Why abandon Excel stock management for a TMS that will boost your profitability?

  • SMEs: what is stock management?
  • Stock management using Excel: an illusory ease?
  • Inventory management using Excel: its rapidly limiting drawbacks
  • TMS software, the 100% free offer from DDS: the 100% winning alternative to Excel for automated stock management

In the world of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), stock management is a constant challenge. Faced with this financial and human resources challenge, many businesses have traditionally relied on tools like Excel to manage their stocks.

In this article, we’ll look at how using Excel is actually holding back the productivity of your constantly evolving business. We’ll look at a transport management system (TMS) as an alternative way of optimising stock management and boosting profitability.

SMEs: what is stock management?

Stock management is a crucial aspect of business management, whatever the size of the business.

It involves monitoring and managing the goods and products that the company has in stock.

It therefore includes both goods in supply and those ready for dispatch to customers.

It includes :

  • stocktaking,
  • monitoring stock levels,
  • cost management,
  • sales analysis
  • and the use of inventory management software.

Effective stock management helps :

  • Reduce costs,
  • improve efficiency,
  • and increase profits.

This is particularly important for VSEs and SMEs, where good stock management can have a significant impact on a company’s financial health.

With fewer financial and human resources than a larger company, a smaller business needs to optimise its stock as much as possible to avoid :

  • money lying idle on the one hand
  • and the race for missing supplies in the case of just-in-time production, for example.

The two extremes of overstocking and understocking are tricky for VSEs/SMEs.

Ensuring real-time stock management in line with your business is crucial.

Stock management using Excel: an illusory ease?

Excel software has the enormous advantage of being familiar to everyone, having been part of the Microsoft office suite for decades.

Some very small businesses and SMEs use this spreadsheet to monitor their stock management, seeing it as a significant advance on paper-based management. Is this the case for you?

There are several ways of using Excel to manage stocks in a VSE or SME.

Here’s an example:

  • a first tab forms the basis of your products, one line per item in supply and dispatch,
  • a second tab for the stock journal,
    a third tab for the stock situation on the day of entry in Excel.
  • Of course, there are various Excel spreadsheet models, some of which use complex software management (dynamic tables, etc.).

It quickly becomes apparent that manually entering each line in each tab is tedious, time-consuming and a source of errors.

What’s more, using the same Excel file simultaneously by two operators quickly leads to computer conflicts when it comes to saving the correct, up-to-date version of the file.

On top of that, this system is not linked to your invoicing software… So you have to enter the information from the accounting management system on the Excel sheet and vice versa…

In a VSE/SME where every “employee” hour is optimised, these double-tasking operations are counter-productive.

The ease of access to the Excel spreadsheet is quickly compromised.

Finding an alternative that is still easy to use and inexpensive quickly becomes obvious, especially when the company’s growth is hampered by automation requirements that are impossible with Excel.

Let’s take a closer look at these limiting factors.

Inventory management using Excel: its rapidly limiting drawbacks

Although Microsoft Excel is an accessible and widely used solution for inventory management in VSEs/SMEs, it has certain limitations and drawbacks that can become more apparent as the business grows:

  • limited data processing capacity. The slowness of Excel software increases as the volume of data on the spreadsheet grows significantly. This quickly becomes a problem if you have a long list of products coming in and out of your supply chain. This long processing time is not only a source of reduced productivity, but also a source of stress in the face of the risk of computer corruption of the voluminous file. The fateful loss of data is not far off!
  • the difficulty of managing complex operations such as managing several warehouses, or implementing detailed traceability.
  • the risk of human error. We have to admit that despite the professionalism of some of your employees, a typing error, an incorrect entry or an incorrectly applied formula can quickly lead to inaccuracies in stock management.
  • a notable lack of advanced functionality. Even if you’re an experienced Excel user, you’ll be missing out on the advanced functionality needed for more detailed stock management (serial number management, barcode and QR code management, real-time tracking, automated alerts, etc.).
  • almost impossible to collaborate in real time. Let’s face it, with Excel, when several users are working on the same file at the same time, it’s easy for conflicts to arise… The data entry process misses out on information entered by one or other user. Coordination can be complicated.
  • An inexorable lack of security. When it comes to data security and confidentiality, Excel software is not the most suitable tool. This lack of security quickly leads to loopholes for your business.
  • Business growth hampered by Excel’s functionality. As your business grows, the complexity of your operations and stock management needs increases. Excel then becomes insufficient to effectively manage your incoming and outgoing physical flows, not to mention information flows!
  • more than limited integration with other systems. In a supply chain, inventory management requires real-time integration with various IT systems. Whether it’s accounting software, transport management, customer management, etc., integration is very complex with Excel.

Although Excel is a practical solution for managing stocks in a VSE/SME, particularly when the company is just starting out, limitations quickly arise and will slow down the company’s economic progress.

The idea of a transition to more advanced inventory management solutions is therefore worth considering.

One of the first tools that comes to mind is the TMS (Transport Management System), which is widely used in large groups.

Is this system suitable for a VSE or SME? The answer is an unequivocal YES.

TMS software, the 100% free offer from DDS: the 100% winning alternative to Excel for automated stock management

Generally used for managing transport and logistics operations, TMS (Transport Management System) software seems to be the most comprehensive digital solution for managing your stocks and transport operations.

DDS has created the first TMS that is 100% free of charge, with no obligation and can be implemented in your supply chain in less than 30 minutes, to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) meet their needs as closely as possible.

This automation tool is scalable and allows :

  • the integration of all logistics management processes. This promotes fluid communication between the various departments, including stock management and transport operations;
  • scalable automation by digitising numerous logistics tasks. These include order management and report generation. This reduces the need for human resources and the risk of data entry;
  • real-time monitoring of stocks, orders and transport operations, for faster decision-making and greater visibility across the entire supply chain;
  • good management of suppliers and customers by centralising information for optimised coordination of supplies and deliveries;
  • data security using appropriate tools;
  • and, unlike Excel, virtually endless scalability.

Using a TMS tool is the ideal choice for overcoming the drawbacks and limitations of managing your stocks using Excel.

Why not take the plunge now? Contact us to implement our dedicated offer for VSEs and SMEs in less than 30 minutes, free of charge.

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