Is your small business still using a spreadsheet to track inventory and orders? If so, you’re likely feeling the pain of system inefficiencies and missed opportunities.
In today’s market, it’s essential to have a robust warehouse management system (WMS) in place to help you compete and grow.
But with so many systems on the market, how do you pick the best warehouse management software for your business?
To help you, we’ve compiled a list of the 12 top warehouse management systems for small businesses based on our industry trends and customer feedback analysis.
We’ll also go over:
- What a warehouse management system is
- Some of the problems that small businesses face with warehouse operations, and
- Highlight some of the top warehouse management systems that specifically benefit small businesses.
Let’s dive in.
What is a warehouse management system?
A warehouse management system is a complex, multi-faceted software program that helps businesses manage and streamline warehouse operations.
Typically, warehouse management systems are designed to scale up to suit the needs of larger, more established companies. However, many small businesses can also benefit from using them as well.
In particular, these systems can help to optimize warehouse or distribution center processes such as receiving, picking, and shipping.
Additionally, warehouse management systems offer real-time tracking capabilities to help small businesses manage inventory levels and improve efficiency, especially when dealing with multiple warehouses.
To put a fine point on it, warehouse management systems are essential for any business looking to optimize its warehouse operations, increase customer satisfaction, and boost its bottom line.
Why small businesses need warehouse management software
In today’s dynamic business environment, maintaining operational efficiency is paramount, and for small businesses, the value of warehouse management software (WMS) cannot be overstated.
This digital tool serves as a game-changing asset that brings streamlined, automated processes to what was previously a manual and often tedious task.
Automation of warehouse processes
Automating warehouse processes is one of the primary benefits of WMS. It drastically reduces the possibility of human error, which is common in manual entries.
Tasks such as stock tracking, order picking, and data entry can be streamlined or entirely automated, creating more seamless and efficient supply chain operations.
Furthermore, it standardizes processes, ensuring a consistently high level of accuracy and reducing the chance of discrepancies that affect business operations.
Streamlining warehouse operations
Streamlining warehouse operations is another key benefit. A robust WMS can greatly enhance productivity by consolidating tasks, optimizing routes for product picking, and effectively managing inventory levels.
This allows the business to process more orders faster, thus directly impacting the bottom line in a positive way.
Are you seeing a pattern here?
Regardless of the specifics, the real benefit of warehouse management software is that it frees up valuable time for small business owners, enabling them to shift their attention from administrative and logistical tasks to more strategic, growth-focused aspects of their business.
Solving common warehouse management problems
Implementing a warehouse management system can resolve several operational issues that small businesses often encounter.
Poor Inventory Visibility
One such problem is poor inventory visibility. With traditional, manual methods, it’s challenging to maintain a real-time, accurate view of inventory levels.
WMS solutions, however, offer real-time tracking and visibility of inventory, enabling businesses to make informed decisions regarding stock management and thus reduce the risk of overstocking or understocking.
Manual Reporting and Tracking
Another problem is the labor-intensive task of manual reporting and tracking. Manually collating and analyzing data not only consumes a substantial amount of time but also increases the risk of errors.
WMS provides the ability to automate these tasks, leading to more accurate, timely, and actionable reports that can help businesses make strategic decisions.
Inefficiencies in Picking and Packing Processes
Finally, WMS can address inefficiencies in picking and packing processes. In a manual system, workers must often rely on memory or written lists, which can lead to mistakes and inefficiencies.
On the other hand, a WMS employs sophisticated algorithms to optimize these processes, reducing the time taken and improving the accuracy of order fulfillment.
Benefits of using warehouse management software
Warehouse management software (WMS) has many benefits for small businesses.
Its features and capabilities allow you to streamline operations, improve accuracy, reduce errors, save costs, and also scale along with your growing business.
Efficiency in operations
WMS platforms are a game-changer when it comes to warehouse optimization.
For example, a WMS reduces the time it takes to pick, pack, and ship products, meaning customers receive their orders faster.
This operational efficiency also extends to business practices outside the warehouse. With shipping and receiving tracked in one centralized system, businesses can offer more responsive customer service.
Increased visibility is another crucial advantage of a WMS. Real-time inventory insights make estimating needed supplies easier, thereby eliminating backorders.
This improved visibility reduces dead stock and ensures more accurate fulfillment of customer orders.
