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Inventory Management Software

Inventory Management software monitors inventory levels for optimal production and distribution of goods for wholesale or retail. Inventory Management systems enable organisations to efficiently manage inventory as well as procurement and order fulfilment functions. Inventory Management solutions ensure accurate real-time inventory reporting and the ability to distribute this essential data across multiple locations and throughout an enterprise. Inventory Management software is related to Inventory Control software and Supply Chain Management software. Find the best inventory management software for your organisation in Australia.

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ShipStation inventory management boosts efficiency, reduces errors, and optimizes stock levels for major cost savings. Learn more about ShipStation
With ShipStation’s inventory management solution say goodbye to costly errors and inefficiencies. Enhance your bottom line by fine-tuning stock levels with automated tracking and management. Whether setting account-wide or SKU-specific thresholds, allocating available stock to higher-priority orders, or averting the shipment of "out-of-stock" orders, this solution empowers you to pick and pack faster and with accuracy. Learn more about ShipStation

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Manage your stock with Xero's simple inventory management software. Stay on top of the numbers and keep track of stock in real time. Learn more about Xero
Easily keep tabs on your stock quantity and value with Xero inventory management tools. Know your best-selling and most profitable product lines and see how much profit you¿re making. Use this information to make the right decisions about what to order and how to price it. At the same time, save time with bulk imports. It's simple to get inventory in Xero up and running by quickly importing large numbers of inventory items from a spreadsheet. We provide a simple CSV template for you to use. Learn more about Xero

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Connect your inventory, sales channels, orders and warehouses in one automated solution with built-in EDI and 700 integrations. Learn more about Cin7 Omni
Cin7 connects your inventory, sales channels, orders and warehouses in one automated inventory management software with built-in EDI and integrations to all the popular eCommerce platforms, marketplaces, accounting tools, and 3PLs. Designed for SMBs, its real time data gives you a full picture of your products from procurement to order fulfillment. Cin7 provides exceptional automations, workflows, reports, and analysis to enable brands, manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers to operate efficiently as they scale. Learn more about Cin7 Omni

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Tall Emu is an Australian developed CRM ideal for a business that sells, makes or distributes products. Learn more about Tall Emu CRM
Tall Emu is an Australian developed CRM ideal for a business that sells, makes or distributes products. Tall Emu is an affordable alternative to an expensive ERP system, yet with all the powerful inventory features to run your business. See sales to fulfillment in real-time and sync data with Xero, MYOB and platforms like WooCommerce. Features include barcode scanning, serial number tracking, landed cost calculations, syncing with payment gateways and shopping carts with auto stock updates. Learn more about Tall Emu CRM

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Optimize inventory levels, boost profitability and decrease cost of goods sold with NetSuite inventory management. Learn more about NetSuite
NetSuite inventory management automates manual processes associated with traceability, replenishment, cycle counting, and managing inventory across multiple locations. With a single view of items, inventory and orders businesses can carry less inventory on hand and free up cash. Demand-based replenishment uses historical sales and seasonality to automate re-order points. Forward and backward tracing capabilities link finished goods to customer orders and suppliers allowing for full traceability. Learn more about NetSuite

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One retail platform to manage payments, inventory, suppliers and staff. Lightspeed has what you need to scale and succeed – easy-to-use POS, eCommerce, advanced reporting & more. Learn more about Lightspeed Retail
Manage all locations from a unified POS and payments platform that evolves with your business. Streamline operations and accelerate growth with industry-leading tools, payment technology and integrations that enable you to keep up in today's fast-moving and competitive retail landscape. Get real-time insights into your sales, product and team with customisable reports available anywhere, anytime. Experience unified commerce with a truly unified platform by connecting all your stores and channels to provide seamless customer experiences at every touchpoint. Depend on dedicated 24/7 support from retail specialists who know your business. Learn more about Lightspeed Retail

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The secret powering small businesses in 90+ countries worldwide. Track stock, manage sales, pick and ship orders, and more, Learn more about inFlow Inventory
inFlow Inventory is the easiest way to run your wholesale, distribution, manufacturing, or ecommerce business. Track stock across any location and manage purchases and sales—all from one app. inFlow helps you manage any order or process from start to finish, with full pick/pack/ship support, BOM and assemblies, and connections to over 35 different ecommerce platforms. We offer in-house support via live chat, email, and callback. Click Visit Website to start your free 14-day trial now. Learn more about inFlow Inventory

