Fishbowl Good For SMBs Wanting An On-Premises ERP, But Prepare To Outgrow It.
It provided a decent ERP for the price but is definitely geared to low transaction volumes.
Fishbowl is relatively easy to use (by nature, ERP systems are complex) and is relatively reliable for companies whose transactions number in the low hundreds per day. Their support is quite effective but may be slower than you like -- if your business is effectively down due to an ERP issue, the last thing you want to get when you call support is voicemail. Unless things have changed in recent (2017) releases, one must update the local client with each system update, and that can be problematic for small shops that do have centralized software management and have restricted local rights on their PCs. They did change from FireDB to MySQL late last year, which improved performance drastically, but the database still requires a lot of optimization, care and feeding in order to get peak performance. Eventually, the company I worked for decided that it had outgrown FBI and migrated to NetSuite.
* Slow support response
* Relatively slow performance
* Cannot cancel running batch jobs
* They recommend(ed) running Quickbooks and Fishbowl on the same server, which meant an extremely expensive server was required. The alternative was to split the two apps onto different machines and experience super-slow batch updates (some ran hours)
Precision Ag Industry Inventory Control
Fishbowl is a great company to work with! They are a solutions based company that strives to take the input of their customer. When we first implemented Fishbowl Inventory Software three years ago, we utilized their on site training to help assist with the setup and initial training. They don't just provide a cookie cutter approach to their support and training, they realize they work with all types of industry and have been able to adapt their software to work in nearly every need for inventory related purposes. Their software is easy to use, better than a DOS based system, and has great user interface for easy training of employees.
Fishbowl is very good at answering your questions and their tech support. Sometimes you have to leave a message and they have to return a phone call, however it is in a timely manner, and they generally have a solution prior to calling you back, getting your issue resolved in a timely manner. Their "live chat" on their website is a good alternative if they are unavailable by phone and your question just can't wait.
Positive. Fishbowl performs its functions efficiently
It replaced a very old and unreliable product. By integrating with QuickBooks, we greatly expanded the candidate pool for our accounting department. We were able to grow our business with lower growth in staff.
The user interface allows new users to become proficient quickly. The ability to incorporate bar codes and product images is helpful. It is a great substitute for the Inventory module of QuickBooks if you need to do a lot of kitting and assemblies as well as calculating landed costs for imports.
Report writing/modifying is cumbersome. End user is captive to Fishbowl or 3rd party authors. There should be more flexibility akin to Quickbooks for users to add/subtract columns of data as well as filtering by multiple criteria. Most filters are all/everything or just one Customer, Vendor, Part Number, etc. We also had to have custom reports created for some very basic inventory management reports - FB's main purpose. More end user input should have been/should be sought
EDI implementation is possible, but through 3rd party providers and automating order processing is limited.
Good, Solid WMS
Fishbowl is a good, solid warehouse management system. It has all the functionality needed to manage our inventory and warehouse (over 1500 bin locations and 5000 sku's in a 25,000sq ft whse) . Customer support is always helpful and friendly.
Cycle Counting Functionality, Lot Traceability, Can track customer specific fields like Country of Origin, Carton Quantity, any specific as needed. The activity report is very detailed to track parts and what user touched them last. We import and are able to easily hold the product in our inventory for dollar value but as 'in-transit' (not sellable or pickable) once it sails until it actually hits the door. Inventory dollars between FB and Quickbooks are very accurate.
Does not have an EASY way to handle 'outside processing'; It can be done with transfer orders, but it is a bit time consuming.
Currently, the Activity Report is losing user ids.
Results of Request for Customized Pick Ticket Report
We were all extremely impressed with the talent and expertise of the Fishbowl Reports team. They were genuinely interested in helping us improve our processes by designing a report that met our specific needs.
They were in constant communication with us throughout the design, installation, test and acceptance phases of our project and truly exceeded our expectations!
Although we requested a relatively minor modification to the resident Pick Ticket report, we were extremely pleased as to the quality and speed at which the modified report was provided to us by the Fishbowl Reports team.
Specifically, we had requested our applicable lot numbers of each of our respective products be visible on the new report, and it indeed operates just as advertised and is a big time-saver for our team.
We had absolutely no issues with the design, installation or testing of our custom report.
saves time and money
This is a great start-up and small business POS program. It is robust and will allow your company to grow with out paying out for additional software upgrades. The inventory controls, vendor and receiving modules work great together. You don't have any limiitations when creating new part numbers. Custom pricing is easily learned.
For a wholesale / retail business, this is a feature packed program that handles most day to day operations and is accurate. Being PC / Server based, you don't have lag time or glitches. It's a good solid program. Integration with QBO is seamless... one button updates or create a schedule. Unlike other software companies, the service package is affordable, and the support staff is top notch.
This program is great for start up and smaller businesses, but the downside is the upfront initial cost. After using Fishbowl Inventory, you will find that the benefits outweight the cost.
