An overview of the best inventory management software

Inventory control is important for businesses of all sizes and industries, and requires having oversight of every aspect of a business’s inventory, or assets. Retail brands and e-commerce companies alike will quickly realize after the startup phase, just how integral a part of daily operations an inventory management system really is.

In terms of the actual management of inventory, the basic pen and paper technique will only suffice for so long. Not only is this system prone to error and mistakes, but it is also very time consuming and may result in businesses missing out on valuable data-driven insights or even losing money. Therefore, availing of one of the many inventory management software options in order to keep your inventory under control is strongly advised. From brick and mortar stores to large e-commerce companies, no matter what the scale of operations, an effective inventory control software could greatly benefit your business.

What is inventory software?

To put it simply, inventory control software provides businesses with an overview of the amount of inventory they have, where exactly it is located, and when it comes in or goes out. This allows businesses to plan ahead, enhance productivity, and manage customer expectations. Some software are best suited to growing companies or smaller businesses, while others focus on larger enterprises. Below, we take a look at some of the advantages of inventory control software:

  • Increased productivity and efficiency: With the automation of daily operations, inventory software saves businesses time and effort that can be spent on more pressing issues within the company.
  • Avoid excess stock or stockouts: With improved inventory accuracy, your business will have exactly the amount of stock that it should have, thus preventing loss of sales.
  • Satisfied customers: With such comprehensive inventory management, your customers will receive the most efficient service possible.
  • Accurate planning: Inventory control software helps businesses plan for the future. It makes it easier to monitor and analyze trends, and plan for accurate inventory management.
  • Avoid mistakes: With the automation provided by inventory management software, the possibility of human error and mistakes is reduced.

The various types of inventory management systems can be divided into four main categories:

  • The periodic system: This method ensures that all inventory data is updated at specific intervals rather than continuously. This system requires a physical inventory count and is therefore best suited to smaller businesses.
  • The perpetual system: With this system, all inventory data is updated with each transaction such as sale, purchase, return, and discounts. In order for this system to provide real-time inventory data, it requires additional software, a barcoding system, or radio frequency identification. 
  • Barcode scanning system: As the name suggests, barcode scanning allows businesses to pull in inventory data based on barcode scanning at a Point of Sales (POS) situation. Incoming and outgoing inventory is updated automatically as soon as an item is scanned.
  • Radio frequency system: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems provide automated warehouse control by using fixed tag readers throughout the warehouse. This inventory management system is ideal for large enterprises. 

There is a host of different inventory management software out there – each offering different features and prices. There is different criteria that can determine which inventory control software you opt for such as your budget, your industry, and the size of your company. It is therefore advisable to do your research first in order to find a system that best suits you and your company’s needs.

Cin7

Cin7 is a cloud-based option that combines inventory management software together with a Point of Sales solution (POS). It connects a business’s stock, POS, third party logistics and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), allowing businesses to manage all their inventory, sales channels, and supply chain from one central, easy-to-use dashboard.

Known for its cross-compatibility, the inventory management solution can be integrated with a large number of marketplaces and e-commerce sites, and is suitable for a variety of industries. Due to its cloud-based nature, it can be accessed from anywhere in the world, making it ideal for modern businesses. Due to the range of features Cin7 offers, it can often feel overly complicated and can result in a very time-consuming induction phase. Cin7’s different features do however come at a high starting price in comparison to other solutions. With the Starter, Business, Professional and Enterprise packages, prices begin at $299 and scale fairly quickly depending on the number of users added.

Pros

Cons

Boasts one of largest number of integrations

 

An expensive starting price and cost grows depending on the number of users and features added

Supports Windows, Linux, Android, Mac and web-based operating systems

Due to wealth of features, software can prove to be complicated

Offers a host of features

Customization is limited

A customizable solution

Customer support problems in the past

Easy-to-use dashboard

 

Zoho Inventory

Another market-leading inventory control software is Zoho Inventory. Favored for its powerful range of features that are intuitive and easy-to-use, the web-based inventory solution is suitable for small to large companies of all industries. It offers complete inventory tracking, warehouse management, shipping integrations, and accounting and CRM integrations. This affordable option provides barcode scanning and can be easily integrated with Zoho’s suite of productivity tools.

Zoho Inventory is certainly one of the better value options on our list. With generous Basic, Standard and Professional packages, the software calculates its cost based on the number of users, orders and warehouses.

