If you’re in the business of selling handmade soaps, tacos or any product based business, you need tools for inventory management, to keep track of your stock, ordering and purchase fulfillment. Inventory management tools are a set of services, software, or a platform that helps streamline your business growth by automating and maintaining your inventory processes.
Each business is unique, and you might have created your own homegrown inventory system using spreadsheets or freeware, however as your business scales up, and you want to expand into online sales or ecommerce sites, your tools also need to grow with you. However you don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to managing your supply and demand. There are several solutions available on the market that can do a bang up job of tracking and monitoring your items, and managing purchases from suppliers as well as sales from customers. Good inventory management systems also provide reporting and accounting functionality to help you stay ahead of your supply chain.
Navigating your way through all of the available tools and systems can be cumbersome and time consuming, so we have gathered together a few of our favorite inventory management software recommendations to help you expand and grow your small business.
If you are an online retailer as well as a brick and mortar shop, Ordoro offers a combination set of tools for both point of sale management as well as ecommerce tracking. You can set up a merchant account on Ordoro, add your suppliers and products to your system, and then create your own streamline process of taking orders, tracking your SKUs (stock keeping units), and dropshipping them.
Ordoro is a cloud based platform that’s the future of ecommerce. This is a huge advantage because it allows you to bypass downloading and maintaining the software yourself. Ordoro allows you to be completely hands-off the tech side of the platform, so you can simply focus on the sales side of your business.
The Express Plan is $59 per month, which includes shipping tools. To take advantage of the suite of inventory management tools that Ordoro provides, choose their Pro Plan for $399 a month.
Cin7 gives you a win-win if you are ready (or planning) to scale up your small business into a mid-sized or even a large scale enterprise. Cin7 is a completely automated inventory management system that allows you to bring together all aspects of your business by integrating all of your point-of-sale channels with your online processes as well as your warehouse systems.
Because Cin7 offers a centralized platform for tracking your stock and orders, your inventory is updated in real time, even allowing you to keep track of products that are transferred between locations. Another advantage to upscaling to Cin7 is that it makes it easy for you to integrate with other enterprises or bigger retailers when you are ready to do business on a larger scale.
Their starter plans start at $299 per month, but for the price, you also get access to their industry expertise as well as free consultation and recommendations of the ideal setup for your business.
Zoho Inventory is a popular inventory management software as it is built alongside its other advanced set of tools for ecommerce websites. It offers inventory management for multiple sales channels at a modest price which is ideal for a small business.
Contrary to most other inventory management systems reviewed here, Zoho Inventory offers a stand-alone system, which may be an advantage if you don’t want to deal with extra features that you don’t need. While Zoho Inventory’s focus on inventory management provides you an advanced set of tools, if you do want to expand out later on down the road, you may need to integrate it into your systems manually, using third party software.
Prices start at $29 per month for up to 10 users and 100 online orders.
If you are a QuickBooks user, you will love Fishbowl. Fishbowl offers an easy but efficient way to run your business by providing a powerful asset tracking solution while allowing you to easily export or import data with QuickBooks.
For a small business user, Fishbowl is perfect for automating your estimates, orders, purchases, sales and shipping, all in real time, even for multiple distribution channels. Similar to Zoho Inventory, Fishbowl does not integrate with other solutions, however if you are not planning to expand or incorporate your business into other models, this may be a feature, not a loss.
Fishbowl is the most expensive inventory management system on this list, starting above $4000 for a one-time license, which you may renew at an additional cost each year. If you choose not to renew, you can continue to use the service, without customer support.
TradeGecko is an easy to use software service that started out as an answer to improving inventory management at a time when the tools available were manual and inefficient. Today it is a web-based cloud platform that’s user-friendly with an easy to navigate dashboard.
With TradeGecko, once you set up an account on their platform, you can add or import your products, integrate your sales channels, add your suppliers and customers if you already have them. They offer integrations with major ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce. Overtime, TradeGecko have expanded their online knowledge base, making their articles and demos accessible to their users, which helps first time sellers. Their dashboard helps you keep an oversight of your business at a glance.
TradeGecko is affordable to start with, and offers tier-based pricing for scaling up. Their Founder plan starts at $39 a month for one user and one sales channel, for 50 orders per month. They offer other tiers like Lite, Small Business, B2B, Premium and Pro plans as well.
For the true small business owner who is bootstrapping from scratch, you may want to consider starting with a free inventory management software like SalesBinder. It offers a suite of features for tracking, invoicing, estimating, purchasing and selling, all on a cloud-based platform that’s easy to use.
SalesBinder is a great option to migrate from manual tracking to automated management and monitoring. It offers integrations with some of the popular ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce, QuickBooks, Zapier, etc.
The Free Forever plan is free for upto 100 records and includes all its features, which makes it ideal for a small business with a limited number of inventory items. Their paid versions are also affordable, starting at $9 per month for 101 records and higher, allowing your small business to scale up when you’re ready.
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