17 Best Warehouse Inventory Management Software in 2022

Updated Sep 21, 2022.
Best Warehouse Inventory Management Software_

Every year, retailers lose a whopping $1.75 trillion in revenue to ineffective inventory management. This adds up to 11.7% of annual lost revenue for every business. Yet, 43% of small business owners either still use manual methods to track inventory or don’t track inventory at all. 

Meanwhile, 55% of SMB owners say that using inventory management software saves them up to five hours per week, and as many as 16% report time savings of more than a day. 

With warehouse management systems, you can address common challenges in warehouse management such as accurate inventory tracking, redundant processes, and time management.

If you are looking to dip your feet into digital warehouse management for the first time or to update your existing warehouse management solution, this article will help you. Here, we review 17 of the very best warehouse management systems and answer some frequently asked questions about warehouse management software.

We also cover the types of warehouse management software, the benefits of using one, and what features to look out for when trying to select a high-quality warehouse inventory management software.

List of the Best Warehouse Management Systems

1. Netsuite

Best Warehouse Inventory Management Software for Ecommerce Businesses.

Netsuite is the Best Warehouse Inventory Management Software for Ecommerce Businesses

Netsuite is a cloud-based ERP solution that gives users complete visibility and total control over their business in areas such as finance, payroll, cash flow, inventory, and more, all in a single tool.

Netsuite includes SuiteCommerce in its offerings, a solution designed specifically for e-commerce, in addition to tools for warehouse and inventory management. In a single tool, users get support for both B2B and B2C e-commerce. This way, those who offer more than one type of product or service can manage everything in one place. 

Netsuite SuiteCommerce includes features for real-time inventory visibility, order management across multiple channels, and order processing. The platform also includes point of sale, content management, and marketing functionalities, effectively offering a holistic way to manage e-commerce.

You can publish new content, create landing pages, and launch new promotions from within the platform. The drag-and-drop interface allows you to easily edit pages and manage content. You can also work on multiple versions of your sites simultaneously and schedule for future deployment.

Netsuite is scalable and extensible, offering a wide selection of extensions to enhance your site. It also offers new features and automatic updates with every release. 

Pricing 

Netsuite pricing is available upon request. They also offer a free product tour.

Pros

  • Offers inventory management, order management, and e-commerce marketing in one solution
  • Support for B2B and B2C
  • Supports order processing and management for multiple channels

Cons

  • Pricing is not transparent
  • Needs more prepackaged third-party integrations

2. Mobe3 WMS

Best Warehouse Stock Management Software for Optimizing Warehouse Layout and Picking Routes.

Mobe3 WMS is the Best Warehouse Stock Management Software for Optimizing Warehouse Layout and Picking Routes

If structuring your warehouse layout and amplifying your direct picking routes are important to you, then Mobe3 WMS might be the solution you need. Mobe3 WMS offers SmartBarcode scanning and system-directed picking that are designed to boost labor efficiency and eliminate manual error.

Mobe3 WMS is a cloud-based warehouse stock control software that automates inventory processes for mid-sized to large businesses. Currently, it is the only warehouse inventory system that simulates current warehouse operations and suggests improvements. 

The software is easy to implement and quick to set up and get started with. Its interface is easy to figure out and navigate, and it offers good training options. As far as usability is concerned, Mobe3 WMS scores very highly.

A very flexible and configurable tool, Mobe3 WMS can integrate with your ERP and other business software and systems like TMS, and MES. But there are a few issues with compatibility with previous iOS versions and other older smart devices.

Pricing

Mobe3 WMS has a free demo and pricing starts at $300 per user per month. 

Pros

  • User friendly
  • Easy to implement and get up and running

Cons

  • Issues with compatibility to previous iOS versions and older devices

3. SphereWMS

Best Warehouse Management System for Inventory Tracking.

SphereWMS is the Best Warehouse Management System for Inventory Tracking

SphereWMS gives full control, efficiency, and visibility over your warehouse operations with real-time web visibility and reports, flexible customization, wireless barcode scanning, and an iOS app.

Its inventory management features include control by inventory accounts, lot numbers, bin locations, serial numbers, and pallet/case IDs, as well as on-hand, in-transit, and on-order visibility. You can track the location, quantity, and history of any item in your warehouse in real-time. 

