In today’s fast-paced business landscape, efficient inventory management software is essential for small businesses. Managing inventory effectively is pivotal in optimizing operations, reducing costs, and enhancing customer satisfaction.
Fortunately, there are various inventory management software programs specifically designed for the requirements of small enterprises.
In this article, we’ll explore the five best inventory management software products with an in-depth examination of each product’s advanced inventory features.
Best Inventory Management Software for Small Businesses in a Nutshell
Choosing the best inventory management software for small businesses can be a game-changer in optimizing daily functions and providing users with valuable insight. These systems accomplish these goals and avoid unnecessary expenses by focusing on features that align with the business’s needs.
Below, we highlight five of the best inventory management software designed for small businesses and their unique selling points.
- Zoho Inventory – Best for Real-Time Tracking
- InFlow – Best for Scalability
- Cin7 – Best for Integration
- Sortly – Best for User Experience
- monday.com – Best for Affordability
Why Is Great Inventory Management Software Important for Small Businesses?
For companies managing physical inventories, the significance of well-optimized inventory procedures cannot be overstated. This section outlines some of the reasons why great inventory management software is important:
Efficiency and Time Savings
For small business operations, each passing moment carries significant importance. Managing inventory levels, tracking stock movements, and setting up reorder points can be tedious and time-consuming. In addition to this, humans make mistakes easily. Inventory management software can automate these processes and reduce the risk of errors.
A 2017 retail vision study noted that to increase efficiency, 72% of retailers plan to revolutionize supply chain operations using real-time visibility through automation, sensors, and analytics.
The software can ensure that inventory levels remain consistently current through constant real-time updates and automated notifications. This removes the necessity for manual verifications and prevents depleted stocks or overstocking issues.
Furthermore, the software provides the business with quick insights into availability and trends in demand, helping enterprises quickly arrive at well-informed decisions. In today’s unpredictable market, quickly adapting to customers’ preferences is crucial for the success of small businesses. A high level of agility can make or break their prospects.
Error Reduction and Accurate Data
Manual inventory management is inherently prone to errors, resulting in inconsistencies between recorded and real-time stock quantities.
According to a survey by Peoplevox, about 34% of companies have faced scenarios in which they inadvertently sold products not present in their stock, leading to delays in fulfilling orders. These discrepancies, in turn, have the potential to translate into missed sales opportunities, dissatisfied customers, and financial setbacks. This is where exceptional inventory management software emerges as a reliable defense against these challenges.
By embracing automation, the likelihood of errors in data entry and calculations is significantly reduced, ensuring precise inventory records for businesses. Furthermore, the integration of barcode scanning and RFID technologies goes a step further in enhancing accuracy by minimizing the chances of human input mistakes.
As a result, small businesses can elevate their order fulfillment processes, guarantee timely product deliveries, and maintain customer confidence by providing unwavering and consistent service.
Optimized Reordering and Demand Forecasting
Encountering a shortage of a popular product just when demand is skyrocketing can be a source of frustration for both customers and business owners. Data from Zippia.com states that about 43% of small enterprises do not actively monitor their inventory, while about 21% assert that they have no stock. To counter this issue, inventory management software implements predetermined stock thresholds for automated reordering.
This proactive strategy ensures that businesses restock their inventory promptly, reducing the occurrence of stock shortages and maximizing opportunities for sales. Furthermore, numerous advanced inventory management systems offer the ability to forecast demand. These tools provide invaluable insights into forthcoming demand patterns by examining historical data and market trends.
With this information, small businesses can fine-tune their inventory levels and purchasing decisions, optimizing their stock to meet anticipated customer requirements.
The fundamental objective of every business is to make money and efficient inventory management software plays a pivotal role in realizing this goal for many.
It can help prevent excessive capital from getting tied up in unsold products by mitigating the risks of overstocking. Additionally, the reduction in occurrences of stockouts translates into fewer missed sales opportunities and revenue setbacks.
