Best Inventory Apps Small Businesses Can Use to Stay Organized

Are you looking for a way to keep track of inventory so that you can organize your business?

Perhaps today’s challenging economic climate, with inflation increasing the cost of goods and supply chains in complete disarray, has created an urgency to stay up-to-the-minute with your inventory. Having real-time information about stock levels at your fingertips is important right now.

The best way to track inventory is to automate the process by using a modern inventory management system. This article reveals the top inventory software providers for different business types, along with important information about each. I also explain what you need to know in order to get the right system for you.

Inventory Software: The Basics

Inventory software automatically tracks current inventory levels, reports on how many items you’ve sold and provides low stock notifications when it’s time to reorder inventory items. In some cases, they simplify order management by helping to issue purchase orders for low-stock items. The right app can help business owners see what’s selling and what’s not, empowering them to make informed business decisions. This can help identify poor-selling products that should go on sale, seasonal sales trends, and stop selling products that may displease regular customers.

The best systems provide forecasting functionality that can help optimize business cash flow. It also allows retailers and others to spot opportunities and issues in this time of high inflation and supply chain uncertainty. It can also help small business owners find out when they might need short term financing To cover inventory purchases.

The right solution can streamline inventory management making it more effective. Barcode scanning and other features can streamline manual inventory processes.

Basic inventory solutions that come with accounting software and point-of-sale systems may be sufficient for some small businesses. However, more complex companies may require third-party apps that offer additional functionality, reporting, and industry-specific capabilities.

What’s important is to consider your industry, what steps in the supply chain you need to track, and the information you need to monitor, along with the integration and user interface to find the right solution.

Here’s what you need to know to begin your search for the ideal inventory system for you.

Top Inventory Management Solutions for Various Reasons

bright pearl

Most Comprehensive Retail Inventory Solution

If your business is complex, BrightPearl may be the ideal solution for you. The mobile app offers exceptional flexibility and functionality, making it possible to tackle most inventory challenges. BrightPearl does not disclose prices or publicly provide trial periods for its solutions. With BrightPearl, you’re likely to pay extra for its more robust capabilities, but it can be a good investment in your business if your inventory management needs are complex.

Best for e-commerce businesses

Cin7 OrderHive is an easy-to-use inventory management platform ideally suited for online retailers. The monthly price for the solution is a relatively affordable $95 per month, especially when you consider all it can do. Higher priced tiers for more extensive operations with added users, rising to more than $500 per month. The solution offers 50 percent off the first three months or a free 15-day trial to give you time to help determine if Cin7 OrderHive is the right solution for you.

inflow inventory

Designed for B2B companies

Business-to-business (B2B) operations have very different inventory requirements than direct-to-consumer companies. Finding the right solution for them can be challenging. Inflow Inventory can solve that puzzle. The solution is relatively inexpensive, starting at $69 per month, rising to $199 for additional users and functionality. It can be customized, which may cost more. You can request a free 14-day trial to see if it works for your B2B business.

Lightspeed Retail

Perfect for more complex inventory control needs

Has your retail operation outgrown your existing inventory system? Perhaps you’ve added locations or sales channels, expanded workflows, expanded product categories, or expanded your online capabilities. Lightspeed Retail can provide the additional power and functionality you need. The added capabilities may not cost as much as you expect. Monthly prices start at $69 and go up to $199. You can also request a customized system, which may cost more. Lightspeed offers a 14-day free trial that can help you determine if it’s the right solution for your store.


Solid Inventory Solutions for Restaurants

Food service businesses approach inventory very differently than wholesale and retail operations. They need an inventory solution tailored to their specific needs. Restaurant 365 is a classic example of this. It’s flexible enough to meet the needs of most restaurants, although for smaller operations the solution may be too expensive. Prices start at $289 per month and go up to $489 and up for customizable software options. You must pay in full annually for Restaurants365. Information about free trials is not readily available.

square for retail

Ideal for straight inventory requirements

There’s no point getting or paying for inventory management functionality you won’t use. There’s a Square for Retail inventory system that can be added to the popular Square payment system, which helps businesses accept credit cards and other payment forms. If your needs are relatively limited and your budget is tight, then Square for Retail may be ideal. Square offers a free option as well as higher-priced tiers for more users and more functionality. If you have any doubts about Square for Retail, it comes with a free 30-day trial so you can see if it meets your business needs before you commit.

QuickBooks Enterprise

Best for users of QuickBooks products

Many businesses today depend on the QuickBooks suite of accounting, bookkeeping, tax, and other solutions for their business success. If that’s the case for you, adding Quickbooks Enterprise might make sense. The only issue is that it is a computer-centric solution and not as effective on mobile devices. If your business is iPhone-based, this might not be the right choice. The solution starts at $1,340 per year for the first year and can go up to $4,200 depending on the number of users and cloud storage requirements. Prices may increase in subsequent years. Intuit, the company behind QuickBooks, offers a generous trial period of 30 days.

zoho inventory

Great for startups and growing companies

If your small business is new and you expect it to grow, Zoho may be the right inventory management app for you. It is a relatively robust inventory management solution that offers a free plan. The software is scalable, and monthly payment plans can increase with annual billing up to $329 per month for a wider range of options with add-ons. You can try Zoho Inventory free for 14 days to decide if it’s right for your business.

What to Consider for Identifying the Best Inventory Management Software

To determine which inventory software solution is right for your company, consider the following:

  • number of users. How many people will need access to your inventory management software? Paying for additional users can add up quickly. Be sure to include yourself in your count as well as anyone filling or counting the inventory. Don’t forget others like your accountant, dropshipping company, and suppliers. Also think about future business growth. Could Adding Employees Make Your Inventory Software Too Expensive? You want to avoid switching out your software when your business is successfully up and running.
  • measurability. Consider whether inventory management software or an app will be able to meet your business needs as it grows. The last thing you want is to have to manually re-enter all your inventory – or reorganize your processes and retrain your team – if you outgrow one system. .
  • industry. Different industries have different inventory management needs. For example, managing perishable inventory such as meat, vegetables and dairy products for a food store or restaurant is different from managing a retail warehouse of products, such as clothing for a Shopify site, eBay shop or Amazon store.
  • integration, Check that the inventory software solutions you’re considering integrate with your accounting software, POS system, customer relationship management (CRM) system, loyalty program, sales order process, order fulfillment system, time tracking, and other solutions. Also, make sure it can communicate with the supplier’s software if necessary. Direct, built-in integrations are usually better than indirect integrations. There is less chance of disconnection and breakdown.
  • Platform Type. Some inventory apps work better on Android devices, while others are more effective on iOS devices. If your business uses any platform in particular, check to see if your app will do well on it.
  • Reporting. Different inventory software offer different inventory reporting capabilities. Check that the ones you’re considering will provide you with the inventory data and alerts you need, including flexible low-stock alerts that you prefer (eg, Excel spreadsheets or easy-to-read dashboards). Also, make sure you can sort your reports by serial number and other common product identifiers.
  • Demo and free trial. Make sure you get to see the solution in action before signing up. How the software is described may not be how it performs in a real world business situation.
  • Training and Onboarding. Most of the inventory systems listed are intuitive and relatively easy to use. However, you want to make sure they provide training on how to set up and use the system.
  • Device. Make sure the system you choose comes with the tools you need to effectively manage your inventory, including a barcode scanner or QR code scanner.

If you have any doubts about the software solutions you’re considering, keep doing your research. Maintaining control of your inventory is important, especially in these challenging economic times. Don’t risk the success of your business with a solution that isn’t 100 percent accurate.

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