Top Notch Support
Our company has used FB for many years now and rely heavy on its capabilities to run our business. From a support standpoint I rate it A+
Fishbowl is a simple but robust solution and meets our requirements from order entry and order fulfillment at our Headquarters and manufacturing facilities. It integrates with Salesforce via a API and is continually improving. The Fishbowl Plug-in team specifically Jacobi Sardoni is great to work with as they focus on the problem, help you resolve it and educate you on the way. Over all very professional in their efforts. Thank you!
From a sales perspective, the Salesforce API was initially limited but has gone through some major revisions to become a more robust API we can trust. Their are still some features that need to be improved relative to fulfillment.
Did not work out
Customer support is thorough when you are able to reach them.
Software was very easy to understand and implement. There are a few valuable stock reports.
Data module allows you to write your own SQL queries.
1. IT issues
a. Having to reset company server every Sunday. As per IT department, this is a known issue on Fishbowl’s end with no plans to fix
b. Having to reset fishbowl server every day due to export failures. Again, known issue.
c. The client stalls on our staff daily. Just this past week, collectively we've had to kill the application 40 times due to random lock-ups. This is not an issue on our IT department's end.
d. Our quickbook's database has increased tenfold due to the amount of exports fishbowl has made over the last three years. Manuvering in Quickbook's is now a nightmare here in Canada since users are unable to compress the database anymore.
2. Internal Control
a. No audit trail as it relates to changes to SKUs, POs, SOs, changes to inventory valuations
b. Inability to lock down PO and SO items after they are issued
c. Inability to police SKU creation. We need users to be able to create SKUs and submit to management for approval. Once approved, the SKU details are locked down. Fishbowl's user account control is VERY limited.
a. Poor inventory reporting – not able to view listing at a specific date. Fishbook’s workaround does not reconcile to the quickbooks ledger since the report is only a snapshot and not an actual valuation at that date.
b. Not able to customize views on reports such as POs, SOs, etc.
c. Inventory days aging calculation is flawed. If I move inventory to another location, it resets to zero. That is not how days in inventory is properly calculated. Fishbowl can’t calculate this measure since historical values are not stored. Same with GMROII.
d. Inability to create custom reports to track measures such as inventory performance and turnover. Historical carrying cost data is not stored.
4. Poor integration with Quickbooks
a. If SKUs accounts were not correctly mapped, a change must be made in both fishbowl and quickbooks after the fact. If we were able to police SKU creation properly, this would rarely be an issue.
b. Live inventory valuation in Fishbowl almost never agrees with ledger and I can’t figure out why.
Fishbowl continues to be a great product!
I continue to have great experiences with Fishbowl Support. I speak to CSR on the Central Team almost every time I call. He is great about explaining things when their is an issue. He is always polite and ready to help. :)
Fishbowl is easy to use and is consistently updated to fix bugs and offer changes or new features.
Would love to see an update to the email function as it could be easier to use. There are also a few limiting factors that we work around when we integrate a new EDI Trading Partner.
Software is complicated, I understand bugs. I appreciate your rapid customer support in getting the issues resolved!
Easy to use, lots of customizability options, and the mobile app is great especially for taking pictures.
I appreciate regular updates but I am afraid to update to new versions; twice now we've experienced problems upon updating (within 6 months of owning the software). The first update corrupted the images in our database and replaced our images with the bike shop demo images. The second problem occurred with a recent update, we can't export to QuickBooks because it says sales tax isn't set up. The other problem I seem to have is my labels don't print with my Brother printer, they print ok with the Zebra printer purchased, but better printer support would be ideal.
Happiest with value of Fishbowl. Many more features than similarly-priced alternatives.
Competence of support. I don't think I've ever called in and been able to speak to someone right away (that would be nice) but I always get a call back within an hour. The support techs always fix the issues and always take the time to work through things carefully, regardless of time.
Frequent hang ups with Quickbooks connection forces us to restart FB server. Overall database slowness for MS Access reporting.
I work for a full-service dental laboratory, which is a bit of a unique application for this software, and we have been using Fishbowl for about one year. Since our completed products are all custom made to patient specifications, we purchased Fishbowl primarily to organize and track internal inventory and consumption. We knew from the start that there would be no off-the-shelf solution for our situation, but we hoped that from what we had seen, we would be able to find enough work-arounds to get it doing close to what we needed.
If anything, it has made the inventory management process even more arduous. While Fishbowl offers a lot of options, and will probably work very well for a more typical business, it is not a good solution for more complex situations. It simply doesn't have the flexibility. The only way to remove items from inventory is via cycle count (which leaves no record of consumption) or via sales order (which means that all of your Parts also need to be listed as Products, and you will need to do a lot of unnecessary paperwork just to maintain accurate consumption reports.
The barcode scanners and label printer we ordered from Fishbowl are also antiquated devices, and we are unlikely to be able to repair them if anything goes wrong.
