Inventory Management Software Buyer's Guide
The Best Inventory Management Software is All About Tracking
By Kim O'Shaughnessy, Marketing Research Lead Editor
The supply chain is a competitive arena with less room for mistakes than ever before. If you can’t track your business inventory and effectively plan for demand, there’s simply no way to get ahead in the market. For these reasons and more, you need the best inventory management software behind your business.
- Provides the visibility necessary to optimize operations as a standalone software or as part of larger systems.
- Goals for implementing include improving visibility, efficiency and customer satisfaction.
- Utilizes a number of features to optimize your practices, both basic features and advanced.
- In order to choose the right software, buyers will need to perform a thorough comparison of the vendors on their shortlist.
- When you finally get in contact with vendors, you may want to ask questions to clear up any last concerns before you invest in a new system.
What This Guide Covers
See how the top 10 leaders fare against the most common key requirements
Benefits of Inventory Software
These solutions are purpose-built to reduce and eliminate out-of-stock and overstock conditions by defining optimal inventory levels for products based on demand. Central elements of order and inventory management software include tracking orders, sales, deliveries and levels.
Software provides deep visibility into your operations.
More Options for Inventory Optimization
While solutions can be sold as a standalone product, inventory management software is also a function of both supply chain management and warehouse management software. These products are an excellent choice for enhanced inventory management if you’re looking to manage broader segments of the supply chain. A WMS can provide the necessary functionality plus warehouse planning and labor management. SCM software handles both manufacturing and distribution activities. Businesses looking for complete SCM in addition to back-office functions like accounting may find an ERP solution helpful.
For the purposes of this guide, we’ll focus on IM as a standalone system. But if you’re looking for something a little more complex, make sure to check out our other software buyer’s guides linked above.
Expert recommendations and analysis of the top solutions
Businesses looking to implement online inventory control typically share a few common goals. If you’re still unsure whether this system is right for your business, check out the three goals listed below. If your goals are similar and don’t extend far beyond these, inventory software is probably the perfect solution for you.
Improve Visibility and Planning
Improved visibility is one of the biggest benefits of inventory management systems. With traceability features, users can track levels in addition to locations of materials, goods and deliveries throughout the supply chain in real time. Visibility is the foundation of inventory management software, which then allows the rest of the system to do its job. For instance, knowing where all your inventory is at all times allows you to determine which areas of operations need attention before a major problem occurs.
This also allows for in-depth business intelligence and analytics. Inventory management systems can collect and store data which then produces forecasts, allowing you to plan for the future.
Improve Efficiency and Reduce Costs
Inventory software is an essential tool for those needing to improve efficiency. First, many solutions automatically track and store data surrounding your operations, providing quick insight into your business. Receiving your data in real time is also a major contributor to increasing your efficiency. This helps reduce the errors and costs associated with redundant work based on old data.
Additionally, these solutions automates many tasks related to managing orders. This further assists your workforce in optimizing their time to reduce human error and roadblocks.
Raise Customer Satisfaction
|All the benefits of inventory management software are ultimately passed down to the customer. Improved efficiency and reduced costs mean a lower price, or possibly an investment into higher quality production. These inventory management systems also helps increase the rate of perfect orders by facilitating accurate and on-time deliveries. All of these activities raise brand image and appeal in your consumers’ minds.|
While these goals are universal, every software solution will be slightly different. In order to achieve all these goals, you’ll need to select the best software for your business. The best way to determine which vendor offers the software solution most suited to you is through creating a requirements list.
Your list should contain all the features, functions, capabilities and other considerations needed to effectively support operations. For instance, if you need eCommerce inventory software or a solution that works with your retail scanner systems, make sure to document those needs. For more information, be sure to check out our article listing some of the most common inventory management systems requirements.
Expert recommendations and analysis of the top software
Basic Features & Functionality
The following features are included in most inventory management systems solutions and provide the central capability behind this type of inventory management software.
Expert recommendations and analysis of the top software
Advanced Features to Consider
The following inventory management systems features are more complex than the previous features. You may want to discuss these with your vendor at length to make sure you’re getting the functionality you need.
