Fishbowl Inventory - Determining When it's the Right Fit
by Doug Sleeter May 22, 2007
As many of you know, The Sleeter Group and Fishbowl Inventory have partnered together to deliver industrial strength inventory control system for QuickBooks users and other small business owners.
Meet John David King. John David is the Value Added Reseller Manager at Fishbowl Inventory and has been assigned the task of developing a professional group of resellers across the country to represent Fishbowl Inventory. He has been thrilled with the amazing new members that have joined the Fishbowl VAR program since the alliance with The Sleeter Group. He has received many great ideas and he welcomes the professionalism the Sleeter members bring to the reseller group. Please feel free to contact John David if you are interested in joining the Fishbowl VAR program.
I recently asked John to answer a few questions that will help consultants who need inventory solutions for their clients. We all know there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so I asked John David to help us learn how to approach the process of identifying and qualifying whether Fishbowl Inventory is the right choice.
Question: How do you know which clients can or should use Fishbowl Inventory?
Answer: In choosing to recommend a software solution of any type to your clients, it is imperative that you are confident in the capabilities of the software and that the software is a "good fit" for that particular client. Fishbowl has developed a flexible inventory solution that has application across a wide range of business models. While no two clients may choose to handle inventory issues in the exact same manner, with Fishbowl, clients retain the flexibility of choosing the business processes they are comfortable with while using a solution that can be adapted to their specific needs.
Specific client needs where Fishbowl is usually a perfect fit include:
Inventory tracking by serial number, lot, expiration date, or revision
Multiple location inventory tracking
Unlimited part numbers and configurable Bill of Materials
Specific client needs where Fishbowl is usually not the right fit include:
Clients with a need for multiple units of measure for the same inventory part
Fishbowl can only integrate with the U.S. version of QuickBooks
One aspect of the comfort zone for many clients is their use and dependence on QuickBooks. Many clients have been using QuickBooks for quite some time and have become familiar with the software and confident in its capabilities. When these clients find themselves in the situation where their current inventory solution is not longer viable, it is invaluable to them to find an inventory solution that allows them to remain with QuickBooks. The seamless integration between QuickBooks and Fishbowl has true benefits to clients who are unsure or afraid of change and wish to continue with an accounting system they trust.
Question: What features make Fishbowl Inventory a great product?
Answer: There are several features in the Fishbowl Inventory product that help clients manage their inventory and business process better. They include:
Advanced Order Processing and Manufacturing capabilities
Convenient Import and Export functionality
Shipping integration with UPS and FedEx
Seamless integration with QuickBooks
Fishbowl Inventory is continuously striving to enhance the capabilities of its software and provide the features most businesses want and need. This can best be illustrated by the release of Fishbowl Inventory 5.0. This is the most substantial release in Fishbowl’s history and it provides a solution for a much wider range of clientele. With the addition of so many features, larger businesses can now add Fishbowl to their QuickBooks solution without the need to turn to more expensive solutions.
For a complete list of the new features available in 5.0 please see the Fishbowl site.
Question: How much does Fishbowl Inventory cost?
Answer: The cost of the software is based on concurrent user licenses. For a typical installation of five users the price as of June 1, 2007 will be $5,795.00. Unlike many inventory solutions available, Fishbowl provides a complete version of the software to everyone. It is common for others in the industry to sell a basic version of their software and then require the customer to purchase individual modules based on their specific needs. Fishbowl also can provide additional users as the client grows and requires more employees to access the software. While the release of Fishbowl Inventory 5.0 comes with an increase in price, the solution remains completely affordable for the vast majority of businesses with inventory control needs. When comparing prices to other solutions, you should know that other companies often price their software in individual modules. The stripped-down standard package often requires "add-ons" and "extras" that can add thousands to the final price (as well as making the purchase process somewhat complex and confusing). Further, live phone support and training are often high-priced "options." However, Fishbowl Inventory provides a complete solution for one low price. Everything you need to get up and running is included with the standard package.
Question: How do you help consultants get their clients up and running with Fishbowl?
Answer: Providing clients with an affordable, flexible, and progressive inventory control solution allows the advantage of remaining with an accounting system they know and trust. This can be a tremendous asset to your clients and a great addition to the repertoire of consulting solutions you provide. Fishbowl will endeavor to help you help your clients grow and improve their business while at the same time helping you as a consultant to also grow your own business. Fishbowl will provide every member of the reseller program with unlimited support to assist the consultant in successfully implementing the software.