Pros

Cons

Simple navigation

Not as many integrations as competition

Moderately priced

Customization can be difficult

Offers a range of comprehensive features

Can be confusing to get to know

Extensive integration with Zoho’s suite of productivity tools

 

Offers security measures like encryption and multi-factor authentication

 

Valuable resources available for learning

 

SellerCloud

The SellerCloud e-commerce software offers a simple inventory management system that streamlines internal processes and supports multi-warehouse management. What makes it stand out from other software is the fact that it simplifies multichannel selling for online retailers. Key features include multichannel compatibility, publishing lists to marketplaces, automated orders and shipping, and a powerful reporting module. It can be integrated with a wide range of sales channels such as Amazon eBay and Walmart, as well as a number of shopping cart platforms (e.g. Shopify and Magento), shipping platforms (e.g. FedEx and DHL), and third party logistics (e.g. Amazon by Fulfillment).

Pros

Cons

Offers a large range of multichannel connectivity options

The user interface is somewhat difficult to navigate at the beginning

Excellent support staff

Customization can be difficult

A comprehensive range of features

 

A customizable solution

 

Offers security measures like HTTPS and multi-factor authentication

 

TradeGecko

TradeGecko is another powerful tool for managing a business’s inventory and orders from one central place. The Singapore-based inventory management software is best suited to small to medium businesses. It stands out from its competitors due to its simplicity: it has an easy-to-use interface and a clean design. Although it does not offer as many features as some of the other market leaders, it provides the essentials such as inventory and warehouse management and detailed reporting. Additionally, it offers a number of multichannel sales capabilities with online marketplaces (e.g. Amazon, Etsy), e-commerce stores (e.g. WooCommerce, Shopify), and brick and mortar stores.

TradeGecko offers a very flexible pricing scheme. It boasts five plans in total beginning at $79 per month for the Lite package – this includes two users, one e-commerce channel and 150 sales orders. Businesses that operate on multiple channels should expect to opt for a more costly package.

Pros

Cons

A large range of multichannel connectivity options

It lacks POS support

 

Flexible pricing plans

Limited mobile functions

Clean and simple interface

There have been a number of complaints in the past regarding bugs

A customizable solution

 

Security measures like encryption and HTTPS

 

Brightpearl

Another prominent inventory control software, Brightpearl assists retailers with real-time inventory management, customer data, orders, reporting, and accounting. In comparison to its competitors, the web-based solution offers a large selection of integrations with popular marketplaces, sales channels and services, allowing for seamless work across multiple platforms. Its built-in financial management and accounting feature was established specifically with larger retail businesses in mind; real-time insights allow for an instant overview of your company finances.

Pros

Cons

Offers a large range of multichannel connectivity options

Frequent complaints of bugs

Easy-to-use interface

Complaints of bad service

Built-in financial management and accounting feature

Complicated reporting feature

Logiwa

Best suited to small and medium-sized companies, this cloud-based software provides integration with a number of marketplaces, carrier systems, and accounting systems. Ideal for small to medium-sized retail, third party logistics and e-commerce companies, Logiwa is equipped with a basic selection of the necessary tools such as inventory and warehouse management, multichannel integrations, order fulfillment, and real-time data.

The Starter package costs $250 per month, the Growth package $500, and the Enterprise package $2,500.

Pros

Cons

A cloud-based solution

A slightly complicated user interface

A highly customizable and adaptable solution

 

Somewhat limited features compared to competition

Strong customer feedback

 

Somewhat limited integrations compared to competition

SYSPRO

SYSPRO, similarly to the other inventory management software, helps businesses streamline and automate their key business processes. Aimed at small to medium-sized manufacturing and distribution companies, the software offers the essential features such as automated scheduling, ERP integration, multi-currency, and order management. Although it is somewhat limited in terms of its integrations – it mostly offers Microsoft integrations – SYSPRO is best used in conjunction with the comprehensive SYSPRO Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools.

SYSPRO is generally considered a cost-effective solution, especially for those availing of the other suite features. The pricing strategy works similarly to the other software options: it increases depending on the number of users added.

