology to read the barcodes.

Examples of 2D barcodes readers

  • Handheld barcode scanners: Portable barcode scanners equipped with imaging technology for scanning 2D barcodes.
  • Fixed barcode scanners: Mounted barcode scanners that are typically used in industrial and manufacturing settings for scanning large quantities of barcodes.
  • Smartphones: Most smartphones equipped with a camera and a barcode scanning app can read 2D barcodes.
  • Tablets: Similar to smartphones, many tablets with cameras and barcode scanning apps can also read 2D barcodes.
  • Barcode verification devices: These specialized devices are used to check the quality of barcodes and ensure they are easily readable by barcode scanning devices.
  • Automated data collection systems: These systems use multiple barcode scanning devices to collect and process data in real-time, such as in a warehouse or manufacturing environment.

Overall, the type of 2D device used to read 2D barcodes will depend on the specific application and the needs of the business.

What types of businesses benefit from 2D scanning?

While both 1D and 2D barcode scanners serve the purpose of reading barcodes, the difference lies in the type of barcodes they can read and the amount of information they can store. 2D barcode scanning is more versatile and can be used in a wider variety of applications, while 1D barcode scanning is more limited in its information capture.

2D barcode scanning is particularly useful for businesses that need to encode a large amount of data while still keeping the physical size of the barcode small. This makes it ideal for supply chain and manufacturing applications where items need to be scanned as they move on assembly lines or conveyors, or need to capture and store larger amounts of item or material data.

Businesses that can benefit from using 2D barcode scanning:

  • Manufacturing companies that need to track products and components throughout the production process
  • Logistics and distribution companies that need to track inventory and packages as they move through the supply chain
  • Healthcare providers that need to track medical equipment, patient information, and maintain records for federal compliance
  • Food and Beverage manufacturers that need to track ingredients, production processes, and also want to maintain a reliable record for varying agency compliance
  • Retail companies that want to improve inventory management and reduce manual data entry
  • Transportation companies that need to track cargo and shipping containers from origin to destination

Every business and industry is different, but the more your products rely on tiers of data, the greater the benefit of 2D barcodes and devices.

How can a business create 2D barcodes?

Here are some general steps for creating a 2D barcode:

  1. Choose a 2D barcode format: There are several different types of 2D barcodes available, including Data Matrix, QR Code, PDF417, and others. Each format has its own set of features and capabilities, so choose the one that best meets your needs.
  2. Generate the barcode data: Once you’ve chosen a format, you’ll need to generate the data that will be encoded in the barcode. This data can include item numbers, production dates, lot numbers, or any other information valuable to your company.
  3. Use a barcode generator software: There are many barcode generator softwares available, such as Barcode Generator, Barcode Maker, and QR Code Generator, that can be used to create 2D barcodes. 
  4. Print the barcode: Once you’ve generated the barcode, you’ll need to print it out so that it can be scanned, and this can be done using a regular printer or a specialized barcode printer.
  5. Test, test, test the barcode: Before you start using the barcode, always test it to make sure it can be read by a scanner and that the information is accurate. Depending on your company’s process, using a smartphone scanner can be used as a secondary testing method to ensure the data is correctly decoded.
  6. Implement the barcode: Once you’ve created and tested the barcode, you can start using it in your business. This may involve adding the barcode to products, packaging, or other items, or using it as part of a larger tracking and inventory management system.

Note: If you don’t have the technical know-how to create the barcode yourself, there are companies that offer barcode generation services that you can use to create the barcode for you.

How to incorporating 2D scanning 

Let’s turn this information into an actionable plan specific to your operation, following these steps.

  1. Identify your specific business needs and why you need it. Consider the types of information you need to track, how you plan to use it, and how it will affect your process across the business.
  2. Choose the right 2D barcode format: as previously covered, there are several different types of 2D barcodes available, including Data Matrix, QR Code, PDF417, and others. Choose the format that best meets your needs and consider factors such as the amount of data you need to store, how much real estate the barcode takes up on storage shelves or racks, and if your data needs may expand in the future.
  3. Implement the technology: your steps may involve installing barcode scanning devices, creating barcodes, and training your employees on how to use the technology. Consider working with a company that specializes in barcode technology to ensure a smooth implementation process and reduced downtime.
  4. Train employees: Your employees will be using the 2D scanning technology on a daily basis, so it’s important to provide proper training. Teach them how to properly use the scanning devices and how to interpret the data they capture. This will help ensure accurate data collection and processing.
  5. Test and refine the system: Once you have implemented the 2D scanning technology, it’s important to test it and refine the system as needed. This may involve making changes to the way you encode the data, adjusting the scanning devices, or even changing layouts to best suit the process. Continuously monitoring the system and making improvements will help ensure it operates at peak efficiency.


For today’s inventory businesses, 2d scanning has become a crucial tool for streamlining and optimizing the management of goods and supplies, while meeting the competitive demands of increasing efficiency. By using 2d scanning, businesses can reduce manual errors, increase efficiency and productivity, and improve overall accuracy in tracking inventory levels. For some companies 1D scanning may be enough, but the growing need for data and data tracking solutions requires more capable scanning tools for a more capable business.