I’m often asked this question by businesspeople. My short answer has always been:
Any business that needs advanced inventory control or manufacturing that is currently using QuickBooks or would like to move back onto the QuickBooks platform.
But, for consultants, this answer is a little too broad. They want details. They want to know specific industries and why Fishbowl fits in those industries so they can have a good idea of which clients they should even talk to about Fishbowl.
So here is my longer (but by no means complete) answer to that same question. I list the industry, an example customer, and the industry’s specific needs that Fishbowl addresses.
COMMON CHARACTERISTICS AMONG FISHBOWL CUSTOMERS
• Most important: They either use QuickBooks currently or wish to move back onto the QuickBooks platform.
• Number of employees: 3-150
• Annual sales: $1mil-$50mil+
SPECIFIC INDUSTRIES AND WHY FISHBOWL IS A GOOD FIT
Wholesalers and Distributors
• Example: Any company that purchases product and then turns around and resells it, usually to other businesses.
• Need that Fishbowl addresses: The ability to track products and costs (often tens of thousands of products), serial and lot number tracking, LIFO/FIFO costing, order management, wireless barcoding, pick, pack and ship. Very straight forward and right up our alley.
Manufacturers (FYI, Manufacturers account for over a third of our sales!)
• Example: Any company that purchases raw materials for the purpose of converting those materials into a finished product.
• Need that Fishbowl addresses: Very similar to Wholesale and Distribution but including assemblies, subassemblies, and the ability to add overhead and labor costs to the manufacturing of a part.
Refurbishers, Rebuilders, Resellers (Think of this as a subcategory of Manufacturing)
• Example: A client of ours purchases used excavating equipment, disassembles it, refurbishes the parts, and then resells the parts.
• Need that Fishbowl addresses: The ability to “disassemble” an item into its component parts, put those parts into inventory, and assign whatever value to those component parts the user wishes to assign (usually based on the cost of the original item).
Retail and Ecommerce
• Example: Retail stores, Web stores, often manufacturers that also have an on-site retail outlet.
• Need that Fishbowl addresses: Obviously a point-of-sale solution, and usually the same needs as wholesalers and distributors. Integration with various shopping carts and the ability to drop ship.
• Examples: Government, military, Fortune 500 companies, universities, schools
• Need that Fishbowl addresses: They are way too big for QuickBooks, but they need a way to track assets like computers, furniture, equipment, etc. and where it’s located. They also need to know which departments are ordering supplies and how much they are ordering so the costs can be properly assigned to the correct budget.
• FYI!: Fishbowl has not actively gone after this market but we seem to be a great fit for it because these sales already account for about 5% of our total revenue! These opportunities also tend to be much bigger and easier to sell.
• Example: Wine importer
• Need that Fishbowl addresses: Same as wholesalers and distributors but they also need “Landed Costs” where duties, tariffs and fees can be added to the cost of the item.
Medical Clinics and Veterinarians
• Example: A typical doctor’s office or clinic.
• Need that Fishbowl addresses: A way to track medical supply usage per doctor. Most clinics have multiple doctors who often use supplies at different rates. They want to know who is using what so it can be properly accounted for and paid. Also, many clinics run what amounts to a small retail store for medical-related products.
Construction, Contractors, Depots, Dealers and Installers
• Example: A typical contractor who needs to track equipment and supplies at multiple locations, including trucks, warehouses and construction sites.
• Need that Fishbowl addresses: Track equipment (with serial and VIN numbers) and supplies at the central warehouse and each work site.
Consignment and Fulfillment
• Example: A medical product supplier of surgical kits to hospitals and clinics.
• Need that Fishbowl addresses: They DON’T sell these kits upfront, they consign them. The company rep visits the hospital on a regular basis to check inventory. Anything missing is considered sold, a sales order is created in Fishbowl, and the invoice is sent.
Other (but not all) industries where Fishbowl seems to do well in:
• Warehousing and Fulfillment