Inventory Management Software Buyer's Guide
The Best Inventory Management Software is All About Tracking
By Kim O'Shaughnessy, Market Research Associate
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.
- Inventory management software provides the visibility necessary to optimize operations as a standalone solution or as part of a larger system.
- Goals for implementing an inventory management app include improving visibility, efficiency and customer satisfaction.
- Inventory management systems utilize a number of features to optimize your practices, both basic features and advanced.
- In order to choose the right system, buyers will need to perform a thorough comparison of the vendors on their shortlist.
- When you finally get in contact with inventory management vendors, you may want to ask questions to clear up any last concerns before you invest in a new system.
What This Guide Covers
- Benefits of Inventory Management Software Systems
- Implementation Goals
- Basic Inventory Management Software Platform Features & Functionality
- Advanced Inventory Management Software Features & Functionality
- Inventory Management Software Comparison
- Questions to Ask an Inventory Management Software Vendor
Benefits of Inventory Management Software Systems
Inventory management software is 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 inventory and order management software include tracking orders, sales, deliveries and inventory levels. Inventory management solutions are an especially excellent choice for small- to medium-sized businesses looking for a way to keep an eye on their inventory and speed up activities related to order processing.
Inventory management software provides deep visibility into your operations.
More Options for Inventory Optimization
While this solution can be sold as a standalone product, inventory management 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 inventory management plus warehouse planning and labor management. SCM software handles both manufacturing and distribution activities. Businesses looking for complete supply chain management in addition to back-office functions like accounting may find an ERP solution helpful.
For the purposes of this guide, we’ll be focusing on inventory management 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.
Inventory Management Software Implementation Goals
Businesses looking to implement online inventory management software 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 management software is probably the perfect solution for you.
Improve Visibility and Planning
Improved visibility is one of the biggest benefits of inventory management software. 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 systems can collect and store data which then produces forecasts, allowing you to plan for the future.
Improve Efficiency and Reduce Costs
Inventory management software is an essential tool for those needing to improve efficiency. First, many inventory control 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 off old data.
Additionally, top inventory software automates many tasks related to order management. This further assists your workforce in optimizing their time to reduce human error and roadblocks.
Raise Customer Satisfaction
|All the benefits of inventory software systems are ultimately passed down to the customer. Improved efficiency and reduced costs mean a lower price, or possibly an investment into higher quality production. Inventory tracking software 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 inventory management solution will be slightly different. In order to achieve all these goals, you’ll need to select the best system for your business. The best way to determine which vendor offers the 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 software requirements.
Basic Inventory Management Software Features & Functionality
The following features are included in most inventory solutions and provide the central capability behind this type of software.
Advanced Inventory Management Software Product Features to Consider
The following inventory management software 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.
Compare Inventory Management Software Services
As mentioned above, not every inventory management software system is created equally. What works for one business might not work for yours. The only way to determine if a solution is truly the best option for your company is if you compare your shortlist of inventory management systems 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 inventory software, breaking down an overall rating by the most popular requirements. Use it to see which of the top inventory management software systems perform best for the requirements most important to your business.
Questions to Ask Inventory Management Software Vendors
While it’s important to do a large amount of research on your vendor and the systems 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 an inventory management 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 inventory control 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 system 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 a system that provides easy-to-understand visuals.
What training do you provide?
Even systems 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 inventory management 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 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 management 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 inventory management systems use predefined frameworks, while sophisticated systems provide more flexibility through customization. Make sure your system provides the level of configurability needed to suit your operations. Ask the vendor if any case studies exist that can demonstrate the versatility of the system.
Inventory management software is 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.
Top 10 Inventory Management Software Leaders(of 57 products) GET THE IN-DEPTH REPORT
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FinancialForce Financial Management can accommodate the most diverse and complex financial needs. The perfect complement to Salesforce CRM, it brings back office data to the front, allowing companies to align sales, services and finance on a single cloud. It includes advances like a single ledger design and a multidimensional chart of accounts, which give you real-time business intelligence and help shorten period close cycles.
Shipedge is a cloud-based warehouse management solution for small, midsize and large enterprises. It caters to e-commerce warehouses, fulfillment service providers, third-party logistics companies (3PL/4PL), omni/multi-channel retailers, distributors (FC/DC), e-fulfillment centers and light manufacturers/assembly houses. The solution helps to manage warehouse inventory, automate fulfillment and integrate software tools (i.e. QuickBooks). Shipedge's order management system allows users to manage information from suppliers, shipping carriers and consumers. Shipedge OMS offers real-time reporting, forecasting, back orders and reverse shipping features. It integrates with Amazon, Shopify, eBay, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento, Walmart and many other selling channels. Other features include multi-warehouse management of fulfillment networks, 3PL/4PL billing solutions, shipping management, manufacturing BOM/MFG, dropshipping, order routing and more. Shipedge’s Android app has handheld barcode/RF scanning and other complementary features.