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Manage your production floor with Fusion Operations by Autodesk. Eliminate unnecessary costs, and speed up time to market. Learn more about Fusion Operations
Fusion Operations by Autodesk is a Manufacturing Execution System for all levels of production, giving you the solution you need for keeping on top of production. Gain insights to predict machine downtime, track production progress, identify bottlenecks and eliminate waste through a fully digital and automated operations tool. Track orders and shipping, schedule and manage your production, all with real-time production visibility from any device. Learn more about Fusion Operations

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Unleashed Software provides a powerful platform to accurately manage your inventory in real-time. Learn more about Unleashed
Unleashed Software is a powerful cloud-based platform for all your inventory management needs. Unleashed lets you easily and accurately track stock in real-time across multiple locations. Get visibility on all inventory management processes and transactions across warehouses globally. With total inventory oversight your businesses can make better, data-driven, decisions. Unleashed also integrates with multiple eCommerce software platforms to provide a holistic business solution. Learn more about Unleashed

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With the inventory functionality of MYOB Advanced Business, easily forecast demand across every area of your distribution businesses. Learn more about MYOB Advanced Business
MYOB Advanced Business connects operations across your entire wholesale and distribution business. The cloud ERP system provides access to information anywhere, allowing you to manage stock movements and customer expectations effectively. Automated forecasting and reporting minimises oversight and allows you to focus on strategy, rather than manual administration. Anticipate back orders and changes in demand, with greater business visibility so that you can make decisions smarter and faster. Learn more about MYOB Advanced Business

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NAO ERP

NAO ERP

(0) Australia Local product
NAO ERP is a streamlined inventory management solution built on the Salesforce platform. Learn more about NAO ERP
NAO ERP is a streamlined inventory management solution built on the Salesforce platform. Designed for small businesses and SMEs in the global e-commerce marketplace, NAO ERP offers features such as inventory management, sales order management, purchase order management, goods receivable process, and average weighted cost calculation. Integration with Xero and MYOB AccountRight ensures seamless financial management. Experience simplified processes with NAO ERP. Learn more about NAO ERP

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All-in-one Inventory management software. Organize, schedule and track equipment, so you always know what’s available in your stock. Learn more about Rentman
All-in-one inventory management software. Only pay for the products and add-ons you need. Control equipment flows: Keep track of your inventory in a timeline view, so you always know what goes in and out of your warehouse; Spend less time booking equipment: See availabilities, schedule equipment and manage subrentals in minutes; Make better decisions: Prevent shortages, track equipment usage and manage repairs so you can run your business more smoothly. Try 30 days for free! Learn more about Rentman

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HARMONiQ

HARMONiQ

(0) Australia Local product
Track inventory ordering, storage, distribution & purchasing from anywhere, at any time with automated inventory management software Learn more about HARMONiQ
Stay in control with all-in-one inventory software made for fast-moving, inventory-based businesses. HARMONiQ gives businesses the power to track every piece of inventory, from order, to storage, purchasing and distribution. With streamlined inventory management processes and reporting capabilities, have full visibility of ordering trends, changes to stock lines and missing or damaged items. HARMONiQ is a complete ERP solution, integrating your financials, reporting, sales, CRM and more. Learn more about HARMONiQ

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Datapel is a reliable Order and Warehouse Management System that reduces costs, increases efficiency and improves inventory control. Learn more about Datapel WMS
Datapel is a reliable Order and Warehouse Management System that helps you reduce costs, increase efficiency, and significantly improve your inventory control. You can obtain timely insights and optimize operations by using efficient order fulfilment and automated backorder management features. Your Datapel Cloud WMS integrates powerful functionalities into a single, user-friendly system. With a dedicated local support team, implementation is a seamless process. Learn more about Datapel WMS

