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Managing large lists of products
How do you do it?
zulu_dude




msg:4620281
 11:13 am on Oct 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

At the moment my store only has around 1,000 products and I'm using Excel to manage them. It's great because I can paste in a cost price, calculate delivery based on weight, enter a target margin and use that to calculate my selling price.

However, it's not absolutely perfect as if one row goes awry, then my linked formulas in the next tab are thrown out of sync and it's easy to get all the pricing wrong by shifting a cost price up one row!

My aim is to get my inventory up to around 5k products and I'm wondering whether I want to stick with Excel.

What do you use to manage your products? Do you do it directly in your ecommerce platform? If you want to add 100 new products, do you do it all manually?

 

ssgumby




msg:4620378
 6:07 pm on Oct 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, we keep it all in our ecommerce package. We do enter it all manually. We have over 3k skus

oliondor




msg:4620448
 9:48 pm on Oct 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

Also interested to know what are other people solutions...

votrechien




msg:4621674
 9:17 pm on Nov 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's something I've been looking into as of late as well. Very comparable SKU count (and ambitions) to you.

We use Excel to store all of the information for our products, from price and costing down to tariff numbers. Over the past couple of years a lot of this information has been duplicated in our order and inventory management software (Linnworks FYI) but it doesn't replace Excel. Even if we found a better piece of software besides Linnworks, the flexibility Excel offers I think is hard to replace.

I can echo your sentiment about having a formula slightly off can be disastrous. Even if you used a more formal inventory management software piece, you'd likely still be uploading products via a CSV at some point so I don't know how you could ever completely eliminate the chance of such errors.

There might be a better solution for very large companies, but I think even with 5000 SKUs you'll always have a place in your heart for Excel :)

zulu_dude




msg:4621756
 8:55 am on Nov 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I do like a good bit of Excel!

I think you're absolutely correct, whichever method I use there will always be room for error... I just feel like there must be a more robust method than a spreadsheet.

I've been looking at building my own custom system, but am struggling to find a way to lay it out that isn't just a big grid of cells (and therefore a clone of Excel and the same as where I'm at now!).

I've been looking at PIM (product information managers) but I can't see anything yet that has any benefits over a good old spreadsheet!

So, for the moment anyway, I'm sticking with what I know!

One thing I have found is that for prevention of errors it's best to have all the products and profit calculations in one worksheet as that removes the issue of deleting a row in one worksheet and having that mess up the calculations in the next worksheet.

ssgumby




msg:4621828
 1:26 pm on Nov 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Maybe im confused. Are we talking like a product master sheet, or are we talking complete product inventory maintenance? I dont see how it is possible to keep inventory up to date across multiple channels using excel.

Again, we use a database (our ecommerce solution). Inventory is synched between multiple websites via db triggers. It is synced between multiple channels (amazon, ebay, rakuten, etc) via web services which ultimately update the count back in the database.

tangor




msg:4621832
 1:37 pm on Nov 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've been looking at building my own custom system, but am struggling to find a way to lay it out that isn't just a big grid of cells (and therefore a clone of Excel and the same as where I'm at now!).

Even relational databases are "big grid of cells". Not sure there are many (or any) other ways of managing data. But we all keep trying!

10,000 items or less Excel. (can be more, just where I break it)... Database for everything else... and a CMS or eCommerce is a database, just looks funny on the front end. :)

zulu_dude




msg:4621846
 3:08 pm on Nov 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Even relational databases are "big grid of cells"

Hadn't thought of it like that, but you're completely right... guess it just looks easier to use when it's in a nice dashboard that's specifically geared to the data you're administering!

votrechien




msg:4622133
 8:51 pm on Nov 8, 2013 (gmt 0)


Maybe im confused. Are we talking like a product master sheet, or are we talking complete product inventory maintenance? I dont see how it is possible to keep inventory up to date across multiple channels using excel.


I'm probably confused, but I believe we're talking about the master sheet. Something that contains data useful for consumers, and unuseful for consumers (i.e. packaging info, supplier info, etc).

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