Furthermore, inventory management software assists in recognizing slow-selling or outdated items. With this information, businesses can execute focused marketing approaches or offer discounts to sell off stagnant inventory, creating room on shelves for more in-demand items and ultimately boosting overall profitability.
A great inventory management software offers various benefits ranging from operational efficiency and error reduction to demand forecasting and enhanced profitability. Small businesses that embrace these digital tools position themselves for growth, scalability, and improved customer satisfaction.
How to Pick the Best Inventory Management Software for Your Small Business
As a business expands, having a strong inventory management system becomes more crucial. The appropriate software has the potential to optimize processes, lower expenses, and offer a distinct competitive edge.
Nonetheless, given the multitude of choices accessible, choosing the optimal inventory management software for a small business can seem overwhelming.
To navigate this decision-making procedure, it’s essential to consider the listed factors below, as each one significantly influences the trajectory of the user’s business.
Scalability: Growth Adaptation
A critical factor to consider while selecting inventory management software is its capacity for scalability. This is because as a business prospers, the software should effortlessly expand along with it.
Scalability guarantees that the system can manage higher inventory volumes, new product lines, and a growing customer base. This adaptability prevents costly interruptions and minimizes the necessity for frequent software modifications.
Choosing a software solution that can accommodate anticipated business growth empowers users to focus on strategic decisions free from technological constraints.
For business owners seeking inventory management software with good scalability, InFlow is a strong choice.
This is due to its seamless integration with various pre-existing systems, its skillful management of sudden surges in demand, and its effective handling of a growing range of product information.
Integration Capabilities: Enhancing Operational Efficiency
Success is closely tied to interconnected operations in today’s dynamic business environment.
It’s crucial that the inventory management software users choose seamlessly integrates with their current infrastructure, encompassing their point-of-sale (POS) framework, e-commerce hub, and accounting applications.
Through this integration, the need for laborious manual data input diminishes, minimizing mistakes and elevating the precision of your documentation.
The immediate synchronization across systems fosters effortless order completion, real-time inventory updates, and meticulous financial reporting. This compatible interaction amplifies productivity and comprehensively evaluates the user’s business’s well-being.
Cin7 is particularly attractive for those focused on easy integration because of its impressive incorporation of over 700 pre-designed integrations and functions covering many areas, including eommerce, accounting, and more.
User-Friendliness: Enhancing Productivity
Overly complex software demanding extensive learning efforts can hinder productivity, potentially deterring employees from embracing it.
Instead, business owners should explore inventory management software that values user-friendliness and requires minimal training.
Interfaces designed for intuitiveness and seamless navigation simplify the onboarding process and minimize the likelihood of mistakes. By choosing a system that is easy to use, business owners encourage teamwork and guarantee that their staff can fully utilize the software.
This ultimately leads to the optimization of their inventory management procedures. Sortly stands out for this section due to its intuitive and user-friendly interface.
Cost: Balancing Budget and Features
Effective cost management holds great importance for small businesses. While financial constraints are a reality, maintaining a balance between the cost and the features offered by inventory management software is crucial.
Although certain choices may boast lower initial costs, they could be deficient in essential functionalities required for sustainable expansion which could hamper profits later on.
Alternatively, allocating resources towards a more comprehensive solution might result in considerable gains by enhancing effectiveness and reducing operational expenses. As a result, users should deliberate on the long-term benefits and compare them with the initial investment to make an informed choice.
Customization: Tailoring to Preferred Needs
Each business is unique in its operations and requirements, setting it apart from the rest. Hence, it becomes crucial for business owners to seek out inventory management software that offers the option of personalization to align with their individual preferences.
The ability to fine-tune the software according to the company’s procedures helps guarantee sufficient functionality and optimization. This tailoring process could encompass configuration fields, user role establishment, or the delineation of automated workflows.
Such flexibility empowers users to address specific challenges and harness opportunities unhindered by inflexible software constraints. However, the most customizable and flexible software is often quite hard to set up and use which can cause problems if employees aren’t trained well enough in its use.
