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Inventory Management Software


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Fishbowl Inventory logo
 
An Intuit Gold Partner for more than a decade, Fishbowl is a well-known inventory add-on for QuickBooks. Reduce double data entry. Improve speed of reordering and receiving processes. Improve data accuracy and more.
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An Intuit Gold Partner for more than a decade, Fishbowl is a well-known inventory add-on for QuickBooks. Reduce double data entry. Improve speed of reordering and receiving processes. Improve data accuracy and more.
 
Unleashed logo
 
Unleashed is an inventory management system designed for midsize businesses. Launched in 2009 by New Zealand-based Unleashed Software, Unleashed provides real-time visibility of all inventory management processes and transactions across... Read More
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Unleashed is an inventory management system designed for midsize businesses. Launched in 2009 by New Zealand-based Unleashed Software, Unleashed provides real-time visibility of all inventory management processes and transactions across... Read More
 
AutoFluent logo
 
AutoFluent is an on-premise automotive repair shop management platform suitable for single and multi-store vendors handling parts sales, tire sales and auto servicing. It allows users to manage employees, customers, suppliers, inventory... Read More
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AutoFluent is an on-premise automotive repair shop management platform suitable for single and multi-store vendors handling parts sales, tire sales and auto servicing. It allows users to manage employees, customers, suppliers, inventory... Read More
 
Deltek Costpoint logo
 
Deltek Costpoint is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) and management solution designed to meet the requirements of midsize and large enterprise businesses. The solution primarily assists government contractors, professional service... Read More
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Deltek Costpoint is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) and management solution designed to meet the requirements of midsize and large enterprise businesses. The solution primarily assists government contractors, professional service... Read More
 
3PL Warehouse Manager by 3PL Central logo
 
3PL Central's 3PL Warehouse Manager offers bar code scanning, billing management, RFID, EDI, and more to help third-party logistics operations manage multiple accounts and multiple clients more efficiently.
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3PL Central's 3PL Warehouse Manager offers bar code scanning, billing management, RFID, EDI, and more to help third-party logistics operations manage multiple accounts and multiple clients more efficiently.

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Inform ERP logo
 
Inform ERP by DDI System is a distribution management technology that combines daily operations with customer relationship management (CRM), e-commerce and reporting features in one system. Inform is suitable for single location distributors... Read More
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Inform ERP by DDI System is a distribution management technology that combines daily operations with customer relationship management (CRM), e-commerce and reporting features in one system. Inform is suitable for single location distributors... Read More
 
TrueERP logo
 
True ERP is a fully integrated and customizable business management system for organizations of all sizes. Serving thousands of customers worldwide for two decades, True ERP helps reduce company costs and data entry while increasing... Read More
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True ERP is a fully integrated and customizable business management system for organizations of all sizes. Serving thousands of customers worldwide for two decades, True ERP helps reduce company costs and data entry while increasing... Read More
 
Wasp Inventory Control logo
 
Wasp Inventory Control is designed specifically for small businesses. The system is supported by a free U.S.-based technical support team, and also includes free “getting started” training. The system includes key features such... Read More
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Wasp Inventory Control is designed specifically for small businesses. The system is supported by a free U.S.-based technical support team, and also includes free “getting started” training. The system includes key features such... Read More
 
eTurns logo
 
eTurns is cloud-based software designed to manage remote stockroom inventories with eVMI sensors, iPhones/Androids, scanners or RFID. It aims to help customers optimize inventory at the point-of-use in order to reduce costs and deliver... Read More
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eTurns is cloud-based software designed to manage remote stockroom inventories with eVMI sensors, iPhones/Androids, scanners or RFID. It aims to help customers optimize inventory at the point-of-use in order to reduce costs and deliver... Read More
 
SIMMS Inventory Management logo
 
SIMMS by KCSI is a comprehensive inventory and supply chain management (SCM) system. SIMMS helps businesses organize and control all aspects of their inventory, with serial number tracking, lot control, kitting and a full suite of... Read More
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SIMMS by KCSI is a comprehensive inventory and supply chain management (SCM) system. SIMMS helps businesses organize and control all aspects of their inventory, with serial number tracking, lot control, kitting and a full suite of... Read More

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Lead Commerce logo
 
Lead Commerce is a full-featured, flexible and customizable order management solution that offers a powerful suite of applications like inventory management, merchandise planning and customer relationship management. The solution helps... Read More
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Lead Commerce is a full-featured, flexible and customizable order management solution that offers a powerful suite of applications like inventory management, merchandise planning and customer relationship management. The solution helps... Read More
 
Agiliron Inventory Management logo
 
Offering a suite of applications to help streamline workflow and improve the sales process in retail, eCommerce, wholesale, and distribution, Agiliron can manage both in-store and mobile Point-of-Sale, as well as manage online sales... Read More
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Offering a suite of applications to help streamline workflow and improve the sales process in retail, eCommerce, wholesale, and distribution, Agiliron can manage both in-store and mobile Point-of-Sale, as well as manage online sales... Read More
 
AdvancePro logo
 
Integrate your existing QuickBooks records quickly and easily into AdvancePro's system. In addition to high-performance warehouse and inventory management tools, it also offers highly-tailored CRM features.
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Integrate your existing QuickBooks records quickly and easily into AdvancePro's system. In addition to high-performance warehouse and inventory management tools, it also offers highly-tailored CRM features.
 
