From the Desk of Simon Jupe: Sunset Policy

Fishbowl Inventory Australia sunset policy

As we move further into 2018, it’s a great time to look back and see the evolution and continual improvement of Fishbowl during its time here in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

In addition to new features and software improvements that have been released over the years, we have loved working with the thousands of Fishbowl users, across many diverse industries, since our beginning.  As a team, we are extremely proud of Fishbowl, what it continues to become, and how we are able to utilise the ongoing development of Fishbowl to meet your business needs.

Our mantra has always been to put our clients first by providing fast, reliable service and support to every one of our clients.  We realise how integral Fishbowl is to the daily operations of your business and we truly enjoy working with each and every one of you.

As our client base continues to grow, we need to ensure that we can continue to provide the best level of service for you moving forward.  With this in mind, Fishbowl will now fall in line with our US counterparts and we will implement a Sunset Policy for support, custom report writing and custom integrations for the Fishbowl product range. This will ensure that our support for you is kept up to date and that your business benefits from the latest efficiencies within the Fishbowl software, as well as the tools and features we now offer.

The sunset policy will come into effect on the 1st of July 2018. From that date forward the Fishbowl team will only be able to support the last two years software releases i.e. if Fishbowl 2018 is the current version, then we will support Fishbowl 2017 and Fishbowl 2018 (including all monthly releases on each version).

Most clients are already on Software Maintenance or a Subscription license, so for most of you this will mean no change at all.  For the small number of clients that may still be running on an old version of Fishbowl (2016 or earlier), it may mean you need to look at joining Software Maintenance so that we can continue to support your needs.  We will ensure that if you do need to update, then our team will make it as easy as possible for you.  This means we will have one of our Support Team schedule and upgrade your software to the current release of Fishbowl, free of charge (usually $195 excl. gst).

As a team we are committed to continuing to help your business grow and thrive. As part of this, we believe that the ongoing development of our product range by utilising constantly improving technology, will assist us in delivering this to you, our clients.

If you want to check the value of being up to date on Fishbowl, or are curious as to the number of software updates, changes and improvements we release every month, then check out all our release notes for Fishbowl here. Of course, if you would like to discuss our Sunset Policy further, then please don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or one of our team.

What Are You Looking For When It Comes To Warehouse Management Software?

Software Connect is a company that has spent the last 22 years helping companies find software right for their business needs. Software Connects latest Warehouse Management Software Buyer Trends is now available, and it takes a good look into what Warehouse Management Software purchasers are looking for. The report has gathered data from nearly 120 Warehouse Management Software buyers recorded over the course of the last two years. The industries represented in the report are distributors of durable and non-durable goods, made-for-stock and job shop manufacturers, food and beverage distributors, medical distributors, and transportation. Let’s dive right into the report and have a look at some major talking points:

Warehouse Management Software Software Connect 2018 report

Motivating Factors

Warehouse management software buyers are looking for software for a variety of different reasons. We’ll go through each of the reasons given in the report and show how Fishbowl Warehouse is a great solution for each of them.

Need More/Better Features (39 Percent) – This is a major reason for buying software it seems, and Fishbowl really shines here. Check out the list of Fishbowl Warehouse features, and see for yourself if it fits the bill. You will probably find that it is exactly the kind of thing you are looking for.

Replace a Dated System (20 Percent) – Fishbowl offers advanced warehouse management features, which can grow with your business so you can keep using it for many years instead of learning a new system every few years. The development of Fishbowl makes sure it is feature rich with new tools that businesses actually need, with new releases at least once a month.

Automate Existing Process(es) (16 Percent) – Fishbowl is a business automation platform, allowing you to set up auto reorder points and much more to automate all sorts of business processes. This includes connecting Fishbowl to your website to show your customers live inventory levels, to automating manufacturing workflow, streamlined reorder, sales, and purchasing processes and much more.