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Algo is a supply chain planning platform that can easily monitor your inventory and demand across all channels and locations. Learn more about Algo
Algo is a supply chain planning platform that can easily monitor your inventory and demand across all channels and locations. Our analytically enriched supply chain planning platform unifies siloed business data and delivers predictive analytics and insights in real time, empowering organizations to make data-driven decisions that drive growth and efficiency. The result: modern technology and business-outcome driven solutions that deliver real ROI in weeks, not months. Learn more about Algo

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Access Mintsoft is a cloud-based order fulfillment platform for 3PLs, fulfillment houses and online retailers. Learn more about Access Mintsoft
Access Mintsoft is a cloud-based warehouse, inventory, courier and E-commerce order management solution, created for 3PLs, warehouses, wholesalers, fulfilment houses and online retailers. Access Mintsoft automates the process of picking, packing and shipping, ensuring your orders are more accurate and efficient than ever. With over 175 courier and online shopping platform integrations and powerful reporting, Access Mintsoft increases productivity and efficiency for business growth. Learn more about Access Mintsoft

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Sage Intacct inventory management system helps you improve cash flow and reduce risk. Learn more about Sage Intacct
Sage Intacct helps CFOs access integrated management and financial reports across their business entities in minutes not days to grow and drive their business. Sage Intacct is a financial management product that allows your growing mid-sized business to go further, faster with the core financials you need to automate your most important processes, reduce your reliance on spreadsheets, and give you greater visibility into your business performance. Learn more about Sage Intacct

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Netstock enables businesses to reduce excess, minimize stock-outs, place orders quicker, and forecast demand accurately. Learn more about Netstock
Netstock seamlessly integrates into leading ERPs, empowering businesses to optimize inventory. Utilizing powerful intelligence in ERP data, Netstock increases inventory visibility, enabling you to place quicker orders, minimize stock-outs, reduce excess inventory, and optimize capacity planning in your supply chain. With Netstock, you always have the right stock in the right quantity at the right time *Netstock is not a WMS or inventory control solution Learn more about Netstock

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Inventory and order management for growing businesses. Learn more about Zoho Inventory
Zoho Inventory is an online application that enables you to manage orders and inventory. With multi-channel selling, shipping integrations and powerful inventory control, you can now optimize your inventory and order management, right from purchase to packing, to payments. Learn more about Zoho Inventory

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INTUENDI reduces stockout and excess inventory, and simplifies the purchase orders management with an affordable and easy to use tool. Learn more about INTUENDI
INTUENDI is the leading Inventory Management cloud tool developed to reduce stockouts and minimize excess inventory while increasing sales. Affordable and easy to use, Intuendi reduces up to 82% forecasting error, and speeds up 6x the purchase orders management process. Powered by AI and designed for small and midsize companies, Intuendi gives you the right replenishment suggestions and the confidence to stock the right SKUs in the right place at the right time. Learn more about INTUENDI

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Centralised Software Hub for your sales orders and products management, it's affordable and powerful. B2B, B2C, eCommerce & POS. Learn more about Qblue Inventory
Qblue Inventory is a cloud-based software used by businesses in retail, wholesale, distribution, manufacturing and service. Features include: - Inventory management and stock control - B2B & B2C quotes and sales orders management - eCommerce, - Manufacturing - CRM, - Point of sale, - Advanced Xero integration - Shopify integration - Integration with Trade Me, nopCommerce and more A feature-rich reliable inventory management software that costs a fraction of the price of others. Learn more about Qblue Inventory

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Multi-channel inventory management combined with purchasing, shipping, and order management all in one. Learn more about SKULabs
Supercharge your ecommerce business with an all-in-one inventory management and order fulfillment solution. Sync all of your multi-channel orders in one place, push inventory updates in real-time, and pick and ship orders faster than ever using barcode scanning and automatic sorting for individual orders or multi-order batches. Get live rates and print shipping labels from every carrier you use without switching between shipping software. Plus, get instant access to discounted USPS postage! Learn more about SKULabs

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A Cloud Based Forecasting Solution for Inventory Optimization Learn more about SAFIO Solutions
As a demand planning platform to optimize sales and inventory, SAFIO Solutions connects and gathers all vital data into one comprehensive location putting actionable insights at your fingertips. Customized visualization dashboards & reports are included for quick insights to the overall business or a deep-dive in the details. Gain the confidence to forecast simply, efficiently & accurately. Learn more about SAFIO Solutions

