And do they remember how they did it? I just had a horrible realization that I don't remember how to use Access. How well did it work? Would you use it for keeping track of other things?
OK, I'm confused. Why do you want your inventory in a database rather than a spreadsheet?
Access has a few more tools to help you track things than Excel does.
You can write any macro to track anything you want in Excel. And iIt'll not only track but will also do the calculations for you, which Access can't do.
-Have used both access and excel and frankly would prefer excel for inventory which does have a flexible and straightforward sorting capability plus all the necessary math functions. -Save access for tabulating surveys and research ...
Did you ever find a solution? Im working on a simple access DB to track my jewelry supplies and a few other things.
I must add my two sense in, as a programer of both excel and access. Excel is a good tool for certian function, but of you want a whole business tracker access is a better tool. You can use it track not just inventory, but finished products, sales, contacts, taxes, craft shows/farmer markets events, and so much more. Excel could mimic these trackers, but you have a verity of spreadsheets, or worse yet files. A database is modeled, but the front end is one flowing function.
I am glad that somebody agrees with me about Access. I do need to retake the class to learn how to use the database again, or find some tutorials that I have the patience to sit through online. So, still sitting on the idea for now. But, it is definitely in the works.
I actually used Filemaker Pro for my materials and jewelry. I'm not a pro programmer, but it does the job fairly well. I say "used" because I haven't had the chance to update it recently and I found I that I made it more than what I think I really needed it to be. I want to add customers, accounting (basic), and sales to it, but I just haven't had the time and I think, at least for me, I need to make a new database.
I just got a computer with Access 2010 on it and I am currently building a new database in it. I've been able to do more with it than FM Pro, such as create differently item numbers for my differently jewelry (such as B0001 for bracelets, R0001 for rings, etc). This may or may not be important, but I am going with it for now. It does make it a bit more cumbersome than just one type of identifier for all (such as TCJ0001, TCJ 0002, etc).
Another option would be to download their Northwinds database, clear it out, and use that as a well developed starting point and adjust it from there.
I dont have Microsoft Office, but I do use Open Office which is a freeware version almost identical to Microsoft Office. I used the database just recently to create an inventory database from "scratch."
And any Access type database can do just as complex mathematical problems as Excel, you just have to be able to "speak" the language. Most retail versions of inventory programs are based on databases not on spreadsheets. I find Access to be very flexible with its sorting and reporting capabilities, and the math functions are exactly the same as Excel.
Kadone, if you do a google search there are a couple of excellent Access tutorials online. You will be able to set up your database in a couple of days. Good luck!
I have tried to use Access and generally failed. That is most likely because the first "database" I ever used was a flat database, and Access is a relational database. My brain just got wrapped around the flat concept and never quite figured out the relational concepts. That being said, to do the things that you want to do, I believe that you definitely should be using a relational database. A spreadsheet will not stretch as far as you need it to go.
Open Office is a good suite and will run files created in MS Office as well as save them to that format for exportation. Another free suite, a "fork" of Open Office, is LibreOffice. LO is devoted to keeping the software free and open source, while OO has had a little bit of a rocky relationship between its sponsor(s) (Sun/Oracle/Apache) and the software developers who helped create it. Personally, I am about to switch from OO to LO.
Whatever you choose, I would suggest you look at tutorials and take whatever classes you can. Learning how to use one of these databases is on my Bucket List (seriously). Microsoft has some online tutorials that I have found useful for other programs. I'm sure their Access tutorials will also be quite good.
I wish you luck!
I've got a working inventory database that I designed in Access. I can enter orders for beads, ticking once received. I've also got sales, customers, orders, supplies, stock etc as well. So it's useful. I still have some things to add, but it's fully functional and suits my needs. I like it because it's customisable to what I need, and cheap, unlike what's available to buy :)
I suggest you use the excel rather than the data base,except you know some program language.
Anyone ever used Bead Manager Pro (I think formerly Filemaker Pro)?? Have been debating about using it to make inventory of my beads, and to be able to cost estimate the price of a piece. Any reviews on this software? Not expensive, but don't want to invest in something that doesn't do what I want it to.
I think that I personally would use Excel instead. While it is a worksheet, it also works very well as a database. Another option might be to use Quickbooks and then you can everything in one place. Use the Point-of-Sale version and then you can tie your sales, purchases and everything else together. You can also export any of your information from QB into excel. Just a few suggestions.
Untmom, I can partially answer your question, but you might want to make a new thread so that your question becomes the topic and you get more replies. I recently bought Bead Manager Pro. BMP and Filemaker Pro are two completely seperate entities, both are database softwares; Filemaker Pro (owned by Claris) is a broad spectrum database while Bead Manager Pro is Specific to managing beads or beading related companies or activities.
I was managing my beading activities by using the Open Office database, but I just wasnt able to make the database do what I needed. I finally caved and bought Bead Manager Pro after endlessly comparison shopping between the different bead management databases. While I have not used it to its full capabilities, I do love what I have used it for so far. I've used it for inventory, price setting, vendor management, piece inventory, and customer management. I have not used it for reports or bills of sales as my business is new and my sales are mostly very informal (at the moment). I'm sure there are other things I can use it for but have not yet discovered. I am still setting everything up and things change daily. Its very user friendly and comes with a great on-line tutorial. If you have any specific questions please feel free to ask.