Need Better Integration with Another System (11 Percent) – Fishbowl integrates seamlessly with a number of desktop versions of Reckon Accounts, Xero as well as QuickBooks Online with Boxstorm, and that’s just scratching the surface of its many software and hardware integrations that go way beyond accounting connections.

Improve Efficiency (8 Percent) – Fishbowl gives you and your employees the tools to make even more efficient use of your time in the warehouse.

Consolidate Multiple Systems (8 Percent) – In addition to Warehouse Management Software, Fishbowl offers manufacturing, barcoding, shipping, eCommerce, point of sale, server hosting, and online time clock solutions that all integrate with each other for a fully featured warehouse ecosystem.

Improve Accuracy (7 Percent) – You can perform cycle counts and instantly update inventory records with the scan of a barcode with Fishbowl Go. Plus, Fishbowl’s integration with Reckon Accounts and Xero ensures your accounting records perfectly reflect all changes you make to your inventory system.

Reckon Account Users

One quarter of Warehouse Management Software buyers are looking to replace Reckon Accounts. To break it down further, 16 percent are replacing Reckon Accounts Enterprise and a further 9 percent are replacing other versions of the software. With Fishbowl, these buyers can keep using Reckon Accounts for their accounting while integrating it with Fishbowl to add all sorts of advanced inventory management features that link directly to their financial records.

Single or Multiple Locations

Forty-six percent of Warehouse Management Software buyers (the biggest proportion of the bunch) have one warehouse, 28 percent have two warehouses, 9 percent have three warehouses, 4 percent have four warehouses, and 13 percent have five or more warehouses. Fishbowl is ideal for all of these setups. If you have one warehouse, you can use Fishbowl to manage inventory in that location. If you have two or more warehouses, you can monitor sales and ordering trends at each one and quickly create transfer orders to send goods between locations if one is running low on certain items while another has a surplus.

Barcoding

There is no question which method of inventory tracking Warehouse Management Software buyers prefer. A whopping 73 percent want barcoding while just 7 percent want RFID. With a combination of Fishbowl Go and Fishbowl Manufacturing or Fishbowl Warehouse, you can generate barcodes, print them, and scan them to help you keep track of all of your inventory items. In fact, Fishbowl offers a free Barcode Generator that you can use right now to create as many barcodes as you like for your parts and products.

Good News to Report

There is a lot of good news in Software Connect’s report on Warehouse Management Software buyers. If you are looking for Warehouse Management Software that can meet your needs both now and in the future, allow you to stay with Reckon Accounts, manage inventory in multiple locations, and give you access to barcode inventory tracking, look no further than Fishbowl. It can fit just fine within your budget and save you a lot of time and money as you see your warehouse efficiency go through the roof!

Quick Tips: Setting Part Reorder Levels

Here is a few quick tips for you out there that wish to set up Part Reorder Levels. 

Reorder levels with Fishbowl

In this post we will go over the differences between Reorder Levels and Reorder Points, and how to create your Reorder Levels 3 Different Ways. As always if you have any questions related to Fishbowl don’t hesitate to call the office on 1300 785 755 in Australia and 0800 785 755 in New Zealand and one of our helpful support team members will be able to give you a hand.

Reorder Levels vs. Reorder Points

Reorder points are certain quantities of inventory that, when reached, trigger the process of purchasing more stock to reach a certain level. So when the total number of parts in stock gets down to the reorder point, you’ll know it’s time to reorder more of the parts.

Let’s make sure we’re all clear about the difference between Reorder Levels and Reorder Points.

Reorder Levels are made up of two things:

  1. Reorder Point: The minimum number of items in stock that marks the point at which they must be reordered to avoid running out.
  2. Order Up to Level: The maximum or preferred number of items that can be contained in stock. The reorder quantity shouldn’t be higher than this number.

You can run a Reorder Report from the Report module to produce a list of all the items in your inventory that have reached their reorder point. It will also show you how many to reorder to return to the proper level.

