When running a food service or retail business, it is crucial to evaluate it regularly to ensure that you’re on the right track. One of the most integral parts of your business is managing your inventory.
Inventory management is an essential part of supply chain management that ensures you have the right products in the correct quantity for sale at the right time.
How has your small business’s inventory management been so far?
Have you had the right products and the right quantity available when you needed them?
Did you lose out on business when items were out of stock?
Or did you lose money due to excess stocks?
Managing your inventory can be one of the most painstaking tasks if you don’t have the right tools and resources to help you.
Fortunately, there is plenty of Inventory Management software out there that can help you streamline and automate this process so you can focus on other essential tasks in running your business.
What is inventory management software?
When your inventory is managed effectively with the help of Inventory Management software, businesses reduce the costs of carrying excess inventory while maximizing their sales.
Good inventory management can help you track your inventory in real-time to hasten the process.
With this, you can be sure that you have the right products in the right quantity on hand and avoid products being out of stock and money went to waste due to excess stock.
You can also ensure your products are sold in time to avoid spoilage, obsolescence, or spending too much money on a stock that’s taking up space in a warehouse or stockroom.
Good inventory management software can help you reduce costs, save you and your employees’ time, improve cash flow, and boost your overall business performance.
A good inventory management software should have the following capabilities:
- Keep track of your inventory in real-time
- Help you forecast demand based on your sales
- Notifies you when there is a shortage of product and production
- Advises you should there be excess stock or too many raw materials
- Allow for easy inventory analysis on any device (monitor, phone, tablet, etc.
- Able to seamlessly integrate with your retail point-of-sale system and other business tools.
- Offer quick and painless bar code scanning to speed up the check-out process and intake of data to the system
- Allows for multilocation management, tracking inventory across several locations (warehouses, stockrooms, etc.)
- Allows working through different sales channels (e-commerce, physical stores, online marketplace, etc.)
Zoho Inventory ranks the highest out of any inventory management software considered. We chose Zoho Inventory as the best inventory management tool for small businesses because it provides excellent value for the price. Depending on the plan, you can handle multiple warehouses, eCommerce, and purchase orders. The system has advanced bundling and kitting features for combining multiple SKUs, is customizable to different types of businesses and use cases, and can integrate with other Zoho products or operate as a standalone system. Plus, Zoho Inventory has an intuitive interface. Sales Channels include Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify.
Handles multiple channels, warehouses, and currencies
Mobile app available
Can monitor expiration dates on batch orders
Lacks returns management
Lacks rental function
Free: 50 monthly online orders, 1 warehouse, 2 users, Standard: $59/month for 1,500 online orders, 2 warehouses, 3 users and Elite: $239/month for unlimited orders, 15 warehouses
Agiliron is a multichannel retail management system with eCommerce, retail, and wholesale functions. Agiliron lets you create and track matrix item products, serialized products, assembly products, kit products, and pre-set substitution products.
Comprehensive B2B and B2C inventory feature to create custom orders, kits, assemblies, matrixed products, and product substitutions set this system apart. Though a little pricier and complex, it does a wonderful job for B2B, wholesale, or B2C businesses with complex kitting or assembly needs.
Agiliron does well on advanced inventory functions, almost being at the same level as Zoho Inventory.
You will have to pay for some of its integrations to some eCommerce and marketplace platforms. Sales Channels: Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Magneto, other online stores
B2B and B2C eCommerce store options
Handles product customizations and substitutions
Works in offline mode
Expensive product and the base plan is limited
The system has a steeper learning curve
Some marketplace integrations are paid features
It has a 30-day free trial but charges Premier: $99/month for unlimited orders, 1 user, POS, full-featured CRM, and eCommerce store, and Enterprise: $199 a month for unlimited orders, 1 user, advanced inventory management, multiple stock locations, warehouse mobile app
inFlow Cloud is one of the most competitively-priced platforms best for Retail small businesses on a budget and beginners new to inventory systems. Its locally-hosted solution offers a free plan limited to 100 products and customers in total, making it useful for small businesses and offices.
An easy-to-use system, prompt customer support, online videos, knowledgebase, Facebook community, one-on-one demos
inFlow Cloud’s most vital feature is the built-in barcode software that works with price scanners and mobile devices. This can be used in every step of one’s inventory and order management processes.
inFlow Cloud software works well for affordable pricing and both general and advanced inventory management capabilities. However, including more users per plan and a basic CRM would have improved this software.
inFlow has two versions: cloud-based software and locally installed software. As the locally-hosted version, inFlow On-Premise will no longer receive new features as of this writing (April 2021), they focused on the cloud solution, inFlow Cloud. Sales Channels: Amazon, Shopify, WooCommerce, Squarespace
Offers B2B portal
Seamless use of barcode scanners
Provides onboarding support
Accounting software integration is limited to QuickBooks
14-day free trial
Light: $71/month for 100 monthly sales orders, 2 users, 1 warehouse, 2 integrations
Standard: $179/month for 1,000 monthly sales orders, 5 users, unlimited warehouses, 3 integrations
Plus: $449/month for 100,000 monthly sales orders, 10 users, unlimited warehouses, unlimited integrations
Businesses like QuickBooks Online because it’s an easy-to-use accounting program. Its cloud-based version, QuickBooks Online, provides inventory management features on its higher-paid tiers, allowing users to create purchase orders, track the cost of goods, and see the popular orders.