Pros

Cons

Simple and easy-to-use user interface

 

Not as comprehensive a solution compared to its competitors

Part of a popular ERP tools suite

Not all processes are automated

A web-based solution that supports Windows, Android, iOS

 

A customizable solution

 

Ordoro

Another inventory management system that’s part of a robust e-commerce suite, Ordoro Inventory is just one element of a larger e-commerce solution. It makes light of tasks such as shipping management, third party fulfillment, financial reports, and barcode scanning. Offering great value, Ordoro is a popular solution worldwide but is more suited to smaller companies that have recently transitioned from manual inventory management, rather than larger enterprises. Its Express package starts at $59 per month and includes unlimited orders and sales channels. As with most other smaller options, in comparison to a software like Cin7, Ordoro offers fewer integrations but does include the basics like Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce, and more.

The Ordoro Pro package costs $299 per month while the pricing of the Enterprise version is available upon request.

Pros

Cons

Intuitive and simple interface design

Not as many integrations as competition

A cost-effective inventory management solution

The Basic plan is quite limited

Great customer service

Not suitable for large enterprises

Effective POS integration

 

Fishbowl

Fishbowl is best known as the number one inventory control software for QuickBooks, a popular accounting software. With features like shipping integration, merchant services, asset tracking, and wireless barcoding, the automated solution is a popular option for small to medium-sized businesses. One of Fishbowl’s most powerful features is its wizard function, which is designed to guide users through the management process quickly and easily. Additionally, there are plenty of training videos and tutorials, and a dedicated support team that makes it an attractive option for first-time users.

All of this does however come at a cost; Fishbowl is not the most cost effective solution. It offers a free trial but the starting annual price is $4,395 – the more users you add the less steep this price may seem.

Pros

Cons

Intuitive and simple interface design

High starting price

Useful tutorials and training videos

Support largely depends on time zone

Seamless QuickBooks integration

Limited third party integrations

A customizable solution

 

Wizard function for extra guidance

 

Free 14-day trial

 

Stitch Labs

Stitch Labs is a cloud-based inventory management solution that caters specifically towards growing businesses and small companies. It is known for its multichannel integrations that include POS solutions, warehouses, third party logistics, shipping fulfillment, EDI and of course marketplaces. Popular features include order logistics, fulfillment capabilities, and detailed reporting.

Stitch Lab starts with a Basic package at $499 per month which includes unlimited sales channels, users and partner integrations. The High Growth package is $799 per month.

Pros

Cons

Intuitive and simple interface design

High starting price

Great customer support

Limited third party integrations

Offers a large range of multichannel connectivity options

 

The best inventory management software in comparison

 

Type

Main Features

Multichannel Capabilities

Available Devices

Suitable For

Pricing

Cin7

Cloud-based

- 3PL

- Warehouse management

- Inventory management

- Reporting

- POS

- Real-time tracking

Very high

Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iPhone

 

Small, medium and large-sized companies

Starts at $299 per month

Zoho Inventory

Web-based

- Inventory management

- Order management & fulfillment

- Reporting

- End-to-end tracking

- Delivery tracking

Medium

Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone

Small, medium and large-sized companies, and freelancers

Starts at $49 per month

SellerCloud

Cloud-based

- Inventory management

- Reporting

- Multi-warehouse management

- Reporting

Medium

Windows, Mac

Small to medium-sized businesses

Starts at $500 per month

TradeGecko

Web-based

- Inventory management

- Warehouse management

- Reporting

- Order management

Medium

Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone

Small, medium, large-sized companies, and freelancers

Starts at $79 per month

Brightpearl

Web-based

- Inventory management

- Multi-warehouse management

- Real-time accounting

- POS

High

iPhone

Medium to large-sized businesses

Price available upon request

Logiwa

Cloud-based

- Inventory management

- Warehouse management

- Order packing

Medium

Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, Android

Small to medium-sized businesses

Starts at $250 per month

SYSPRO

Web-based

- Automated scheduling

- Inventory control

- ERP integration

- Reporting

Medium

Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone

Small to medium-sized businesses

Price available upon request

Ordoro

Web-based

- Shipping management

- Order fulfillment

- Inventory management

- Built-in analytics

- Barcode scanning

Low

Windows, Mac

Small businesses

Starts at $299 per month

Fishbowl

Cloud-based

- Shipping integration

- Merchant services

- Asset tracking

- Wireless barcoding

Low

Windows

Small to medium-sized businesses

Starts at $4,395 per year

Stitch Labs

Cloud-based

- Order logistics

- Fulfillment capabilities

- Powerful reporting and analytics

Medium

Windows, Mac

Small-sized businesses, growing businesses

Starts at $499 per month