10 Unique Uses of Inventory Management Software

Check out these unique uses of inventory management software, Fishbowl BlogThere are many companies from a variety of backgrounds and industries that are all united in one thing: they use inventory management software. They put this software to use in different ways, but they also have a lot of commonalities in the features they like the most and the positive results they receive. Here are 10 of these companies and their amazing stories:

Acutus Medical

Acutus Medical is a company that produces devices that help with essentially rebooting hearts suffering from arrhythmia. Arrhythmia is a heart condition in which different chambers of the heart pump blood at different rates. This can be a symptom of more serious heart problems or it can be completely harmless, but it’s good to get it checked. There are companies that create devices that go into the heart and spray liquid nitrogen to destroy the cells that are causing problems. Then they restart the heart so it pumps at a normal rhythm again. To do this, they need to know which cells are harmful because they don’t want to damage healthy cells. That’s where Acutus Medical comes in. Their devices spread crystals onto the surface of the heart and relay detailed readings on which areas of the heart are creating problems and which are not. That way, doctors know which cells to kill and which ones to leave alone during the procedure. Acutus Medical uses Fishbowl to solve a number of challenges common to the medical industry:
  • They have inventory at multiple locations that they need to keep track of
  • They manufacture equipment that needs to be stored in, and shipped to, many locations
  • They have numerous reports they need to produce to comply with government regulations
  • They need to track component parts by serial number so if anything goes wrong they can track the defective part back to its source
Fishbowl and its partners meet all of these needs and they keep everything flowing smoothly. Hey, that’s a lot like what Acutus Medical does for heart patients! It’s all about working in rhythm. After all, cash flow is the lifeblood of any organization. How’s that for an awesome analogy?

Cheapo Depot

Everything that comes out of Texas is awesome, and this store just proves it. Dollar Plus Liquidators is a wholesaler that stores the majority of their inventory in a 25,000-square-foot warehouse in Granbury, Texas. They also have a retail store in Granbury called the Cheapo Depot, which is open to the public. They sell a huge variety of items to retailers all over the United States, and they work with more than 3,500 SKUs. Here are some of my favorite product categories they have on their website:
  • Boots, Buckets, and Planters (Interesting idea to combine these three things)
  • Branding Irons (I bet they’re brand new! …I’ll see myself out)
  • Conchos (I had to visit this page to find out what a Concho is)
  • Cowboy Christmas (Yippee ki-yay)
  • Cowhide Items and Art (Who knew cowhide could be so artistic?)
  • Desk Thangs (This is the awesome way to pronounce “Things”)
  • Feathered Friends (There weren’t any listings when I checked, but this sounds epic)
  • Outlaw Mugs (Regular mugs just seem so boring now)
  • Texas Thangs (Includes a drinking armadillo. ‘Nuff said)
Dollar Plus Liquidators used FileMaker before switching to Fishbowl Warehouse, and one of the main reasons they switched is because of Fishbowl’s seamless QuickBooks integration. They tried to integrate their old inventory management solution with QuickBooks, but in the process they wound up losing more than 300 purchase orders. Fishbowl solved that integration problem and has been helping them with their warehouse management and other business tasks ever since.

DC Equipment , Inc.

DC Equipment, Inc. is a manufacturing company in Alabama that designs and builds custom food handling systems, such as conveyor belts, primarily for poultry producers. They don’t use Fishbowl’s software for inventory tracking or manufacturing. This is really surprising because those are some of Fishbowl’s most popular features. They use Fishbowl solely for its purchasing capabilities. They come up with a list of parts to build a conveyor system that meets the specific needs of a poultry producer. Then they match those parts up with their records in Fishbowl and buy all of them in the required quantities from their vendors. During the receiving process, they don’t record new items in their inventory software. They just put them where they are supposed to go in the warehouse or put them to use immediately.

