Inventory Sheets

Inventory Sheets

2. Inventory Sheets

Clothing brands and fashion retailers used inventory sheets to make smart business decisions and to keep track of everything they made, bought and sold. If you are a small clothing business without a lot of stock, an inventory sheet can still help with budgeting and with knowing how much inventory you have and how much you will need.

For most competitive brands today, however, inventory management technology replaces the older, physical inventory sheet.

Using Sheets For Tracking

At its most basic, an inventory sheet is a spreadsheet where you record inventory levels and turnover. Inventory sheets range from basic to complicated, as different companies will track different things on them. Tracked information generally includes materials, supplies, inventory in transit. 

A small apparel business can use an actual paper log to keep track of items. Small clothing manufacturers or jewelry makers can use basic inventory sheets to track materials and supplies as well.

However, manual spreadsheets are notoriously error-prone. And businesses with employees at more than one location need to be able to share a spreadsheet and collaborate in real time. That’s why growing clothing businesses usually end up giving up manual inventory practices for a more automated approach.

Inventory Sheet Templates

At its most basic, a free inventory spreadsheet template is a table with columns for you to fill in a record number/inventory number/Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), item description, purchase price, stock reorder level, quantity and location.

  • Microsoft offers Excel templates that are user-friendly and that allow for some customization to fit your needs.
  • Google Sheets is a good “in the cloud” alternative—perfect if you need to share access with co-workers and update your inventory sheet in real time.

Limitations of Inventory Sheets

If you own a small apparel retail business that doesn’t carry a lot of stock, your point-of-sale (POS) system or other basic manual inventory system may be all you need to track inventory.
But an inventory sheet takes time and effort to maintain, especially if you aren’t working “in the cloud.”
Businesses that work across multiple locations need to collaborate in real time. That’s why using an Excel spreadsheet for inventory management is one of the biggest things keeping small apparel retailers and manufacturers from growing—they’re simply wasting too much time keeping manual records (and fixing the errors that inevitably happen).

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