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Inventory management is one of the basic processes in any product-based business, including activities such as optimizing storage time and balancing inventory in order to minimize costs while ensuring maximum throughput to garner higher revenues. This is an important function for most companies, regardless of their inventory type, that would like to be able to easily stay up-to-date regarding their inventory levels, ensure that they can always meet their customers demand, and minimize “dead stock” or unsaleable surpluses.
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We at ITQlick understand that an efficient inventory management process is essential for SMBs simce it is an important indicator of how well the business is responding to customer needs. It is therefore critical that inventory management software is focused on optimizing the on-hand inventory to meet customer demand, lower delivery and storage times, while also ensuring minimal cost allocations. In this regard, in our review of inventory management tools best fitted for SMBs, we have considered factors such as pricing, extent of functionality available, technology requirements, as well as software growth paths and adaptability to changing business environments. We have reviewed a number of Inventory Management solutions and some of our best recommendations include the following.
Fishbowl Inventory is integrated with QuickBooks and Salesforce, which offers SMBs an attractive option for combining financial operations, inventory control and CRM. This software comes with a free trial and is offered as both an on-premise or a hosted solution based on customer requirements. Fishbowl supported inventory functionality includes order and sales management, purchase and parts tracking, and additional features such as shipping controls, along with integration with Fedex & UPS. This solution can be customized to user requirements and also supports bar coding and point of sale hardware. Fishbowl Inventory offers a scalable, easy to use inventory management solution for SMBs looking for a reasonably priced option.
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SIMMS offers a number of features including inventory control, purchasing and sales, service and returns, support for Bill of Materials and product kits, shipping and receiving, as well as an E-Storefront for sales processing and point of sales support. Additional functionality includes accounting management features, payroll support and CRM. A free trial of this solution is also available. This is a good option for SMBs that are looking for a wider solution that extends beyond just inventory control. Yet, it is available only as an on-premise solution, although it can be web enabled and is compatible with Windows Mobile for mobile device access.
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EasyStock is a cloud based solution focused on inventory optimization targeted both at distributors and manufacturers. It includes features for inventory forecasting, planning and restocking, inventory redistribution and exception management, as well as KPI analysis and monitoring. EasyStock provides an API for integration with third party ERP systems, and is focused on the SMB sector and their requirements. Eazystock offers a free product trial and three pricing editions based on included features rather than users, which is beneficial for SMBs since the product can be scaled for their changing business requirements.
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AdvancePro’s solution includes key inventory activities such as inventory management and controls, order fulfillment and processing, invoicing and billing, and purchasing and receiving. Additional functionality includes point of sales support, online catalogs and shopping carts, mobile inventory tracking support, barcode scanning. In terms of flexibility, AdvancePro supports integration with UPS & Fedex, which greatly facilitates the shipping process, and integration with QuickBooks for financials and accounting. AdvancePro is available both as an on-premise and cloud-based solution based and is tailored to company’s requirements, making it a versatile product suitable for SMBs that are looking for an inventory management system that can be scaled to their specific needs.
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Stitch Inventory Management offers a free trial and includes multichannel inventory management, orders and fulfillment with shipment tracking and payment integration, purchasing management, as well as data analytics and dashboard support. Additional advantages are integration to Quickbooks and Zero for accounting and financial support, and with a number of third party products such as Amazon, Ebay and Shopify, which allow establishing a solid online inventory fulfillment option. Stitch is also scalable for any size of business, and is a good option for SMBs looking to expand into online product fulfillment as part of their core product strategy.
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