SphereWMS also lets you streamline your entire order process by integrating your customers’ requirements directly into the workflow and implementing fulfillment solutions designed to meet their needs. 

Without any training, users can use the Ad Hoc tool to create, save, schedule, and distribute reports automatically. The inbuilt document management system supports several types of file attachments. You also get round-the-clock IT support.

SphereWMS offers a robust list of third-party integrations, making it one of the most flexible warehouse management systems. Among the integration options available integrations with top online marketplaces and e-commerce platforms like Amazon, ClickFunnels, ApparelMagic, CS.cart, Bigcommerce, Blue Cherry, Etsy, Channel Advisor, Foxycart, Houzz, WooCommerce, NetSuite, PayPal, Prestashop, Salesforce, and many more. 

On the downside, this tool can be a bit complex to use, although this is because of the many extras required to ensure detailed information capture. The software is also one of the more expensive options on the market, relatively speaking. 

Pricing

SphereWMS offers a free and pricing is quote-based. 

Pros

  • Can accommodate any inventory solution needed
  • Highly flexible and modular
  • Implementation is quick
  • Top-of-the-line customer service

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Can be a bit complex to use

4. Infoplus

Best Warehouse Stock Management Software for Custom Reporting Dashboards.

Infoplus is the Best Warehouse Stock Management Software for Custom Reporting Dashboards

Infoplus is a full-service, web-based warehouse management system for controlling inventory and managing warehouse and shipping operations. 

Targeted towards small to mid-sized 3PLs, e-commerce merchants, and wholesalers, Infoplus offers features for inventory control, inbound and purchasing, outbound and shipping, building blocks, custom reporting dashboards, low stocks and stock controls, real-time order and shipment tracking, management by exception, and customer portals, among other features. 

One great thing about this platform is that you can manage several lines of businesses under a single platform. 

It also allows you to define distinct production line processes, is compatible with any iOS or Android-based device, and supports light manufacturing with print-on-demand and Kit On Demand capabilities. 

The platform includes over 120 third-party integrations with carts, carriers, and more. These include Amazon Seller Central, Cratejoy, Etsy, HSN, ChannelAdvisor, Walmart Marketplace, Walmart DSV (Drop Ship Vendor), and many more.

Pricing

As far as pricing is concerned, Infoplus offers some lower-cost options for startups and small businesses. Prices start at $379/month and go all the way up to $9,979/month for the Enterprise plan. 

Pros 

  • Native mobile application available
  • Easy and fast navigation
  • Easy to set up multiple warehouses

Cons

  • Security features are lacking

5. Odoo

Best All-in-one Solution for Warehouse Management and Sales.

Odoo is the Best All in one Solution for Warehouse Management and Sales

Odoo is a family of warehouse and sales applications that cover everything from websites, operations, sales, and productivity tools. As of 2021, Odoo is a fast-growing software solution with over 5 million users globally and is available in over 80 languages. The warehouse management software automatically replenishes your supply chain using order points and automated RFQs.

Odoo offers a full suite of software and applications so that you don't have to rely on external plugins as much. But even if you need them, you can always execute third-party integrations with Zapier. 

This approach to third-party integration may be cumbersome for some users. Customization can also be cumbersome.

For free, you can use one of the applications in the suite and you can add any other one at a modest additional cost. This makes it easily one of the most budget-friendly options on this list.

Pricing

Odoo Pricing Plan

Odoo offers a free basic plan for one application. Other applications attract different fees.

Pros 

  • Provides all the tools needed to manage a business
  • Easy to set up
  • Intuitive
  • Modules are well integrated

Cons

  • Customization and third-party integration can be cumbersome

6. SkuVault

Best Warehouse Inventory Management System for Third-Party Integrations. 

SkuVault is the Best Warehouse Inventory Management System for Third Party Integrations

SkuVault Is a cloud-based warehouse management solution targeted towards small and medium-sized businesses with a focus on e-commerce, but with extensive omnichannel capabilities. 

It features warehouse management features such as streamlined pick, pack, ship process, multi-warehouse inventory visibility, Hyper Picking, and product kitting.

