Inventory management is a crucial task for all businesses that handle ready products, raw materials, and parts. Unless you want to make errors or be forced to memorize the impossible, you need to somehow manage your inventory.
The solution is pretty straightforward – you need inventory management software.
What Is Inventory Management Software?
When it comes to inventory management, no one person can do it all – especially not in large businesses that handle many products and materials. Smaller companies might get the hang of it, but it’s still easy to forget to restock, miscalculate your orders, or realize that you lack key products and parts too late.
This is where inventory management software comes into the picture. Such software empowers different warehouses, integrates multiple sales channels, and monitors different steps of the ordering process. Business.org defines it as follows:
“Inventory management is an overarching term that refers to your tracking system for every phase in the product life cycle.”
With so many such solutions on the market, there’s something for everyone. You only need to know what to look for – and where.
Features Of Great Inventory Management Software
To make your business run smoothly and error-free, you need to choose an appropriate management system. Your decision should be based on an understanding of what such software offers. Here are some of the things to look for when making this decision:
You can’t and should not view inventory management as something that exists in a vacuum. A great system should assist you in managing your inventory as you see fit. It is up to you to choose if you’ll practice perpetual or periodic management, or take an entirely different approach. It is the job of the software to adapt to your needs, not the other way around.
Adaptable systems can integrate with other kinds of software you’ll use, which includes, but should not be limited to retail platforms, shopping tools, business accounting, warehousing management systems, reporting tools, analytic tools, etc. Top-rated inventory platforms are specifically designed to integrate with other tools to make your job easier.
Every modern business requires at least some automation to work properly. Much of the efficiency in the workplace is rooted in automation. This is why quality management software systems offer a variety of automation features including stock transfers, programmable reorders, etc. Basically, they give you more time to focus on other tasks for the business and lessen the frequency of human error.
Look at it this way. You may be a small business now, but what happens when you add many new products or a new location once your brand grows? You’ll need software that supports various warehouses and products, and a single system to automate everything.
When picking the ideal software solution, you should think long-term in addition to your current needs. Your goals for the business should tell you what your demands might be in the near or far future. Based on that, you should consider systems that can scale to manage a growing business. After all, that’s the goal of all small or mid-sized companies – to grow further.
Best Choices For Inventory Management Systems In 2021
Now comes the best part – the top listing for the greatest inventory management systems for this year. Here are the options you should be considering right now.
Lightspeed comes at the top of the list for the best inventory management software this year for many reasons. This amazing software is used by some of the greatest companies, integrating seamlessly with many other platforms, and offering amazing features. Some of them include:
Stock management. Whether you sell serialized, bundled, or individual items with different variations, the software offers various tools to get the stock moving around. You can identify inventory pieces with unique serial numbers, create product variations based on size, material, or color, create personalized orders, track inventory levels across different locations, etc.
Centralized purchasing. Thanks to Lightspeed, users can save tons of time by ordering new stock directly from integrated vendor catalogs. If you use it, you can upload 10,000 items with the item import tool, as well as products from over 3,000 preloaded catalogs. On top of that, you can consolidate all transfers, orders, and purchases into a single order, and set custom reorder points for your best-sellers.
Moving inventory faster. With this software, you get full control over your inventory and its rates. You can change prices in bulk, give employee discounts, allow giveaways and promotions, and automate discounts.
Automation features. One of the best features of Lightspeed is automation. You can use it to track margins and unit costs, set notifications for reorder points, anticipate the latest shopping trends, identify old inventory, and detect inventory levels that go into negatives.
With inFlow, everything is at your fingertips. Even though this product is less versatile than the previous, it’s still highly demanded by businesses of smaller sizes. It provides internal support that includes the following:
· Purchase ordering
· Warehouse management
· Order fulfillment and shipping
· Inventory transfers
The system is designed specifically to help small-sized businesses in need of more control over the inventory. inFlow does an excellent job in centralizing shipping, inventory, warehouse, finances, and even accounting. It has over 100 different features and hundreds of thousands of downloads since its establishment.
Cin7 is rich in integrations and has some amazing features to offer you. This is a smart, easy-to-master inventory management software that integrates greatly with QuickBooks, Xero, Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon, Salesforce, and over 500 other tools.
This tool is ideal for those who want to bring more structure to day-to-day tasks. It offers the following services:
· Inventory management
· Order management
· Warehouse management
· Reports and forecasting
· Payment portal, etc.
Zoho Inventory has amazing management features split into different modules. They include, but are not limited to:
· Item management: item bundling and grouping, multi-warehouse management, and serial and batch tracking;
· Customer lifecycle: sales order management, invoicing, packaging, and shipping;
· Vendor relations: vendor price lists, billing solutions, and purchase order history, as well as drop shipments and backorders;
· Automation: barcode scanning, webhooks and custom functions, and email and field update;
· Integrations: post-shipment, shopping cart and marketplace, EDI integration, accounting solutions, and CRM integration;
In addition to these, Zoho offers some modern, smart features that catch up with the industry trends. Such features will allow you to generate reports almost instantly, generate SKUs for the item groups, and set reorder points for different items.
If you need something simple-to-use, yet versatile in terms of stock moving and monitoring, Fishbowl is a great option. Its features are not as versatile as those of Lightspeed and Zoho, but it still makes for a very decent, very popular software solution. The two main things that Fishbowl offers are manufacturing and warehouse solutions. Here is a more detailed overview of its functions.
Manufacturing. It allows you to generate work orders for different jobs, calculate inventory needs, save commonly used work orders for future projects, track inventory across different operations, and calculate inventory needs to avoid overproduction or lack of it.
Warehouse. Fishbowl gives you real-time inventory updates, allows you to automate reorder points, and it integrates with various hopping cards, eCommerce solutions, and tools like Xero, Quickbooks, and Salesforce.
Unleashed inventory is software that helps you “achieve complete control of your products – and instant clarity across suppliers, production, inventory, and customers”. Right now, this growing brand splits its features into five main categories:
· Purchases: purchase costs, purchase orders, supplier management and returns, receipt purchases, etc.
· Inventory: barcode scanning, serial number tracking, product management, and batch tracking
· Production: assemblies, disassemblies, and bill of materials
· Sales: orders, quotes, order management, customer pricing, quantity discounts, B2B commerce, etc.
· Insights: reporting and business intelligence
Veeqo offers more limited integrations compared to other products in the list, but its features are top-notch. This software integrates with 30+ other solutions and its features cut across shipping, warehouse management, and inventory.
The platform is very simple to use. Its main feature categories are:
· Inventory management
· Picking updates and dashboards
· Shipping and automation
· Reports and forecasts
If you’ve manually taken care of inventory, you know that this is the most tedious task ever. It demands a lot of time and focus, and can easily result in mistakes that cost your business money and its reputation. Today, you have many more things to handle, things that are crucial for success and also take a lot of time. Luckily, some amazing management software solutions can take a huge portion of your tasks away.
By picking the right inventory management system, you are enjoying multi-location management, amazing integration features, automation on every level, as well as increased transparency and insights. You can forget about sleepless nights or human errors, all thanks to a simple software solution at an affordable cost.
Wait no longer! Pick your software today and rid yourself of that huge burden.
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