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Pottery Inventory Software

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Hi All, this seems like a post that never dies - five years in! My day job is running an IT company - I was going to propose writing some 'ceramics business IT' articles (in friendly non-geek-speak) to CAD to answer these sorts of questions but looks like they don't have a particular focus on the business side in their article set. But if anyone has any questions, please feel free to post them and I'll write a proper blog post about it so it has more detail and images than I can post here.


To answer the original question (in short), there are a few craft management software programs out there specifically for product management - here are a few examples:

  • Craftybase - https://craftybase.com/- an online (cloud based - no software to install) product management software tool specifically for crafts. I am trialing this one at the moment specifically because it integrates (i.e. you can easily transfer info between software) with Shopify (online ecommerce software for your website). Not that I am selling anything at this early stage in my ceramics pursuit but just because I am a geek ;) Seems to have good product features so far. real life use will tell further.
  • CraftMakerPro - http://www.craftmakerpro.com/- haven't tried this one but it is made by an Aussie so it's gotta be good right? ;) Jokes aside, it is a very reasonable price but haven't personally tried it so can't vouch for features, support etc. Installs directly on your computer (not cloud based).
  • Jewelry Manager Pro - http://www.bejeweledsoftware.com/- similar features as above even though it is focused on jewelry it works for other crafts as well. I have used this before and liked the fact I owned the software once I purchased it. Did not like the fact that when I move computers it takes more effort to move the software, reinstate the data (e.g. products etc) - that is why I tend to like cloud based software better generally. But a tradeoff between paying a once off cost Vs monthly (for cloud software).

Just remember that no one piece of software fits all - some people prefer spreadsheets or creating their own databases as indicated here, others need something that eases desk time (e.g. automatic Quickbooks integration) or maybe something they don't have to think too much about. So when you look at buying software (any software) the best approach is to brainstorm first why you want the software (what benefits do you envisage it will bring your business). Then taking into account those aforementioned benefits, write down as many 'requirements' as possible and prioritise them e.g.


Requirement #1: I want software that will automatically integrate my product stock with my website so when I sell a particular product to a customer at a live show, that product availability is automatically updated on my website.


Requirements can be classified simply like: priority 1, priority 2, priority 3. Or I usually recommend making it more measurable e.g. use MoSCoW:

  • Must Have - the software is not going to be a viable choice if it can't do these things
  • Should Have - the software would still be viable but you might have some workarounds
  • Could Have - these are nice to haves. If the software has these things, great. If not, you can live without them.
  • Won't Have - sometimes you move requirements into this category when you find that the price is exorbitant compared to the benefit to get this feature or maybe just something you want to keep in mind for future software review.

Now, you have a list of the requirements and how important each one is, you review the available software and 'mark' them against the requirements e.g. in a spreadsheet (good 'ol spreadsheets are never going to die) list the following columns and a sample line below shows what goes in the row:


HEADINGS: Requirement | Priority | Software 1 | Software 2 | Software 3 (etc)

SAMPLE ROW: "blah blah requirement" | Must have | No | Yes | No


Finally, trial the software before you buy. Most software vendors have a trial option so you can test it actually meets those requirements 'in the way you think or need them to'. There is always plenty of good marketing guff on software websites so it is easy to 'assume' software works in a particular way when it doesn't really.


Hope that helps someone! :)

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Just spent the last two years full time counting my pots and entering them in excel -now I/m going out of business as I could not make any thing while doing this and all the prices are now old and out of date-I missed all my shows for those years and could not supply my gallierys but I have a hell of a list of what I now have boxed up. After taking 5,000 photos of all the work I no longer need them-I had to quit pottery and take a local job in fast foods to make ends meet.This is not a true story but it could be folks


My suggestion is just make pots and sell them and keep your list simple on a scratch pad of what you need to make or sell or whatever-you can sell over 100K a year with this simple system that does not require a power source. I have done it for over 40 years this way and it works fine.Or you can make it really complex and and take a whole lot a time.


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I've seen that product before but I can't remember its name... "Yellow Notepad" or some something similar. It requires something called a pen or pencil and I never could seem to find a reliable source for those. I don't think they are actually making them anymore and old inventory stocks are dwindling

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I just packed up a bunch of pots and delivered them, one group to the city art galley ,ad the second group to a local "touristy" shop. After delivering them all, I noticed one lonely mug sitting all by itself on my wedging table. i know that it is part of the delivery. Should I wait and see how long it takes them to notice the missing pot, or should I br honest and drop the mug off?

Both lists of pots were written on lined paper. did not take two years, maybe four hours with all the wrapping and packing.

When stuff sells, I never cross it off the list either. I just cash the cheque.


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IAfter delivering them all, I noticed one lonely mug sitting all by itself on my wedging table. i know that it is part of the delivery. Should I wait and see how long it takes them to notice the missing pot, or should I br honest and drop the mug off?

Ah, one more mug destined for the Island of Misfit Pottery. 'Tis the season, fill it with coffee/tea/cocoa and make it feel at home and not forgotten.

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