Oracle SCM Cloud logo
 
Oracle SCM Cloud offers a full suite of applications for companies to manage their supply chain, distribution, manufacturing, inventory management, and fleet.  Using product development, users can create a detailed bill of material... Read More
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Oracle SCM Cloud offers a full suite of applications for companies to manage their supply chain, distribution, manufacturing, inventory management, and fleet.  Using product development, users can create a detailed bill of material... Read More
 
Jada SCP 4.0 logo
 
SCP 4.0 from Jada Management Systems offers functionality to support vendor managed inventory, optimized scheduling, forecasting, demand planning and more. Jada reports that its customers see a return on investment in 6-12 months.
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SCP 4.0 from Jada Management Systems offers functionality to support vendor managed inventory, optimized scheduling, forecasting, demand planning and more. Jada reports that its customers see a return on investment in 6-12 months.

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Atlas Planning Suite logo
 
Atlas Planning Suite, provided by John Galt Solutions, is a supply chain management platform designed to suit the needs of scaling businesses in various industries. Companies in manufacturing, agriculture, industrial equipment, hospitality... Read More
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Atlas Planning Suite, provided by John Galt Solutions, is a supply chain management platform designed to suit the needs of scaling businesses in various industries. Companies in manufacturing, agriculture, industrial equipment, hospitality... Read More
 
Kenandy Cloud ERP logo
 
Kenandy is a comprehensive cloud-based ERP solution created for companies that design, manufacture, or distribute products. It helps businesses manage core processes including order-to-cash, planning and production, procurement, TPM,... Read More
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Kenandy is a comprehensive cloud-based ERP solution created for companies that design, manufacture, or distribute products. It helps businesses manage core processes including order-to-cash, planning and production, procurement, TPM,... Read More
 
PomodoTech by ADI Business Solutions logo
 
PomodoTech Inventory Management Software delivers a solution for managing the inventory coming in and out of  businesses. Scalable enough to work with small or large businesses, this solution offers the ability add modules to expand... Read More
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PomodoTech Inventory Management Software delivers a solution for managing the inventory coming in and out of  businesses. Scalable enough to work with small or large businesses, this solution offers the ability add modules to expand... Read More
 
Infoplus logo
 
Infoplus is an inventory management solution for small to midsize organizations in industries including consumer goods, electronics, food and beverage, retail, pharmaceuticals and more. The system is offered primarily as a web-based... Read More
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Infoplus is an inventory management solution for small to midsize organizations in industries including consumer goods, electronics, food and beverage, retail, pharmaceuticals and more. The system is offered primarily as a web-based... Read More
 
S2K Warehouse Management Software logo
 
S2K Enterprise Management Software by VAI is a fully integrated ERP system designed to manage mid-sized and enterprise businesses in the wholesale distribution, manufacturing and speciality retail industries, across many vertical markets... Read More
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S2K Enterprise Management Software by VAI is a fully integrated ERP system designed to manage mid-sized and enterprise businesses in the wholesale distribution, manufacturing and speciality retail industries, across many vertical markets... Read More
 

Buyer's Guide

by Daniel Harris,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: April 22, 2017


For any business that deals with large numbers of physical products, whether assembling them into their final form, transporting them from one location to another or selling them in a wholesale or retail environment, effectively controlling inventory is crucial to success. But with hundreds of inventory management systems on the market, selecting the right one can be a challenge. This buyer’s guide is designed to describe the basic functions of inventory management software, identify the different types of systems available and help you navigate an otherwise complex and fragmented selection process.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Inventory Management Software?
Common Features of Inventory Management Software
Market Trends to Understand
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Recent Events You Should Know About

What Is Inventory Management Software?

In product-based industries it’s critical to maintain the right inventory levels. Ordering too much of a product leads to excess storage and/or overstock costs, while ordering too little (or the wrong) product can result in losing a sale, a customer or valuable production time.

