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Fishbowl is the #1 manufacturing and warehouse inventory management software! Its powerful inventory control system gives your small or midsize business the exact tools needed to transform your inventory management and scale your ...Read more about Fishbowl

4.2 (895 reviews)

49 recommendations


Flowtrac is a cloud-based and on-premise warehouse management solution that helps companies manage their Inventory, Assets, Warehouse, Work In Process, and other specialty tracking requirements. The solution is suitable and deploy...Read more about Flowtrac

4.7 (52 reviews)

49 recommendations


With an integrated system that includes ERP, financials, commerce, inventory management, HR, PSA, supply chain management, CRM and more – NetSuite enables fast-growing businesses across all industries to work more effectively by a...Read more about NetSuite

4.2 (1535 reviews)

31 recommendations

inFlow Inventory

Looking for an inventory and order management system for your small or medium-sized business? inFlow is used in over 90 countries around the world for manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, ecommerce, and more. It's also simple t...Read more about inFlow Inventory

4.6 (470 reviews)

19 recommendations

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ArbiMed Inventory

ArbiMed Inventory is a cloud-based inventory management solution designed for the medical and other clinical industries. With ArbiMed Inventory, medical professionals and administrators can easily track valuable medical assets fro...Read more about ArbiMed Inventory

4.3 (39 reviews)

6 recommendations


Kechie Distribution Management efficiently manages internal and external resources. Suited for growing businesses, the management tools provide control of replenishment, warehouse management, pick, pack, and ship, procurement, pro...Read more about Kechie

4.6 (36 reviews)

6 recommendations


eTurns TrackStock is a modern VMI app distributors can use to replenish their customers' stockroom and truck inventory in an optimized way. Using QR code scans or SensorBins, eTurns tracks usage and auto-replenishes. Distributor r...Read more about eTurns

4.4 (67 reviews)

5 recommendations


Tired of inefficiency, lack of visibility, missing inventory, and cost overruns? Gain control over your material handling processes in the warehouse, on the shop floor, and in the field with RFgen Mobile Edge™. RFgen is an industr...Read more about RFgen

4.8 (14 reviews)

5 recommendations

Finale Inventory

Finale Inventory helps to optimize inventory and warehouse workflows for growing sellers. Our software is Intuitive so that anyone can use it and cloud-based so reporting can be seen in real-time whenever you're on the go. Customi...Read more about Finale Inventory

4.7 (207 reviews)

3 recommendations


EZOfficeInventory is a dynamic asset and maintenance management solution tailored for companies of all sizes. The cloud-based software works as you do and is accessible from anywhere and at any time. Track items across locati...Read more about EZOfficeInventory

Asset Panda

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 wh...Read more about Asset Panda

Lightspeed Retail

Lightspeed Retail is a cloud-based POS solution that is suitable for retailers in industries such as apparel, footwear, bike, jewelry, pet, sporting goods and home decor. The solution offers retailers tools including inventory man...Read more about Lightspeed Retail

Cin7 Omni

Cin7 Omni is a highly configurable inventory management and order management solution with built-in EDI and integrations to all the popular ecommerce platforms, marketplaces, and 3PLs. It's best-in-class for all combinations of B2...Read more about Cin7 Omni


Sortly Pro is a cloud-based inventory management solution that caters to small and midsize businesses across various industries. Key features include activity tracking, location tracking, inventory management, barcoding and audit ...Read more about Sortly

Square for Retail

Square for Retail is a cloud-based point of sale (POS) and retail solution for all retailers. Key features include inventory management, customer relationship management, reporting and employee management. The solution comes with ...Read more about Square for Retail


InventoryCloud allows users to easily transition from error-prone manual processes and antiquated systems to a modern, feature-rich inventory management platform. Enjoy quick and accurate physical inventory cycle counts, eliminate...Read more about InventoryCloud


ERPAG is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. It is suitable for small and midsize businesses in various industries, including automobile, retail, education, information technology and more. Primary features ...Read more about ERPAG

Sage 100

Sage 100 is a cloud-connected ERP platform (Enterprise Resource Planning) for medium-sized manufacturers, distributors, and professional service companies. Finance, budgeting, planning, inventory, supply chain, production manageme...Read more about Sage 100


Unleashed Software is a cloud app that gives product businesses the freedom to better make, manage and move products by giving complete clarity and control over suppliers, production, warehouses and sales. Unleashed allows busines...Read more about Unleashed


Gofrugal POS is a hybrid point of sale (POS) solution that helps retailers across various industries, to manage their distribution and billing routines and automate financial transactions. The solution can be deployed either on-pr...Read more about GoFrugal

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: March 16, 2023

Here's a question for you: How's your handwriting? As penmanship and legible handwriting lose ground in classrooms to more relevant and widely-used means of communication, such as coding and typing, it stands to reason businesses run by adults would also forego manual processes for more accurate and practical technologies. For tracking inventory, that's where barcoding software comes in.

In this Buyer's Guide, we'll go over all the basics you need to know before you start searching for barcode software to help speed up and improve your inventory management and tracking processes. Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Barcode Software?

