6 Reasons Why an Art Inventory System is Better Than Excel

Artwork Archive | April 22, 2016

“I don’t need an inventory management system, spreadsheets can do everything I need.”

Have you found yourself saying those exact same words? Spreadsheet programs like Excel seem like a safe choice. Even though they’re a bit clunky and slow, you make it work.

But, what if there was something much, much better? Something created specifically for artists to help them grow their business.

Well actually, there is!

Here are six reasons why an online art inventory system puts programs like Excel to shame:

Serious convenience

Need to show a potential buyer more of your available artwork? Want to enter their contact information then and there, so you don’t lose their business card? Need to check the location or price of an artwork they’re interested in?

You can do it in a snap on your cell phone, tablet, or any other device with internet access. When you have an online art inventory management system, all the information you need won’t be sitting in an Excel file on your desktop at home. It will be with you always, anywhere you go.

Stress-free organization

Ever wasted time clicking through a multitude of spreadsheets trying to find the right information for a piece? It’s excruciatingly frustrating, especially when a gallerist is expecting a quick answer.

You can spare yourself these tear-out-your-hair moments by using an online inventory management system. You’ll have information on your pieces, editions, contacts, sales, expenses, shows, and locations in a click of a button.

Everything is organized into visually pleasing, easily-searchable sections. It takes the time and stress out of running the business side of your art studio.

"I have never seen a better organized, inclusive art inventory program that offers so much more than just inventory. Can't imagine living without it. I groan when I see artists still using their own Excel Spreadsheets. And you care! You respond! You keep getting better and better! You are the best out there!" - Susan Helen Strock

What's more, you'll build provenance for each piece as you automatically track it's location history. Upload important documents tied to each piece. And, schedule weekly reminders tied to certain contacts, shows, etc. sent straight to your inbox, so you never miss a beat.

Learn more about all of the important features art inventory software should offer here

Valuable peace of mind

You never think it’s going to happen to you, but then it does. Whether it’s a cup of spilled coffee making its way into your laptop’s keyboard or an energetic pet knocking your computer off the desk, accidents happen. Not to mention, computers can easily malfunction on their own.

When you archive your artwork and business information online, you can access everything on another device instantly and none of the data is lost.

If your whole art business is stored on the hard drive of a now deceased computer, you’ll have to spend hours inputting the information all over again—if you can even remember all the details.

Concerned about your information living solely on the internet? You can also easily download copies of your data onto your computer for double protection.

Impressive professional reports

Ah, the feeling of satisfaction when a gallery asks for an inventory report and all you need to do is click a button. In seconds, you have a polished report with all the piece information you need, your contact details, and piece images. Your gallery will be impressed with your speed and professionalism.

You could painstakingly turn your spreadsheet into a report and add in each image, but that wastes precious art time. You can quickly print off consignment reports, portfolio pages, invoices, expense reports, certificates of authenticity, inventory reports, and more from an art inventory system like Artwork Archive.

"I’ve been so happy with Artwork Archive and can’t believe I used to use (or tried to use) spreadsheets to keep track of everything!" - Rebecca Woodhouse


Crucial business insights

Ever wondered how much your inventory is worth, where all your artwork is located across the globe, and what your production versus sales value is? Ever hoped you could see all this crucial business information without whipping out an Excel pivot table?

Why make more work for yourself and use up valuable time that could be spent in the studio? Use at-a-glance insights on your art inventory system, so you can stay on top of your business. You’ll see whether you need to focus on creating more art or on selling it, and which gallery is performing the best—and the worst! Then you can use these insights to inform your plan of attack.

All-important art promotion

Excel will never offer up a professional, beautiful public portfolio page which you can share with interested buyers and gallerists. Excel will never index on Google when someone searches for your artwork, and no one can ever contact you through your Excel spreadsheet.

Art inventory system Artwork Archive has a Public Page that helps you promote and sell your artwork, and member artist Lawrence Lee has already sold $20,000 worth of art comission free via his. Lawrence has complete control over what he makes public, and can easily pick and choose from his archived inventory.

More than that, you can integrate this portfolio on your very own artist website! That means your portfolio always stays up-to-date. No more double data entry. And no endless coding projects.

Can Excel do that? Definitely not.

“I've tried so many types of inventory systems but they were complicated or inadequate. Artwork Archive has it all and is so simple to use." - Brenda Boylan


Ready to take the leap and leave spreadsheets behind?

Your art business and your stress levels will thank you. All that time you give to inputting details into Excel (and re-inputting them when your computer crashes), making your own reports, dealing with pivot tables, trying to find the right information, and figuring out how to promote your artwork can now be spent on doing what you love in the studio!

Give Artwork Archive a try for free, and let us know what you think.

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