Smartsheets for Inventory Management



We've switched over to Smartsheets right now for inventory management. Right now there's just a bunch of spreadsheets within smartsheets and we're basically doing things like we were in excel with a few added benefits.

I'm researching smartsheets templates for purchase orders, tracking, inventory management etc. Almost every option I've come across so far seems to be tracking far less items than we need to track. We have thousands of items per projects and have as many as 10 projects going at one time.

Based off of everything I've seen so far it seems like smartsheets is just not well suited for inventroy management on this scale. Am I wrong? Does anyone have any guidance?


  • Katy H
    Katy H ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @AnnieR I think it would be helpful to get more information about what you are wanting to build in Smartsheet. I have built really robust inventory tracking systems in the past, but it was a very high level of effort on the front end, most existing templates are basic to serve a variety of end-users, so may not be as detailed as you want them to be.

    Katy Hall

    Head of Product Management

    ILLA Canna


  • AnnieR
    AnnieR ✭✭

    Hi Katy! Thank you for responding.

    We're an industrial manufacturer and would like a system that could track individual projects with thousands of different components. I've inserted a flow chart that might help.

    We need to track orders, order confirmations, shipping confirmations, arrival dates, and the locations of each order/item. Ideally we'd like to be able to generate purchase orders right out of smartsheets. We'd also like a barcoding system.

    To your point every template I've seen has seemed to just be for tracking a few items at a time. Even with a 20,000 row limit on an individual sheet we would eventually run into that limit. I have to have individual sheets for each project and then I have to view and edit them all in a report. I've really disliked that. If one minor cosmetic formatting change needs to happen, I have to go into like 15 different sheets to make that change in my report. Same goes for entering new items onto dropdown lists, conditional formatting, etc. We're only going to be getting more and more projects. Even if eventually they close, this just doesn't seem manageable long term in smartsheets at all. It seems like for our purposes smartsheets is little more than excel with some benefits and not something that can quickly be turned into a more robust ERP system with a lot of setup, consultation time, etc.

    Does this help? Thanks again for your response!

  • AnnieR
    AnnieR ✭✭

    Thank you for your response, Katy!

    I attached a flow chart below that might help. We're an industrial manufacturer and need to track a few thousand items per project. Right now we have about 10 projects going at a time. We need to track things like purchase orders, order confirmations, shipping confirmations, arrival dates, order/item locations once they do arrive, etc. Ideally we'd like to be able to generate purchase orders and a barcoding system for all items from Smartsheets directly.

    Even with a 20,000 line limit on each sheet I feel that we'll hit that wall quickly. I have to have individual sheets for each project right now and then I view and edit them in a report. If I want to make a small cosmetic formatting change on my report I have to go into like 10 different sheets in order to make that change. Same goes for things like adding items to a dropdown list, changing conditional formatting, etc. That's so inconvenient.

    I wanted to make some pie charts showing item status' for all projects. In order to do that I have to make a formula that references each individual sheet. The formula gets busy so quickly just due to all of the individual sheets.

    I'd think that in order to have a more functional ERP system in smartsheets we'd have to have some serious consultation time and even with that I think we'd be limited quickly.

    Does this help? I really appreciate your response!


  • AnthroTim
    AnthroTim ✭✭✭✭


    I wonder, and it's hard to tell exactly what you need, if looking at some of the premium Apps from Smartsheet may be helpful.

    For example, there is an App Called 'Data Table' that is for handling millions of rows, which can then be synced/ split out to sub sheets using 'Data Shuttle'.

    It may be that a blend of approaches is appropriate here, not a 'one tool to rule them all' - that could still be mostly/totally in Smarsheet - but may involve more than just the base Smartsheet functionality.

    It may also be that thinking about where you can slice your tool into components may also help. i.e. Reporting, vs data entry, vs tracking etc. By looking at the smaller components you may be able to find ways of using different tools for different jobs or rolling out the solution more incrementally.

    The templates are definitely only a starting point - unless your needs are simple - so may be a jumping-off point rather than a turnkey solution.

    Good luck!


  • AnnieR
    AnnieR ✭✭

    Thank you, Tim!

    I really appreciate your response. I'll try out these options, these definitely seem closer to what I'm looking for!

    I'll update here if anything exciting happens :)

    Thanks again!