Common Features of Barcode Software

Top Benefits of Barcode Software

How Is Barcode Software Sold?

Key Considerations

Popular Barcode Software Comparisons

What Is Barcode Software?

Do you remember QR codes? Those little scannable squares that used to show up on product labels, t-shirts, posters, street signs and pretty much everywhere else? They were basically barcodes that consumers who had downloaded the required iPhone or Android app could scan to access more information about the product, event or business that was advertising.

Barcode software uses the same sort of technology to help warehouses and distribution centers keep track of every inventory item that comes in or goes out their doors.

Barcode systems usually have two components: hardware and software. The hardware covers the physical tools (i.e., scanners, printers, computers) necessary to read the barcodes. The software is a little more involved, though, as it encapsulates technologies that can do things such as create the barcodes (machine-readable codes typically expressed in patterns of parallel lines) and track the items in a designated inventory management system.


Barcoding hardware from Wasp Inventory Control

Common Features of Barcode Software

Barcode software functionality will vary according to the vendor and the user's needs, but here are some of the most common features to look for in barcode systems:

Barcode generation

Technology that creates unique barcodes that tie to a specific product or products to reduce mistakes with tracking inventory.

Barcode scanning

Technology that allows a computer to read barcodes and interpret the information they contain.

Custom label creation

Allows users to create labels for products that contain whatever information the user requires, such as colors, sizes, dates etc.

Label templates

Precreated labels that users can default to if no specialized information needs to be conveyed in labels.

Receiving labels

Can be used to alert warehouses of any pertinent information before workers scan or unpack the product. For example, an easily-breakable product may come with a receiving label that reads “fragile" to ensure it is unpacked with care.

Shipping labels

Similar to receiving labels, shipping labels alert transporters and recipients to any special instructions for carrying or unpacking a product.

Inventory management

Connection to a system that tracks things such as stock levels, product locations, raw materials etc.

Radio-frequency identification (RFID)

Small devices that attach to the product and contain identification information that can be retrieved via scanner.

Serial number tracking

Allows users to assign specific serial numbers to products and track them.


Label design in EZOfficeInventory Software

Top Benefits of Barcode Software

When weighing the pros and cons of a barcoding system, it might be helpful to consider the following benefits this type of software can offer:

No more human error. By eliminating manual data entry and automating the inventory tracking process, barcode software can create clearer lines of communication and help ensure no mistakes are made due to things such as illegible handwriting or tired workers.

Time saved training employees. People know how to scan things; we've got self-checkout lanes at Walmart and those ubiquitous QR codes, so it's not unreasonable to expect the average person to know 1) what a barcode scanner is, and 2) how to use it. From there, it's just a matter of learning the software.

More data gets conveyed. The difference between a barcode and a label is pretty substantial. You can only fit so much information in a form label, but barcodes are able to represent so much more data without taking up any space. So you don't have to choose between stock levels, pricing information, expiration dates or item attributes—you can include them all in one barcode.

Everything happens faster. When a barcode is scanned, the information gets translated and entered into inventory systems right away, so data is available much more quickly than it would be if done by hand. This saves users valuable time and minimizes confusion over stock levels.

Making decisions gets easier. When it comes to figuring out what to do, nothing is more useful than hard data. With instantaneous, accurate barcoding systems, decision-makers get to access an abundance of data to help determine the best course of action. For instance, exact inventory tracking can help managers calibrate inventory levels and save money on storage or better meet customer demand.

How Is Barcode Software Sold?

We've already mentioned that barcoding systems typically consist of two elements: hardware and software. When searching for a barcoding solution, you'll want to consider how vendors package their hardware and software and what features you're getting. You can certainly buy the hardware and software separately, but that leaves you with the responsibility of connecting two different products or coding your own software system to match your hardware. A better option for the money would be an integrated system that includes both.

You'll also need to figure out if your business would benefit more from a stand-alone barcoding system or one that is included in a broader enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain management (SCM) or warehouse management product.

Key Considerations

We've already covered the benefits of barcoding software, but there are a few drawbacks that you'll want to keep in mind when researching vendors for your business.

  • RFID integration. It's really important to be aware that barcoding software is not the same thing as radio-frequency identification (RFID) software. While many barcode systems include this feature, you should not assume a product offers RFID without finding out for sure.

  • Cost. Barcode systems have a wide range when it comes to pricing, and that gets even wider when you throw in ERP or SCM suites with barcoding capabilities. You'll also want to be crystal clear on any hidden fees before committing to a vendor, and it's not a bad idea to budget for software training so you can make sure your employees learn the new system.

  • Installation. Yes, barcoding software will do wonders for speeding up your processes once it's in place, but you should be prepared to deal with any lag or delays during installation and deployment. It takes a while to generate barcodes for every product, and this is the part where there will be confusion to overcome. Planning for it and being willing and able to make quick adjustments will help a lot.

And of course, if you're still not sure where to begin your research, you can always reach out to our team of expert advisors at (844) 687-6771 for a quick consultation on your business needs.

Popular Barcode Software Comparisons