If you’re a manufacturer and need warehouse space to store finished products before sales, or if you plan to increase your size as an ecommerce retailer, you’ll need a way to track incoming inventory, identify and organize your products, track inventory movement, as with sales to customers, generate reports and analytics to determine sales trends and forecasts, and of course, track the progress of items shipped once out the door. Having a really good warehouse inventory management system is critical.
You can find downloadable software warehouse inventory management PDF as well. A good ecommerce warehouse inventory management system should be able to perform these essential functions:
- Identify and organize product categories
- Track sales and purchase orders
- Order new stock automatically as it reduces inventory costs
To be most effective, warehouse inventory management software should be easy enough for non-technical employees to learn and implement from the point of installation, without expensive, time-consuming in-house or outside training.
Your initial and forecast budgets, type of products, size of the business, and other factors are the determinations of what type of inventory management software to choose. Remember that while sales may be lower in the beginning, your business should be expected to grow and you’ll want software that is scalable: one that grows with your business.
Ordoro, a leader in ecommerce management software, can help with tracking inventory stock on hand in real time as orders come in and are shipped out, as well as assist with the shipping and fulfillment functions of picking and packing, creating labels for individual or bulk orders, and automatically reorder new products once stock levels reach a predetermined level.
Our easy-to-use warehouse inventory management app can help your company track inventory stock in real-time, track sales orders and incoming reordered products.
There are several types of warehouse management systems, such as installed directly into users’ hardware, online (subscription) through the internet (more information below), downloadable spreadsheets such as Google or Excel, and cloud-based, as well as subscription-based.
Some warehouse management system examples include stand-alone installed software for the largest organizations, such as Amazon and other big ecommerce sellers, Excel and other forms of spreadsheets.
The different types of warehouse operations include managing multiple locations in areas of the country or within your designated shipping areas, as well as mega-warehouses such as those run by Amazon and other huge ecommerce companies, that store and ship hundreds of thousands of items at any given time. If you have or plan to have multiple warehouse locations, you’ll want to select one warehouse to serve as a primary location, but also be integrated easily and in real time with your other locations so users can see current inventory levels when orders arrive. Having the ability to fulfill orders from a single screen saves a huge amount of time and money and increases customer satisfaction.
Depending on the size, type of products, number of warehouses, and other factors, choosing the best warehouse management system takes time and evaluation, as well as realizing that some cheaper one-size-fits-all systems may not be able to ultimately grow with your business.
Online inventory management software is accessed directly through the internet, instead of through a program installed on your physical computers and servers. This greatly reduces your company’s hardware requirements, freeing up your drive and other peripherals for other tasks. In addition, the subscription-based pricing plans usually offered by these systems tend to be less expensive than traditional, desktop-based systems.
Warehouse inventory management Excel-based software is possible but very cumbersome if you have thousands of products to keep track of, with many sales and other factors causing levels to fluctuate.
You can certainly utilize free inventory management software in Excel, at least at the outset when product levels and sales are lower and easier to manage and keep track of. However, as your business grows, you’ll certainly be looking for something with more of the features your business needs and the flexibility to grow and change as your business does.
You can choose which Excel inventory template with formulas works best for your type of business, whether manufacturing, retailing, or something else.
One simple stock management software free download is Excel as well as Google and other spreadsheets. These are fairly easy to learn and use and don’t require a lot of investment upfront. That’s why they’re still in use for many smaller businesses, at least those with less inventory to track.
The system of inventory management Excel formulas has been used by warehouses and other businesses for years. However, one major drawback is the time spent on entering and updating data. This often leads to mistakes and omissions or duplications of inventory which can create problems with fulfilling customer orders. Items can be out of stock, for example, before updates show up on a spreadsheet, while your order department may not realize it and try to fulfill orders for products actually unavailable.
Learning how to create inventory management system in Excel or any other spreadsheet system isn’t really difficult, but it does require attention to detail and a good chunk of time spent entering and reentering data. If spreadsheets aren’t part of your skillset, there are plenty of online tutorials for those who have managed to get through running a business without having had to use it previously.
Are you looking for an inventory management app free of charge? Remember that you usually get what you pay for – plus they’re often limited in features and scalability.
In response to what type of inventory management software works best for warehouses, there are several options: directly installed into hardware (think: Amazon), which is usually designed for the huge inventories to be managed and requires professional installation and updates, open sourced (usually licensed), “free’ (more likely to be limited-time free trials) and cloud-based / subscription.
Using open source inventory management software - free download is a popular option, as it can be readily configured to suit the needs of the user, but does also normally require knowledge of PHP or another coding.
You can use a downloadable warehouse management system open source PHP but remember that you’ll probably need to hire help with installing it correctly, as PHP usually requires more technical IT expertise than many small business owners possess. Another drawback to open source/ licensed software is that once installed, anyone with PHP knowledge can accidentally or deliberately change the coding and other configurations, making it unusable until the problems are fixed.
Online, or subscription, software normally costs less than many installed plans, saving your hardware capacity requirements, as well as usually offering better options and more standard features than free or open source software or apps. This makes online inventory management software a more cost-effective choice for small businesses, as well as being more nimble and able to perform more tasks faster, increasing your business’s efficiency.
Remember that free downloads and other low-cost or free apps and software aren’t normally really “free” over the long term – most of these offers are really for a “Free Trial”, meaning that you get it for free for only a limited time, usually a couple of weeks or so, and it’s almost always a very scaled-down version of what you’d be expected to actually pay for.
If you’re looking for simple inventory software for small business and intend to stay on the small side, Ordoro can help. Unlike a lot of installed software designed for mega-warehouse operations such as Amazon’s, we focus on the needs of small-to-medium businesses such as yours.
Finding a good warehouse management system for small business can therefore be a challenge as so much installable or downloadable software is intended for larger sales and warehouse operations.
A great warehouse inventory management app such as that offered by Ordoro can not only help unify your inventory operation, but give you better control over managing the entire ecommerce business, including shipping, order fulfillment, tracking, and more. With Ordoro, you can do the following:
- Simplify Purchase Orders (P.O.s) by assigning products to their suppliers in bulk, making future purchase orders easy and fast. You can opt to strategically “oversell”, whether in inventory or not, and backorder from suppliers with a PO
- Unify inventory operations with Ordoro as a central hub, plugging in each sales channel, webstore, and supplier channel for integrated inventory in your multichannel business, adding warehouses or other fulfillment services, such as Fulfillment by Amazon or even dropshippers
- Streamline workflow with Ordoro’s app that lets you scan, set, and search for UPC barcodes for SKUs. The app also lets you tag products with bin and aisle locations, speeding up picking and packing time and improving order fulfillment accuracy
- Inventory software for small business with scanner-ability is possible with Ordoro’s barcode scanning app features by selecting either one or multiple orders, clicking on a button and the app pulls up items needing to be picked, scanned into the system, and packed for shipment, marking orders as “complete” once every item on the list is accounted for and scanned.
We believe that the best inventory management app is one that is versatile, reliable, easy to use, affordable, and developed to meet your unique ecommerce business requirements. Ordoro’s customers agree that we’re rated tops in all things inventory and shipping as well as other aspects of successfully running an ecommerce business.