Inventory management is one of the most crucial elements of business operations. It can be a tightrope walk—you must anticipate your future needs, taking into account all of the variables that cause sales to rise and fall including warehouse space, transportation costs, changing vendor reports and seasonal market fluctuations.
But inventory management software isn’t typically the first software system a business buys. Accounting is. And if you’re like many small businesses today, QuickBooks is the tool of choice.
QuickBooks holds 76 percent of the accounting market share, according to data gatherer Datanyze. So when you’re looking to update your inventory tracking process, an “out of the box” integration with your QuickBooks system will streamline the process and reduce the cost to connect your inventory management tool.
QuickBooks dashboard (Source)
Here, we analyze four inventory management software solutions that integrate directly with QuickBooks. Each product was selected based on the following criteria:
- Has at least 60 user reviews in the past 12 months
- Meets our definition of inventory management software
- Lists QuickBooks integration on their site
- Priced under $300 per month
We’ll start with QuickBooks’ own product first, and then the following products are listed alphabetically.
But first, check out this video for more in-depth discussion on whether or not QuickBooks is meeting your inventory management needs.
1. QuickBooks Enterprise Advanced Inventory
Offered as part of their platinum subscription, QuickBooks Enterprise has an inventory tracking module that would suit a small to midsize business (SMB). The features list is extensive including cycle counts, reporting across multiple warehouses, discounts, pricing and “pick, pack and ship.”
However, the platinum subscription does include additional modules, such as payroll, that you may not need. Perform a thorough review of the included functionality and make sure the cost is still beneficial to you even if you won’t use some of the features.
Here’s a snapshot of the user ratings from our site for QuickBooks Enterprise:
Note: Not every reviewer reflected in these ratings is using the Platinum edition needed for the advanced inventory functionality. Check out the user reviews here. Pricing is $138 per month. They offer a free trial for 30 days.
2. Cin7: A Full-Suite Inventory Management System
Cin7 is by far the most sophisticated solution covered here, with extensive modules to ensure you don’t grow out of it as your business matures and expands. The modules include warehouse management, point of sale (POS), B2B e-commerce, forecasting and third-party logistics (3PL) integrations.
Currently, Cin7 integrates with QuickBooks’ Enterprise edition only. But it will synchronize purchase and sales data to your QuickBooks Enterprise with just a few clicks.
Cin7 offers a few patented features that give it a boost over the competition. The solution allows you to sell stock that’s in transit—they’ve coined it “Open to Sell.” And for businesses that perform light kitting or manufacturing, you can use virtual kitting to forecast how much stock you can produce with real-time inventory levels.
And now for the user ratings snapshot. You can read user reviews here.
These advanced features do come at a price as Cin7 comes in at the most expensive on this list. Monthly pricing starts at $299 for the base subscription (a free trial is available). But, if your business needs competitive advantages, Cin7 could be your best bet.
3. Inflow: A Small-Business Focused Inventory Management Tool
InFlow offers an iOS and Android mobile app that can be used to view, manage and scan inventory. Special cases, such as returns or credits, can be managed via workflows so your team never misses a step.
InFlow is highly customizable, with options for different languages and custom reports. It also allows you to change the name of any field and add custom fields when needed.
InFlow covers all the needs of a small to midsize business for inventory tracking and management, but is not a full-suite solution. If you foresee needing sophisticated demand planning, 3PL integrations and warehouse management, another solution such as Cin7 may be a better fit.
Here’s the snapshot of user ratings from out site. Be sure to check out the reviews as well.
With a starting price of $69 per month, inFlow is the most affordable option included in this review. The vendor offers a 14-day free trial.
4. Vend: A Retail-Focused Inventory Management Solution
Vend supports bar code scanning with USB or bluetooth scanning devices. Which is nothing to take for granted even if you’re not using bar coding now. The global bar code scanner market value is expected to grow with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6 percent over the next ten years. So you could find the need to adopt or upgrade your bar code process sooner than you think.
You can import existing bar codes to the system or create and print new ones as needed. If you sell on multiple platforms, offer many products of similar types or sell in multiple states, Vend is a strong choice, especially with their support for customized tax charges.
With Vend, you have the ability to manage your entire inventory from one product catalog and to “clone” an existing product from which you can make the needed changes to the item—saving time from entering all of the product details across similar items.
Vend is highly rated on our site for ease of use as you can see in the snapshot of user reviews below. Read the user reviews here.
Vend offers an iOS mobile app you can use to perform stock counts straight from your device. They do not offer an Android app at this time.
Pricing starts at $99 per month, and the vendor also offers a 30-day free trial.
Remember that not all editions of QuickBooks will be able to integrate with all inventory management systems. We recommend inviting your IT resource to ask potential vendors questions before selecting a system. This will greatly reduce the risk of delays and potential cost overruns during implementation.
We’ve skimmed the surface of four affordable inventory management software solutions that offer a ready-to-go integration to QuickBooks. If you have experience with another solution, or if you want to add something about one of the solutions we’ve already discussed, we’d love to hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.