Food Equipment Services

On Food Equipment Services’ homepage, it says, “Providing food equipment solutions by representing industry leading manufacturers from both the United States and Around the Globe! From receiving to serving, we offer solutions for all your Food Equipment needs!” Basically, they are a wholesale distributor, selling food cooking and storage products from big-time manufacturers, including Blendtec, Sharp, Arctic Air, etc. The products they offer customers include refrigerators, furniture, stainless-steel devices, ovens, and more. The good folks at Food Equipment Services had never used warehouse management software before Fishbowl. But about seven years ago, they started using Fishbowl Warehouse. Rather than getting official software training from a Fishbowl specialist, they simply jumped right in and started figuring things out. They went to Fishbowl’s website and started reading its tutorials in the Fishbowl Documentation Wiki. Those tutorials were written in a way that it was clear for them how to proceed from one step to the next in getting their entire inventory system up and online. Fishbowl also has more than two dozen video tutorials that help people visualize how to use the software. A few times they did call Fishbowl’s technical support to get help with specific questions about the software. But for the most part, they were pretty DIY. They manage more than 400 SKUs in their warehouse. Serial number tracking is one of their favorite features because it helps them stay on top of everything in their inventory.

Hancock Horticulture Services, Inc.

Hancock Horticulture Services, Inc. sells a variety of plants through 27 large retailers, including Home Depot. According to their website, “We are a wholesale plant nursery specializing in Azaleas, Rhododendron, Subbery, Trees, Flowering Plants, Ornamental Grasses and other specialty plants.” Located in Kodak, Tennessee, Hancock Horticulture buys many of its potted plants from growers out west and sends them to retailers on consignment. Consignment means that retailers don’t actually purchase plants from them. They merely house them, and only when a plant is sold does Hancock get paid. This can be a risky proposition for wholesalers because they don’t have complete control over their own products when they’re out on consignment. It’s extremely important for them to have a powerful inventory management solution to help them know where their products are and what their status is. As a wholesale distributor, Hancock Horticulture uses Fishbowl Warehouse to keep track of their inventory, reorder products when they get low, track shipments, and much more. And, of course, Fishbowl’s consignment features come in especially handy for them.

Insight Technical Services, Inc.

ITSI produces monitoring boxes for oil and gas manufacturers. These boxes measure the amount of oil and natural gas that are harvested from the ground and stored in tanks. Based in Johnstown, Colorado (on the outskirts of Denver), ITSI does business mainly in the Intermountain West and in other parts of the country. I especially love that ITSI’s logo includes an itsy-bitsy spider. It’s a nice metaphor because their relatively small boxes automate the processes of huge oil wells and other heavy-duty machinery. Instead of requiring a lot of workers to be on hand during every stop of the operations, oil and gas manufacturers can now get text messages from the monitoring box when something goes wrong or when their presence is required to facilitate specific actions that require their inspection and authorization. This saves a lot of money. Fewer workers are required and they don’t have to spend as much time on site. The boxes can automate pumping processes to avoid spills and perform many other tasks. ITSI was using QuickBooks for their accounting and another software solution for their inventory management. However, the two solutions didn’t integrate with each other. So they were overjoyed when they started using Fishbowl and learned that Fishbowl integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks. This eliminates the need for double data entry and ensures their inventory and accounting records match up. They particularly enjoy one of Fishbowl’s reports that lets them see where specific parts are being used across all of their end products. That way, they know exactly what they need when an order comes in and when it’s time to reorder those parts.

INTX Microbials, LLC

In their own words, INTX Microbials is a “manufacturer of a full-line up of legume inoculants, biological growth enhancement products, and water conditioning adjuvants for pesticide tank mixes.” That’s a bit of a mouthful for us laymen. They make bacteria for different types of seeds to help the resulting plants to grow healthy and strong. It seems like certain plants (such as soy beans and other legumes) are really good at nitrogen fixing in the soil. However, it’s not really the plants that do that, but the bacteria that grows on them. The things that INTX loves most about Fishbowl include having the ability to:
  • Easily enter orders into the software
  • Pick orders in batches instead of one at a time
  • Email orders directly to customers from Fishbowl
  • Track products by their expiration dates and lot numbers
The bacteria and other things that this company works with are extremely time-sensitive, so it’s important for them to be able to act quickly and track everything by their expiration dates to prevent unnecessary losses. As they note on their website, they are changing the world of food production “one bushel at a time.”