Expert recommendations and analysis of the top software
Compare Inventory Management Software Services
As mentioned above, not every system is created equally. What works for one business might not work for yours. The only way to determine if a software solution is truly the best option for your company is if you compare your shortlist of software solutions against the requirements you’ve created.
We suggest taking a look at SelectHub’s inventory management comparison report to do this. Our team of analysts has compared the best software solutions, breaking down an overall rating by the most popular requirements. Use it to see which of the top systems perform best for the requirements most important to your business.
Questions to Ask Software Vendors
While it’s important to do a large amount of research on your vendor and the solutions offered on your own, you should still come up with a few questions to ask during a demonstration. This is the time to clear up any uncertainties you may have and to confirm whether or not the system is a good fit.
What product identification tagging technologies does your system support?
Product ID tagging is one of the biggest advantages supported by a system, so you’ll want to make sure there are no uncertainties when it comes to this area. Ask about barcoding, RFID tags, QR codes, NFC and the hardware needed to read these technologies. Make sure that by the end of the conversation you fully understand which ID systems will work with the vendor’s software.
Assign IDs right from your system.
How customizable are your reports?
Analytics don’t mean much if you’re not getting insights on the parameters most important to your business. Ask inventory control companies if the solution can track the metrics you need to track today, as well as the metrics you’ll need to track in the future as your business experiences new growth or challenges.
Make sure your system conveys the data important to you.
How easy is it to use the system?
If the system’s not intuitive, you’re not going to save as much time as you thought. Make sure the users of the system will be able to perform their daily tasks, even if it takes a little bit of training. On a similar note, ask about the simplicity of reports. You don’t want to spend half the day trying to decipher complex reporting when you could get just as much insight from solutions that provide easy-to-understand visuals.
What training do you provide?
Even solutions with excellent interfaces may require a training session or two before a user can get the hang of it. So be sure to ask the vendor what types of training and support they offer. Some vendors offer in-person training sessions while others use instructional video. Then you need to think about ongoing support for when new features are added or when you just can’t remember how to perform a certain task. The most popular forms of support are online chat and telephone support. Ask what hours support is available and if it will incur costs outside of your current payment plan.
What types of companies have you worked with in the past?
The most important criterion for evaluating any provider is whether or not they have previous experience in your industry. Be sure to ask for examples of inventory optimization in your industry and for an explanation of how it was completed. Ask if the system integrates with other software solutions commonly used in your industry and if the workflows will need to be modified in any way.
Can you provide an example of a workflow and alert that prevents an out-of-stock condition from occurring?
If the inventory software companies you’re speaking to offer alerts, they should have no problem providing you with a demo. Ask what makes their approach error proof, as incorrectly diagnosing a potential out-of-stock condition can have costly effects on overall inventory levels. You might also want to ask if the alerts can be customized to suit your current operations and if users can access past alerts.
Can your system be configured to fit my current operations?
The most basic solutions use predefined frameworks, while sophisticated systems provide more flexibility through customization. Make sure the solution you evaluate provide the level of configuration needed to suit your operations. Ask the vendor if any case studies exist that can demonstrate the versatility of the system.
Expert recommendations and analysis of the top software
- Fishbowl Inventory vs NetSuite
- Inventory Management Software Requirements Checklist
- Cloud Inventory Software: What It Is And Top Solutions
Inventory management systems are a smart choice for businesses looking to grow past the limitations of spreadsheets. In order to get the most out of their next system, buyers should do diligent research on the options available to them and perform a thorough comparison. SelectHub’s inventory management software comparison report is an excellent resource to use when starting the selection process. Use it to better understand today’s market and the biggest players in inventory management.
NetSuite Inventory Management is a cloud-based organizational platform focused on stock optimization, manufacturing and purchasing. It works well with businesses of all sizes. Users who adopt it can streamline their operations and move products to the right place at the right time while cutting costs. Users can also improve customer service by leveraging stock management and fulfillment capabilities. The variety of purchasing and management features provided can help users keep up with demand and create an efficient inventory space.
Finale Inventory provides a comprehensive management platform that works well with enterprises of all sizes. This application is available as a cloud-based system and contains warehousing and multi-channel e-commerce features. Numerous integration options allow users to maintain workflows that compliment their operation while benefiting from the organization of this system. This application also provides free training and consulting for users that wish to expand their knowledge of the product. By providing functions that organize and optimize stock control processes, money can be saved through predicting and solving issues before they become bigger problems.
