Top 5 Inventory Management Tools for 2024 and How to Integrate Them in a Single App
Table of contents
Inventory management is a critical operation in the retail, manufacturing, and e-commerce industries. Inefficiencies can lead to overstocking or under-stocking, resulting in high storage costs or lost sales. There's also the risk of inaccurate inventory tracking causing errors and inefficiencies. Without clear visibility into inventory trends, businesses may struggle to make informed decisions for production planning and demand forecasting. A good inventory management app facilitates smoother, accurate, and cost-effective business operations.
In this article, we explore some of the most popular inventory management tools available in 2024. And how they can be integrated into a single application for a comprehensive and unified management experience.
The increasing importance of inventory management tools
Consider a growing e-commerce business that is struggling to keep track of inventory levels manually as orders increase. Without an inventory management tool, they lack real-time visibility into stock levels, leading to inefficiencies, customer dissatisfaction, and potential revenue loss.
Inventory management tools are no longer a luxury but a necessity for businesses, regardless of their size. They help track stock levels, manage orders, and provide valuable insights into inventory trends.
Industries such as retail, manufacturing, and e-commerce are showing are increasingly adopting these tools. Accurate inventory tracking is crucial in retail to avoid overstocking or under-stocking products, which can result in increased storage costs or lost sales opportunities. For manufacturing businesses, effective inventory management ensures the availability of the right materials and components for production, minimizing delays and optimizing resource allocation. In the e-commerce industry, where order volumes can fluctuate rapidly, inventory management tools provide real-time visibility into stock levels, enabling prompt fulfillment of customer orders and avoiding stockouts.
If your business operates in one of these industries, here is a list of inventory management tools to streamline your operations and improve efficiency.
Top 5 inventory management tools for 2024
There are many inventory management tools on the market, and each of them have unique features and capabilities. To make your decision-making easier, we've created a shortlist of what we think are the top five tools:
Inventory management software
Free 1 user, $39 USD/month for 2 users
$349 USD/month for 3 users
$329 USD/month for 2 users
Free 1 user, $49 USD/month standard for 2 users
$129 USD/month for 1 user
Top Zoho Inventory features
Zoho Inventory is an all-in-one inventory management system that offers a wide range of features such as multichannel selling, order management, and inventory control.
Item management: Supports various tasks such as item grouping and bundling to efficiently organize inventory by categorizing similar items together. Zoho provides multi-warehouse management to operate in multiple locations or have multiple storage facilities. Serial and batch tracking keep track of individual items or batches of items.
Customer lifecycle: Lifecycle features include sales order management - the process of receiving and managing customer orders, invoicing, and packaging and shipping. Invoicing manages generating and sending invoices to customers for the products or services they have purchased, and packaging and shipping generates packing slips, sources real-time shipping rates, and prints labels.
Vendor relations: Manages vendor price lists for regular vendors, and automatically updates prices. It also includes a purchase order and billing solution to maintain your purchase order history and keep track of unpaid bills. Additionally, it handles back orders and drop shipments, allowing you to create backorders or initiate drop shipments.
Top Cin7 Inventory features
Cin7 is a unified, automated inventory management platform that provides real-time stock visibility, enabling you to make informed decisions.
Multi-channel selling: Cin7 allows you to manage sales across various channels, such as online marketplaces and physical stores, from a single platform. This streamlines order management and ensures accurate stock updates across all channels.
Order management: You can efficiently handle the entire order lifecycle, from order creation to fulfillment and shipping. It includes features like order tracking, pick and pack, and shipping label generation.
B2B e-commerce: Cin7 provides a B2B e-commerce platform that allows you to create custom portals for your wholesale customers. This enables seamless ordering, personalized pricing, and easy management of customer-specific catalogs.
Top Fishbowl Inventory features
Fishbowl offers advanced inventory tracking and warehouse management features, making it a favorite among manufacturing and wholesale businesses.
The top three features of Fishbowl Inventory are:
Advanced inventory tracking and warehouse management: Fishbowl offers robust features for tracking inventory in real time and managing warehouse operations efficiently. This includes functionalities such as stock level monitoring, inventory transfers, and barcode scanning.
Manufacturing and wholesale focus: Fishbowl is particularly popular among manufacturing and wholesale businesses. It provides specialized features and tools to streamline production processes, manage bills of materials (BOM), handle work orders, and track costs associated with manufacturing.
