Having an online shop is a great thing in the world we live in today. Even if you have a brick-and-mortar store, having an eCommerce solution is a good idea. Inventory tracking then becomes a huge deal because you want to make sure everything is running smoothly. This is where inventory management software comes into play.
Remember, you want to be able to track all your inventory, no matter where the sales are coming from. Missing a sale and not properly tracking it can cause you to lose count of how many items you have in stock. This can cause all sorts of trouble. This is why proper inventory tracking is so crucial.
Today we are going to look at some of the best inventory management software available today.
What is Inventory Management Software?
The word “inventory” can be used to describe many things. However, more simply put, inventory is something that a business relies on to generate sales and make it successful. Whatever the inventory the business is selling, they need it to sell so they can profit.
Inventory management software is the tool that is used to track sales, improve efficiency, save time and money, and provide valuable insights that will help increase overall business success.
You see, keeping track of inventory and other assets is arguably the most important thing there is to do when it comes to running a business. That being said, it can also be very time-consuming and can definitely be confusing if not handled correctly.
The best inventory management software will help you properly track all incoming and outgoing supplies and products. No matter what type of business you run, you must have a solid inventory management structure in place.
Let’s take a look at some of the best inventory management software available today.
Best Inventory Management Software Platforms
Starting out our list of the best inventory management software platforms is Orderhive. The system provides a lot of different plans. This means that there is probably a plan for you and it will fill all the needs you have.
The major selling point of Orderhive is the fact that they offer unlimited stock-keeping-units (SKUs) along with hundreds of different integrations as part of all their plans. This is what makes them the best overall inventory management software in my opinion.
Orderhive is a web-based software tool that will work on all major browsers. However, they do recommend using Chrome or Firefox for the best experience.
- Kitting, bundling, composite support
- Automated purchase order creation
- Bulk add, update, and delete of products
- Link and unlink products that have different SKUs
- Transfer stock between multiple warehouses
- Barcode scanning support
- Multiple reporting options
- Low stock alerts
- Out of stock alerts
- Tons of eCommerce automation tools
Another one of the best inventory management software programs available today is inFlow. This is a fairly easy to use, intuitive platform that provides a central inventory database and business-to-business (B2B) showrooms where clients can view your products.
The software is simple, yet very powerful, and is perfect for manufacturers, B2B wholesalers, online sellers, and retailers. That being said, this is a definite choice for B2B companies.
Like Orderhive, inFlow provides software that is browser-based. You should have no issues running it on the browser of your choice. They also offer a very smooth app for both Android and iOS devices.
- Business intelligence reports across sales, purchasing, and inventory
- Create general B2B showrooms and password protect them
- Vendor payments
- Order histories
- Kitting, bundling, work order, and assembly processing
- Backorder capabilities
- Scan and generate barcodes from your smartphone
- B2B portal creation ability
- Email invoices and receipts
- Contact info and order histories
Lightspeed is a web-based inventory management tool that is designed to meet the needs of both brick and mortar and eCommerce inventory demands. It focuses on industry-specific options as well as in-store purchases. In my opinion, Lightspeed is the best inventory management system for retail sales.
It also has a could-based version that you can use on iPad that allows you to track and checkout customers right on your sales floor. It provides amazing inventory tools and easily integrates with SkuVault, which is a warehouse management system for increased capabilities.
Last but definitely not least, Lightspeed provides arguably the best point-of-sale (POS) system around.
- Bulk price changeability
- Automated discounts
- Track inventory levels and SKUs across multiple locations
- Easily implement coupons, promotions, giveaways, and employee discounts
- eCommerce and in-store inventory sync
- Customer reorder guidelines
- Serial and batch tracking support
- Bundled products
- Import catalog files for vendors
- Easily create and send purchase orders
If you run a manufacturing company then Megaventory is probably perfect for you. It is an operations management solution that helps you oversee and track the bundling or assembly process. You can then monitor inventory, ordering, and fulfillment.
The system is easy to use and easy to implement, so others that need to be a part of using it will not have a large learning curve to get over. Megaventory is a cloud-based service that runs very well on other devices and is a perfect choice for something like a manufacturing plant.
- Creates BOMs, packing slips, and work orders
- Allows user access permission
- Tracks customer and vendor contact information
- Supports expiry dates and batch numbers
- Bulk and quick updating options
- Automatic stock alerts
- Barcode scanning and printing
- Multiple reports
- Dropshipping and consignment sales and purchases
If you need a management solution for a restaurant, then Upserve will definitely be worth the look. It has a very strong point-of-sale (POS) system and provides excellent inventory capabilities.
The system gives you the ability to track almost anything, including the ingredients right down to the very last ounce available. The service is both cloud and app-based. The mobile app functions on both Android and iOS devices, so you can use it with just about any device.
