If your business has been using spreadsheets to track inventory, you may be ready to move onto a more powerful database program like Microsoft Access. Inventory databases are important for several reasons, including storing details and quantities of the products you stock, along with their suppliers. With a well-organized database, you can reduce the time, cost and effort of inventory management.
Below are five simple steps to help you create an inventory database using Access.
Step 1. Consider your business needs.
Think about what your database needs to be helpful to your business’ inventory. For example, what items do you carry? Are there differences that need to be noted? What are the turnover times? This is the type of information that should be included in your database.
Also, figure out how the database will be implemented within your software architecture. In other words, how will Access interact with your other programs? Your IT staff should be able to help you with this.
Step 2. Install Access on your computer.
Decide where your database will be stored – on your personal computer, on an internal server or by a third party. It can then be downloaded and installed. Microsoft Access is part of Office 365. You can buy the basic or premium version and pay $8.25 or $12.50 per user per month, respectively. The premium version comes with additional services, such as Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and Teams.
Step 3. Build your database.
Once installed, you can start building your inventory database. If you’ve used Microsoft Office before, Access will feel comfortable and familiar. However, building a high-quality database that is free from errors can be difficult to do at first.
To ensure your inventory database is well-built, consider working with a database development company. This way, you’ll have the peace of mind that your database is accurate.
Step 4. Fine tune your database.
Once you have your fields in – units ordered, units received, product information, etc. – you can fine tune the database according to your notes. Be sure to establish relationships between the fields. Find out what values you will have returned when using the database and a way to store them. Also, avoid having duplicate data in multiple fields.
Step 5. Enter in the information.
When your database is properly set up, you can start populating it with information. While you can input the data by hand, an easier option is to import your previous spreadsheet. If you were using Excel, you can click “Excel” and import your spreadsheet this way. Because both programs are developed by Microsoft, they are usually preserved when importing from one to the other.
This is a brief breakdown of how to make an inventory database on Access, but if you have more questions, contact Arkware today. We’ll be happy to help with all stages of creating, managing and storing your inventory database.