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Best Inventory Management Software in 2018

Often used in industrial, manufacturing and whole/resale organizations, inventory management software enables users to manage stock. Inventory management applications help warehouse managers streamline automated purchasing, stock level reporting and order management (through GPS tracking, low stock level notifications or barcode support). Advanced solutions include features like multi-warehouse support, real time GPS data and support for group/bulk purchasing. Inventory management software can also assist with product and category management, automate cost calculation and often integrates with product information management and supply chain management systems (ERP, SCP, WMS, etc.).  Read the full software guide...


THE ULTIMATE Software Buyer Guide 2018

The Ultimate Inventory Management Software Buyer Guide 2018

Product recommendations, vendor rankings, market overview and tips on how to select Inventory Management software for business. Published in September 2018.

Often used in industrial, manufacturing and whole/resale organizations, inventory management software enables users to manage stock. Inventory management applications help warehouse managers streamline automated purchasing, stock level reporting and order m...

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Inventory Management Software Guide

What is Inventory Management Software?

Inventory management software is software with essential features in logistics management such as mistake/error determination, theft elimination, and even product spoilage management. The software is important in retail, service delivery, and other key industries with the asset distribution component as its foremost priority. Modern companies oversee their supply chain with the use of inventory management software. Doing so almost always guarantees a more efficient production and allocation of resources. Automation of inventory processes provides them with the forecasting tools essential for demand management of the product and for monitoring future trends.


Different Types of Inventory Management Software

Inventory management software is categorized according to the intended use of the system, its mode of work, and its primary features.

Manually-managed Systems of Inventory

The manually-managed inventory system is the simplest type of inventory management software. It focuses mainly on tracking similar products and components. The most basic features include the spreadsheet technology and the built-in status updates, making it ideal for growing businesses and for companies shifting to the automation of their stock management.

Sales management is also included in high-end manual systems with the inventory scheme offered as a separate module. However, know that the resultant system set up by these programs isn’t wholly an automated affair as most of the intricate and case-dependent calculations are mainly sourced from the technical expertise of the user.

Barcode Scanning Systems

Barcode scanning systems are scanning-exclusive programs that allow businesses to process a huge volume of items and generate data from POS and computerized cash registers. This allows businesses to achieve a faster movement of supplies from one warehouse to another—from packing to shipping.

This system also provides agents with ready-to-use ordering and purchasing data and information about incoming inventory.

Advanced Radio Frequency Systems

Radio frequency identification systems (or RFIDs) facilitate warehouse end-to-end automation and control through RFID tag readers. They allow movement of goods and products within the warehouse in an orderly albeit complex manner. Administrators within the warehouse can track the movement of an inventory from unpacking to repacking, giving them monitoring power over even the smallest component of the inventory of the company.


How to Choose Effective Inventory Management Software

The following are some of the major considerations in choosing your company’s inventory management system:

System Scalability

Inventory management software solutions are not the cheapest product a company will have on its list of assets. While it is tempting to think that good/complex software systems mean higher warehouse efficiency, it is not always the case. Companies are urged to look for software that can grow in proportion to the growth of the company’s operations. Companies are also encouraged to look for systems that can handle huge unexpected workload spikes without crashing.

Customer Service and Relationship

It's not typically in the scope of inventory management software to feature customer relationship management systems. However, high-end programs contain customer engagement features that assist in making customers knowledgeable about the status of their orders. More sophisticated inventory management systems do not only provide transparency but a personalization of interaction as well.

Customer Support

Some companies offer excellent, round-the-clock operations support at a low cost. Where logistics-related matters are concerned, it goes without saying customer support is a crucial aspect. Having a solid one for the software you’re using ensures you can bounce back from any glitch that may worm its way into your system.

Product Categorization

Keep in mind that sorting products using well-delineated and logical categories allow flexibility on the part of warehouse managers, especially when dealing with stocks control. Better inventory management software solutions are equipped with effective filters for various categories such as type, name, date, and supplier. They also allow users to sift through different merchandise categories. This is one aspect of the software you’re eyeing that you should scrutinize.

Management of Orders

There are various aspects of order management that companies should look into when buying software. A quality inventory management system will seamlessly perform key functions such as sales/purchase management, order tracking, and invoicing.

You should also check the degree of automation where order management is concerned. That is, see if manual tasks are greatly minimized (or outright eliminated). A system with an excellent automation scheme will streamline the tasks of warehouse managers, ensuring more efficient process flows.

