New user unsure how to start or if Base is suitable...

Discuss the database features

New user unsure how to start or if Base is suitable...

Postby cul » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:25 am

Hello everyone, I've received a lot of help with Calc here in the past and I'm considering moving over to Base.

At the moment I use calc as an inventory keeper for my online record store. Every distributor invoice I get is converted to a calc sheet, and I work out the sales price and then add a column for items sold. When I sell an item I cmd+h the catalogue number/title and add 1 to the items sold column. Once the items sold column matches the items received column I stop selling the item. I now have 300 sheets in my calc file and probably 15,000 items in my garage and it's getting a little hard to manage.

Problems:

Each sheet of my calc file has a different layout. Some pages are itemID/artist/title/quantity/cost/price some are quantity/artist & title/item ID/cost/ price etc.
-Do I need to reformat the calc file so everything is in the same order with the same fields on every sheet?

Should the inventory database table I build containing this information be 300 separate tables or 1 table with the data from 300 sheets inserted into it?
-the only way I found to import this info is via the copy and paste feature. I would prefer to import the entire file rather than copy and paste 300 times if possible.

The most common error from doing this manually is that I had 10 copies in stock and have sold 9 but failed to list the 10th for sale. Or I had 10 copies in stock have sold 10 but still have the item listed for sale.
-My sales data and current for sale items data is available as CSVs from the 3rd party websites I commonly sell on. So I need to cross reference these sales/items for sale with my inventory spreadsheet. Is Base suitable for this?

Some facebook friends have warned me base may crack under large loads of items.
I have approx 300 sheets in the calc file with approx 100 lines each, so 30,000 lines of items (many are duplicates when an item is reordered). My main sales/inventory CSV contains approx 25,000 "sales" and 5000 "listed for sale" items. This is approx 2 years worth of business.

Solutions I'm looking for:
primarily stock keeping. as mentioned above making sure I list items for sale that I have in inventory. Dont list items for sale that I don't.
Ideally base will spit out a CSV of these errors using item IDs that will allow me to upload to the 3rd party website using their "delete all" or "add all" feature.
stop adding sold items manually but upload a CSV for the days sales with that info in it. or a total sales sheet if that makes more sense.
accounting queries such as speed of turnover on stock from different distributors or artists so that I make more informed purchasing decisions.

Thanks for any help!
:bravo:
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Re: New user unsure how to start or if Base is suitable...

Postby RusselB » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:20 am

I would've suggested moving to a database, which Base is a front end for. Base, by itself, is not a database, but can work with many types of databases.
It would make the transposition from using Calc to using Base easier if your data was in the same configuration, but I don't think you need to worry about restructuring your data.
As to the warning from your Facebook friends, my experience, though limited, leads me to believe that they are either misinformed or have a lack of knowledge. I have a database tracking movies, TV shows, music and books (bought and/or downloaded), and currently have over 1 million entries, with no problems.
There are many tutorials for Base here and Andrew Pitonyak has some great information here
Please remember that a lot of people consider the learning process for databases to be a lot steeper than that of learning a spreadsheet, so please be prepared to do a lot of reading and experimentation.
I strongly recommend that you make a back-up of your current file, and work with the back-up when going to the database. That way if you make a mistake, you won't lose everything that you currently have...and making further back-ups as you go along will mean that any mistakes will mean a minimum of loss.
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If you believe your problem has been resolved, please go to your first post in this topic, click the Edit button and add [Solved] to the beginning of the Subject line.
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Re: New user unsure how to start or if Base is suitable...

Postby John_Ha » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:17 pm

You are a business. Buy something professional. Designing your own system from scratch will end in tears.
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See the Writer Manual, the Writer FAQ, the Writer Tutorials and the Writer guide.

Remember: Always save your Writer files as .odt files. - see here for the many reasons why.
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Re: New user unsure how to start or if Base is suitable...

Postby cul » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:20 pm

Any recommendations? Everything I've seen is a subscription service and I'd rather pay a one-off fee. I'm considering hiring some experts on Upwork to handle it but I feel like if I at least tried it myself I'd know better what to ask for.
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Re: New user unsure how to start or if Base is suitable...

Postby John_Ha » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:35 pm

Google for small business inventory control. It gets 176 million hits.

See this forum search for suggestions.

Remember: Base is not a database. It is a training system which can be used as a front-end for (ie an interface to) a proper, robust, business capable database.
AOO 4.1.6, Windows 7 Home 64 bit

See the Writer Manual, the Writer FAQ, the Writer Tutorials and the Writer guide.

Remember: Always save your Writer files as .odt files. - see here for the many reasons why.
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