SkuVault stands out for the sheer number of built-in integrations available within the system. 

Some of these integrations include Amazon, 3dcart, Back Market, eBay, Etsy, GeekSeller, Jet, Magento, Miva, Oracle Netsuite, Salesforce, Sellbrite, Shopify, WooCommerce, Zero, Square, ShipRush, RetailPro, Quickbooks, Mozu, Microsoft Dynamics, Logic Broker, InfoCon Systems, Feedonomics, Ecomitize, Anvizent, and many more. 

There's also a quality control system to help you ensure that all orders are fulfilled correctly. The system can automatically identify where an error occurred during the fulfillment process. 

Being cloud-based, the software works across all operating systems and offers mobile applications for Android, iOS, and Windows devices. 

Furthermore, SkuVault also helps to improve warehouse operations and reduce human error with such features as paperless wave picking, cycle counting, serialization, and replenishment reports.

By choosingSkuVault, you get access to a dedicated customer service team that includes onboarding specialists who are available 5 days a week. This is in addition to support documentation and community forums.

Pricing

SkuVault Pricing Plan

After the free demo, SkuVault starts at $269 per month billed annually. 

Pros

  • Timely and helpful customer service
  • Smooth integrations

Cons

  • No integration with Wayfair

7. Rackbeat

A Powerful Inventory Management System for Small to Mid-sized Businesses.

Rackbeat is a Powerful Inventory Management System for Small to Mid sized Businesses

Built for small to mid-sized businesses in many Industries, Rackbeat is a cloud-based warehouse management platform that offers easy integrations with ERP, e-commerce, POS, freight, and communication systems. 

Rackbeat simplifies inventory management and operations by eliminating the need for many time-consuming tasks that are normally done manually. It is compatible with mobile devices and available in multiple languages. 

With the order management system, businesses can streamline sales workflows. You can add delivery notes, create invoices, and access digital and physical shipping labels.

The platform supports multiple currencies and can integrate with any existing accounting systems you may have in place. 

Plus, you can set up Rackbeat to send automated notifications when stock levels get too low. You can access customized data like value reportsAndroidon quantity, estimated value, cost, and other such data.

Customer support is available via email, phone, or helpdesk. 

Pricing

Rackbeat Pricing Plan

Rackbeat pricing starts at $50/user/month and goes up to $100/user/month.

Pros

  • Super fast and easy to set up
  • Fast and serious support team

8. ChannelAdvisor

An All-inclusive Warehouse and Inventory Management Platform That Enhances Competitiveness.

ChannelAdvisor is an All inclusive Warehouse and Inventory Management Platform That Enhances Competitiveness

ChannelAdvisor Enterprise is a cloud-based platform that provides a suite of e-commerce solutions to help businesses connect with consumers across the world, optimize operations, expand sales channels, and improve their online performance.

It provides actionable insights that empower businesses to boost fulfillment and drive sales across several marketplaces such as Walmart, Facebook, Amazon, Google eBay, and many more.

ChannelAdvisor Enterprise enables e-commerce businesses to operate at peak performance, thereby facilitating enhanced competitiveness. It is a truly limitless platform and an all-inclusive solution that allows you to manage everything from product listings to inventory levels, SEO, and pricing rules & models.

In other words, ChannelAdvisor Enterprise is a complete warehouse management system that streamlines selling, marketing, and fulfillment. It is a reliable e-commerce platform that aligns with the latest e-commerce trends and technologies.

By offering an all-in-one platform that allows you to sell, market, and fulfill orders with unprecedented ease, ChannelAdvisor eliminates the cost and hassle of setting up multiple complex integrations with third-party systems. 

Moreover, ChannelAdvisor allows you to use your existing business rules to come up with dynamic product prices. You can set the prices of your products based on demand and performance. In other words, your price is automatically adjusted according to the latest sales trends. When demand drops, prices drop, and vice versa.

ChannelAdvisor also comes with a shipping management module. This module allows you to expedite deliveries by staying connected to reliable shipping partners. From a centralized interface, you can streamline pick lists, process bulk orders, print labels, and create personalized packing slips.

With seamless integration to popular marketplaces, you can manage orders easily and automate tasks to speed up deliveries. 

