How to best manage inventory for a product-based business?

New Member
1 0 0

Do you use spreadsheets or a software to manage inventory for your product-based business and which option is better?

Shopify Partner
65 3 9

Hello @KatriK ,


You can use spreadsheets to do this of course, but it is painful and error prone. Our system allows you fully manage inventory, keep it in sync with your Shopify store and your financials system, (i.e. QuickBooks), making your life a lot easier, and we can scale down to a company size of 1 up to a team of 200+. 


We have our system newly integrated with Shopify and are now going through the approval process so we're not quite in the app store yet, but should be in the next week or so. That said, we've been around for a while and have a proven and robust system that is also affordable.


If you'd like to setup a time to discuss more, fill out the form at the bottom of our websites (put a link to this post as a reference) and we can reach out to you to schedule a time to chat more. 

Chad Richardson
Mozzo Software - Modular Software that grows with you from solopreneur to a 200 person mega team. Why keep outgrowing your Shopify Apps? Start with us, and just use the modules you need, then add more as you grow.
New Member
3 0 0

Hey Katri,

For a product based business I would recommend Katana Manufacturing ERP now available at Shopify app store.
Katana is a Smart Workshop Software specifically designed for modern crafters, makers, and small manufacturers. It is an innovative, easy-to-use, and affordable tool for efficient production and inventory management.

Katana allows you to manage:
1. raw materials;
2. finished products;
3. manufacturing;
4. sales orders;
and much more.


Sales orders are automatically sent from Shopify to Katana. For you, this means a hassle-free order fulfillment, extra time to grow sales, and no more messy spreadsheets!

Katana has many useful futures from automatic data movement to visual production planning and accurate costing. All of these make managing your product-based business much more efficient and less time consuming. In addition, Katana is very easy to use allowing you to sell, make and ship, all from a single dashboard.

If you'd like to know more about how Katana can help manage your product-based business, check out Katana's app store listing right here! 


121 13 43



I work at a fulfillment center called ShipMonk, which helps small to medium-sized businesses scale and grow by providing innovative technology combined with great customer service. What a mouthful! All that to say that inventory management is something we care about a lot, so I'm a little biased in saying that automation is the way to go. Before I elaborate on that a little more, let's talk about spreadsheets.


Spreadsheets can be super useful. Does the following relate to you at all?

  • Your company is a baby. It is super new and there's not much to keep track of... for now.
  • You're bad with technology. You're probably better than you give yourself credit for, but, still, technology could be a hurdle for you.
  • You're keeping it in your garage and you don't have too many employees.
  • You're detail oriented and keep meticulous accounts of everything to do with your business.


If you can check off a few things from that list, you're probably really comfortable with spreadsheets and don't want to let them go. I would say that they're absolute best when you're literally just starting out and have very few products. Better yet, if you're doing a test run and don't even know how much you're willing to commit to this new business.


If you are committing, you're going to run into a big problem really quickly: human error. Not just human error, but human limitation. The more you scale, the more things will happen, which could extend far beyond inventory management. Think marketing, overseeing product design, hiring employees, figuring out taxes, sending emails, answering phone calls, training new employees, etc. There's no way to thrive unless you design your business to be scalable from the get-go.


And that's where automation comes in! With automation, you do something once and then you're done. I can tell you a little more about our software, just to give you an idea. You start by uploading all of your SKUs into the system, and we'll match those SKUs to the barcodes once we receive your inventory to our warehouse. The quantities we receive will be immediately uploaded and updated, and you'll be able to know exactly when you need to order more inventory. Sure, it requires some checking in, but nothing that takes more than five minutes. Automation is 100% the key in staying afloat today in eCommerce, and there's no way around that.


So, bottom line: if you're just starting out, spreadsheets are OK. But you have to think and act quickly when business starts to boom.


Hope this helps!

Marketing Specialist @ ShipMonk
Shopify Partner
10 0 0

Hi @KatriK ,

We can help with managing products and their components (if you're assembling or manufacturing). Check out Inventory Planner in the App Store.


We'll show current inventory of products and components, as well as recommendations for how much more you need to meet customer demand.


Glad to talk with you more to see if it fits with what you need.



Shopify Partner
86 3 17

Hey @KatriK,


I can point you towards some inventory planners our customers use:


- Stitch Labs

- Tradegecko

- NetSuite

- Zoho Inventory

- Skubana


Hope this helps!

- Andrew - Intelligent inventory finance.
New Member
1 0 0
I’m very very much new to all of this. So new to where I have yet to make my store public. If any of you have some advice you could share in regards to adjusting how much I’m charging for shipping please share. I want to make sure I see a profit & not over charge my customers a ridiculous amount of money.
New Member
1 0 0

To best manage inventory for a product-based business, always go for inventory management software:


Many companies manage their inventory using Excel, but as your business grows, you will find it challenging to manage it.


The reason why Spreadsheets Inventory management fails:


  • Error-Prone and needs human intervention
  • No Real-time data
  • No Automation of any sort
  • Lacks scalability and complex task handling capabilities
  • No Centralized dashboard 
  • No Analysing or Forecasting  


For all of the above problems, there is only one solution to it, and that is Inventory management software.


Inventory management software centralizes all your business channels—inventory management, order processing, shipping, invoicing, and tracking—everything—into one simple, easy-to-use dashboard. It integrates with different channels like shipping carriers, accounting software, etc. so you can do everything you need to run your business smarter and smoother from one single piece of software.


Benefits of using Inventory management software:


  • It automatically updates the stock levels across all channels in real-time, meaning you avoid any mistakes made through manual entry, double handling, and plain old human error.
  • Automation in Inventory Management software automatically performs tedious and mundane product management and order fulfillment processes on your behalf and hence saves time and money.
  • It anticipates the demand for the product in the future to optimize supply.
  • Its analytics gives you regular, detailed reports to make decisions that will help your business grow.

Personally speaking, inventory management software is the best to manage inventory for a product-based business.