Integration capabilities: Offers deep integrations with various accounting software, e-commerce platforms, and shipping carriers. This enables seamless data synchronization and workflow automation, reducing manual data entry and improving overall efficiency.
Top Sortly Inventory features
Sortly is a visual inventory management tool that allows you to organize items with photos, QR labels, and custom tags.
Visual inventory management: Sortly allows you to organize items using photos, QR labels, and custom tags. This visual approach makes it easy to locate and identify items quickly, improving overall inventory management efficiency.
Customizable fields and categories: Provides the flexibility to create custom fields and categories to suit your specific inventory management needs. You can tailor the system to match your organizational structure and workflow, ensuring a seamless integration with your existing processes.
Real-time tracking and notifications: Offers real-time tracking of inventory movements and updates. You can receive notifications when items are added, moved, or removed from your inventory, enabling you to stay informed about inventory changes and take necessary actions promptly.
Top Katana Inventory features
Katana is an intuitive tool designed for modern manufacturers. It offers visual production planning, real-time inventory tracking, and more.
Visual production planning: Katana offers a visual approach to production planning, allowing you to easily visualize and manage your manufacturing processes. This feature helps optimize production schedules, allocate resources efficiently, and streamline workflows.
Real-time inventory tracking: It provides real-time visibility into your inventory levels, allowing you to monitor stock levels, track materials, and manage orders effectively. This feature helps prevent stockouts, minimize overstocking, and optimize inventory management.
Intuitive user interface: Katana is designed with a user-friendly interface that simplifies the inventory management process. Its intuitive layout and navigation make it easy to navigate through different features and functionalities, enhancing the user experience and productivity.
To build or to buy an inventory management tool?
The decision to "build versus buy" is a critical one when it comes to choosing an inventory management tool.
Building a custom inventory management app allows you to tailor the solution to your unique business requirements, ensuring a perfect fit for your inventory management processes. Unlike off-the-shelf solutions, a custom app gives you full control over features, functionalty, and the user interface. You can customize the app to address specific challenges or unique aspects of your business. Additionally, a custom app provides ongoing support and updates and as your business grows, your inventory management needs may change. With a custom app, you can easily incorporate new features or modify existing ones to meet the changing demands of your business.
But it can also be a complex endeavor, as it requires seamless integration with existing systems, real-time data updates, and user-friendly interfaces. One of the main challenges is integrating the app with various existing systems and software that are already in place within the organization. Another challenge is ensuring real-time data updates and synchronization across different modules of the app.
Appsmith can help bridge the gap and integrate your inventory management tools
Appsmith is a low-code application platform that allows you to quickly and easily build your inventory management applications. It provides a click-and-drag interface for placing UI widgets such as buttons, tables, and form inputs. Additionally, it can connect to a wide range of data sources, including popular inventory management software.
Using Appsmith, you can choose the inventory management tools that work best for you and consolidate the data they collect into a single interface. This saves time and reduces the confusion that comes with juggling multiple platforms. You can also easily develop custom extensions to add capabilities to existing platforms without having to rip-and-replace an entire system.
Key features in Appsmith to build a single view of your inventory app
Custom Integrations and Widgets
Inventory management systems often need to integrate with other tools and software. Custom integrations and widgets allow the app to be tailored to the specific needs of the business, enabling seamless connectivity with other applications in use.
Versioning with Git (Unlimited Repos)
Versioning is important to track changes in the inventory database over time. Git versioning, especially with unlimited repositories, allows for efficient management of changes, rollback in case of errors, and collaboration among multiple users.
Granular Access Controls by Roles and Attributes
This is crucial for an inventory management app as it ensures that users have the appropriate level of access based on their roles and attributes. This helps in maintaining data security and preventing unauthorized access to sensitive information.
Tracking and recording all activities within the inventory management system is essential for accountability, compliance, and troubleshooting. Audit logs provide a detailed history of user actions, changes, and system events.
User Provisioning and Group Sync through SCIM
Simplifying user onboarding and ensuring that access permissions are automatically synchronized through SCIM (System for Cross-domain Identity Management) helps in maintaining an up-to-date and secure user directory.
Start building your inventory management application with Appsmith
Easily get started with your inventory application by forking the "Inventory Management Dashboard" template, which gives you an immediate head start. You can also follow our documentation to create your application from scratch.
Our free cloud-hosted community version is perfect for beginners. As your project grows and demands more customization and support, you can upgrade to our Business or Enterprise plans. To see if our Enterprise plan suits your use cases, you can chat with a team member today.