You can use reorder levels to automatically generate purchase orders for the necessary number of parts to get them back to the desired quantity through the Auto PO wizard. If you’re a manufacturer, you can also use reorder points to automatically generate manufacture orders for the desired quantity using the Auto MO wizard.

3 Ways to Create Reorder Levels

Here are the three methods by which you can create reorder levels:

1. Use a Reorder Levels CSV Import to create multiple reorder levels.

2. Use the Auto ROP wizard to automatically set multiple reorder levels at the same time.

3. Click the Inventory tab in the Part module to create and edit single items’ reorder levels.

Let’s delve into these three methods a bit more closely to give you an idea of how to do them and where to find them in the interface:

1. CSV Import

Click the File button at the top of the interface and then select the Import option. This will pull up a friendly Import wizard to guide you through the process of importing data on reorder levels via Excel spreadsheets. It tells you how to format the data and other essential things to follow

2. Auto ROP Wizard

The Auto ROP wizard is located in the toolbar on top of the interface. Simply click on it and it will bring up a new window to help you specify the right parts you’re looking for and calculate their reorder levels, based on a number of factors. I could spend an entire blog post explaining all of this, but to keep it brief I’ll just have to cut it short here and direct you to the Fishbowl Wiki for detailed instructions on using the Auto ROP wizard.

3. Inventory Tab

There are several tabs located at the top of the Part module, including General, Details, Accounts, and Inventory. Click the Inventory tab and you’ll be able to see detailed information about a particular part, including the number on hand, on order, allocated, committed, backordered, and so forth. You’ll also find a helpful section at the bottom with information about the item’s location, order up to level, and reorder point. You can adjust this information right there.

Look out for this Quick Tips Every Thursday where we delve into commonly asked questions and helpful hints to make sure you are getting the most out of Fishbowl inventory and manufacturing software.

At a Glance: Comparing Fishbowl and Reckon Accounts Enterprise Edition (Part 3: Plugins and Modules)

In this third and final part of the comparison between Fishbowl and Reckon Accounts Enterprise, we’re going to address Fishbowl’s numerous modules and plugins, both off the shelf and custom solutions.

Actually, these are all unique to Fishbowl and a big reason why Fishbowl is the business automation solution for Reckon Accounts and Xero. They are not also present in Reckon Accounts, so we’ll simply address them in Fishbowl and avoid constantly repeating the fact that they are unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

inventory management add for reckon accounts comparison

Integrated Fishbowl Products

In addition to Fishbowl Manufacturing and Fishbowl Warehouse, Fishbowl offers many other solutions that integrate with its core software products. These solutions offer many useful features that can help growing businesses as their requirements increase and change over time. Fishbowl’s solutions include:

Fishbowl Anywhere: A plugin that allows Fishbowl Manufacturing and Fishbowl Warehouse to be accessed via a Web browser.

Fishbowl Go: An app that allows for barcode scanning to take care of the physical aspects of warehouse management, such as cycle counting, receiving, picking, packing, and shipping.

Fishbowl Commerce: An online hub that synchronizes inventory quantities and sales across a great number of e-commerce channels so you don’t have to manually update each one.

Fishbowl Time & Labor: An online employee time clock solution that helps with Timehseets, PTO, manufacturing labor costs, and more.

Fishbowl Checkout: A point of sale solution that allows credit card, cash, and other payments to be processed and added directly into Fishbowl Manufacturing and Fishbowl Warehouse.

Fishbowl Modules

These are all add-on modules that can be installed and activated from the Plugin module in Fishbowl:

Forecast Module: Data on past sales and orders is used to project upcoming inventory quantities, costs, and sales.

Sales Data Module: Sales revenue and counts are displayed on a world map, which users can zoom in and out of.

Data Module: You can use this to view, gather, and export data from the Fishbowl database, but you can’t update data in this module.

Monitor Module: The quantities of several parts can be viewed at the same time and constantly checked to make sure they remain healthy.