SAP Inventory Management is suitable for businesses of any size and focuses on organizing and streamlining product storage and fulfillment. This system helps boost customer satisfaction by linking service goals with stock investments throughout an entire supply chain. Users can choose between an on-premise or cloud-based deployment strategy depending on the unique requirements of their operations.This application provides a number of management tools that can help users create an organized warehousing space while uncovering valuable operational data. By utilizing this information, managers can boost labor productivity and optimize operational efficiency.
Zoho Inventory is a cloud-based solution designed to work with small to medium-sized businesses. It helps users manage their sales and purchase orders while providing robust product tracking tools. It also supports warehousing processes, inventory control tasks and multichannel selling. It also provides accounting and CRM inclusions to help users manage their vital financial information with more accuracy. Users can leverage this system to create winning sales strategies and create efficient reorder points for their products.
To maximize supply chain performance, companies are faced with the challenge of maintaining a profitable balance among speed, service levels, and the risk and cost of stock deployment. JDA’s solution provides companies with end-to-end capabilities for managing stock strategy, planning and execution, enabling them to achieve superior service levels, gain market share and reduce costs.
TradeGecko provides a stock control and organizational platform that works with multichannel e-commerce operations of all sizes. It focuses on automating tasks while improving overall accuracy and cutting costs. With multiple integrations and the ability to handle inventory for wholesalers and distributors, users can optimize important daily tasks to further increase operational efficiency and aid overall growth. It can be adopted with cloud-based deployment for users more concerned with mobile access and easy updates that don’t interrupt daily tasks. It is scalable for wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers looking to rapidly grow. It includes intelligent reports, forecasting, mobile sales and inventory applications and more.
Epicor Eagle N Series is a fully-integrated system, with built-in best practices and cloud based availability, designed for small to mid-sized businesses. Thousands of customers rely on Epicor Eagle N Series to operate more efficiently and grow revenue and profits. Deliver customer experiences at checkout and beyond with advanced POS and mobile technology. Boost margins and profits with integrated stock management, purchasing and receiving tools. Optimize stock and overall business performance by making fast, informed decisions using intuitive, on-screen analytics. Cut costs while providing exceptional customer service by seamlessly taking advantage of online, mobile and wireless technologies.
Tally.ERP 9 - the latest evolution of the Tally series-took 3 years and the dedicated efforts of 200 developers to create. It has grown from a basic accounting software package into a simple-yet-sophisticated business management software product. Comprehensive capabilities allow Tally.ERP 9 to meet the needs of small to large businesses with dispersed operations.
inFlow provides a stock control platform that is available as a cloud-based or on-premise solution. It is designed for small to medium-sized companies but has been implemented in some very large and complex enterprises. It streamlines and organizes critical management processes to create a more accurate operation. It puts organization, purchasing and control at the forefront so that operations can quickly track, attach barcodes and fulfill customer expectations accurately. Users can create custom documents, deal with multi-currency transactions and more.
Stitch Labs provides an organizational platform that works well with small to medium-sized operations. It puts organization, decision making, and simplification of daily processes for wholesalers and retailers at the forefront. Support for multi-channel inventory and data gathering is also included.It is both agile and scalable to meet the needs of growing enterprises. Multiple integration options allow users to maintain successful workflows they have in place while also allowing for the addition of more. It includes a number of inventory control features, logistics, purchasing and multichannel sales inclusions.
Logility is a software solution with a focus on transportation and supply chain management. This software package helps automate, streamline and optimize supply chain processes to cut costs and increase accuracy. Logility provides multiple avenues through which supply chains can be improved and contains a wide array of planning and forecasting tools. Logility employs algorithmic planning to assess and mitigate risks while keeping users informed of any incoming business opportunities. Gain visibility into a variety of supply chain operations and use the valuable data gathered from each process to make effective planning decisions.
SIMMS can provide you with the advanced functionality you require enabling you to regain control of your profits. SIMMS has a proven track record of helping companies of all industries manage their business more efficiently for over 10 years. We provide complete business software systems for a diverse array of businesses.
