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Wasp Inventory Control

Wasp Inventory Control is designed specifically for small businesses. The system includes key features such as real-time functionality, barcode creation for all inventory, auditing and cycle counts, managing minimum and maximum levels... Read More
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Inventory Control

Inventory Control is an inventory tracking and management solution offered by Radley Corporation that helps business manage items at multiple organization levels. Inventory Control offers a variety of features, such as dashboards,... Read More
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NetSuite

Originally designed as an accounting system, NetSuite has gradually grown into a full-suite ERP with CRM, HR and business intelligence functionality. A leader in Cloud ERP, NetSuite currently supports more than 20,000 companies.
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Fishbowl Inventory

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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Brightpearl

Brightpearl is a cloud-based complete platform to manage inventory, accounting, orders, customer relationship management (CRM) and fulfillment across omnichannel retail businesses. Brightpearl's inventory management feature allows... Read More
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AdvancePro

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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Zoho Inventory

Zoho Inventory is a Web-based inventory management system designed with small to midsize businesses in mind. It features standard inventory management modules, including inventory optimization, reporting and analysis, vendor managed... Read More
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FinancialForce

FinancialForce Inventory Management is a cloud-based solution that helps businesses keep track of their stock and leverage their inventory data to optimize shipping and replenishments. FinancialForce has a flexible warehousing model... Read More
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Asset Panda - Inventory Management

Asset Panda is a cloud-based platform for facility managers that offers a suite of applications including asset tracking and maintenance management. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone and can be used from anywhere while... Read More
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VISCO - Inventory Management

VISCO was designed specifically for importers and distributors, with an emphasis on chemical, plastics, seafood and wine. It is an integrated system with warehouse management, inventory management and procurement features. By integrating... Read More
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eTurns

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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Blue Link ERP

Blue Link is well suited for small to medium sized distributors in North America with company revenues of $1 million to $50 million, 6-100 employees, and a need for 6-50 concurrent users. The system is built on Windows as an integrated... Read More
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DistributionPlus

DistributionPlus is an integrated ERP solution for small, midsize and enterprise organizations. Features include inventory management, warehouse management, business intelligence and document management. DistributionPlus helps manage... Read More
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Dynamic Inventory

Dynamic Inventory is an inventory management solution that provides inventory control and tracking features. The solution helps users manage and monitor inventory as well as track the entire process of sales and procurement. Dynamic... Read More
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ADS Solutions - Accolent ERP

Accolent ERP by ADS Solutions is a comprehensive business management software developed specifically for distributors. It suits companies with either one location or multiple warehouses and branches, and as few as three or as many... Read More
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Clear Spider

Clear Spider is a cloud-based inventory management solution for business of all sizes. It helps users manage their inventory and improve overall company efficiency. The software supports inventory management, warehouse management,... Read More
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inFlow Inventory

inFlow Inventory from Archon Systems is an inventory management system designed specifically for item-based businesses. The solution is used by a variety of businesses, including retailers, wholesalers, e-commerce companies, government... Read More
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EZOfficeInventory

EZOfficeInventory is a cloud-based inventory management solution designed for companies of all sizes. It offers barcode scanning, supplier management, re-order management, purchasing and usage tracking. The inventory management functionality... Read More
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Channergy

Channergy is a multichannel inventory management solution that helps resellers manage inventory, orders, payments and customers. The software can be deployed both on-premise and in the cloud. It functions well with all the online... Read More
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HandiFox

HandiFox is an inventory tracking and sales management system designed for small to midsize inventory-centric businesses in a variety of industries, such as retail, wholesale/distribution and manufacturing. The app is available on... Read More
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Unleashed

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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SalesWarp

SalesWarp is a cloud-based inventory and order management solution that helps small, midsize and enterprise retailers expand sales channels and unify customer intelligence. SalesWarp offers a centralized commerce management system... Read More
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ECOUNT

ECOUNT is a cloud-based integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution suitable for small and midsize businesses. It helps manage inventory, production, logistics, sales, accounting and payroll. ECOUNT’s inventory management... Read More
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Inform ERP

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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Jada SCP 4.0

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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Kenandy Cloud ERP

Kenandy cloud-based ERP is an enterprise resource planning solution built on Salesforce platform and created to help companies manage designing, manufacturing and product distribution workflows. It enables businesses to manage core... Read More
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SIMMS Inventory Management

SIMMS by KCSI is a comprehensive inventory and supply chain management (SCM) system that helps businesses organize and control various aspects of their inventory. With features like serial number tracking, lot control, kitting and... Read More
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3PL Warehouse Manager by 3PL Central