List of the Best Inventory Management Software for Small Businesses
By evaluating the distinct requirements of the enterprise and matching them with the software’s capacities, entrepreneurs can empower their small businesses to thrive in a competitive environment. This section reviews five of the best inventory management software for small businesses to consider.
Zoho Inventory: Best for Real-time Tracking
Zoho Inventory is a cloud-based software for inventory management. It helps businesses generate and oversee sales and procurement orders while effectively monitoring their inventory.
With its user-friendly interface, the platform enables seamless monitoring of stock levels, the creation of sales reports, and even predictive demand analysis. Its time-saving features include automated purchase order filling, streamlined dropship management, and efficient multi-warehouse administration.
The platform also boasts an exceptional real-time tracking ability that empowers businesses with unparalleled control over their inventory processes.
Seamlessly integrating with various sales channels and warehouses, the software provides a live overview of stock levels, order status, and replenishment needs, ensuring that businesses can make informed decisions swiftly.
Zoho also offers around-the-clock customer support through phone assistance, chat, email support, and an extensive online knowledge base.
Adding to its appeal, the platform offers a robust free option for those embarking on their inventory management journey. Furthermore, a 14-day trial is on offer for the paid plans, which start at $59 per month with annual billing.
However, it’s worth noting that despite the cost-effectiveness of Zoho’s inventory management software, it does have some limitations when it comes to integrating with e-commerce platforms and marketplaces.
InFlow: Best for Scalability
InFlow offers a comprehensive inventory management suite for B2B and wholesale businesses with specialized features.
The platform caters to stock monitoring, procurement, and fulfillment needs, excelling particularly in the B2B domain. It empowers users to create virtual display rooms for clients, controlling information like pricing and delivery times.
InFlow’s true prowess lies in its remarkable scalability. The system effortlessly integrates with diverse existing systems, adeptly responds to surges in demand, and efficiently manages various product data.
This empowers businesses to confidently pursue growth trajectories without being hindered by the complexities of inventory management.
Moreover, the platform extends beyond the fundamental functions. InFlow facilitates quoting, invoicing, optimizing order routes, streamlining manufacturing, enabling tailored production, and enhancing the picking and packing process through location mapping.
InFlow starts at $89 per month. The software does not offer a free plan, but customers can take the product for a spin using the 14-day trial mode. InFlow customers also benefit from phone, live chat, and email support.
This support may be necessary as InFlow’s integration capabilities are limited and any unsupported integrations require developer assistance.
Cin7: Best for Integration
Cin7 is a versatile solution for managing inventories, ideally suited for businesses operating intricate supply chains.
What truly sets Cin7 apart is its extensive array of over 700 pre-designed integrations and functionalities, spanning eCommerce, accounting, and more. This unique feature simplifies the process of elevating one’s business as it expands.
Moreover, the platform seamlessly incorporates B2B e-commerce capabilities by integrating with online stores, marketplaces, and shipping software. This integration facilitates end-to-end management of orders, inventory, and shipping processes, ensuring a smooth workflow.
Cin7 further excels in precise stock tracking and efficient warehouse management. This allows users to seamlessly synchronize stock quantities across multiple warehouses, monitor components for bundled and assembled products, and automate purchase orders based on sales velocity.
B2B customers also benefit from automatic order forwarding to warehouses and dropship suppliers for seamless fulfillment.
Additionally, Cin7 offers the convenience of monitoring in-store and online sales through an integrated point-of-sale (POS) feature across all its plans.
The platform provides around-the-clock customer support for all plans, comprehensive online tutorials, and a wealth of knowledge-base resources.
Unfortunately, Cin7 does not provide a free trial option. Furthermore, its standard plan starts at $325 per month. This positions the platform as one of the higher-priced choices within this section.
Sortly: Best for User Experience
Say goodbye to clunky interfaces and hello to a user-friendly experience with Sortly. This web app is an easy-to-use inventory management software for small non-retail businesses.
Sortly presents an ideal choice for enterprises seeking a swift and uncomplicated resolution to their inventory and asset management requirements.