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Full Control of Large, Complex inventories across multiple locations. Multi Suppliers & Crossovers, Kitting, Supplier Price Updates... Learn more about Peach Software
When it comes to Inventory Control Peach Software has industry leading features that will save you more than it costs. Alternate Suppliers, Alternate Products, Kitting, Barcoding, AKA Searching, Search Description, Bulk Data Queries to update data, Import Supplier Files, Product Pictures, On screen Product Forecasting, Complex reorder Algorithms, product Grouping and subgroups for Complex Price Structuring. Learn more about Peach Software

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MYOB CRM

MYOB CRM

(0) Australia Local product
MYOB CRM manages leads, customer service, orders, inventory, and more. Powerful integrations mean less resources and double handling. Learn more about MYOB CRM
MYOB CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management solution that helps businesses manage lead pipelines, customer service, orders, fulfilment, production schedules, inventory, and more. MYOB CRM integrates with many tools and applications that businesses use everyday to run their sales and operations. While working seamlessly alongside MYOB accounting software, MYOB CRM also integrates with marketing tools, webforms, payment gateways such as Stripe and Eway, Outlook, phone systems and freight companies. MYOB CRM is like a mini-ERP, with powerful functionality without the price tag. Send quotes online for customers to accept and pay - capture all of this in MYOB CRM along with order history and order status. With real-time data on one screen, bringing together all stock, orders, payments and payment status, businesses can benefit from one source of truth allowing better decision making, far less double handling, errors and resources - and maximised customer loyalty. Learn more about MYOB CRM

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Inventory Management Software Buyers Guide

Introduction

Inventory management software is the name given to software applications designed to allow users to monitor inventory levels with a view to optimising distribution, stock control, order fulfilment, inventory creation, and other associated tasks. For businesses, managing inventory effectively can be essential for achieving greater supply chain efficiency and for maximising both short and long-term financial results.

Software of this kind can be valuable for any business that needs to hold goods or materials for future use. The entire discipline of inventory management, or field inventory management, involves understanding demands on stock, how those demands may change or be affected by internal or external factors, and the stock levels that are needed for the business to remain as productive and profitable as possible.

A key benefit of utilising inventory management solutions is the ability to automate many of the processes associated with field inventory management. When these tasks are carried out manually, they can be extremely time consuming, and it can be harder to identify sudden changes in demand and respond to them at the ideal time. In this sense, automation not only improves efficiency but also allows businesses to achieve superior results.

Inventory management applications are often compared to order management software and there can be significant overlap in terms of the features of these solutions and their overall role within an organisation. Additionally, this software may also be compared to supply chain management software, or a warehouse management system. In some cases, these solutions can be used in combination, although comprehensive, all-in-one packages are available.

Features included within the different inventory management solutions can vary, as can the quality of those features when put into practice. Yet, most software in this category will share similar core functionality. With this in mind, using inventory management software, users should be able to carry out the following tasks or activities:

  • Track current levels of stock and receive alerts when it is time to order more of a particular item
  • Order products or materials from suppliers, store receipts, and make amendments to orders over time
  • Categorise inventory items based on their features or attributes, and then make use of search functionality
  • Access data related to inventory performance, generate reports, and monitor performance over time

What is inventory management software?

Inventory management software is software that has been designed with the aim of assisting businesses with field inventory management tasks. This generally means tracking stock levels, optimising supply chain-related functions, identifying changes in demand, and responding to those changes appropriately to maintain order fulfilment. Businesses need to manage their inventory carefully to reduce unnecessary storage space, avoid waste related to perishable goods or materials, minimise customer waiting times, and maximise profit.

Inventory management is important for almost all businesses because products need to be available for sale and able to be delivered to customers as soon as possible, while raw materials need to be stored and made available for use. This means that, in the vast majority of cases, businesses will have some form of stock that needs to be managed.

Crucially, high-quality inventory management software allows these needs to be balanced against any limitations that may exist in terms of physical space available and the shelf life of stock. Better still, much of this can be automated with a view to achieving maximum accuracy and efficiency. This, in turn, can help companies to achieve peak performance while also delivering the kind of customer experience that builds lasting loyalty and repeat business.