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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Aptean Warehouse Management System

Aptean WMS is a web-based Inventory Management solution. It supports multiple stock rotation processes, serial number tracking, Hazmat, and more. Deployment is quick, and it's a great fit for companies in many industries.
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Lead Commerce

Lead Commerce is an integrated order management suite that offers applications like inventory management, merchandise planning, and customer relationship management. The solution helps small and midsize businesses streamline and automate... Read More
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PomodoTech by ADI Business Solutions

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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Red Rock Warehouse Manager

Red Rock WMS from 3PL Central is a cloud-based inventory management system for companies doing retail distribution, e-commerce fulfillment and manufacturing. Red Rock WMS can integrate with QuickBooks, manage multiple warehouses,... Read More
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Deltek Costpoint

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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Agiliron Inventory Management

Agiliron cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution is designed to serve both in-store and mobile businesses as well as online sales channels. The system offers a host of features that work in tandem with the point-of-sale solution,... Read More
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TRXio

Available since 2009, TRXio by Cairnstack Software is a cloud-based inventory management system designed to help businesses of any size manage their assets, protect their brand, and comply with industry standards. Within the TRXio... Read More
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Sage Inventory Advisor

Sage Inventory Advisor by Sage ERP is a cloud-based solution designed to help companies minimize excess inventory and stock outs. By connecting to Sage ERP data, the system delivers forecasts and inventory health checks while helping... Read More
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TrueERP

True ERP is an operations management suite available in both cloud-based and on-premise formats which caters to SMB enterprises like wholesalers, construction firms and retailers, along with others. True ERP contains several different... Read More
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S2K Warehouse Management Software

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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Oracle SCM Cloud

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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Goods Order Inventory System (GOIS­ Pro)

Goods Order Inventory System (GOIS Pro) is a cloud-based inventory management solution that also provides order management functionalities. It is suitable for businesses in any industry and of any size. GOIS Pro allows you to use... Read More
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Jazva

Jazva is a cloud-based e-commerce management solution with an array of advanced functionalities. The solution is suitable for small to midsize B2B and B2C retailers that operate on a variety of online marketplaces and ship their goods... Read More
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Infoplus

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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AutoFluent

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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RELEX Solutions

RELEX Solutions is a provider of supply chain management (SCM) software including demand forecasting, inventory planning, replenishment, allocation and supply chain analytics. RELEX systems are designed for midsize to large retailers... Read More
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Flourish

Flourish is a cloud-based manufacturing solution for cannabis businesses of all sizes. Key features include tracking, compliance management, cultivation, inventory management and lab integration. Flourish enables users to track the... Read More
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Sage X3

Sage X3 is an enterprise business management software suite that includes integrated functionality for financial management, sales, customer service, distribution, inventory, and manufacturing, and business intelligence. Sage X3 is... Read More
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RICS - Inventory Management

RICS offers a single solution that enables retailers to ring sales, control inventory, manage customer loyalty and integrate with other applications to run their businesses. The cloud-based system allows retailers to access multiple... Read More
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JDA Software

JDA software has more than 6,000 users in the retail, transportation, distribution and service industries around the globe. It has become a leading supply chain software company through strategic acquisitions like i2 Technologies.
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SAP Distribution

SAP ERP Financials is an application from the full SAP Business Suite. Serving almost any industry and any company size, it is a truly versatile ERP solution. Managing risk, compliance, and governance, SAP ERP Financials is effective... Read More
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iTracker - Inventory Management

iTracker Hosted 3PL Software by Traker Systems is a SQL, hosted web-based management system with RF scanning capabilities. It is designed to provide warehouse management system for the 3PL industry. iTracker provides unlimited users... Read More
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Buyer's Guide

Inventory Management Software Quick Summary

Inventory management software enables businesses with large volumes of physical products to keep track of those products through various stages along the supply chain. Features include product categorization, sales and purchase order tracking, electronic scanning and automatic ordering.

Retailers can typically use scaled-down systems focused on maintaining perpetual inventory, whereas businesses with complex supply chains often use the inventory management functionality in ERP systems.

Benefits of Inventory Management Software

While inventory can be tracked in Excel, spreadsheets only work for periodic inventory systems (i.e., inventory systems that are updated at intervals, say after stock takes). Inventory management software is necessary to enable a true perpetual inventory system, where inventory is updated continuously as sales are made and goods are received. Benefits include:

  • Greater inventory accuracy

  • Reduced reliance on stock takes

  • Simplified accounting

Competitive Advantages of Using Inventory Management Software

Inventory management software can offer a competitive edge for e-commerce retailers, logistics providers and businesses in other industries where margins can be razor-thin:

  • Better synchronization: E-commerce retailers can synchronize inventory across digital channels (e.g., eBay, Amazon, Shopify etc.), physical retailers can synchronize inventory across multiple stores and multi-channel retailers can synchronize e-commerce platforms with brick-and-mortar stores.