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.
CoreIMS EE was designed to addresses a comprehensive set of warehouse/ inventory management needs from inventory initialization through order processing across multiple warehouses. Site, location, and status information tracked by CoreIMS EE allow provide the level of detail required to manage the warehouse efficiently and effectively.
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 inventory deployment. JDA’s inventory management solution (JDA Inventory Optimization) provides companies with end-to-end capabilities for managing inventory strategy, planning and execution, enabling them to achieve superior service levels, gain market share and reduce costs.
Maxwell Systems ProContractorMX is a complete construction software solution for end-to-end control of critical business operations and seamless workflow – from takeoff and estimating through job cost accounting and project management, and ultimately for critical reporting and analysis. It’s a flexible solution that you can grow into as your business needs change.
Inventoria is professional inventory 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 inventory processes within minutes.
NetSuite supply chain management software offers a complete set of inventory management, manufacturing and purchasing capabilities that helps move inventory to the right place, at the right time, at the right cost. Gain an in-depth, real-time view into key supplier, inventory and shop floor performance indicators. Self-service capabilities for partners, vendors and customers improve collaboration throughout the entire supply chain. With NetSuite, you'll be able to better manage inventory levels and costs—and better meet fulfillment expectations, improving customer service.
RedBeam Inventory Tracking 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.
The RFID-based SpaceTRAX® Point of Use™ inventory management system, available in North America and Europe, seamlessly links supplies to physicians, patients, and procedures. This advanced inventory management system uses bar coding and RFID technology to increase charge capture, reduce excess inventory, and increase inventory turns.
NetSuite supply chain management software offers a complete set of inventory management, manufacturing and purchasing capabilities that helps move inventory to the right place, at the right time, at the right cost.Gain an in-depth, real-time view into key supplier, inventory and shop floor performance indicators. Self-service capabilities for partners, vendors and customers improve collaboration throughout the entire supply chain. With NetSuite, you'll be able to better manage inventory levels and costs—and better meet fulfillment expectations, improving customer service.
iMagic Inventory Software is the most cost effective and flexible inventory control and invoicing software system available for Windows. With perfect reviews from independent reviewers Tucows, UK Wares, Brother Soft, Sofotex and File Transit. iMagic Inventory is your solution that will help you to stay one step ahead of the competition.
inFlow is inventory management software designed for small to mid-sized businesses. By using inFlow, you can save time on paperwork, fulfill customer needs more accurately, and free up cash held in excess inventory.
Our standard inventory software product, Inventory Pro, can be used to manage all aspects of manufacturing, distribution and inventory. Inventory Pro is available for Windows, on the Web (IPOL), for Mobile, and for Handheld Scanners.
Megaventory provides you with a unique combination of technology and usability so that you can focus on what matters: your business! Effortlessly monitor and expand the operations in your network - all from a single system while providing your staff with just the right access they need.
Pomodo Software is modular and built to be a scalable solution. We don't believe that "one size fits all" when it comes to smart software for business, so our Pomodo Tech Software modules allow you to choose only what you need and expand your solution as your business grows!
Rytech small Business Inventory Control goes well beyond simply tracking stock levels. It is a full business solution that tracks your merchandise from its Purchase Order to the supplier all the way to Invoicing and Receiving Payment from your customers.
Selling products may be the focal point of your business, but how are you thinking about your inventory? How are you making sure that numbers are accurate, orders are being processed correctly, and your customers are getting what they need? Expand your awareness and gain control with Stitch.
Manage all your sales, stock, accounting, shipping and customer data from a single place. Simplify inventory order operations for your growing business- TradeGecko takes care of your inventory and orders so you can do what you love.
Smart businesses understand that controlling inventory, fulfillment and shipping costs is essential for success. Companies are constantly striving to improve their warehouse operations by increasing agility, visibility and labor efficiency. This requires use of best practices combined with a sophisticated Warehouse Management System (WMS) that optimally manages all resources within the distribution operations while minimizing the total cost of operation or ownership (TCO).The 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 inventory updates and integration with shipping systems.
The purpose of Vendor Managed Inventory partnership programs is to electronically share information between members of the supply chain resulting in shorter lead times, reduced inventory, 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.
Manage your stock keeping units (SKUs), purchasing, suppliers, warehouses and transfers with lead commerce. Our inventory software creates Work Orders for the items that you carry that must be assembled prior to shipping. This is extremely helpful for items that require pre-configuration or that pull inventory from other items to make the finished product. Using our software, you can create as many "Assembly" products that you need and build work orders (bill of materials) to create the finished product.
