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What's a good program for keeping track of materials?

Fonzie777's picture

Not whining but after wasting 40 on "Billings" and 10 on "Business Mix Set" I realize I need help to find a straight forward template for keeping track of construction materials.  My wife found a free excel template that we think is going to work.  What are you guys using?


I dont have a business, (post #206348, reply #1 of 7)

but i can tell you there's gona be a ton of programs out there trying to fancy themselves so u buy "them" cus theyre different.  You'r wife's right with excell.  Its endless, can always add, columbs, or rows, its realy up to you how you organise really..  Beuty of excell is, if you look online for formulas to tally columbs or rows, and before you know it it pretty much runs itself... Just dont do the "changing of template" too often...  Its pointless, remember its just a program to hold your info.  No fancy buttons.  Just a fancy animated paperclip no one realy likes... or is that MS word...

While safety's important, its covering your [JOBSITE WORD] that comes first.

a lesson (post #206348, reply #2 of 7)

Thanks I made the mistake of just trying to throw money at it instead of understanding how to use the excel I have.  I happened to be on the counter side at the lumberyard this week when the guy was taking my order and I saw the clearest picture on the screen of what I was hoping to have with those programs I wasted money on.  I suppose theirs was just set up for them, super expensive or who knows.  Anyway, the money wasted is a lesson I won't forget.  I can't even find out who to give feedback to on them.  

The best way is a database. (post #206348, reply #3 of 7)

Ours is a propriatary Oracle one, but you should be able to do it in MS Access. 

The downside to Access is the learning curve is a little steeper than Excell, but it really is more efficient, and flexible for what you want to do. 

The learning curve can be overcome with the on-line tutorials, or most Community Colleges offer courses, and there are quite a few training books available for not too much money. 

Hi Fonzie I do agrre with (post #206348, reply #4 of 7)

Hi Fonzie

I do agrre with what Evujevich said about using Excel but I would prefer to use MS Access in this case. MS access is really more flexible for what you intend to do. Though its a bit complicated than Excel but once you start using it you will find it really helpful. You can go for online tutorial, or some part time course or take help of a few training books available as adviced by Jigs in the forum post.

Thank you

What did you end up going with? (post #206348, reply #5 of 7)

 Hi Fonzie777, I just stumbled across this post and was curious what you ended up going with?  I am a co-founder at and am doing some planning work for products we hope to deliver in 2013.  A tool to track materials and provide estimates is high up on the list, but I'd be curious if Excel/Access worked out for you here and if not what was it not able to provide that you would have liked to have seen?  Anything else that you wish there was a better way to run your business?


Fonzie,   If you need (post #206348, reply #6 of 7)



If you need help with Excel, I can answer your questiond at MS Excel for Contractors.


A Pragmatic Classical Liberal, aka Libertarian.

I'm always right!
Except when I'm not.

Fonzie (post #206348, reply #7 of 7)


SamT might be able to give you some help ^

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