Pricing

ChannelAdvisor is priced on a quote basis; so, you will need to contact the vendor for pricing information.

Pros 

  • Highly customizable
  • Beautiful interface

Cons

  • Setup can be tedious

9. Aptean IRMS360

Best Warehouse Management System for Reporting.

Aptean IRMS360 is the Best Warehouse Management System for Reporting

Available as both a cloud-based and on-premise solution, Aptean IRMS360 Is a warehouse management system that provides organizations with a 360-degree view of their supply chain whether they operate from a single site on multiple sites

Through custom performance dashboards, the system provides real-time visibility of all processes, people, and products as they move through your supply chain facilities.

There are mobile apps available for iOS, Android, and Windows devices. There are also extensive integrations with various third-party systems. Some of these integrations include Oracle, QuickBooks, Salesforce.com, SAP, Amazon RDS, Amazon Redshift, Amazon S3, Derby DB, Google Storage, JavaDB, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and many more.

The system contains features for the receipt, storage, and movement of both personnel and inventory within the warehouse. There are also advanced features for yard management, third-party billing, transportation management, labor management, and demand planning. 

Aptean WMS is suitable for organizations in wholesale distribution, healthcare, food and beverage, drug, automotive and aftermarket parts, third-party logistics, metals, publishing, and other such businesses that demand inventory management of any kind. 

Pricing

Pricing is available upon request, and there is a free demo available. 

Pros

  • Awesome reports and performance dashboards

Cons

  • Limited character count for document naming
  • Weak search functionality

10. HighJump

Best Warehouse Stock Management Software for Warehouse Automation.

HighJump is the Best Warehouse Stock Management Software for Warehouse Automation

With HighJump WMS, organizations can more effectively and efficiently manage complex supply chains while keeping operating costs low. The platform is designed to seamlessly handle the complexities that come with the shift towards omnichannel retail and e-commerce growth, both of which complicate logistics. 

The platform is thoroughly scalable and mobile-enabled, which means that HighJump’s agile and innovative capabilities can help businesses respond more quickly and intelligently to the needs of the market. Its functionalities prioritize both the customer and experience and regulatory compliance. 

Despite being fast and easy to use, HighJump WMS does not compromise on capabilities for large volume and enterprise-level complexity. There are requirements for industry regulations, business objectives, distribution model, and operational complexity, all available within the platform. 

The solution can be scaled according to the needs of organizations of any size from businesses that operate out of a single location to multi-facility multinationals. It integrates with all the major ERP systems, with integration upgrades done carefully to avoid compromising the quality of work. 

Pricing

Pricing is available upon request.

Pros 

  • Works just as well for small businesses as it does for large enterprises

Cons

  • Steep learning curve

11. Brightpearl

Best Warehouse Management System for Fast-growing and Larger Merchants.

Brightpearl is the Best Warehouse Management System for Fast growing and Larger Merchants

Brightpearl is an omnichannel management solution that allows retailers to manage inventory, orders, real-time accounting, customer data, and reporting, all in a single place. 

The platform also offers real-time insights into customer buying behavior, profitability by SKU and channel, inventory, cash flow, and more. 

Brightpearl integrates seamlessly with the retail tech ecosystem, including shopping carts like Shopify, Magento, and Bigcommerce, as well as marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. This gives businesses access to many new channels to grow into. 

With its high-performance marketplace and e-commerce connectors, Brightpearl is capable of processing 25,000 orders per hour

On top of that, the platform ensures accurate and timely shipments by integrating with major shipping carriers like Shipstation and Shiptheory. Plus, you get integrated iOS point-of-sale. 

Brightpearl is built to handle peak trading reliably. Ongoing tech support and business consultancy are provided by an in-house team. The platform is designed to be used by merchants, not IT staff. 

You get real-time accounting with support for multiple currencies. The system provides a clear view of your inventory across all your sales channels, and you get full automation of key processes.

Pricing

Brightpearl Pricing Plan

Contact the vendor to discuss your specific requirements and get a quote for a solution that meets your needs. 

Pros 

  • Available integrations are extensive

Cons

  • Steep learning curve

Best Warehouse Management System for SMBs.