Another unique feature that Upserve provides is an “offline mode.” You can also choose from a very wide range of hardware that is also offered. With menu options and employee management tools, Upserve might be the perfect fit for your business.
- Sync recipes to the POS system
- Auto refinish quantities when new stock arrives
- Manage all vendors and supplies
- One-click purchasing available for inventory
- Scan all inventory from mobile app
- Track real-time ingredient inventory
- Low stock item alerts
Another one of the very best inventory management software programs is Zoho Inventory. You may recognize Zoho from something else you do, as their platform provides all sorts of services and has become very popular over the years.
They provide online inventory management that also includes a very user-friendly, robust, free version that goes along with their very affordable paid plans. This system is best for smaller businesses and startups.
The platform will allow you to easily add items, fulfill orders, and view inventory from any device. Again, their free option is better than any other free inventory management platform on this list.
Zoho Inventory works on desktops, tablets, and phones, so there will never be a place you can’t access and use it.
- Auto order out of stock items
- Send real-time status notifications to buyers
- Handles dropshipping
- Automatic inventory updates across all channels
- Comes complete with a CRM program
- Accepts backorders and out of stock items
- Inventory, customer, sales reports
- Barcode scanner ability
Specifically written for the cloud, Oracle NetSuite focuses on ease-of-use and modularity. It provides users with a solid inventory management system and excellent financial platform that is easily expanded to meet certain business needs.
One of the main benefits of working with cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps is that they generally don’t have version numbers. The version you are running and working in is going to be the most current.
This is because there is only one codebase remaining fully controlled by the vendor. Because of this, you don’t have to wait for updates and bug fixes to be built, tested, then shipped out to thousands of customers.
Oracle NetSuite is a different experience than the other platforms on this list but may be exactly what you are looking for so give them a look.
- Excellent customer relationship management features
- Enterprise resource planning features
- Drilldown capabilities from several system views
- Simple reporting features
- Customizable process workflows
- Intuitive and easy to navigate dashboard
What to Look For When Choosing Inventory Management Software
Let’s face it, all businesses are a little different when it comes to the way they operate. The same can be said for inventory management software. In my opinion, this is not a “one size fits all” type of deal.
The stock inventory software you choose will be based on a number of different things. First and foremost, personal opinion will play a big role. Secondly, the exact needs your business has will also play a big role in the software you choose.
Free inventory software may be perfect for your business, while another business may need a high-end product with all the bells and whistles.
However, no matter who you are or what type of business you run, there are a few essential things you want to look for when it comes to picking the inventory management software that is right for you.
Here are some important things to look for.
Yes, first up on the list for most business owners will be the cost of the product. Sure, you may need it to do certain things. However, the cost is going to be at the front and center of the decision-making process.
Lots of features usually mean a higher cost, so careful consideration of this during the selection process is key.
Simplicity of Use
You want to find inventory management software that has everything you need. But, you also want to find a platform that is easy to use and understand. Remember, a program is really only effective if it is intuitive and usable for everyone.
Is the navigation easy? Does it have clear documentation? These are important things to consider.
There are literally hundreds of inventory management software programs available today. The list above is what I think are some of the best and a good place to start your journey.
Overall reputation is likely going to play a factor in the decision-making process as well. Make sure you read through reviews that users have posted, check into the customer service situation, and make sure that the program you choose has a good reputation.
Again, like any other piece of software you are looking to purchase, integration is very important. You want to make sure that the platform you choose allows for easy third-party integrations into other tools that you use to run your business.
This allows things to run smoothly and your entire system to work as together as one.
Analytics and Reports
In addition to all the other things that good inventory management software provides, you have to make sure that you get solid and easy-to-understand analytics and reports. These reports will provide detailed data that you can use to increase productivity and sales.
Customer Support and Training
Customer support also falls under overall reputation. However, it is also a category by itself. Does the inventory management software program you choose have a solid reputation for customer support? It should, as you will probably need to access it at some point when setting up and integrating the product.
Multi-Location Inventory Management
Many businesses operate in more than one location and because of that, they have inventory scattered throughout multiple locations. Make sure that the system you choose allows you to operate inventory from more than one facility.
Main Benefits of Inventory Management Software
Aside from the obvious time saver and money saver benefits, there are a few other things that can greatly benefit your business when you choose the right inventory management software. They include:
- Reduced Errors
- Increased Efficiency
- Optimized Inventory
- Higher Profits
- Improved Customer Experience.
These are just a few of the reasons you want to find the right platform to track inventory for your business.
Choosing the right inventory management software for your business does not have to be an overly daunting task. Sure, you will want to do some research and possibly look into some demo options. However, with a little homework and a little time, you are sure to come away with a platform that is perfect for your business.
You can’t go wrong with any of the software on the list above. This is a great starting point and will give you some solid platforms to look at.
Go through them, see what they have to offer, and come to a conclusion that will help your business create more sales. Good luck!