inventory management software

Is inventory management killing your business potential?

You’ve set up a great Ecommerce business. You have an optimised website built to the highest UX standards, your suppliers are top quality, your couriers are all lined up, and your marketing is beautiful. But after a few short weeks of trading you start to realise somethings missing. Orders are coming in, but you have no control of your stock, your orders, your inventory.

Keeping track of inventory is the key to managing a profitable business. Poor inventory management is one of the top eight reasons small businesses fail. Something which seems so simple, is essentially the lifeforce of your business.

What is Inventory Management?

inventory management for ecommercev

Inventory management is the never ending process of moving your product to and from your storehouses. It is shipping stock in and sending orders out. It also involves moving the right products to different storage facilities, placing orders and knowing when to run promotions to help you get rid of excess stock. This is basic inventory management.

Do you need Inventory Management Software

If you answer yes to any of the questions below, then you do.

  • Have you ever oversold a product?
  • Are you spending too much on manual inventory management?
  • Are you spending company time on doing manual inventory?
  • Are your customers buying elsewhere when you run out of stock?
  • Do you want to use software, but you don’t know how to start?

You need an inventory management system that integrates seamlessly with every aspect of your business, to ensure that you never disappoint your customers.

But which one should you choose? And what features do your really need it to have?

We are going to take a look at what’s on offer.

What is Inventory Management Software?

inventory management system

Inventory Management Software is a digitised (or computerised) tracking system that integrates with every part of your business, in order to track your inventory.

It can be set up to meet your individual business needs.

Your software can let you know when to order, when you need to move overstock, where your stock is and how much you have. It can also help you to predict what you need to complete future incoming orders.

What Features should you look for in your Inventory Management Software

A good software solution for your inventory should offer you the following functionalities:

  • Location tracking- It should always know where your stock is – even when it’s in transit.
  • Quantity tracking – this goes hand in hand with the above – you have to know how much stock you have and where it is.
  • An easy to use central dashboard to help you keep track visually
  • Availability and timelines to give customers accurate information about availability and how long it will take to ship any item
  • Implement “ship from store” systems
  • Process returns

The Top Five Most Recommended Ecommerce Inventory Management Systems

ez office inventoryEZOfficeInventory

This software comes highly recommended. They offer

  • cloud based and mobile deployment

  • barcoding

  • multi-location management

  • order entry

  • purchase order management

  • search functionality

  • warehouse management

What’s great about EZOfficeInventoryis that you can use the same system across your entire company. Their procurement module allows for quick inventory replenishment because the POs update automatically.

Trade Gecko

Trade Gecko offer an inventory management platform for wholesalers as well as Ecommerce businesses. They offer:

  • cloud based and mobile deploymenttradegecko

  • barcoding

  • multi-location management

  • order entry

  • purchase order management

  • search functionality

  • supplier management

  • warehouse management

What’s great about TradeGecko is that they offer integrated accounting, shipping and sales functions along with the regular Inventory management systems.

MageStore

Magestore is built for Magento and therefore fits in seamlessly to the website backend, giving you even more integration across your business. If you are operating through Magento then this is an option worth trying. They offer:

  • cloud based and mobile deploymentinventory_management__2

  • barcoding

  • multi-location management

  • order entry

  • purchase order management

  • search functionality

  • supplier management

  • warehouse management

  • Reporting

  • Pro Integration

Magestore also comes with a wide array of additional plugins that you can purchase. As with all Magento products, the advantage is that the code is open source, so if you have a clever developer on your team you can create custom solutions.

Orderhive

Oderhive offers a 15 day free trial, which is great because you can decide for yourself if it works for you. Their simplified platform puts everything in one place, with a multi-channel inventory management and shipping system that is considered one of the best for large B2B and B2C sellers. They offer:

  • cloud based and mobile deploymentorderhive

  • barcoding

  • multi-location management

  • order entry

  • purchase order management

  • search functionality

  • supplier management

  • warehouse management

Zoho Inventory

Zoho offers a no-nonsense approach to inventory management with minimal frills and fuss. They also have some great innovations in integration, such as an integrated shipping system that finds you the best shipping rates and deals in real time. There package includes:

  • cloud based and mobile deploymentzoho inventory

  • barcoding

  • multi-location management

  • order entry

  • purchase order management

  • search functionality

  • supplier management

  • warehouse management

Ultimately, your choice will be based on your personal needs and personal preference. Just like we all have different settings on our inboxes and smartphones, we have different platform preferences too. We strongly suggest visiting the websites of each of the five platforms referenced above and taking a “walk” around their platforms.

Before you decide, take out your pen and paper and make a list of functionalities you’re looking for. Then think about your budget and consider the ROI (return on Investment) for installing inventory management software.

This is a good time to pull out the data and calculate how much you’re losing due to poor inventory management.

Once you have these points in front of you, you are ready to choose a software system to fit your needs and your budget.