  • Greater efficiency: Inventory management systems can integrate with point-of-sale systems to update inventory in real time as sales are made.

  • Reliable tracking: Advanced inventory management in ERP systems enables end-to-end tracking of goods, from raw materials to retail shelf.

Business Sizes Using Inventory Management Software

Inventory management software is used by businesses of all sizes, across a variety of industries.

Our internal data shows that of a sample of 1,676 inventory management buyers who contacted us recently, most were small businesses, with 91 percent employing fewer than 100 people, and 75 percent generating less than $5 million annually.

  • Smaller businesses typically use a scaled-down inventory management system in conjunction with a point of sale system and an accounting system.

  • Larger businesses (and enterprise businesses) typically use the inventory management functionality of an ERP system, as these systems allow for inventory tracking across multiple links in the supply chain.

Software Related to Inventory Management

Inventory management functionality is included in a diverse group of software categories, such as:

Accounting software: Helps businesses automate their core accounting functions to more easily balance their books and provide proof of their financial standing. Systems typically include a centralized general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, billing and invoicing and the ability to produce standardized reports.

Distribution ERP systems: These are required by a wide variety of businesses that operate in the middle of the supply chain between manufacturers and customers. Distribution software systems can feature a wide variety of functionality and features, including inventory management, warehouse management, customer management, order management and accounting.

Manufacturing ERP systems: Provides functionality to plan and execute projects from beginning to end, while automating materials planning, production tracking and scheduling and product lifecycle management.

Retail management systems: Many vendors combine point-of-sale systems with inventory management systems in a single platform. Retail ERP systems also include inventory management functionality.

Warehouse management systems: These systems are inventory control systems specifically designed for warehouse inventory that also offer software automation for crucial warehouse processes. Automating processes such as warehouse picking has been conclusively shown to be vastly more efficient than manual methods.

Features Guide


A List of Common Inventory Management Features

Product categorization
Tracks inventory according to item attributes such as size, color, lot/serial number etc.
Sales/purchase orders
Tracks each product sale, order, wholesale purchase, build or delivery and automatically updates the product quantity.
Automatic ordering
Advanced systems like SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics can be set up to automatically re-order a product when it falls below a certain quantity.

Specifying item attributes in Acctivate Inventory Management

Inventory Management Buyers' Top-Requested Features

At Software Advice, we've helped thousands of buyers find the right inventory management System. We've analyzed those interactions to determine the top-requested features by Inventory Management buyers, presented here:

Inventory Management Buyers' Top-Requested Features

The Inventory Management Features You Really Need

Small business
Perpetual inventory: Allows small retailers and e-commerce retailers to synchronize inventory across multiple locations and sales channels, both online and brick-and-mortar.
Midsize business buyer
RF support: Using barcode scanners for inventory control improves accuracy and substantially speeds up processes like receiving and pick/pack/ship.
Enterprise business buyer
Lot traceability: Manufacturers and large distributors are increasingly using lot and serial numbers to track products through their supply chains from raw materials to retail shelf.

Processing a purchase order in Fishbowl Inventory

Pricing Guide

How Inventory Management Software Is Priced

Typically, inventory management software is priced according to a number of factors. There are different pricing tiers for businesses of varying size, based on:

  • Number of users

  • Number of locations

  • Number of SKUs/products

  • Number of orders processed per month

  • Number of devices (client PCs, barcode scanners etc.)

In addition, whether the software is hosted online or on-premise can make a difference in up-front versus recurring costs.

What Businesses Typically Budget for Inventory Management Software

We looked at a sample of buyer interactions to compare how much businesses are willing to budget either for monthly fees for cloud platforms or upfront, one-time fees for on-premise platforms. We've broken this data down by business size in terms of number of licensed users, since licensed users is one of the primary factors affecting pricing for inventory management systems:

Typical Inventory Management Software Budget

Hidden Costs of Inventory Management Software

  • Hardware. Many businesses will need barcode scanners and printers, and retailers may also need hardware point of sale (POS) terminals.

  • Accounting integrations. Some vendors price their solutions based on how many accounting systems the inventory management platform integrates with.

  • End-to-end lot/serial number tracking. Businesses that need full traceability throughout the supply chain will need a full-blown ERP system, which is much pricier than scaled-down inventory management platforms.

FAQs

What Are the Key Functions of Inventory Management Software?

