Inventory Technology for Food Manufacturers

In the food manufacturing industry, inventory management is a critical cornerstone, ensuring a smooth transition from raw materials to finished products on supermarket shelves. The essence of proficient inventory management lies in the delicate balance it strikes – guaranteeing product availability while minimizing waste. 

With the right Inventory Technology, food manufacturers are provided solutions that streamline processes, ensure compliance, and ultimately safeguard a company’s reputation.

Why Modern Inventory Technology is Essential

The current landscape of food manufacturing is anything but simple. Market volatility, fluctuating consumer demands, and stringent safety standards have rendered traditional inventory practices obsolete. Modern inventory technologies provide the agility, insight, and precision necessary to navigate this dynamic environment. Their adoption is no longer a luxury but a necessity for businesses keen on maintaining operational continuity and competitive advantage.

Key Challenges in Food Manufacturing Inventory

Food manufacturers face unique challenges: managing perishable goods, navigating a labyrinth of safety regulations, and meeting the ever-evolving tastes of consumers. These factors compound the need for an inventory system that’s both responsive and reliable. The loss implications extend beyond just capital but also affect consumer trust and brand integrity.

ERP Systems

Enter ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, the unsung heroes in the inventory management saga. These comprehensive software suites integrate various business processes into one unified system. For food manufacturers, this means a harmonious symphony of data from procurement, production, quality control, and inventory management, all accessible from a centralized dashboard.

ERP systems are invaluable for their real-time monitoring capability, providing a bird’s eye view of stock levels. They help in maintaining the ideal buffer, preventing stock-outs without necessitating excess storage capacity. Moreover, their predictive analysis can forecast potential demand based on historical data, seasonal trends, and market analysis, ensuring manufacturers are prepared for market fluctuations.

Warehouse Technologies

The physical handling of inventory also needs a technological facelift. Mobile Warehouse Solutions,for instance, optimize item management and can rapidly process orders to expedite delivery to retailers. These technologies also include additional 2D Barcode capabilities that provide greater management of item information.

These warehouse technologies also play a pivotal role in managing the product’s life cycle, and in an industry where goods have a limited shelf life, systems that can expedite the ‘first-expiry-first-out’ rule are indispensable, ensuring that no product goes to waste or, worse, compromises consumer health.

Compliance and Regulations

The food manufacturing sector perhaps grapples with some of the most stringent compliance and safety regulations. Inventory technology in this realm goes beyond mere stock management, extending to maintaining detailed records that stand up to regulatory scrutiny.

With features tailored for compliance management, modern systems can monitor stock based on regulatory criteria, such as expiration dates, storage conditions, and batch tracking. This level of detail is crucial for manufacturers to meet food safety standards, avoid hefty fines, and ensure consumer trust.

Audits and Recalls

In cases of contamination or non-compliance, product recalls are a necessary headache. Advanced inventory systems provide a streamlined approach to this, with traceability features that can pinpoint the product batches in question. During audits, be it internal or external, having a system that provides detailed historical data can expedite the review process, showcasing adherence to compliance and safety protocols. These audits can be further refined for internal review through custom reports.

Moreover, in the unfortunate event of a recall, these systems provide swift responses through their ‘track and trace’ capabilities, minimizing consumer risk and limiting damage to the brand’s reputation. They ensure that manufacturers can quickly isolate and extract the affected goods, providing regulators with the needed information without disrupting the entire operation.

Implementing Technology in Inventory Management

Embracing these sophisticated inventory technologies is not a plug-and-play affair. It requires a systematic approach that considers unique operational dynamics.

Assessing Your Needs

An introspective start is crucial. Manufacturers must evaluate their operational shortcomings, whether it’s lag in data relay, inaccuracies in stock records, or inefficiencies in warehouse utilization. This appraisal is foundational in selecting a system that addresses these gaps head-on.

Planning for Integration

Transitioning to a new technological system is a delicate dance. It necessitates a well-thought-out plan that oversees the integration process, ensuring minimal disruption to ongoing operations. This strategy encompasses installation, compatibility checks with existing systems, and a contingency plan to address teething problems.

Employee Training

A system is only as proficient as the individuals operating it. Comprehensive training sessions are essential to familiarize staff with the new system’s nuances. This human element cannot be understated, as employee buy-in often determines the successful adoption of new technology.

Evaluating Success and Making Adjustments

Post-implementation, the journey doesn’t end. Continuous evaluation measures the system’s efficacy against its intended objectives. These insights inform any necessary adjustments, ensuring the technology delivers on its promise of operational excellence.


Inventory management in food manufacturing is a multifaceted operation, necessitating a robust technological backbone. Modern inventory technology transcends traditional capabilities, offering solutions that are strategic, integrative, and predictive. They provide a competitive edge, safeguarding operational integrity, and, by extension, the bottom line. The investment in these advanced systems goes beyond fiscal implications; it is an investment in sustainability, compliance, and future-readiness in a market that never stands still.


1. How do ERP systems enhance inventory management? 

ERP systems centralize data, allowing for real-time inventory tracking, demand forecasting, and seamless integration with other business processes.

2. Are warehouse technologies cost-effective for small manufacturers? 

Yes, they optimize space, reduce manual errors, and improve efficiency, often leading to cost savings that justify the initial investment.

3. How crucial is inventory technology in regulatory compliance? 

It’s vital. These technologies maintain detailed, accurate records and facilitate rapid response during audits and recalls, ensuring compliance with food safety regulations.