Furthermore, the most advanced solutions can help businesses to audit their inventory so that issues are found swiftly, inefficiencies can be addressed, and the need for active human involvement is reduced.

What are the benefits of inventory management software?

The benefits of using inventory management applications tend to focus on automation. After all, inventory management is a complicated discipline, which requires companies to think carefully about their stock mix, the demands placed on their stock, the extent to which those demands can shift, and what needs to be done to optimise performance in spite of these changes. With that being said, there are specific benefits linked to the use of software of this kind, such as:

  • Supply chain efficiency: the process of managing all aspects of a supply chain manually can be extremely time-consuming, and modern technology has made it unnecessary and, in many cases, inaccurate too. Through the use of inventory management software, it is possible to automate many of the tasks and processes in this area. For instance, most software in this category will provide tools to manage orders with suppliers, make new orders when stock is needed, and make changes to existing orders. When this process is automated, the software can automatically place orders when levels of stock reach a set threshold or when demand reaches a certain level. Through the power of artificial intelligence, this can be more reliable than manual management of supply chains because changes or low stock levels will not go unnoticed and immediate action can be taken.
  • Financial benefits: initial investment in inventory management software can have long-term financial benefits, helping organisations to save money, reduce costs, and maximise profits. When inventory is managed effectively, the amount of stock that is kept in storage at any given time can also be kept to a minimum. This, in turn, can save businesses money by reducing the size of stock rooms or warehouses the business requires. Furthermore, effective management of stock can minimise or even completely eliminate money that is spent on perishable products or materials that expire before they can be used. As new stock is ordered automatically, at the best possible time, organisations can also avoid some of the charges linked to requesting urgent deliveries from suppliers.
  • Reduced demands on staff: when utilised to its full potential, artificial intelligence allows many inventory management tasks and processes to be carried out automatically, in the best moment, without the need for employees to personally act. The reduced labour demands can have several important benefits, such as reducing workloads, generally making day-to-day life easier for employees, and limiting the number of staff that need to be working at any given time. As a consequence, businesses may not need to recruit as many people, and this can lead to significant savings. Away from the financial benefits, reducing work demands in this way can free up more time for employees to focus on complex or unpredictable tasks, which AI could not handle.
  • Rapid response to changes: businesses often need to contend with sudden events or changes, and this applies not only to their own organisation but also to suppliers, business partners, and clients or customers. Examples of this include a sudden increase in orders from customers or seasonal shifts in demand for a particular product. Alternatively, the sudden changes could be caused by completely unforeseen circumstances, such as the emergence of COVID-19 and the subsequent imposition of restrictions on mass gatherings. Regardless, inventory management applications can allow businesses to respond swiftly to any changes that impact demand. If there is a sudden spike, the software can alert decision-makers or automatically place orders for more stock. Conversely, if demand drops, the software can identify this too, and cancel planned orders for new stock, or make adjustments to the order, so that less of a particular product or material is ordered. The key here is to avoid situations where an organisation either has too much stock or insufficient stock to cope with the levels of demand they are facing.
  • Centralisation of data: the entire process of inventory management means plenty of information needs to be kept. This includes information about stock levels or information about specific products or specific materials. However, it can also include details on agreements with suppliers, information about orders that have been placed, and more. Having as much of this information available in a single place can greatly simplify inventory management efforts and can help to avoid situations where employees need to switch back and forth between different applications.

What are the features of inventory management software?

The features of inventory management software are all intended to assist users with the process of managing stock levels. This means having the ability to oversee aspects of the supply chain while also managing factors like fluctuations in demand. While software packages in this category can differ in terms of some of the supplementary features provided, most solutions will have similar core functionality. Some of the most common and significant features associated with inventory management packages are outlined in more detail below:

  • Inventory management: create a database for business inventory so that all relevant information is accessible from one place, and then oversee all aspects of managing that inventory. Through the inventory management features, users can view current levels of stock for each individual item in their inventory and gain a clear understanding of what products or materials are in stock, which are running low, and which are out of stock entirely. Much of this information can be automated, especially if integration with a point-of-sale system is possible so that inventory levels are automatically updated as and when new orders arrive or when sales are processed.
  • Inventory optimisation: establish ideal levels of stock, based on the specific needs and circumstances of the business, and ensure that those levels are maintained. Inventory optimisation is concerned with reducing or eliminating instances where stock levels for a particular item are too low or too high. When stock is too low, customers could potentially face delays that have a negative impact on the customer experience. When stock levels are too high, businesses need to find space to store the items and the possibility of some of the stock perishing before it is used increases. Through automation, ideal inventory levels can be maintained, with intelligent adjustments to ordering being made as levels of demand change or as other significant events occur.
  • Product identification: categorise products according to their features and attributes, and assign product types or keywords so that the inventory list can be sorted in logical ways. Product identification can help to make the inventory database fully searchable, allowing users to quickly and easily find specific items and see current stock levels, along with important contextual data. Information that may be collected about inventory items includes weight, size, batch numbers, and expiry dates. This allows different items in the inventory to be treated differently based on the specific business requirements and the demands that are relevant to that item. Some high-level inventory management software will also include support for barcode scanning—or other product identification techniques—so that items can be scanned and automatically added to this database, without the need for manual data entry.
  • Purchase order management: manage all aspects related to the purchase of products, materials, supplies, and equipment. This can include having access to all past order information, receipts, contact information for individual suppliers or vendors, and details of recurring orders. Invoices can also be collected, added and stored indefinitely, making them easy to access in the future. In addition to overseeing the basic details related to orders, a key part of purchase order management involves evaluating current behaviours and assessing whether all purchases are necessary, beneficial, and have been optimised in terms of cost-effectiveness.
  • Supplier management: collect and manage all relevant information about suppliers, including contact information, past communication, order history, receipts, confirmation emails, dispatch notices, invoices, and contracts or signed written agreements. In some cases, the software will include tools for signing and authenticating documents digitally, so that all agreements with suppliers can become completely paperless. Storing all of this information can make it easier to refer back to in the event of a dispute, disagreement, contractual breach, or missed deadline. In some cases, it may also be possible to compare suppliers in areas like cost, turnaround times, and availability, so that items can be ordered from the best supplier, in the right moment, for the best cost efficiency.
  • Alerts/notifications: create alerts when inventory reaches a certain level—or when demand hits a certain threshold—in order to prompt a response from decision-makers. Some organisations may have circumstances that mean they do not want to take advantage of automation to re-order materials or other stock. In these situations, alerts can help to ensure they are still able to respond swiftly to changes in circumstances when they occur. This then helps to avoid any situation where an organisation is left without supplies or materials they desperately need.
  • Reporting/analytics: set key performance indicators, collect the relevant data, and create insightful reports into past and current inventory performance, or create forecasts about future inventory performance. Report generation can be essential for keeping stakeholders informed about the current state of play. They may be key to achieving buy-in in situations where more storage space is needed or where more fundamental changes need to be made to business practices. Top-end inventory management solutions will provide access to real-time insights so that any issues or inefficiencies can be identified and addressed as soon as possible. Data visualisation tools may also be on offer, allowing key indicators to be viewed in easy-to-digest formats, such as charts, graphs, or tables.

Capterra's inventory management software directory includes a large number of options, which can be filtered based on price, the available features, the method of deployment, and the number of intended users. As a result, businesses can streamline their search for the ideal software solution, removing options that do not match the requirements.

What should be considered when purchasing inventory management software?

When purchasing inventory management software, there are many different factors that need to be taken into consideration, and decision-makers need to think carefully about their process for identifying the ideal solution for their specific needs. An effective way to understand those needs is to ask some key questions and come up with answers to them, as this can help to focus minds on what really matters. Some of the most important questions to ask are:

  • What are the inventory management software features? While there are a number of core features that buyers would expect to find in the vast majority of software solutions of this kind, it is important for buyers to give careful consideration to the precise range of features they need, as well as any features that may be less essential but still valuable. The inventory management needs of businesses can vary significantly, too, so the features required by a restaurant or hotel may differ substantially from the needs of an electronics retailer or a supermarket. Buyers need to identify the features that are most important to them. From there, they can utilise their search process to narrow down the available software solutions to those that best cater to these requirements.
  • What is the total cost of inventory management software? Businesses always need to weigh up the costs of the different software options on the market, but it is important to understand that this needs to be evaluated in a holistic way, taking into consideration the full range of costs over the entire time the software is being used. This can be understood more simply as the total cost of ownership and use, and it means companies need to think not only about the cost of acquiring the software but also about the expense attached to providing employees with the necessary training, acquiring support in the event of technical difficulties, receiving software updates, storing the associated data, and providing access to all of those who need it.
  • Is integration with other applications possible? Modern businesses tend to use a wide range of tools and applications, and this can make integration and compatibility important. In situations where businesses are already utilising finance software, point-of-sale systems, and similar tools, integration with an inventory management system is going to be a major consideration. When these tools can be used in combination and when data can be shared between them, efficiency and accuracy can be improved, data duplication can be minimised, and the user experience can be optimised. At its best, integration provides an additional layer of automation, saving companies time, effort and money in the process. However, integration needs should be balanced against other considerations.
  • What is the preferred method of software deployment? Aside from finding software with the right features—available at the right price point—companies also need to think about their preferred method of deployment. The two main options here are on-premise deployment and cloud-based deployment, and each has its advantages and drawbacks. Generally speaking, on-site deployment has higher upfront costs, but the long-term costs may be lower and there is a greater sense of control and ownership. Cloud-based solutions, on the other hand, are deployed with assistance from a third-party service provider—usually on a subscription basis. This means the upfront costs can be extremely low, and the long-term costs, while higher, are extremely predictable and consistent. The need for on-site data storage is removed and responsibility for keeping data safe can be passed to a third-party expert. Cloud-based options also provide benefits in terms of remote accessibility and compatibility with a wide range of devices. However, there is less overall control, and the total cost of ownership may end up higher.
  • Increased use of artificial intelligence: The use of artificial intelligence within software is nothing new, but it is becoming more reliable and more advanced all the time, and this increases its potential scope. For inventory management purposes, artificial intelligence can be used to make intelligent forecasts about demand based on past data, market data, relevant real-world trends, and the current behaviour of customers. Additionally, AI can play a role in analysing inventory performance and automating some of the core inventory management tasks. In some cases, AI may also be used to provide user support. For example, a chatbot could be used to answer basic questions about how to perform certain actions or where to find a particular piece of information.
  • Growth of remote and hybrid work: In general, businesses are embracing remote and hybrid work models more than ever, and this could mean fewer employees are on-site at any given time. With regards to inventory management, this increases the need for reliable automation, with systems in place to continually monitor stock levels and provide up-to-date information to people who may not be able to physically check warehouses or other storage areas. As normal life has resumed, many of these businesses have continued to capitalise on these changes—either to keep costs low, limit physical space requirements, or to keep staff happy. However, this does mean finding software solutions that provide remote accessibility.
  • Integration with IoT technology: A growing number of common devices within business settings are now 'smart' devices, which are connected to the internet, in order to communicate with other devices around them. This use of the internet of things (IoT) requires software that has been designed with such devices in mind. A growing trend within inventory management, for instance, is the use of video surveillance and video analytics in order to determine how much storage space is being used at any given time. Where integration with video analytics is possible, this information can help businesses to build a clearer picture. Another example may be the use of a smart thermostat in order to regulate temperatures in the storage area, and this could help to maximise the shelf life of certain products. However, IoT integration could be more basic, such as compatibility with smart speakers and smartphones, allowing for a greater amount of voice control.
  • Popularity of cloud-based solutions: Finally, as the demands for remote accessibility increase, as businesses become more aware of the value of keeping data up-to-date and secure, and as it has the capacity to greatly reduce upfront costs, cloud-based deployment is becoming more and more popular. In a field like inventory management, cloud-based options can provide benefits in terms of ensuring everyone is able to access the same up-to-date information, making sure that any changes to data are applied across the board. Web-based cloud options can be accessed using computers, smartphones and tablets, and permissions can be set up easily so that only those with the right level of clearance can access the most sensitive data. Of course, this needs to be weighed up against the disadvantages of cloud-based options, such as the continuous subscription fees that could increase long-term costs.