Blue Link ERP is the Best Warehouse Management System for SMBs

Blue Link ERP is a cloud-based all-in-one solution for inventory management and accounting targeted towards small to mid-sized businesses. From handling the back office to managing logistical and operational requirements, this software has you covered. It can also be deployed as an on-premise solution. 

The tool has a well-laid-out interface, with details and images sensibly organized for improved readability and accessibility. The UI is designed in such a familiar way that users of any level of expertise can easily find their way around the system. 

The system integrates with tablets and barcode scanning devices, rate shopping applications, and common carriers. 

One key feature that makes it useful to businesses in the food and beverage, medical supplies, and pharmaceutical industries is that it tracks lot numbers and expiration dates of products

The accounting component of Blue Link ERP features in-house payroll, multi-location, multi-currency, and multi-language support functionalities. The solution comes with the standard accounting modules — like accounts receivable, accounts payable, return merchandizing authorization, and job costing — built-in. 

On the inventory tracking side, the system includes features for order entry, inventory management, and purchasing and procurement

Support is available via email and phone. 

Pricing

The cloud-based version of Blue Link ERP is available on a monthly subscription, while on-premise deployment warrants an upfront investment. 

Pros 

  • Full-service ERP solution for retailers and wholesalers

Cons

  • Difficult onboarding process with little support from the vendor during this time

13. Clear Spider

A Cloud-based Warehouse Management System with Order Management, Inventory Control, Mobile Solutions, 3PL, and more.

Clear Spider is a flexible cloud based warehouse management system

Clear Spider is a flexible cloud-based warehouse management system that allows small and mid-sized businesses to streamline their inventory management processes and provides functionalities that are not provided by most inventory management systems these days.

With Clear Spider, users can monitor their customers’ inventory and automatically replenish their stock. Customers can also place new orders simply and quickly at the click of a button. The platform is used by over 100,000 companies across the world.

As the system is cloud-based, inventory can be managed without any geographical constraints, including from the warehouse, office, storage locations, or even on the go. Being cloud-based is also advantageous for maintenance and updates. 

Moreover, the system is completely customizable. The backend processes can be shaped to mirror your business’s workflow. By eliminating non-value-adding functionalities, the system allows for intuitive navigation. Quickly and easily, users can find the tools they need to get their work done. 

Clear Spider gives new users access to a project manager right from their first demo to post-implementation. This makes the onboarding process smooth and efficient. With the mobile app, users gain real-time visibility and inventory accuracy on the go. You can even use your smartphone camera to scan items efficiently. 

Pricing

Clear Spider is available in three plans: Basic, Premium, and Ultimate. Contact the vendor for pricing information and other product details. 

Pros

  • Streamlined onboarding with dedicated project managers

Cons

  • Has some weird limitations; for example, it can only automatically send a system-generated purchase order to one vendor email address, instead of multiple ones.

14. Fishbowl Warehouse

Warehouse and Manufacturing Operation Management System That Automatically Updates Inventory and Accounting Records with Easy Integrations.

Fishbowl Warehouse offers a holistic view of manufacturing and inventory management operations

Fishbowl offers a holistic view of your manufacturing and inventory management operations. It works across multiple warehouse locations, which means that you get real-time updates regarding the stock levels of all materials in each location. 

This means that your manufacturing operations are made smooth and seamless by ensuring that you have enough supplies and that all your tools are in proper working order. The solution is ideal for businesses of all sizes. 

Besides its manufacturing and inventory management components, Fishbowl has other modules, too. It has a shipping module that connects you with your various shipping partners, making it easier to dispatch and track the delivery of customers’ orders. 

Fishbowl can also be tailored to your business processes with custom fields in different parts of the interface. And you can request custom reports if you cannot find the report you need from the over 100 report options available in the system.

Additionally, you can get retail software and hardware with Fishbowl’s checkout offering if you need a sales and payment processing system. This allows you to process payments and orders seamlessly as the order information is sent directly to your Fishbowl platform account. 

Plus, there are extensive third-party integrations available with Fishbowl, including integrations with Xero and QuickBooks, all kinds of CRMs, payment gateways, and merchant services. 

