Fishbowl Inventory Review 2024 – Pricing, Pros and Cons

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Fishbowl Inventory has emerged as a popular solution for businesses seeking robust inventory management software.

This review examines Fishbowl's key features, usability, and overall performance to help you determine if it's the right fit for your inventory needs. We'll explore how this software integrates with existing systems, its pricing structure, and how it stacks up against competitors in the market.

Quick Verdict

Fishbowl's orders and work planning tools can optimize production efficiency. The continuous data collection offers real-time insights and transparency at each stage, giving managers the power to make informed decisions.

Overall, Fishbowl supports businesses of all sizes but seems most ideal for small and medium-sized companies. It will be especially useful for those that currently use or intend to use QuickBooks.

What is Inventory Management?

Whether you run a small business or a large organization, maintaining a strong grip on your inventory is essential to driving sales and maintaining a pleasant customer experience. Inventory management software takes away the labor and complexity of manual tracking by automating and streamlining the process.

Yet, inventory management applications are not created equal. Choosing the best suited solution for your needs is key to maximizing the value of automation.

Your decision is likely to revolve around budget, ease of use, inventory management challenges, anticipated growth (hence, scalability), customization preferences, integration needs, quality of customer support and cloud/on-premises deployment.

There are hundreds of inventory management applications you could potentially choose from. As a significant market player, there is a good chance that Fishbowl could make your shortlist. This review breaks down Fishbowl’s features and all the key factors you would want to know before determining if it is the right platform for you.

What is Fishbowl Inventory?

fishbowl inventory homepage

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in the United State, Fishbowl is one of the oldest inventory management software companies. Its inventory control capabilities give businesses the tools required to run their inventory management, oversee multiple warehouse locations and scale as operations grow.

By automating the process, Fishbowl reduces the overall steps followed in your distribution, wholesale and manufacturing process.

Clients can automate tedious processes and reduce costs in order to maximize profitability. It is designed to relay the sophisticated functionality of enterprise-grade ERPs such as NetSuite but at less than a fifth of the cost

Fishbowl integrates with some of the more popular business applications such as QuickBooks, Xero, Salesforce, Amazon, Adobe Commerce and Shopify.

Its features encompass everything from barcode scanning and advanced work orders, to bills of materials and material requirements planning (MRP). Fishbowl may be deployed on-premises and hosted in the cloud.

We take a closer look at Fishbowl, its features, subscription plans, ideal client as well as key pros and cons.

Main Features

Fishbowl’s primary features include:

Inventory Management

  • Centralized inventory database.
  • Real-time inventory updates and automated stock counts to understand inventory levels at all times. Set automatic reorder points on all products to avoid stock-outs.
  • Inventory level dashboards and low stock notifications. Monitor asset levels in multiple locations and transfer between locations when necessary.
  • Real-time automated inventory traceability. Track inventory across every step of your operations from order to delivery.
  • Parts and assets tracking. Track and manage essential business equipment ranging from fleets to supplies. Irrespective of time, track items in multiple locations by serial number, lot number, expiry date and custom criteria.
  • Stock history reporting and inventory Forecasting.

Warehousing

  • For 3rd party logistics providers (3PLs), track inventory by owner whether at the warehouse or in transit.
  • Manage all major aspects of your warehouse operations and order fulfillment; from sales and transfer orders, to return merchandise authorization (RMAs) and credit returns.
  • Barcode printing and scanning. Simplified product scanning and streamlined pick and pack process.

Purchasing

  • Automate order workflows, define reorder points and customize the order approval process.
  • Automatically update inventory, reconcile accounts and calculate landed costs.
  • Manage costs, lead times and parts across multiple vendors.

Sales

  • Link point-of-sale (POS) and ecommerce sales orders to the inventory management system and define custom price points.
  • Multi-currency conversions.
  • Payment processing.
  • Find the fastest and/or most affordable shipping options for each order.
  • Kit and bundle products for ease of buying and selling.
  • Manage your entire order system on one platform.