The software boasts an incredibly intuitive interface that enables teams to efficiently monitor crucial inventory details. As a result, users won’t require much of a learning curve to effectively utilize the platform.
With automatic cloud synchronization, Sortly seamlessly adapts to mobile, desktop, or tablet devices, ensuring a consistent experience across various platforms.
Whether accessed through the website or mobile app, individuals can generate personalized fields and define corresponding metadata for these fields. Additionally, they can swiftly include, relocate, delete, or modify items on the go through their mobile app.
Sortly encompasses a comprehensive range of fundamental inventory management software attributes, including warehouse management, inventory control, barcode scanning capabilities, and essential inventory reporting.
One of the platform’s standout features is its seamless synchronization of inventory data across multiple devices and teams. Users can conveniently employ the app to scan QR codes, receive stock alerts for efficient stock levels, and effortlessly categorize items.
While Sortly does offer a free version, users also have the option to explore the more advanced or ultra versions through a 14-day free trial. These upgraded versions, priced at $29 and $59 per month, provide additional features and enhanced capabilities.
Support for users is readily available through email assistance, help centers, and tutorials, ensuring a smooth experience. However, it’s worth noting that Sortly lacks integration with eCommerce and accounting software solutions.
monday.com: Best for Affordability
monday.com is a versatile cloud-based management system engineered for workforce, project, and operations management, with a distinct focus on inventory control.
The platform offers tailored solutions for departments like marketing, sales, IT, HR, and operations. It also boasts over 200 functional templates, including a readily available inventory template accessible in the free plan.
Noteworthy features include dashboards, integrations, forms, automation, timeline and Kanban views, file sharing, and workspaces.
monday.com offers 24/7 customer support via live chat, email, or phone. Users can also access a comprehensive learning resource center and an extensive FAQ section.
The software offers four pricing plans catering to diverse user requirements. The individual plan offers a free lifelong option with basic functionalities. Meanwhile, the paid plans start at $8 for the basic tier and $19 for the pro tier, offering enhanced features.
The pricing is unique compared to other mentioned software because the free plan offers users access to its basic features and template for life which is suitable for some small businesses.
However, for those who want to harness enhanced features, the basic price plan at $8 through to its pro price at $19 is the lowest amongst its competitors.
Although suitable for small business inventory management, monday.com lacks the advanced capabilities of specialized systems.
Advanced features such as item barcodes, automated purchase orders, sales-driven projections, and multi-warehouse automation require customization or additional widget add-ons, potentially incurring extra costs.
Is It Worth Getting the Best Inventory Management Software for My Small Business?
By implementing top-notch inventory management software, small businesses can effectively tackle challenges arising from manual inventory management.
Software automation is pivotal in minimizing errors and preventing stockouts, ensuring meticulous inventory tracking and precise stock-level oversight. This translates to reduced errors and the avoidance of stockouts, which can result in missed sales opportunities and customer dissatisfaction.
A significant advantage of this software is its capacity to automate inventory tracking and stock level monitoring, leading to time savings and a decreased likelihood of errors.
This feature promises seamless monitoring of stock movements, real-time alerts for low inventory, and demand trend forecasting, facilitating proactive restocking and optimized inventory levels.
Furthermore, the software holds the power to substantially enhance customer satisfaction. By providing accurate stock visibility, businesses can reliably fulfill orders, thus boosting customer loyalty, garnering positive reviews, and establishing a reputation for dependability.
Inventory management systems like Zoho Inventory are also suited for efficient order fulfillment. This software streamlines the entire process, from order placement to shipping, ensuring efficient picking, packing, and delivery. In exchange, the organized workflow leads to quicker order processing and increased customer satisfaction.
Considering the cost, which varies from free but limited to paid options, the advantages of a top-tier software often far outweigh the expenses.
The unquestionable value of investing in top-notch inventory management software becomes evident for any small business. This investment leads to increased revenue, improved efficiency, stronger customer loyalty, and reduced occurrences of stockouts.