Mobile devices are not left out as Fishbowl offers support for mobile scanners, as well as retail and pocket scanners. 

Pricing

Fishbowl Starting Price
Source : G2.com

Pricing for Fishbowl Warehouse starts at a one-time fee of $4,395. The amount you pay will depend on the number of user licenses you require. 

Pros

  • Amazing customer support

Cons

  • Some reports are paid

15. Manhattan WMS

Best Supply Chain Management Tool for Proprietary AI and Machine Learning.

Manhattan WMS is the Best Supply Chain Management Tool for Proprietary AI and Machine Learning

Manhattan Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a highly flexible and mobile platform that applies proprietary AI and machine learning algorithms to supply chain management. 

With Manhattan, supply chain managers can perform all sorts of inventory management tasks and fulfill orders. You can maximize all types of house resources, from robotics to associate and automation.

The platform has capabilities for order streamlining that optimize throughput and fulfillment simultaneously. It uses advanced proprietary algorithms to optimize and organize supply chain operations. 

From its intuitive user interface, users can optimize and manage all aspects of fulfillment centers effortlessly, including inventory, labor, and space. The system also ensures compliance with regulations and standards while maintaining system security. 

Users get two deployment options: on-premise deployment and cloud deployment. There are also modern mobile applications to help users manage omnichannel fulfillment. 

The program expedites back-ordered products by streamlining receiving and shipping. It improves the financial performance of companies and boosts customer satisfaction by increasing inventory turns and speeding up order processing. 

Pricing

Pricing for Manhattan WMS starts at $1000 for a cloud-based license and $2000 for on-premises installation.

Pros

  • Applies AI and machine learning to improve supply chain operations

Cons

  • No integrations stated.

16. Zoho Inventory

A Warehouse Management Tool that is Best for Users Already Invested in the Zoho Ecosystem. 

Zoho Inventory is a Warehouse Management Tool that is Best for Users Already Invested in the Zoho Ecosystem

A member of Zoho’s world-renowned advanced productivity suite, Zoho helps organizations automate their order and inventory management processes, as well as keep track of deliveries and make smarter business decisions. 

Suitable for e-commerce businesses of all sizes, it integrates with several cloud retailers and the most popular shipping methods right out of the gate. 

The software offers end-to-end inventory tracking, keeping track of inventory from the moment a product is ordered to the moment it reaches the final delivery destination. Mobile tracking is provided with Android and iOS apps. 

Users also get a powerful analytics and reporting kit, diverse selling channels, automatic replenishments, billing and invoicing, full order fulfillment and management, and so on.

On top of all that, Zoho Inventory is compatible with the rest of Zoho’s productivity suite, allowing data to flow seamlessly between the individual programs in the ecosystem. This is great news for those who are already invested in the Zoho ecosystem.

It means that with a single account, you can manage your supply chain, sell, manager your team, and manage customer relationships, all with a single Zoho account.

Pricing

Zoho Inventory Pricing Plan

After the free trial plan, Zoho Inventory is available in five enterprise plans that range from free to $299 per month. 

Pros

  • Integrates seamlessly with the rest of the Zoho ecosystem

Cons

  • Could use more out-of-the-box integrations
  • Onboarding experience is lacking

17. Infor CloudSuite WMS

A WMS Which Allows Users to Manage Multiple Channels from a Single Warehouse.

Infor CloudSuite WMS is a WMS Which Allows Users to Manage Multiple Channels from a Single Warehouse

Infor Cloudsuite WMS combines core warehouse management functionality with task management, wave management, labor management, and 3PL management, all on a single, customizable, scalable platform. 

The open API framework and modern user interface make advanced features like Web RF, voice processing, and 3D visual warehousing possible, and you can manage multiple channels (including B2B and B2C) from a single warehouse. 

Infor Cloudsuite WMS has been proven to be a great solution, being named a Leader on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems. 

It offers benefits such as reduced operating expenses, just-in-time inventory, efficient labor utilization, improved customer and supplier relationships, enhanced security, inbound and outbound optimization, and enhanced inventory visibility. 

The platform is available as both a cloud-based solution and an on-premises. 

Pricing

Contact the vendor for pricing information.