MALÅ Geoscience

MALÅ Geoscience is a world leader in Ground Penetrating Radar. They create devices that emit radio waves, which send back a 3D cutaway image of everything buried 50 feet beneath the ground. This allows experts to see areas of greater density and to identify what materials can be found beneath the surface. The GPR devices come in many different sizes, some small (which can be pulled by hand) and some very large (which are dragged behind vehicles). Why would companies need to use radar to see underground? Many reasons. Here are just a few examples:
  • Construction companies don’t want to accidentally hit water pipes, gas pipes, power lines, or other utilities hidden just beneath the surface when they start digging
  • Archaeologists find them useful in the search for fossils and ancient ruins
  • Miners use them to look for pockets of oil and other hidden materials.
These GPR devices are particularly popular in Florida, South America, and other places with fairly sandy soils. MALÅ Geoscience is headquartered in Sweden, and that’s where they manufacture their products before sending them to their subsidiary in the United States. They praised Fishbowl’s technical support team, calling it “absolutely stellar.” Whenever they call in with questions, they find staff members who are well-informed and nice. They were so glad they find an inventory management solution that integrates with QuickBooks. Fishbowl is the No. 1 manufacturing and warehouse management solution for QuickBooks users, so we are a great fit for them. As is the case with many of the other companies I’ve mentioned, the thing they like best about Fishbowl is its serial number tracking feature.

Milestone Inc.

Milestone Inc. is headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut. According to their website, “Over 18,000 customers worldwide look to Milestone to improve their metals digestions, organic extractions, mercury analyzers or synthetic chemistry processes.” In other words, companies that want to test their products for certain chemicals to ensure their safety can use Milestone’s microwave extraction devices and other products to do just that. These devices automate the process of separating chemicals and measuring their levels. You just put a sample in the middle of a cylinder and it gets heated up to a certain temperature to burn off excess materials and only measure the things you want to, such as mercury, sulfur, and cadmium. This makes the extraction process much more efficient and precise. There are numerous areas of application for Milestone’s products, including:
  • Consumer products
  • Forensics
  • Food
  • Energy
  • Medicine
  • Mining
  • Education
Milestone has been using Fishbowl to manage their inventory for the past eight years. Probably their favorite part of Fishbowl is its ability to track items by serial numbers. This is extremely important because it helps them monitor the movement, location, and quantity of all of their parts and finished products. They have started to open offices in many parts of the country, so they also use Fishbowl’s multiple-location functionality to monitor inventory levels across all of them. It’s quite a logistical feat, requiring the use of approximately 3,000 SKUs.

Nanotronics Imaging

Nanotronics Imaging describes itself as a “microscopy and software company.” In 2012, they introduced nPATH, an automated system for taking photos of microscopic parts of cells, circuit boards, and many other things. Studying an organism’s cells is certainly cool and it has great applications in scientific fields, but I’d like to focus on the application of this technology to the field of electronics. Circuits can have millions of electronic pathways. If any of those pathways get worn down or break completely, they can create major problems. Nanotronics Imaging’s automated microscopes to check circuits for errors. They zoom in extremely close and take detailed images of problem areas. They weren’t using any software solution to help with their inventory management and manufacturing before they found Fishbowl. It makes sense that a company that sells automated microscopes would use automated inventory management software in their own operation. So far, their favorite feature in Fishbowl is the fact that Fishbowl integrates with Salesforce. This allows sales representatives to see real-time inventory quantities to make sure they have enough on hand make a sale. Also, they can check the status of orders that are being processed and shipped out.

Try It for Yourself

After reading about all of the ways these companies have put Fishbowl to use in their operations, how would you like to try it for yourself? Sign up for an online demo of Fishbowl Manufacturing or Fishbowl Warehouse, and see all of the ways you can benefit.