Inventory management software is designed to optimize your processes for ordering, storing and tracking inventory, so these kinds of problems don’t happen. Depending on your industry, these solutions can allow you to:

  • Instantly determine on-hand inventory balances
  • Track raw materials and stocked items
  • Sort different and similar products
  • Record works in progress and finished products
  • Manage lots

Inventory management software may be offered on-premise (meaning an organization installs the software locally on their own servers), or via Web-based deployment (meaning the software is hosted on the vendor’s servers and accessed by users through an Internet browser).

Purchase module in Fishbowl Inventory

Purchase module in Fishbowl Inventory

Industries that commonly use inventory control software include retail, distribution, manufacturing and construction.

Common Features of Inventory Management Software

Product categorization Many businesses need to track inventory for dozens or hundreds of very similar products, and need an easy way to, for example, distinguish between a hundred different types of screws, or identify whether your retail store carries this pair of jeans but in a different size or color. This is an essential function of an inventory systems for almost all users.
Sales/purchase orders Though the details vary by industry, your inventory control system will have a way to track each product sale or order, wholesale purchase or build, or delivery, automatically adjusting the product quantity.
Electronic scanning A common way to track inventory, electronic identification is especially popular when large volumes of product are being moved. Many systems have a barcode or radio frequency identification (RFID) functionality to quickly and efficiently scan items that are received, sold, transferred etc.
Automatic ordering More advanced systems like SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics can be set up to automatically re-order a product when it gets below a certain quantity.
Dynamic product information Knowing that a certain product requires a four-week lead time to re-order could be a saving grace. NetSuite, Fishbowl, Epicor and other systems include this kind of information and provide alerts when they see that you may run out at current rates.

Market Trends to Understand

Advanced inventory controls. New tools are being developed that allow vendors to be proactive about keeping items fully stocked. They use “advanced slotting analysis” to identify historical inventory information, picking trends and warehouse shelving layout information, ensuring that re-orders happen on time, that dangerous items are not stored near each other and more.

Changes in inventory tagging. One-dimensional bar codes have been in use for decades, but recently new tracking technology has become more readily available and more cost effective for smaller businesses. This includes two-dimensional bar codes (which allow for much more information to be transmitted) and RFID tags.

Voice-picking and pick-to-light (PTL) technologies. These emerging technologies are designed to eliminate the paperwork in inventory picking for the manufacturing and distribution industries. PTL uses light technology to indicate the location of the items to be picked, generating the pick list automatically, while voice-picking uses voice recognition software to allow the manager to create pick lists verbally. Cadence and Exacta are two products that offer this capability.

Online/offline integration. With more and more small retailers building an online store in addition to a brick and mortar one, managing inventory control between these two sales channels presents a unique new challenge that many of them are ill-equipped to handle. This results in understocked items and loss of revenue. An RSR Research survey found that today’s most successful retailers manage their inventory as though the store is a distribution center, using their online system for all sales.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

With inventory tracking software, there are a number of crucial factors to take into account in selecting your software:

Industry. Retail inventory software is very different than manufacturing software, which is very different than distribution software. Each of these is designed to address the unique needs of that industry. And even within a particular industry, your specialty can make a huge difference—for example, there are retail inventory solutions that deal exclusively with auto parts, or restaurants, or gas stations, while other solutions are set up to operate across any retail market.

Company size. Controlling inventory in an individual store is not nearly as complex as controlling it across four or five locations, which is nowhere near as complex as maintaining inventory control across a 100-unit franchise. Be sure to select a system that fits your company size, so your needs are met without overpaying for robust capabilities you don’t need.

Software needs. Some businesses are looking only for inventory management, while others are looking for a full-suite solution that includes lots of other essential features—these features could include accounting, estimating, project and supply chain management, business intelligence, tool management and other features specific to your niche.

Recent Events You Should Know About

Oracle buys enterprise cloud services company NetSuite for $9.3 billion. Oracle acquired ERP vendor NetSuite for about $9.3 billion in July 2016. Both Oracle and NetSuite’s cloud service offerings will continue to be available in the enterprise segment market. The acquisition aims to give Oracle access to NetSuite’s smaller-sized clients. Oracle also hopes to gain a competitive edge over Salesforce with this move.

3PL Central acquires cloud-based inventory control software supplier Traker Systems. 3PL Central, a vendor of warehouse management software, acquired iTracker’s parent company Traker Systems to better serve the companies’ primary third-party logistics (3PL) customers. The iTracker team will be integrated into 3PL Central and will work on improving 3PL Central’s capabilities in transportation, cold storage and light manufacturing.

Arrow, eTurns team up to optimize inventories, maximize customer service levels. Arrow Electronics, a global distributor of electronic components, has teamed up with inventory management vendor eTurns to enable real-time visibility into customer inventories in a bid to improve customer service levels. Its customers will now be able to receive eTurns’s reporting and analytics capabilities. Also, eTurns replaced Arrow’s vendor-managed inventory (VMI) platform with its own solution.

 

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