Microsoft Dynamics AX is an ERP solution for multi-site, international enterprises. With comprehensive capabilities for financial, human resources, and operations management, in addition to industry capabilities for retailers, manufacturers, service industries, and public sector organizations, it provides the agility you need to expand business opportunities, modify processes, and differentiate your business.
Ecomdash provides integrated inventory management, order management, shipping management and other capabilities in a single platform. It enables organizations to track serialized inventories, manufactured items, bundled items and variations. Key features include dropship automation, FBA management, multichannel listing, shipping, purchase orders, e-commerce reporting and an e-commerce API. It also lets users tag and organize products in the database, using varied groups and categories. The OS is suitable to run on most major web browsers and is also available as a mobile app.
Shipedge is a cloud-based fulfillment and distribution software platform that provides users with a comprehensive suite of solutions for warehouse and order management, shipping and more. It offers various modular, scalable and flexible inclusions to serve unique business needs. Users can manage workflows with real-time visibility into all after-sales activities. It integrates warehouses, suppliers, inventory sources, selling channels and accounting ERP systems into a single fulfillment command center. It is designed to help small and large-scale enterprises handle B2C and B2B e-commerce operations.
TRXio is an asset tracking and management platform that is available as a cloud-based solution for businesses of any size. Provides real-time tracking of inventory, shipments, purchases and product usage throughout the warehouse or storage facility. Designed to organize inventory and create a consistent storage process, helps clients save money and improve employee accountability.By drilling down into daily inventory processes, TRXio can help cut down on manual tasks while discovering where an operation is having issues. Discover where employee time is being lost while optimizing included workflows to strengthen weak points.
RedBeam comes in two versions, standard and mobile. The standard editions of the software allow for data collection using cabled barcode scanners attached to PC workstations. The mobile editions allow for data collection using cabled barcode scanners attached to PC workstations as well as the ability to collect data on scanner-enabled mobile computers.This powerful fixed asset tracking solution supports Windows XP, Server 2003, Server 2008, Vista and Windows 7.
QR Inventory is a connected cloud-mobile asset and management system. It uses smartphones and QR code / barcode / NFC tags scanning to keep track of assets. Also has as a built-in QR code generation tool, that allows you to generate, lay out and print QR code labels for your assets.
RetailOps is a cloud-based Retail Operations Platform that makes the traditional ERP obsolete for modern, omni-channel retailers. The RetailOps platform provides an exhaustive suite of best-in-breed tools to help retailers manage business operations, including intuitive and powerful tools for: Purchasing (POM), Catalog/Product Management and Photography (PIM), Marketplace Integration, Distributed Order Management (DOM), and Warehouse/Inventory Management (WMS).
Inform ERP is a software solution that helps with distribution, production and financial activities. It integrates these processes to automate and streamline operations across various aspects of a business. Its financial management tool coordinates with production workflows so that as transactions are made, they are automatically inputted to the general ledger. It also allows users to plan transportation logistics and look at factors such as volume and necessary stops when planning routes. This program further enables users to optimize the supply chain through visualization and control of a variety of processes. Users can benefit from personalized dashboards that leverage real-time data so that quicker and more relevant insights can be developed.
The RFID-based SpaceTRAX Point of Use solution seamlessly links supplies to physicians, patients, and procedures. This advanced software uses bar coding and RFID technology to increase charge capture, reduce excess stock, and increase product turns.
Mobilizing Marketplaces to maximize Growth through automation ERP Integration and Social Commerce. Award-winning platform MobilityeCommerce provides the power, speed, intelligence and control to effectively merchandise your catalog everywhere shoppers make purchase decisions in-store online and worldwide.
Megaventory is a stock management platform designed for operations of all sizes. This software system is available as a cloud-based solution and focuses on streamlining operational processes. Robust reporting and manufacturing tools give users valuable access to operational data that can be leveraged toward planning and forecasting.This application features a number of integrations that enable users to continue using workflows that fit their unique requirements. The features of this system support value-added services like kitting while also strengthening fulfillment practices.
Unleashed is the world’s easiest solution to help your business grow. Unleashed makes managing your products easier and efficient, allowing you to take control of your stock health and scale your business with confidence.