Best for Retail, manufacturing, wholesale trade, construction, nonprofits, and professional services. It is easy to use because of its Automation tools for streamlining processes, dedicated customer service, and online product training.
QuickBooks Online has earned quite an outstanding reputation for its overall inventory features and pricing. Still, it can improve more by allowing multiple warehouse management, which it doesn’t have at the moment.
QuickBooks also offers a much higher-priced version called QuickBooks Enterprise. It allows for excellent inventory control that lets you handle tracking items and orders and pricing changes.
It integrates with e-commerce platforms, works with multiple warehouses, and even focuses on construction inventory. While more expensive, it’s an excellent choice for a medium-to-large business, especially those already using QuickBooks for accounting.
It also has QuickBooks Commerce (formerly TradeGecko), ideal for B2B stores and growing multi-location, multichannel retail businesses because it offers order management, warehouse management, and extensive wholesale features.
However, QuickBooks Online is highlighted more in this article because it’s more affordable and geared toward smaller operations.
Popular orders view
Cost of goods tracking
Create purchase orders
Limited inventory management features (such as lot tracking, e-commerce, and barcode scanning)
No multiple warehouse management
Real-time tracking is unreliable
30-day free trial available
Plans that include inventory management:
Plus: $80/month for 5 users
Advanced: $180/month for 25 users
Ordoro is best for e-commerce stores, dropshippers, and volume sellers. While Ordoro is primarily a shipping platform, it provides advanced inventory management and automated purchasing features that intuitively integrate with its shipping system.
Because of this, Ordoro makes supply chain management easy and efficient—an ideal solution for drop shippers and volume sellers.
Its integrations (plus available shipping discounts) and advanced inventory management solutions (such as kitting and bundling) are the feature that makes it outstanding.
However, Ordoro is still considered a pricey system, more expensive than most inventory management systems on this list. If you need to minimize your inventory holding costs and save on volume shipping because of online orders, Ordoro is for you. However, if you run a brick-and-mortar retail store, a cheaper and less complicated option is advisable.
Discounted shipping features
Advanced features such as kitting and automated purchasing
Supports multiple warehouses
Lacks inventory management features in the basic plan
No mobile app
More expensive than most inventory software
To take advantage of the inventory features, you need to subscribe to the following plans:
Pro: $499 a month for purchase orders, kitting, and dropshipping
Enterprise: $999 a month for all those included in Pro plus vendor portals, inventory allocation, and custom integrations
Webgility is the most flexible, powerful, and easy-to-use software to automate accounting for online businesses. Data is synchronized automatically and securely across all your sales channels. Your books are always up to date and cash flow and profitability are at your fingertips. It's easy to file sales taxes. They also have a good customer support and help center ready to cater to your concerns.
With Webgility, you do less accounting and inventory management work by reducing errors and inefficiencies thanks to its accurate reporting system.
Pricing and inventory are updated automatically across your sales channels and accounting software, so you don’t oversell.
Settings can be customized based on how you account for each sales channel and with field-level mapping control.
$99 per month (billed annually) for advanced e-commerce accounting and inventory sync
ShipMonk is a cloud-based inventory management solution designed for startups, e-commerce businesses, subscription box companies, and crowdfunding campaigns. Features include multi-channel management, warehouse management, kitting, forecasting, reporting, analytics, barcoding, and more.
ShipMonk’s multichannel e-commerce fulfillment service features return management and custom packing procedures. The solution helps users strategize, plan and execute their retail fulfillment strategies.
It also provides them with various B2B fulfillment capabilities such as customized labeling and packing lists, EDI compliance, cross-docking, and multi-retailer support.
ShipMonk offers users subscription box fulfillment, crowdfunding, flash sales, and Amazon FBA preparation services. It supports integration with multiple third-party shopping carts such as Stripe, Goodsie, Squarespace, Celery, and more.
Services are offered on a monthly subscription basis that includes support via phone and email.
It charges based on how many orders you process per month. Please refer to their pricing page.
NETSTOCK is an affordable cloud-based inventory management solution that connects to your ERP, providing additional functionality to optimize your inventory.
Intelligent and real-time data does the hard work for you as it helps you classify items, providing reliable forecasts and order recommendations.
NETSTOCK gives you full visibility and control of your inventory. The easy-to-use dashboard highlights critical items needing attention. You can calculate your safety stock levels and supplier lead times, making sure you order more efficiently and have the right stock in the right location at the right time.
With NETSTOCK you can balance your inventory investment by reducing excess inventory and minimizing stock-outs.
A reminder: You need to have an ERP system in place to use NETSTOCK. View their website to see the full list of the leading ERP’s the software integrates with. on