Pros

  • Built-in support for receipt imports and exports 
  • Serial number handling available

Cons

  • Limited customization options
  • Poorly-designed user interface

Warehouse Management Software Comparison Criteria

Here’s a summary of what we look for when we evaluate WMS software: 

1. Usability

We look for systems that are easy to learn and master. Systems that do not have a steep learning curve are more ideal than those that do. 

We also look for systems that have great customer support, tutorials, training, and any other materials that can make the onboarding process easier and more seamless.

2. User Interface

We look for systems with clean and attractive user interfaces. We prefer user interfaces that are less cluttered and are designed to not just look good, but feel intuitive to the user.

3. Integrations

Gone are the days when it was normal to manually transfer data between computer programs or systems. These days, we create and consume so much data that extensibility is a must. 

In other words, all the software tools we use need to talk to each other and exchange data seamlessly and automatically

For WMS, we look for systems that connect easily with other tools like CRMs, supply chain management, enterprise resource planning, transportation management, and retail operations tools, for example. Naturally, we prefer systems to have more pre-built integrations. Bonus points for systems with an open API.

4. Features

We look for scalable systems; i.e., we want systems that can grow with your company. 

We also prefer systems that offer end-to-end transaction management. Such systems will manage every step of the warehousing process, from receiving to purchasing, sales order tracking, order picking, shipping, and so on. 

Moreover, we look for systems that can handle multiple business channels (including direct-to-customer, retail, wholesale), especially as most businesses these days adopt an omnichannel strategy. 

Lastly, we choose systems that deliver robust reports and analytics that are customizable, flexible, and visually appealing. Preferably, users should be able to export the reports into different file types for review.

5. Value for Money

We look for systems that deliver the most bang for the buck. They must be priced appropriately for the features, use cases, and capabilities offered. We also prefer that pricing be clear and transparent.

What is a Warehouse Management System?

A warehouse management system (WMS) consists of software and processes that are designed to allow organizations to control and manage warehouse operations and functionality, as well as to support and optimize distribution center management from the time goods enter a warehouse until they are shipped out.

A WMS is critical to the success of any business that runs a warehouse of any kind as it ties all aspects of your supply chain together. It is a necessity for running warehouses efficiently as it allows you to streamline and consolidate your warehouse processes into a single platform.

Types of Warehouse Management Systems

The most common types of WMS are as follows:

1. Standalone System

These systems are the simplest type as they come with limited features. As such, they are generally less expensive and are best suited to smaller warehouse operations or those that may want to use them alongside a more advanced supply chain management solution without integrating a new system.

2. ERP Module

For businesses looking to expand and improve their supply chain operations, an ERP module is considered one of the best options. Although warehouse management may not be a core component of an ERP module, it is great for consolidating operations into one platform. 

This can be particularly beneficial to robust organizations with large supply chain operations, offering all-in-one solutions for accounting, supply chain operations, project management, customer service, risk management, and purchasing.

3. Cloud-based Platform

Businesses that need fast implementation and added convenience will do well to go for a cloud-based WMS platform. A cloud-based system also comes with other benefits like less maintenance, increased security, and lower costs. They are also more scalable and highly flexible.

4. Supply Chain Module

Basic warehouse operations are only a small piece of the supply chain equation. There are several other aspects of the supply chain that need oversight, too. This is where supply chain modules come in.

In addition to warehouse management capabilities, supply chain modules also feature functionalities for customer service, transportation management, vendor management, inventory control, etc.

Benefits of Using Warehouse Management Software

There are many benefits of using a WMS. A good WMS:

  • will help you to streamline and optimize your warehouse processes.
  • will help you more efficiently allocate labor. It may even do this automatically for you.
  • will boost employee morale by providing structure in your business as employees will have more clarity about what they need to do, when, and where.
  • will reduce delivery lead times and improve order accuracy, thereby improving customer satisfaction and supplier relationships.
  • can help reduce operational expenses by eliminating waste in labor, space, and materials.
  • will give you a clearer view of your entire business in one place, eliminating issues like shipping issues and the likes. 
  • can improve security and reduce pilferage and other forms of shrinkage. It does this by requiring workers to enter transactions with their unique user accounts, thereby making them more accountable. 
  • can help you continue to improve your business operations by providing reports and analytics.

