Inventorying large amounts of materials

This message is primarilly for those with large amounts of materials for tying.
How do you inventory and keep tract of what materials you have on hand?
Do you use a computer program or what? If so could you pass on the name of that program? I guess the people who would use one of these the most would tend to be flyshops or retail stores to keep a better tract on how things are moving. I'm in the middle of testing a program now but, the jury is still out on it. I guess that once I had all of the materials entered in the data base; It would be much easier to maintain. Right now, I've got stuff in my tying room all over the walls, In my large barn ,I've got over 100 Large Glass jars, In my small Hay barn I've got more stuff in glass jars. Sure each jar is labelled/numbered and inventoried but, There's got to be a way to invetory it all on a program and see in an instant what each jar contains the quantity, quality ,etc. Any ideas???:confused: These pictures are in my tying room and I can see readily what I have . It's the other items that I'm concerned about.



Doesn't care how you fish Moderator
You could make an Excel Spreadsheet with all of you material. Print it out. Then as you tie, you can keep track of how much stuff you have left over. You can update the information on Excel.

Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
I would also suggest that you use Excel. Excel is a powerful and customizable program. It's possibilities go far beyond the average spreadsheet. By creating your own spreadsheet you create the ability to archive and present your inventory how ever you want. You may be better off investing in a comprehensive advanced guide book about Excel than an existing inventory database.

Great, but can I say like jar # 1 contains say Pheasant rumps. then have a drop down menu that says something like this jar contains 35 pheasant rump patches, quality good, puchased from..., Date, etc.? This is a for instance. I've got everything written down but, It would be easier to pull it up on a computer (I'm guessing) and when I use some of the materials I'll know what's left,and what I should be ordering. Thanks for the help.

Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
Yes, you can add whatever notes or references you want. They can be set to display in full or an indicator can be used to display them when you click on it.
You can set it up to alert you when a certain item reaches an amount that you have determined as a reorder point.
You can probably add images to your notes.



Be the guide...
You can use drop downs in Excel and do filtering too. On a second worksheet you can track all your suppliers data. You can have as many additional worksheets as you want to track other related data.

MS Access has fallen out of favor (from hard core programmers) in the last 5 years or so, but I could whip up a full blown database, data entry UI, and simple reports for this system you are talking about in about an hour.
When my friends come over and say that there are more materials in my tying room than most fly shops. The trouble is they haven't seen the other Stashes of materials. What does a guy do with 22 Pheasant skins? and the mass ampount of roosters that I've skinned, Elk hides, deer hides,Etc,Etc..
I don't think I'll live long enough to use it all. Yet, I'm always looking for that good deal when I go into a shop. I'm addicted alright. but, like my buddies tell me it keeps me out of the bars...
As Raymonds dad would put it. Holy Crap!

Might have to come over and have a cup of coffee Randy, also see you like beagles, had a grand champian once until he ran a bunny over the highway:(

I'm all for keeping materials organized. But heck, one of the "joys" of middle age is that everything is new to me--over and over again. If you don't inventory your materials you can find things in your stash that you never knew you had--over and over again.

When you figure out a system, let me know. I don't know how many times I've gone into a shop and picked up something because I just knew I was running short. When I got home I found I already had three or four back ups of my new purchase stashed away.

Got mine on an excell spread sheet, paltry as it is. I fold up a copy in my pocket when I go "looking" and add the new additions when I return. Kinda already grew to its second sheet all by itself.....imagine that.....chuck

Old Man

Just an Old Man
I have a good system. I buy it and then I stuff it into drawers and then when I want to tie up something I do the hunt thing. I couldn't keep anything in a neat condition if my life depended upon it.:( :) :)

But I like my system.

I must say I'm glad to see somebody out there is as sick as I am!

ACCESS or any database is a more efficient way of keeping track of your materials than EXCEL, and since ChadK offered his help I would take him up. Hard-core programmers don't like access for big databases - the queries take too long -but for a small-time database like yours it would work great. Once you're set up with a database you can use EXCEL to build database tables and import them to ACCESS. Depending upon how you input your data, you can get to the information much more quickly. For example, you could build tables for dubbing, feathers, hair etc. with fields for color, when you bought it, how much it cost, quality, identification number etc. Then run a query for example for "purple" materials and out would pop all your purple materials and what the ID's are for it. Or, you could run a query for everything you bought in the last year, and see how much money you spent on materials (good for tax purposes). The possiblities are endless but it will be a lot of work on the front end building all the tables.

The only problem with a database is that it's a bit of a steep curve to get started compared to EXCEL and you're going to have to learn it fairly well by trial and error even if you get some help creating it. A class at a local junior college would be a good bet if you don't learn stuff very well from books.

You can expand your database to include all your fishing or household items, good to have in case of an insurance claim.

I have to agree with the database camp. If really isn't that difficult to use ms access. If you can surf a chat room and post pics you can create a database. Spend two hours looking at the northwind sample db and another with the design wizards and you might be surprised. I think too many people get don't use databases for fear alone.

Another answer to your problem would be to lessen the number of materials that you have by sending all of your extra stuff that you don't use to aspiring tie-a-holics that are material deficient:D

Maybe if Chad doesn't do it I will put together a db for some of you old folks. Out of curiousity what would your categories and fields be.