What do you use for inventory and sales?

lindy_looSeptember 22, 2013

Sorry for two posts in one day. The season is coming to an end and I am already starting to plan for next year.

What do you use for tracking inventory and sales? I need something to be able to show how much money we made from onions or summer squash. Or something that can tell me which variety of carrots sold the best. I mean, I track in my head, but that's not something I can really compare from year to year. Also, I may think something sold really well, but it may have only sold well because we didn't have a lot of it.

The only way we have been tracking this year has been total sales for the market day. That tells me we did better last week than the week before, but not what sold well and what didn't.

I did some searching to see what was out there, but all the programs seem like they are designed for actual brick & mortar businesses. I don't need something with a POS system for example.

Do you use a program or just write it down in a notebook and then compute it out at the end of the season? If you do an excel spreadsheet can you show me how it is set up? This is something I really need to improve on. Thanks!!

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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Honestly, I only track my stuff for the winter markets. I started to track our sales on individual markets this spring and it worked really well from the end of April until early June. Then it got crazy busy and picking like crazy and I said the heck with it. I still track overall sales and jelly sales, but that is it.

I just use a notebook and when I load it into a tub or cooler I write down the variety and quantity (lbs, bunches, bags) Then at the end of the market, when we start tearing down, I pull out the notebook and write down the amounts. I also wrote that days price, weather and a few notes.

Keep things simple, I might try to do something on my Iphone for next year. Not sure how, but since I have it I might as well use it.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 7:54PM
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i use an excel spreadsheet. i list what items are going to the market (2 sheets for 2 markets). i weigh/count everything and write down how much of each thing i take to the market. before i go to the market, baring any price change while at the market, i know what my potential gross is. i put this in a column called out. i also count my opening cash and write that down on the sheet.
when the market day is over and its time to load up i weigh/count everything thats going back home and write it on the sheet in a column called in. when i get home and count the money it should come to the same number as the difference between what i brought to and what i brought back from the market.
i then save the sheet. you can add as much detail as you want (such as varieties). i can look at last year's sheet to see what i sold then.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 8:01PM
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I do what Randy does only I do this by hand with pen and paper. I made up inventory sheets (basically a sheet that has lines for each kind of produce being sold that day/week and how much comes in and how much goes out) This means doing an inventory of everything slated to sell at each particular market (for me that is a CSA and a farm store but when I did farmers markets I made up a sheet for every FM I went to).

This tells me what came in, what sold, how much sold and for what money.

The fun part is collecting all the information at the end of the year and making sense out of it. But when you do you will see plainly what sells and what does not and if you need to make adjustments to pricing.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 4:24AM
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I also use a inventory type sheet, but on a small flip spiral notebook. Write each type, and how much $ per item or lb, then mark tally marks as sold. I keep it in my money apron so it is really easy to mark it after I've made change. If I sell out I mark that next to the tallies, and I make notes at the end of the market with items that had excess left over. This helps me adjust how much to bring from week to week. If I sell out of any one item 3 weeks in a row, then I bring more & raise price. If I have excess of one item 3 weeks in a row, then I decrease how much I bring by 20-30%.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 5:36PM
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I use inFlow Inventory software. Initially I bough it (there is free version too) to use in my small commercial greenhouse, but now I adopted it to farmers market sales as well. It allows to enter items, update quantities any time, once you submit sales it gives you quantities left. There are multiple taxation schemes available like "6% tax" or "non-taxable". It generates sales reports for chosen period of time. And it gives you list of most profitable stock items with total sales.
That is inFlow Inventory in nutshell.
I am very happy with it. makes my accounting much easier and I don't have to make list of the same items over and over again. I even do my total profit calculations, since it allows me to enter costs of plants/seeds and gas.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 11:33AM
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