  • Perpetual inventory. With inventory management software, inventory is updated in real time as you receive purchase orders and process sales orders.

  • Elimination of manual processes. By using barcode scanners in conjunction with an inventory management system, you can speed up tedious processes such as stock takes/inventory counts.

  • Synchronized inventory. E-commerce retailers selling across multiple platforms/channels, retailers with multiple stores and distributors with multiple warehouses all need to synchronize inventory. This can't be done with spreadsheets, since inventory needs to be updated in real time, and requires an inventory management system.

What Questions Should I Ask Vendors When Evaluating Inventory Management Systems?

  • Do you integrate with my accounting software? Inventory management vendors typically support a range of accounting integrations out of the box, but they might not integrate with your particular system, or they might charge extra for the integration. If you're using QuickBooks, you should evaluate the many vendors that specialize in QuickBooks integrations.

  • How many active clients do you have in my particular industry vertical? Different industries track different things (e.g., color, size, expiration date, style, serial number). Many inventory management vendors specialize in industries such as apparel or pharmaceuticals. Vendors without experience in these verticals may claim to be able to handle an implementation in your industry, but implementation costs may be prohibitive and the functionality limited. Be sure your vendor has experience with businesses in your industry.

  • What level of support do you offer for warehouse processes? While many inventory management vendors claim to offer warehouse management functionality, typically it's basic, e.g., generating paper pick lists and tracking by warehouse location. If you need advanced features such as voice-directed picking or slotting, you may need to look into specialized warehouse management systems.

  • Do you sell POS systems? What other hardware will I need? Retailers in particular should evaluate inventory management vendors that also sell POS systems. Distributors will typically need barcode scanners, label printers and other hardware to go along with the inventory management system.

What Are Some Drawbacks I Should Watch Out For?

There are no real drawbacks to using inventory management software, but there are drawbacks to choosing the wrong vendor for your business.

  • Only ERP systems offer lot traceability. Lot traceability requires the using a lot number as an item attribute for inventory tracking in all of the supply chain/inventory management/accounting software a business uses. Realistically, businesses should consider an integrated ERP system for lot tracking.

  • Crucial functionality for certain industries is missing from many platforms. Businesses that price inventory by weight (e.g., meat vendors, produce distributors) need to weigh inventory at crucial points in the supply chain for costing and inventory tracking. This is known as "catchweight management," and it's only found in specialized products. Additionally, advanced expiration date tracking and costing will require specialized products.

  • Inventory management offers varying levels of support for supply chain functions. Inventory management solutions are frequently scaled-down in comparison to ERP systems. They may lack some support altogether for supply chain functions, such as procurement or route optimization (for businesses with their own fleets). Logistics providers or 3PLs should be particularly careful when choosing a platform, since they specialize in areas of the supply chain where some inventory management vendors lack functionality.

Tips & Tools

Build a Business Case for Inventory Management Software

Here are three major ROI drivers for inventory management software:

  • Improved inventory accuracy. Periodic inventory systems based on spreadsheets are inefficient and prone to human error. Once businesses hit a certain size, they can realize major cost savings simply by improving inventory accuracy.

  • Synchronized inventory. By synchronizing inventory across multiple physical stores and e-commerce channels, you can avoid stock-outs and satisfy customers.

  • Automation of manual processes. Spreadsheets are incredibly time-consuming, as are inventory counts and the pick/pack/ship process. By partially or fully automating these processes, inventory management software can make your business run much more efficiently.

Relevant Articles

Popular Inventory Management System Comparisons

Recent Events in Inventory Management

Oracle Buys NetSuite: In July of 2016, Oracle announced the purchase of Netsuite, a leading player in cloud inventory management.

Microsoft Launches Dynamics 365: In summer of 2016, Microsoft began consolidating its ERP and CRM offerings into a single product line—Dynamics 365. Some of the older editions of Dynamics are now being phased out.

Infor acquires Birst: In April 2017, cloud ERP giant Infor announced the acquisition of business analytics and data visualization vendor Birst. This move promises to considerably beef up the data visualization features of Infor's ERP line.

Top Products - September 2017 FrontRunners

Our FrontRunners™ Quadrant

FrontRunners quadrants highlight the top software products for North American small businesses. All products in the quadrant are top performers. Small businesses can use FrontRunners to make more informed decisions about what software is right for them.

To create this quadrant, we evaluated over 115 Inventory Management products. Those with the top scores for their capability and value made the quadrant.

You can download the full FrontRunners for Inventory Management report here.

Small businesses should use FrontRunners to make more informed decisions about which software is right for them. See our About FrontRunners page for more information.