Inventory Management Systems
Inventory Management Software Overview
What is Inventory Management Software?
Inventory Management Software provides a central hub for retailers, primarily eCommerce or multichannel selling operations, to manage the flow of goods. It may encompass order and fulfillment management, warehouse management and stock checking, procurement (or e-procurement) and supplier management, as well as analytics and integrations with other business critical systems (e.g. accounting, ERP, eCommerce platforms).
Inventory Management vs. Order Management, Supply Chain Management, & Warehouse Management Systems
Generally inventory management software is acquired at a lower cost and is more parsimonious than omnichannel order management & retail suites. Inventory control and ordering systems are embedded in supply chain management (SCM) suites, though not all businesses need such extensive solutions as those offered in SCMs. Software billed as inventory management is a wiser choice for smaller businesses, compared to SCM suites which are designed to manage supply across many warehouses and outlets across a vast or complex logistics network. Capabilities of inventory management systems are very similar to warehouse management systems (WMS), though these are often targeted at distributors while inventory management software is most often targeted at retailers; however, this is not an absolute distinction.
Inventory Management Software Features & Capabilities
- Inventory Control: As these platforms are targeted at retailers, their central feature is to automate a stock counting and tracking across (potentially) multiple warehouses as items are sold and resupplied. Also, the software should supply barcode scanning internally or integrate with barcode scanning technology.
- Inventory Optimization: The software should automate and provide decision support for optimal levels of stocked items based on sales & order analytics. This practice helps with cost control and should suppress or eliminate oversupply of sluggish or immovable stocked products.
- Purchase / Sales Order Management: Orders can be handled within the inventory management platform via inbuilt purchase order and sales order management systems and interfaces.
- Fulfillment: Platforms may centralize, automate, and optimize order fulfillment by consolidating sales information across channels and warehouses to ensure optimal shipping and delivery of products, balancing consideration for shipping costs and customer satisfaction.
- Shipping & Tracking: The system may provide shipping status and logistical oversight and controls, or integrate with 3PL and shipping software systems and modules.
- Supplier Relationship / Supplier Performance Management, & Scoring: Analyzing and scoring supplier performance is a key feature of top inventory management software.
- Order & Stock History: Inventory management systems should also retain and provide access to rich historical data about orders and stocks.
- Backorder Management: When items are out of stock, the system can reduce the cost of resupply by intelligently facilitating and consolidating purchase orders.
- Accounting & CRM, inbuilt or integration: Some inventory management software offers simple inbuilt accounting and CRM capabilities, though most often the system must integrate compatibly with outside accounting and customer relationship management systems.
- Reporting & Analytics: Given the wealth of data generated, transmitted through, and stored in the system, top inventory management software provides analytics and reporting of product and channel performance (including drill-down analytics on product features), cost of goods sold (COGS), profit analysis, and sales forecasting. This can help discover top customers or top sales performers, and other meaningful pieces of information for multi-channel selling optimization.
Inventory Management Products
Brightpearl is a platform that was designed to help users manage their omnichannel business.According to the vendor, key benefits and features include: Built for retail. Brightpearl is focused on strictly on omnichannel retail, meaning that our platform and all future innovations are focused on...
QuickBooks Online is a SaaS verison of the QuickBooks product. The monthly fee for this service starts at $13 and can be upgraded to include payroll services, and inventory management (implementing Intuit's acquisition, the Lettuce Inventory Management app, as a built-in component of QuickBooks...
QuickBooks Enterprise is a widely-used accounting package designed for smaller organizations. It is the top of the QuickBooks line. Pricing starts at $3,000 for five users, and goes up depending on the number of additional users. They also offer an Advanced Inventory module for $999 / year.
ShipStation is an order fulfillment, inventory management, and shipping hub for eCommerce businesses. It allows users to import, manage, and ship orders from the ShipStation hub, which can coordinate multiple online sales channels and multiple carriers. ShipStation also offers branded package...
MicroBiz is an eCommerce retail management solution butil around features such as inventory management, payment gateway, and purchase orders / receiving tracking.
Odoo, from the Belgium-headquartered multinational company of the same name, is a suite of business applications for managing the sales pipeline. It also comprises a PoS and inventory management modules, scaling to a warehouse or retail management solution.
Linnworks is an inventory management software offering from Linn-Systems. It includes features such as multi-channel software and order management.
Valogix Inventory Planner is an inventory management software offering from Valogix. It includes features such as forecast, plan, and optimize inventory and determines which items to stock and order.
SalesBinder is an online inventory management system which also combines an organization’s customers, sales leads, purchase orders, estimates, and invoices into one globally accessible place. This enables users to have real-time access to their inventory and all other business activities. Advanced...
Aralco Systems is an inventory management software offering from Aralco. It includes features such as e-commerce, UDI, and point of sale features.
Stitch Labs is an inventory management software offering from Stitch Labs. It includes features such as multichannel selling and inventory control, with order and fulfillment management optimal for retail.
ordoro is an inventory management software offering from Ordoro. It includes features such as inventory management and dropshipping.
Skubana is billed as enterprise resource planning software built around eCommerce; primarily it offers inventory management and order fulfillment, with analytics built in.
Compeat in Austin, Texas offers their restaurant management platforms which combine inventory planning and forecasting with workforce management and controls. Their platform comes in two editions: Advantage for smaller independent and chain restaurants, and Enterprise for large chains,
Ctuit Software headquartered in Novato, California offers Radar, a restaurant management suite that features inventory and workforce / scheduling capabilities.
DEAR Inventory is an inventory management software offering from kalosoft Software. It includes features such as customer, vendor, & shipper records.
TradeGecko is an Order and Supply Chain Management platform with a comprehensive suite of functionalities packaged together in a cloud-based interface.
CommerceHub is an omnichannel retail platform for suppliers, manufacturers, and retailers. It has three pieces: ProductStream, DemandStream, and OrderStream. ProductStream connects retailers with suppliers and product data, allowing users to manage their online product catalog. DemandStream...
RF Pathways is an inventory management software offering from Automation Associates.
StockTracker is an inventory management software offering from Defy Logic. It includes features such as stock control and order management and social media set-up.
Ultriva is a suite of inventory and warehouse management applications developed by the Cupertino-based company of that name that was acquired by Upland Software in November 2015.
StratusStockroom is an inventory management software offering from Intellitrack. It includes features such as the ability to get notifications when stock levels reach critical lows and set up an automated system to track input and outtake of items.
Fishbowl Manufacturing (FBM) is inventory management software targeted by the vendor as a low cost solution for SMB manufacturers, especially when integrated with Xero and Quickbooks as an end-to-end solution.
Unleashed is an inventory management software offering from Unleashed Software in New Zealand. It includes features such as integrated eCommerce accounting.
EZOfficeInventory is fixed asset management software with inventory and barcoding from EZ Web Enterprises, Inc, featuring the ability to manage check-in and check-out of assets, maintenance and condition track, packing and bundling of assets, reserve assets, and other features.