Manufacturing

  • Connect sales and inventory management to your manufacturing process.
  • Manage configurable or simple finished goods for multiple or single builds.
  • Work planning. Generate work orders for assembly, disassembly, replacement, repair and other jobs. Save commonly used work orders and bills of materials for use in future projects.
  • Customizable multi level work orders, bills of materials, and manufacture orders
  • Materials resource/requirements planning by knowing where and when parts are needed then tracking progress.
  • Time tracking and labor costing so the human resources you need are properly allocated for measurable success.

Tools and Services

  • Integrations with dozens of business applications including accounting software, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, shopping carts and shippers.
  • Connect inventory management to leading accounting solutions such as Quickbooks and Xero.
  • Customize reports in line with the most important metrics for your business.
  • Data export and import.

Notable Add-On Solutions

Apart from the software’s core inventory, warehousing and manufacturing management capabilities, Fishbowl has other notable solutions that help extend its functionality. These include:

  • Fishbowl Checkout – Create orders for customers at the point-of-sale. Comes with the Fishbowl software by default but is licensed and launched separately from the primary Fishbowl Client application.
  • Fishbowl ShipExpress – An add-on module that connects to Shippo thereby providing integration with UPS, USPS, FedEx, DHL and more.
  • Fishbowl Time – A web app whose functionality includes employee time clocks, projects, overtime and geolocation. Can be used as a standalone product.
  • Fishbowl Hosted Services – Fishbowl Server hosting services offered to Fishbowl Advanced customers (which is the on-premises hosting plan).

Deployment Options

  • Cloud (i.e. offered as web-based software-as-a-service).
  • On-premises installation (on Windows or Linux).
  • Mobile App (Not a standalone option. Rather, complements cloud or on-premises deployment by facilitating barcode scanning, warehouse picking, warehouse packing and shipping).

Pricing Plans

Fishbowl has two pricing plans – Fishbowl Drive and Fishbowl Advanced. Fishbowl Drive is a warehouse inventory management plan only while with Fishbowl Advanced, you can either choose the warehouse only option or include the manufacturing module as well.

More specifically, the distinguishing features of each plan are as follows:

Fishbowl Drive

  • Cloud-based Inventory & warehousing accessible from any location
  • Starts at $329 per month (hosting included by default at no extra charge). $49 per month for each additional add-on integration.
  • Starts at 2 Full Access Users
  • Business Intelligence
  • Fishbowl ShipExpress
  • Accounting Integration (QuickBooks or Xero)
  • One Integration of your choice
  • Unlimited US-based support via chat, email and phone. Product documentation available.
  • Fishbowl Mobile App to facilitate barcode scanning, warehouse picking, warehouse packing and shipping.

Fishbowl Advanced

  • On-premises inventory, warehousing and manufacturing management software
  • Starts at $329 per month for warehousing module and $429 for manufacturing module. $49 per month for each additional add-on integration.
  • Hosting available at an extra $299 per month. Specifications include 8 GB RAM. However, you have the option of using a third-party hosting service of your choice.
  • Starts at 2 Full Access Users
  • Fishbowl Payments
  • Business Intelligence
  • Accounting Integration (QuickBooks or Xero)
  • Fishbowl ShipExpress
  • One integration of your choice
  • Unlimited US-based support via chat, email and phone. Product documentation available.
  • Fishbowl Mobile App to facilitate barcode scanning, warehouse picking, warehouse packing and shipping

Free Demo

Fishbowl does not offer a free trial but it does come with a free demo. Provide your business name and a business email address to book a demo and see how the application works before you commit to subscription.

Implementation and Certification Package

Fishbowl requires an implementation and certification package as part of your purchase. It is charged separately via a one-time cost. This entails a dedicated Fishbowl implementation specialist taking time to understand your business then developing an onboarding plan in line with your operational needs.

The implementation encompasses data migration, 6 weeks training and certification (8 weeks for the manufacturing option) and a dedicated team for go-live support.

Discounts

Fishbowl’s pricing has built-in incentives that lower the cost per user when you opt into multi-month contracts (12 months or more) and/or an increasing number of users. You can also negotiate a custom quote to fit the specific needs of your business.

Subscription Refunds

Fishbowl does not offer a money back guarantee. Also, you do not get a refund when you cancel or downgrade your subscription.