Ordoro’s Unified Inventory acts as a central hub for all of your shopping carts and marketplaces, monitoring changes inventory as orders come in and products are restocked, and pushing updates out to all of your storefronts
Manage your inventory and check your supply levels in real-time. Receive optional notifications when specific inventory levels get low. Quickly see everything you need to know about your specific inventory 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.
SIMMS Inventory Software can provide you with the advanced functionality you require enabling you to regain control of your profits. SIMMS Software 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.
Unleashed Software is the world’s easiest inventory management solution to help your business grow. Unleashed makes inventory management easier and efficient, allowing you to take control of your inventory health and scale your business with confidence.
Manage and grow your ecommerce businessVeeqo includes everything any online retailer needs to run a successful business. View multichannel orders in a single platform, keep inventory levels 100% accurate, ship orders in bulk and view sophisticated sales reports.Why Retailers Love Veeqo:Every order in one place - Veeqo syncs every order from each of your sales channels into one centralised platform. Save time, eliminate human error and never miss an order again.Never oversell - Veeqo automatically syncs inventory levels across all sales channels in real-time. Keep stock perfectly aligned through your entire operation and never oversell again.Pick orders fast accurately - Veeqo gives you the best route to pick every order on its smartphone app or VS1 Scanner. Get orders out to customers quicker and with fewer errors.Ship in seconds - Veeqo integrates with nine world-leading shipping partners. Manage all your shipping directly in Veeqo and get orders out the door with just a few clicks.Enterprise ReadyDesigned to scale as your business growsVeeqo has been built specifically for large online retailers. Your business is complex and you need a solution that can handle its continual growth.The World's #1 PlatformAn essential tool for ecommerce successVeeqo is jam-packed with world-class features for ecommerce retailers who want to streamline their business, become more efficient, manage everything all in one place and increase their profits.List to MarketplacesGenerate more sales for your eCommerce brandVeeqo makes it easy to open up new sales channels. Push your products up to Amazon and eBay at the click of a button and increase your sales instantly.
QR Inventory is a connected cloud-mobile asset and inventory management system. It uses smartphones and QR code / barcode / NFC tags scanning to keep track of assets and inventory. Using QR Inventory, your employees can process assets and inventory transactions on site in real time by scanning QR code / barcode label or NFC tag with their smartphone. Results of the transaction are immediately available to all authorized users in real time anywhere.You can customize QR Inventory to fit your business model and workflow by defining what do you want to track, record and report via the web interface. Create custom transactions, forms that employees need to fill out on their mobile devices, custom fields for assets and inventory, and more.Smartphone with QR Inventory mobile application will replace barcode scanner, mobile computer, camera and GPS device for your field technicians. They will be able to scan QR code on the item to see detailed information (specs, manuals, drawings - anything that they need to know), process inventory transaction, check item stock and locations, fill out and submit relevant forms. And you won't need to spend a dime on hardware and consultants.QR Inventory has a built-in QR code generation tool, that allows you to generate, lay out and print QR code labels for your assets and inventory.Comprehensive reports allow you to review and export data on inventory count, locations, transactions history and usage. You can filter reports by the custom fields you created, producing exact information you need.
eTeClinic is the first all-in-one Healthcare Business Management software. This means Electronic Health Records, Practice Management, and automated business functions such as HR, Payroll, Inventory, Accounting, and more. eTeClinic saves you hours each day by using your EHR/PM/RCM data to complete these important, time consuming tasks, and generates reports you can use to enhance and grow your healthcare institution. TecNex provides everything you need in One Platform, One Company, One Solution.
BizSlate is a cloud-based inventory and order management solution which measurably helps small and medium-sized wholesale businesses in the apparel, footwear, accessories, housewares, and consumer goods industries increase revenue and profit by improving operational and supply chain efficiency. BizSlate seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks Online (QBO), Ecommerce platforms (e.g. Shopify) and EDI systems to accurately synchronize real-time inventory data across all sales channels.
Epicor Eagle N Series is a fully-integrated retail management 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 exceptional customer experiences at checkout and beyond with advanced POS and mobile technology Boost margins and profits with integrated inventory management, purchasing and receiving tools Optimize inventory 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.
Mobilizing Marketplaces to maximize Growth through automation ERP Integration and Social Commerce Our award-winning, software platform MobilityeCommerce provides the power, speed, intelligence and control to effectively merchandise your catalog everywhere shoppers make purchase decisions in-store online and worldwide.
PrismERP is developed using the latest web 2.0 technology that recognized by technology inventors and users worldwide. Current world assume these technologies will last and update for next century. Tools used PrismERP development are Java, Python and jQuery.
Workteam Planner provides teams with an incredibly visual way to collaborate together on projects. With just a few clicks you can create a new plan, build a team, assign tasks and keep everyone up-to-date with the progress of work.
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