Revitalizing Your Manufacturing Business

By James Shores

Diagnose your business' health, Fishbowl BlogIt’s supposed to be an annual checkup, but let’s be honest here, more than a few years have passed. Maybe there will be bad news. What if there is no news? That would just be good news, right? All you know is anywhere is better than here, waiting at the doctor’s office.

And that’s when the good Doc shows up, to fill you in on the “issues”: It looks like your employee potential is being lost to supply audits, incoming work orders don’t reflect actual inventory, and accounts keeps arguing with supply about the “books.” Oh, and you could use some more fiber.

It’s time to diagnose the health of our business. And then go to work fixing it.


Just as any medical professional worth his or her salt wants to know if your family is prone to heart disease or cancer, so too should we assess the economic history of the industry and evaluate where to improve. Prevention trumps treatment.

Are your processes the best way, or just the way that was handed down? Is bookkeeping still the ol’ pen and paper, or is there a logical, streamlined system of collecting all of your business data? What about customer order histories? Vendor purchase histories? Does your stock stay current with the latest pick or work order? The old days of tacking up business cards and scribbled notes on the cork board is clogging the arteries of your workflow.


Every business, no matter the size or success, must fight off a variety of ailments, but did the treatment take? What specific problems did you face last year, and are the symptoms still visible, or did a band-aid get slapped on a concussion? Some possible indicators to consider include:

  • Are work orders understood and being filled timely and successfully?
  • Do stockouts or shipping projections create bottlenecks in your processes?
  • If a possible investor wants accounting history, can you provide it?
  • How much time is spent searching inventory, instead of accessing it?
  • Where is your time spent: micromanaging or looking ahead?


Sometimes getting sick is a matter of the seasons, requiring some rest and a hot bowl of chicken soup. Other times, a more severe disease requires specific treatments and prescriptions, but they’re only effective if put to use.

Maybe it’s time for a little retooling.

Your inventory exists to serve you, your business, and the needs of your customers. Use powerful, feature-rich Manufacturing Software to cure what ails you!

  • Make use of simple barcoding and mobile modules, and control your supply.
  • Generate custom work orders, linked to inventory, tracked from start to finish.
  • Employ the power of data, and track every what, when, how, where, and why.
  • Automate your cyclical processes of reorders, purchases, even shipping.
  • Monitor and maintain your equipment and reduce downtime.


If your poor diet is killing you, get to work fixing it. If your old business practices are clogging success, get to work fixing it. Call in the practicing specialist. Make use of the growing knowledge and technology available to you. But I’ll let one Doctor of business say it best:

“If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.”                                    -John D. Rockefeller

About Robert Lockard

Robert Lockard is a copywriter with Fishbowl. He writes for several blogs about inventory management, manufacturing, QuickBooks and small business. Fishbowl Inventory is the #1-requested inventory management software for QuickBooks users. Robert enjoys running, reading, writing, spending time with his wife and children, and watching movies. His favorite movies include Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Fiddler on the Roof, Back to the Future and Lawrence of Arabia.
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