Accepted Payment Methods

You can pay your subscription using a major credit or debit card.

Customer Support Channels and Training Resources

Customer support is available via the following channels.

  • Chat
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Community forum
  • Personalized training
  • Learning resources including getting started manual, inventory management guide, training videos, FAQs and blog

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Easy-to-use and intuitive interface.
  • Integrations with dozens of shopping carts, shippers, CRM’s, accounting software and other business applications. QuickBooks is the most significant and Fishbowl repeatedly mentions its deep compatibility with Quickbooks throughout the site. Accounting data is updated in real time providing live insight on landed cost, cost of goods sold and cash flow impact.
  • No limits on number of:
    • Custom fields
    • Customer profiles
    • Vendor profiles
    • Pricing rules and pricing tiers
  • Allow multiple units of measurement and corresponding conversions
  • Procedural and regulatory compliance through quality assurance and quality control. Custom workflows, task assignment, tracking and reporting help mitigate or remediate procedural errors and lower the risk of non-compliance.
  • Multi-channel customer support backed by an extensive knowledge base for self-paced learning.

Cons

  • No money back guarantee for new clients nor a refund for existing clients that cancel their subscription.
  • Difficulty in pulling and exporting accurate reports of inventory valuation summary and sorting valuation summary by date.
  • While the application is mostly easy to use, certain usage problems can be difficult to decipher and fix thereby necessitating the intervention of Fishbowl’s customer support.
  • Fishbowl may have difficulty scheduling materials planning automatically.

Customer Reviews and Ratings

As at March 2024, Fishbowl’s average customer ratings across key user review platforms are as follows.

Review PlatformAverage RatingNumber of Reviews
G2.com4 out of 5222
Trustpilot.com3.2 out of 51
GetApp.com4.1 out of 5847
Capterra.com4.1 out of 5848
SaaSworthy.com3.8 out of 5369
FeaturedCustomers.com4.8 out of 51714

Overall, considering the low average ratings that many of its peers (including some industry leaders) score on these platforms, Fishbowl does relatively well with a low of 3.2 and a high of 4.8.

Best For (Typical User)

From the get-go, Fishbowl mentions that it is the top inventory management software for QuickBooks users. In fact, one could argue that the company considers its QuickBooks integration as its greatest asset.

The Fishbowl website contains multiple instances of text and video dedicated to elaborating how well it works QuickBooks. There is even an entire section of its navigation menu dedicated to Quickbooks.

This of itself implies an advanced degree of compatibility between the two applications that has been perfected over the years. Any inventory movement captured by Fishbowl is automatically updated to QuickBooks.

Fishbowl would therefore be best suited for businesses that already use or are intending to use QuickBooks for their accounting management. And since QuickBooks is designed for the small and medium sized business, we could extrapolate that same target audience to be Fishbowl’s as well.

Conclusion

Fishbowl automates the manufacturing and distribution process to help companies better ride fluctuating demand and overcome supply challenges.

It adopts an inventory-centric approach that leverages automation to give growing businesses the control they require to gradually lower inventory management costs over time.

Over the course of two decades, Fishbowl has developed an exceptional degree of integration with the accounting software, and has been QuickBooks leading inventory management partner. Further, it has integrations with dozens of other widely used business applications such as Adobe Commerce, Amazon, Xero, Salesforce and Shopify.

Finding the right inventory management system may take time but the operational and financial pay-off can be more than worth it.

Pre-procurement due diligence Is essential to getting it right the first time. If you are contemplating using Fishbowl, detail your inventory management needs and then compare them to the features and capabilities covered in this review.

While Fishbowl has mostly positive reviews and high customer ratings, that doesn’t not necessarily mean it will work well for every business.

In case you are not fully convinced that it is the ideal option, contact customer service for a risk-free demo and test out the functionality in the context of your most significant inventory management challenges.

Rebekah Carter

Rebekah Carter is an experienced content creator, news reporter, and blogger specializing in marketing, business development, and technology. Her expertise covers everything from artificial intelligence to email marketing software and extended reality devices. When she’s not writing, Rebekah spends most of her time reading, exploring the great outdoors, and gaming.

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