Consignment Module: You have the ability to track inventory that is consigned to third-party sellers and sold by them.

Software Plugins

These are just a few of the business solutions that Fishbowl offers plugins for. With all of these integrations, Fishbowl becomes a business automation platform, facilitating the free flow of information on inventory quantities, orders, and more between numerous online and desktop platforms. Here they are:

  • 3dcart
  • Amazon
  • Avalara
  • BigCommerce
  • eBay
  • Dropbox
  • LemonStand
  • Magento
  • Salesforce
  • ShipStation
  • Shopify
  • SolidWorks
  • Volusion
  • WooCommerce
  • X-Cart
  • Zen Cart

Beyond Compare

As you can see from these three blog posts, Fishbowl holds its own and even over-performs when compared to the inventory management features of Reckon Accounts or Xero. Fishbowl is the perfect business automation platform to work with Xero or Reckon Accounts, which makes sense because Fishbowl adds so much to the popular accounting software.

Users of Xero or Reckon Accounts users don’t have to learn an entirely new accounting system in order to gain access to the manufacturing and warehouse management features they need to do their jobs more effectively. Fishbowl can handle most small business requirements and allow them to stay with their preferred accounting application for many years. That kind of savings and efficiency is beyond compare!

Sign up for a free trial of Fishbowl today.

At a Glance: Comparing Fishbowl and Reckon Accounts Enterprise Edition (Part 2: Manufacturing)

Last week we looked at Fishbowl inventory and manufacturing software and Reckon Accounts accounting software and their inventory abilities. Let’s continue looking at these two by comparing them both by going through their manufacturing features. This will throw the contrast between the two solutions into even greater relief than before because Fishbowl really shines in this area and brings a lot of tools to the table that can really help out manufacturers.

We will cover nine features involving work orders, manufacture orders, bill of materials, and other manufacturing aspects of these two software solutions. All these features are found in the Fishbowl Manufacturing software, and also include all the features that are found in  the Fishbowl Warehouse version. To determine which version is suited to your business’ needs contact the Fishbowl office toll-free on 1300 785 755 in Australia or 0800 785 755 in New Zealand and speak with Kylie.

comparing Fishbowl and Reckon Accounts manufacturing features

Advanced Work Orders

Fishbowl: Work orders in Fishbowl Manufacturing can be used for assembly, disassembly, reverse, service, and repair work orders.

Reckon Accounts: There are no advanced work orders in Reckon Accounts for these types of jobs.

Custom Work Orders

Fishbowl: Create custom work orders from the Sales Order module in Fishbowl Manufacturing to quickly generate sales quotes and orders.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

Assigning Users to Work Orders

Fishbowl: Administrators can assign specific users to work orders to establish their responsibility for them.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

Production Stages

Fishbowl: Lot numbers can be tracked in great detail, drilling into subassemblies and production stages.

Reckon Accounts: Only single level assemblies can be created.

Manufacture Orders

Fishbowl: The Manufacture Order module makes it possible to set up sub-assemblies and production stages in a bill of materials and link them all together.

Reckon Accounts: You can just do simple assembly jobs, so you’ll need to create several of them to have the same effect.

Auto Manufacture Orders

Fishbowl: Automatically generate new manufacture orders with items found in the appropriate bill of materials.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

Auto Manufacture Order to Prevent Stockouts

Fishbowl: When finished products get too low in your inventory, they can trigger Fishbowl Manufacturing to automatically generate manufacture orders to make more.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

Custom Bill of Materials

Fishbowl: You can customise bills of materials by setting up option groups and variable quantities to save time and make price adjustments.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

One-Time-Use Items

Fishbowl: In a bill of materials, you can add one-time-use items which allows for more accurate costing with economy of scale production.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

Next: Modules and Plugins

Come back next week for Part 3 to see a comparison of Fishbowl’s modules and plugins to Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

This post was originally written by Robert Lockard at Fishbowl in the US and has been edited to suit Australian and New Zealand audiences.