Fishbowl Inventory is a Quickbooks based inventory management software that is among the most popular add-on apps among the Quickbooks community. The software suite includes tools for managing manufacturing, warehouse and a host of other channels. The company was founded in 2001 and is today used by a number of large enterprises including the US Air Force, US Army, GE, Boeing and Mercedes-Benz. In fact, NASA is known to track food production for its astronauts using this software.
Although Fishbowl Inventory is extremely well known for its Quickbooks integration, the product also integrates with other platforms like Xero, Salesforce, Magento, Amazon, UPS and several other CRM, ecommerce and shipment platforms. Fishbowl serves a number of different purposes.
The software helps businesses create dynamic work orders and bill of materials (BOM) across the various stages of production. You can monitor inventory level across various warehouses, analyze sales trends across these different locations, optimize storage by transferring inventory across warehouses, replicate BOMs, track orders en route to customers, track shipments, set up automated reordering and integrate with various shipment companies. Fishbowl Manufacturing is compatible with global transactions and you may assign specific currencies to various vendors and partners. You also have access to comprehensive reports that help you view gross sales, turnover and yearly trends.
Fishbowl also has a module for wholesale inventory management with all the different tools to handle multiple warehouses, integrate with ecommerce shopping carts, fulfill orders and barcode tracking of parts.
This product is aimed at small and medium sized businesses that need a solution to track inventory, manage orders, track and monitor parts, handle shipments and generate reports pertaining to individual warehouses or provide holistic reports for all your different warehouses.
In addition to the backend inventory management tools, Fishbowl also makes point of sale software for front-end retailers to directly integrate their sales to backend inventory. The product is touchscreen ready and can work with most of the popular payment processors, not to mention that it is integrated with Quickbooks and other accounting tools for automated accounting.
Besides these, Fishbowl also owns hardware for scanning barcodes, owns mobile apps for access on the go, and is ready for setup either as a cloud-service as a natively hosted solution.
Fishbowl Manufacturing and Warehouse products are priced based on the number of concurrent users you will require and the licenses you will need to purchase. The software has a starting price of $4395 and includes non-expiring licenses, training videos and phone call support. Although the product license itself is non-expiring, your support plans are restricted to one, two or three year periods. During this supported period, you may get unlimited chat and email support. While phone call supports under 10 minutes are unlimited, users only get access to a specific number of longer phone call support requests during this period.
Constant updates: The problem with a lot of software that charge a one-time payment fee is that you never know if you will continue to get new updates and support over time. With Fishbowl inventory, at least that item is ticked on the checklist. Users are happy with the consistent updates that the software receives on a monthly basis. So from that perspective, this is indeed a bang for the buck.
Integration: Another good thing about Fishbowl Inventory is the ready-made integration with software tools up and down the value chain. For instance, its integration with UPS and other shipment tools make it extremely simple to track shipments once the product has been dispatched. It cuts down on the number of manhours you need to update and monitor shipments.
Keeps you organized: As a company that handles hundreds of parts and SKUs, it is very easy to get disorganized. Fishbowl Inventory helps you stay organized. In turn, this also makes inventory management more easy and efficient and clearly reduces the headaches that are typically associated with supply chain management. Businesses that previously used Quickbooks for handling inventory management point out how much more efficient and organized Fishbowl is.
Support: More than one customer has expressed happiness with the way the Fishbowl Inventory support team works. They are quick and agile and can often help you fix your problem when you need them. This is true not just for routine support but also during your initial setup and onboarding phase when you are assigned with a dedicated representative.
Pricing: The Fishbowl Inventory website claims the starting price of the product to be around the $4395 mark. However, according to one user, this price is the bare minimum and you will have to get commitments from the team on what exactly you get for this price. While I could not confirm, it seems like the teams may need to pay extra for support, upgrading and ongoing maintenance.
Report customization: Fishbowl Inventory definitely gives you access to a host of reports. However, there is not enough freedom to customize the reports the way you want to look at them. Users complain that you may often find yourself exporting the data to third party tools to prepare custom reports. While this is a minor annoyance, it’s not a deal-breaker by any stretch.
Navigation: While we have already discussed usability above where Fishbowl wins, there are certain navigational aspects that can make it annoying. For example, one user compares the ability to draw historic information about a part on Quickbooks vis a vis Fishbowl Inventory. While this step can be done with a simple right click on Quickbooks, that is not the case with Fishbowl where you may need to navigate at a much deeper level.
Bugs: All said and done, although Fishbowl is a terrific product, you are likely to face at least a few bugs over the course of use. Users have reported several bugs – some minor and others pretty annoying. Everything from printing labels, data uploads to intermittent abortion of jobs exported to Quickbooks.
In effect, this is how Fishbowl Inventory has been rated by various reviewers.
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