What Features Should I Look for in Warehouse Inventory Management Software Systems?

At its core, a good WMS should be able to handle receiving and returns, third-party software integrations, warehouse logistics, and provide robust reporting and forecasting tools.

1. Receiving and Returns

One of the primary purposes of WMSs is to maintain the proper balance of inventory. The best WMSs will record shipments and returns into your storage facilities. Such a WMS can boost inventory efficiency by preventing overstocking. It will also prevent out-of-stocks and oversells by keeping tabs on product quantities in real-time.

2. Third-party Integrations

You want to limit manual work as much as possible when it comes to inventory management. This is especially true as you scale. One aspect of business management that takes up a lot of time is manually transferring data between software or systems. 

You will need a system that links seamlessly with order processing and logistics management to efficiently pick, pack, and ship orders to and from your facility

Ideally, your inventory management software should integrate with channel management software to track sales across all your storefronts and sales channels. 

It should also integrate with most, if not all, of the other software you use to run your business such as accounting software, online store platforms, ERP platforms, and so on.

3. Warehouse Logistics

The system you choose should also be able to handle the modeling and management of the logical representation of your physical storage facilities and racking. This is one of the areas where a WMS makes the most significant improvements to the efficiency of your operations. Efficiencies created here can produce significant cost savings. 

As labor costs amount to around 65% of the budget of most warehouse operations, making your employees more efficient will result in dramatically lower operating costs.

And one of the biggest time-suckers for warehouse employees is travel time to retrieve goods; they spend as much as half their time on this part of the picking process. 

If you can reduce the amount of time employees spend walking between pickup locations, you can improve their productivity and save time and money. Even the smallest efficiencies created here could mean a lot for your bottom line.

For example, to optimize your warehouse operations, you could place products that usually sell together physically close to each other. Or you could place your most popular items near the delivery area so that they are within easy reach for picking, packing, and shipping to customers.

4. Reporting and Forecasting

The ability to track product locations, storage, and supply chains is another must-have feature of warehouse management platforms. With this feature, you can optimize your inventory and maximize your warehouse space. 

The reporting and forecasting tools on warehouse management systems can help you make better business decisions backed by data. Such reports show which SKUs sell the best or fastest, predict optimal stocking and pricing levels, showcase historical data, and lots more.

Warehouse Management System FAQ

What is the main objective of a warehouse management system?

The main objective of a warehouse management system is to computerize and automate your warehouse and inventory management procedures to improve your efficiency and reduce operational costs.

How do warehouse management systems work?

There are different types of warehouse management systems and each works differently from the others. But there are similar basic functionality and features like inventory tracking, handheld barcode or RFID scanners, shipment tracking, label and packing slip printing, supporting staff, navigating pallets and inventory storage, and so on.

What are some free warehouse management systems?

While a lot of warehouse management solutions command hefty price tags, there are some good free options available for small warehouse operations. These include options like Odoo, Stockpile, PartKeeper, and Skyware.

Which Warehouse Inventory Management Solution Should I Pick?

There are many factors to consider before choosing the warehouse management solution that will work best for you. You must first consider the current size of your supply chain operations and how much you plan to grow. 

You will have to decide if you need mobile and cloud capabilities, both of which mean that you and your team may have to learn new technologies. You’ll also want something that works with the existing systems you have in place in other parts of your business. 

Here are our recommendations: 

  • For e-commerce businesses, Netsuite is hard to beat.
  • Mobe3 WMS sets the standard for optimizing warehouse layouts and picking routes.
  • If you need an all-in-one solution for both sales and warehouse management, Odoo is a great option.
  • And for rapidly growing or large, established merchants, Brightpearl is most likely the best choice.

Martin Luenendonk

Editor at FounderJar

Martin loves entrepreneurship and has helped dozens of entrepreneurs by validating the business idea, finding scalable customer acquisition channels, and building a data-driven organization. During his time working in investment banking, tech startups, and industry-leading companies he gained extensive knowledge in using different software tools to optimize business processes.

This insights and his love for researching SaaS products enables him to provide in-depth, fact-based software reviews to enable software buyers make better decisions.