What has been most disappointing about this system by far is the customer support. The live chat feature is their saving grace - the hours are very reasonable and the queue has generally been quite short. However, there seems to be a massive amount of turnover in the company - nearly every time I contact them, I end up talking to someone different, and have to re-explain all of our problems and our situation before I can get to the issue at hand. The communication at their level also seems insufficient (on multiple occasions, I have gotten different several different answers from different people) and the quality of training for their agents seems to be low as well. Poor grammar and spelling from live chat agents, inability to answer basic questions or provide further support in lieu of an immediate answer, and an often bored tone of voice over the phone.
Overall, Fishbowl has been complicated, difficult to use and has caused more problems than it has solved. We still feel like we're in a transition phase and will hopefully reap more benefits long term, but a warning to other businesses with a lot of internal consumption or other unique features - make sure you get a very thorough demo and vocalize exactly what you need from the system. Further, bring someone in for on-site training if you do intend to purchase this software.
Fishbowl Customer Support
I was chatting with the representative from Fishbowl support team. I had a question regarding database schema. He went out of his way to get it resolved for me. He had to take help from another team regarding my question. Rather than bluntly saying we don't handle these questions, he helped me out and my issue was resolved. I really appreciate his efforts and time. Kudos to the customer support team!
Great customer service experience with Lawrence today and all others too.
This software allows us to see our inventory by location. We will start working with forecasting and sales force this year
Ease of use. Getting to understand Plugins. We update system continually and appreciate how you are always adding and making it more user friendly
Reporting features could be better. We just loaded plugins for Sales and Sales force so hopefully this will be better soon
The Plugin Department is awesome
It's relatively easy to use and tracks inventory well when used properly. I like the integrations that are available and how it works with the company website. The support I get from the Plugin Department, specifically our rep, is fantastic. He is not only helpful but a complete pleasure to talk to
It's full of bugs and every time there is an update we have problems. I do not like that once every thing transfers over to Quickbooks you can not make any changes in FishBowl
Packs a Punch for the Price
From a usability standpoint, FishBowl is very competitive. What it lacks in a 'complete solution', it makes up for in custom report writing, and software flexibility.
Integrations with QuickBooks can be incredibly useful for companies already based in QuickBooks. It makes training for accounting much easier. From a manufacturing perspective, FishBowl is a fairly powerful tool that can track inventory and assist in production planning.
Since we are a manufacturing company that sells to distributors, one of our core 'ERP' requirements is storing quotes to distributors/customers for parts/products. If FishBowl had some sort of CRM, it would make the software more robust.
it is a pretty good inventory system
it is very useful the fact that the program allows to have different virtual warehouses so we can keep track of returns or orders that are shipped from a different location than our main warehouse
the reports exported from fishbowl are very messy and need a lot of rework once on an excel file in order to be used
Fishbowl is a great software
Ease of use and friendly UI, Great customer service. Solid Quickbooks link, MYSQL database makes the program run alot better
Seeing as its not geared to specific industries. We found it complicated to do some of the things we do on a daily baisis. This required us to find our own loopholes to make our operations fit the software
The technician with Fishbowl are amazing. Technician stayed on the phone with me for an hour to fix.
Great customer support staff is available to assist at any time. The staff makes it easy for a person who has never used the software to understand the functionality
Many updates come out with out any warning or written notice. It was not stated in any notification received that the newest version required a server IOS change
Great for manufacturing and inventory management
Fishbowl and Fishbowl Go make it easy to process product from anywhere in your facility. The ability to receive or cycle/scrap inventory anywhere streamlines the process.
If a user does not have proper training it can definitely create issues and inaccuracies. Training and review is extremely important.
I love my Dashboard!
I wish I could plug in a customer support ticket CRM. Then I would really be all-in-one!
I am able to create my Dashboard so I am able to see all aspects of the business that I need to see. With the click of my mouse I can easily get to what I need. This is by far my favorite feature!
We have experienced a few set backs of a "white screen" and have to contact support. They have helped us every time with this. Fishbowl support is very friendly and supportive. I wish they could sometimes call back faster than they do, but other than that you can rest assured that you will be helped and your problem will be solved.
Ease of use and great customer service! When ever we have needed help with an issue someone is always there to answer our questions.
Would like to have the ability to make changes to areas when needed. Sometimes when the program needs to be updated it is not always user friendly.
FANTASTIC everyone is always knowledgeable and courteous
inventory tracking is easy
It is very easy to use. Modules connect to each other. Reports can be modified easily. The technical help is fantastic.
Does not have accounting module. some reports that are exported need to be set up in columns so its easier to pull and sort data.
Travis was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Very easy and fun to work with!
Ease of use and self-explanatory fields.
The ease of use. It's simple to understand yet handles a LOT of data. Self-explanatory fields as well as many options for reports.
Nothing, actually. I would recommend this product. We have been using this product for over seven years without any complaints.
Terrific inventory software
Can enter an order while looking up inventory; quick and easy to learn how to use; great website utility for looking up questions.
ready made reports aren't the most useful for our industry; monthly updates to the software are issued which can impact customized reports.