4. Can these technologies ease the audit process? 

Absolutely. They provide auditors with transparent, detailed historical data, simplifying verification of compliance with industry standards.

5. How do manufacturers handle product recalls using advanced inventory systems? 

Advanced systems swiftly identify affected batches, isolate them, and provide rapid, accurate data to regulatory bodies, ensuring efficient recall processes.

Your Online Business Needs More Shopping Carts

More carts can mean more sales for your business
More carts can mean more sales for your business

You have a business, you have a website, and if your site sells products or services of any kind, you have an integrated shopping cart for simple processing and payment. Except business is rarely that simple given how many sales channels the internet can afford us. Different marketplaces, different shops, even different customer bases each bring different challenges that can find solutions in different shopping cart providers.

Let’s cover some benefits, considerations, and even drawbacks to implementing multiple shopping carts for your online business.

Sales Specific Cart

One of the most significant benefits of having multiple shopping is the ability to pick a cart provider based on their best fit for your specific sales channels. If your business has a consumer storefront, but also provides wholesale options, one shopping cart may provide better customer payments and ease of checkout, while another can handle the heavy lift of freight costs and transport. Or your business may only deal in wholesale, with many single location customers, but also sells to large chain providers who require a proper EDI integration. Depending on your business needs, two shopping carts can provide better services specific to the channel need.

Increased Sales and Conversions

Another advantage of using multiple shopping carts is that it can increase the potential profitability and repeat customers for your business. By providing a more personalized shopping experience that is tailored fit to their needs, you reduce the friction to the final sale.

For example, if you sell products at different price points, you could create separate shopping carts for each price range. This way, customers can easily find products that fit their budget and are more likely to make a purchase.

Additionally, in the your effort to expand products and sales, a marketplace may not integrate with your site shopping cart, and you’re required to use a new cart provider.

Better Targeting of Specific Products or Customer Segments

Having multiple shopping carts also allows you to target specific products or customer segments more effectively.

 For example, if you sell both physical and digital products, you could create separate shopping carts for each. This approach can help customers more readily find the type of product they’re interested in, without any confusion. 

If your business offers different payment or shipping options, you could create separate shopping carts for each to make the checkout process smoother.

Pick the ecommerce carts that fit your business
Pick the e-commerce carts that fit your business

Choosing the Right Shopping Carts

Consider these questions in your hunt for the right cart provider:

  • What types of products do you sell?
  • What are the main needs of your customers?
  • Do you sell products at different price points? 
  • Do you offer physical and digital products? 
  • Do you have different customer segments you want to target? 
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the cart providers?

Be sure to review the features and functionality of the shopping carts you’re interested in, from WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, and more, as each has its own set of features, benefits, and costs. 

Drawbacks of Multiple Shopping Carts

While having multiple shopping carts can offer some benefits, there are some potential drawbacks to consider and how it can impact your business.

  1. Confusion for Customers: Having multiple shopping carts on your website can be confusing for customers, especially if they’re new to your site. 
  2. Increased Complexity: Managing multiple shopping carts is more complex than managing a single cart. You’ll need to keep track of inventory, orders, and customer data across multiple carts, which can be time-consuming and prone to human error.
  3. Increased Costs: If you’re using a third-party shopping cart provider, having multiple carts also means increased costs. 

Managing Inventory with Multiple Shopping Carts

If you’re using multiple shopping carts across your website, marketplaces, and other channels, it’s important to establish a process for how you or an employee will manage the inventory across each channel. Keeping track of inventory levels can be challenging when you’re using multiple carts, especially if you’re selling the same products across different carts.

One approach to managing inventory with multiple shopping carts is to use a centralized inventory management system.  This can help you keep track of inventory levels across all of your carts, so you don’t oversell products or run out of stock.

To implement a centralized inventory management system, you’ll need to choose a platform that supports this feature. Many e-commerce platforms offer some level of inventory management tools as part of their core features, but often lack in-depth tools or functions.

In addition to using a centralized inventory management system, it’s important to regularly monitor your inventory levels across all of your shopping carts and catch any issues or discrepancies before they become bigger problems.

Aligning your carts brings order to your sales and inventory
Aligning your carts brings order to your sales and inventory

Adding a Multicart Integration

Implementing multiple shopping carts or cart providers opens greater revenue potential, but brings possible issues as already discussed, and this is where a Multicart Solution comes into play.

A Multicart Solution provides benefits like:

  • Managing multiple shopping carts on different pages or sections of your website. 
  • Tracking all your online carts and cart provider information. 
  • Streamlining the checkout process for customers while providing consistent order information.
  • Updating inventory for all incoming orders, across all channels, in real time.
  • Streamlining the sales and shipment process, saving valuable time, and providing accurate data.

With a Multicart Integration, you can consolidate all of your shopping carts into one central hub, easily manage your inventory, process orders, and track customer behavior. Additionally, it can improve the user experience by providing a unified checkout process that’s simple and easy to use.


Having more than one shopping cart on your website, marketplace, and other channels can be highly successful for your business. By providing a more personalized customer shopping experience, you can improve the user experience, increase sales and conversions, and better target specific products or customer segments. When choosing the right shopping carts, consider the needs of your business and customers, implement a multicart integration to bring them all together, and create a more streamlined process across your sales and inventory.

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.