Pyrops WMS

How to use excel or google sheets as a warehouse management system

Creating a spreadsheet-driven warehouse management system (WMS) using Excel or Google Sheets can be a cost-effective solution for small businesses with simple inventory management needs.

At the same time, it is important to be aware of the limitations of following this approach. This blog aims to cover both tenets.

For setting up a basic operational WMS, one needs to setup up the following sheets with field names. 

Sheets and Field Names

1. Inventory Master Sheet:

a. Product ID: A unique identifier for each product.
b. Product Name: Name of the product.
c. Description: A brief description of the product.
d. Unit Price: Price per unit of the product.
e. Stock On Hand: Current quantity of the product in stock.
f. Reorder Point: Minimum quantity at which the product should be reordered.
g. Supplier: Name of the supplier or vendor.
h. Location: Storage location within the warehouse.

2. Receiving Sheet:

a. Receipt ID: A unique identifier for each receipt.
b. Received Date: Date of receipt.
c. Product ID: ID of the received product.
d. Received Quantity: Quantity of each product received.
e. Supplier: Name of the supplier.

3. Order Sheet:

a. Order ID: A unique identifier for each order.
b. Order Date: Date of the order.
c. Product ID: ID of the ordered product.
d. Ordered Quantity: Quantity of each product ordered.
e. Customer Name: Name of the customer.

4. Picking Sheet:

a. Picking ID: A unique identifier for each picking task.
b. Pick Date: Date when the picking task is scheduled.
c. Product ID: ID of the product to be picked.
d. Picked Quantity: Quantity of each product picked.
e. Order ID: ID of the order associated with the picking task.

5. Shipping Sheet:

a. Shipping ID: A unique identifier for each shipment.
b. Ship Date: Date of shipment.
c. Product ID: ID of the shipped product.
d. Shipped Quantity: Quantity of each product shipped.
e. Order ID: ID of the order associated with the shipment.
f. Customer Name: Name of the customer.

A lot of additional sheets like Customer Master, Vendor Master, Pincode Master, Shipping Address Master, etc. are not included in this basic system.

Also, there will be a need to do a lot of cross-linking between sheets, and put in validations at the required places – to ensure basic data integrity. This will require spreadsheet skills beyond the intermediate level.


Limited Scalability

Spreadsheet-based systems are suitable for small businesses but may become unwieldy as inventory and operations grow.

Data Entry Errors

Manual data entry can result in typos, duplication, and other inaccuracies, leading to incorrect inventory levels.

Real-Time Updates

Unlike dedicated WMS software, spreadsheet-based systems often lack real-time inventory updates, leading to discrepancies between the physical stock and the spreadsheet.

Limited Functionality

Spreadsheets lack advanced features like barcode scanning, automated alerts for low stock, and complex order routing.

Security and Access Control

Securing sensitive data in spreadsheets can be challenging, and controlling access for different users may be limited.

Lack of Reporting

Generating complex reports and analytics can be cumbersome in spreadsheets.

Audit Trail

Tracking changes and user actions in spreadsheets for auditing purposes is challenging.


Integrating spreadsheet-based systems with other business software (e.g., accounting software) can be complex.

Backup and Data Loss

Spreadsheets can be vulnerable to data loss if not regularly backed up.


As your business grows, the limitations of a spreadsheet-based system become more evident, and transitioning to a dedicated WMS may become necessary.


While spreadsheet-driven WMS can work for small-scale operations, it’s crucial to acknowledge their limitations and plan for future growth and complexity.

For more robust inventory management, consider investing in dedicated warehouse management software designed to handle the challenges and requirements of larger warehouses.