Product Information Update

Excellent inventory management systems allow members of the team of a warehousing project to keep track of necessary information updates regarding stocks. This is the reason why data within the inventory systems should be treated as dynamic variables by the software. By treating information as such and providing an update on these changes the management, full control is given to them even with most of their processes being automated ones.

Stock Replenish Information

The inventory management system should not be limited to tracking the movement of products among warehouses. It should also provide adequate service to deal with the optimization of the volume of stocks within the operations. Furthermore, it should also be able to do automated calculations when determining optimal stocking levels and reordering points. A program with distribution planning systems also allows the company to balance the supply and demand across the market of the business.


Benefits of Inventory Management Software

Inventory management systems definitely provide businesses with an additional edge over their operations. Here are some of the key benefits to using quality inventory management software solutions:

  • Centralized analysis of multiple stock locations within the business allows managers to holistically determine the performance of the system as a whole. With holistic information about every movement of a particular order, managers are able to provide continual updates to the customers regarding the status of their requests/orders.
  • Stock operation efficiency is a must with companies involved in supply trains. Manual processes involved with the stock management are absorbed by the system, thereby lessening the possibility of human error.
  • Sales productivity is enhanced through the automation of the processes involved with the updating of information for the perusal of clients. Accurate inventory helps the business lessen human mistakes, such as reporting false volumes of stocks or misplacing client referrals.
  • Product delivery gets streamlined and made more efficient. Real-time updates on the deadlines and important dates about the delivery of a product help warehouse employees mobilize all relevant resources to hit their target dates. More advanced software solutions even allow clients to keep track of the movement of the ordered goods from purchase to delivery.
  • Ordering frequency is adjusted according to the actual needs and demands of the stock. This helps companies to get away with overstocks—one of the greatest sources of inefficiency within this type of operations. Overstocks waste all the maintenance and storage fees incurred by the excess product, not to mention the cost of the goods bought.
  • Hidden costs are managed through determination of future spikes in demand of the product. By having predictors in place, businesses can make efficient decisions about availing of additional storage fees.
  • Customer satisfaction results from the highly personalized service provided by the system. Predictability and transparency in the operations reduce the worry on the part of the consumers regarding the status of their demanded product.
  • Inventory optimization results to efficiency in the allocation of working capital. This balances the need of the customers to obtain fresh products and the need of the business to save on storage costs entailed with increasing stock volumes.
  • Integration with third-party logistics system partners allows for the seamless management of stock volume even with spikes in demand. The highly-integrated data obtained from this integration allows businesses to keep track of the supply before allowing customers to place their orders.
  • With software that can meld details of your transactions in your inventory system with back office accounting, you can be assured of producing precise financial reports. Financial and fiscal compliance brought about by these financial overviews greatly minimizes—or outright eliminates—the possibility of the company miring itself in lawsuits and costly sanctions, ensuring smooth operations.

Common Features of Inventory Management

API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Budgeting Planning and tracking capabilities for financial budgets and plans often used to manage funds across different departments or for investor / shareholder oversight.
Calendar Management Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.
Customer Management Manage customer databases and/or track outstanding shipments, payments and more.
Dashboard Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
Data Visualization Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
Forecasting Forecast upcoming expenses, sales, revenue, user levels, etc. through the use of predictive methods and past data.
Inventory Tracking Stay on top of inventory levels, to manage the storing, reordering or production of stock items.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.
Order management Manage the fulfilment of sales and orders for goods and services.
Product Catalog Allows for the digital catalogization of large amounts of products.
SAP Integration Integrates with common SAP services.
Scheduling Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.
Shipping Management Automate time-consuming shipping issues for goods manufacturers and vendors.
Supplier Management Manage suppliers and purchases required in the day-to-day operation of a business.
Third-Party Plugins/Add-Ons Offers additional features or integrations built by third-party developers in form of plugins or add-ons.

Latest User Reviews of Inventory Management

Cin7
Rus Kirchner, Director - RK Image
"Cin7 is Great!"

Working with Cin7 over the past 3 years has be very rewarding. The businesses that I...

Lead Commerce
Jonathan Todd, Liquor Commissioner - County of Maui
"Best Price, Expands with us, Smart Cust Sv..."

Low price, modular and grows with us. All customer service is from USA by Americans ...

Cin7
Mary Angela O'Connell, Office Assistant - Dharf.com
"Cin 7 is one of few inverntory management ..."

Cin 7 is one of few inverntory management systems that has a light manufacturing syst...

Jazva
Isaac Parkinson, Director of Marketplaces - Lifestyle Products
"Waste of Time"

Good dashboard that was fairly easy to use. Liked our support rep but he was too busy...


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