Logiwa is a cloud-based software solution that automates order fulfillment, inventory management and more. Most suited to small and medium-sized businesses, it offers enterprise-level functionality and countless integrations to its clients in retail, e-commerce, wholesale and 3PL industries. Logiwa helps its clients synchronize multichannel inventory and orders, thereby, improving warehouse efficiency, reducing operational costs and increasing margins.
The cloud solution that helps SMBs take control of their inventory, lower costs and automate purchasing. This product is powered by Syncron International AB, world's leading cloud-based after-sales service software solutions that empower leading manufacturers to increase product uptime.
NetSuite WMS solution enables organizations to optimally manage their distribution operations with RF device directed putaway and picking tasks driven by customized user defined strategies and advanced capabilities like wave management, cartonization, cycle count planning, real time stock updates and integration with shipping systems.
Multiorders is a cloud-based, multi-channel order, inventory and shipping management solution for eCommerce sellers. The software can be integrated with multiple eCommerce marketplaces, shipping carriers, and shopping carts, including Amazon, Ebay, Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Ecwid, CS-Cart, UPS, USPS, FedEx, myHermes, and more. With Multiorders, users can control their stock levels and prices across multiple channels, ship from multiple warehouses, and manage Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) stock, all from a single platform. Low stock alerts notify users when inventory is running low, and products can be organized using categories and tags. Orders are synced from multiple marketplaces, and users can also manually enter orders as necessary. Pick lists and invoices can be printed, and order histories, insights, and reports can be generated. Multiorders allows users to connect to all of their shipping accounts, to automatically generate labels when a carrier is selected, update order statuses, and provide package tracking information. With all shipping costs presented in a single view, users can also select the cheapest shipping option. Additionally, Multiorders can be used to fulfill orders from Amazon or other platforms with Amazon FBA stock.
Manage your product and check your supply levels in real-time. Receive optional notifications when specific stock levels get low. Quickly see everything you need to know about your specific items. Who supplies it, what it's currently selling at, how many you have in stock, how many you have back-ordered in purchase orders and when they're supposed to arrive.
Inventoria is professional stock tracking software for small to medium businesses across one or several locations. Inventoria is designed to be as intuitive to use as possible, so after a quick installation, you’ll be streamlining your product processes within minutes.
ShipMonk is a cloud-based system that helps companies manage inventory and execute multichannel order fulfillment. It enables organizations to focus on product marketing and selling to improve growth, with backend logistics handled by a range of modules. Through its API integrations, users can synchronize data directly with an online shopping cart and automatically import all orders. Its capabilities include e-commerce fulfillment, retail fulfillment, subscription box fulfillment, crowdfunding fulfillment, FBA prep services and more. A free trial is available to help users make an informed decision.
Orderhive is a full-fledged order, shipping and inventory management software for retailers across the globe. Orderhive can serve customers from all different categories and all sizes. It is being used by 2500+ companies worldwide including conagra, BYJU, practo and many others
iMagic Inventory is the most cost effective and flexible control and invoicing system available for Windows. With perfect reviews from independent reviewers Tucows, UK Wares, Brother Soft, Sofotex and File Transit. iMagic is your solution that will help you to stay one step ahead of the competition.
The purpose of Jada Management VMI partnership programs is to electronically share information between members of the supply chain resulting in shorter lead times, reduced stock, reduced obsolescence, and more efficient manufacturing. The up-stream member of the supply chain (the supplier) takes on more decision making for what to supply to the customer. The result is a more leveraged relationship for the supplier and improved service for the customer.
Canvus' free, cloud-based inventory tracking product, Stockpile, serves small businesses and is the only free offering currently on the market that doesn’t put restrictions on the number of users, inventory items and locations. It assists businesses with sales recording, reporting, location administration and goods tracking. Professionals can generate reports for stock counts, inventory or stock payments, daily transactions and more. It assists in removing damaged stock from the stock count and enables users to import CSV files and attach images to existing items. Built by Canvus Applications, it can be self-hosted on Windows, Mac and Linux, in addition to being deployed in the cloud.
Pricing & Cost Guide
See the Price/User for the top inventory software … plus the most important considerations and questions to ask when shopping.
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