A WMS greatly minimizes the chances of human error in warehouse operations. It uses technologies like barcoding to simplify and streamline processes such as picking, packing, and receiving.
By reducing human error, a WMS ensures customers are more likely to receive the correct order, enhancing customer satisfaction and trust.
A WMS can result in significant cost savings for businesses. Tools such as demand reporting, forecasting, and inventory management improve operations and increase efficiency, leading to reduced labor costs.
In addition, by streamlining warehouse processes and reducing mis-ships, a WMS can save on transportation and related costs.
Scalability for growing business
Finally, a WMS is an excellent tool for a growing business. As your operations expand, a WMS scales with your needs, making identifying issues and opportunities for improvement easier.
This gives your company a competitive edge in today’s fast-paced business environment. Whether you’re looking to optimize operations or stay ahead in the game, a WMS can make a significant difference for a small business.
Things to consider when choosing warehouse management software
Several factors should be considered when deciding on the best warehouse management software (WMS) for your business.
Your budget is a crucial factor when considering which WMS to invest in. Different software options come with varying price points, from more affordable, entry-level solutions to high-end systems with advanced functionalities.
Be sure to consider not just the upfront cost, but also ongoing expenses such as subscription fees, maintenance costs, and potential upgrade costs.
Ease of use
Another important factor is how easy the system is to use. A user-friendly interface can save time, reduce the risk of errors, and help your team adapt to the new system more quickly.
Look for a WMS that offers intuitive navigation and clear, straightforward operation.
Every business is unique, and your WMS should reflect that. A system that can be customized to fit your specific operational needs is a valuable asset.
Whether it’s the ability to modify inventory tracking methods or adjust order fulfillment workflows, a customizable WMS can significantly improve your warehouse operations.
Good customer service is essential when implementing a new WMS. Look for a provider that offers robust support, such as 24/7 assistance, comprehensive training materials, and regular software updates.
If issues arise, you’ll want to know you can rely on prompt and helpful service.
Compatibility with current systems
Finally, it’s important to consider how well the new WMS will integrate with your existing systems. This could include your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, accounting software, ecommerce platform, etc.
A WMS that integrates smoothly with your current systems will help maintain data consistency, streamline operations, and minimize disruptions during the transition period.
Top warehouse management systems for your small business
Now that we’ve explored how warehouse management software can help your small business, here are some recommendations that may fit your company’s needs.
1) SkuVault Core
SkuVault Core offers full-featured inventory and warehouse management software ideal for small businesses.
SkuVault Core has many features that can be extremely helpful for small businesses, including tracking inventory levels, setting reorder points, and generating reports. In addition, SkuVault Core integrates with many popular ecommerce platforms, making it easy to manage inventory across multiple sales channels.
As a result, SkuVault Core can help to streamline warehouse operations and improve efficiency.
SkuVault Core’s WMS helps ecommerce businesses create simplified workflows and automate many manual tasks that bog down employees.
This results in both faster order fulfillment and improved order accuracy.
SkuVault Core’s robust features include:
- Quantity syncing across all your marketplaces
- Detailed, in-depth reporting
- Barcode scanning functionality
- Real-time reporting of inventory levels across locations
- More efficient, simplified picking and packing
SkuVault Core provides full customer support via telephone, email, and client dashboards. Depending on your preference, they offer both on-site and remote training to help your team get up to speed quickly.
SkuVault Core reports that their average customer has a 100% return on their investment within the first 90 days after implementing their warehouse management software.
Software is critical for any business that needs to track inventory levels and keep goods moving smoothly through the warehouse. But for small businesses, the price tag for these systems can be prohibitive.
That’s where Fishbowl comes in. Fishbowl is a software specifically designed for small businesses. It offers all the features of a traditional WMS with a one-time fee. In addition, Fishbowl is easy to set up and use, so you can be up and running quickly without hours of training.
This software is especially popular for small and mid-sized businesses that already utilize QuickBooks for accounting and are interested in integrating warehouse management software.
Key features that Fishbowl provides include:
- Wireless barcoding
- Both shipping and manufacturing integration
- Advanced inventory features
- GPS tracking
- Online support during business hours
- In-person and live online training to get you up and running
In addition to offering a 14-day free trial, Fishbowl charges a one-time, flat fee which is generally more appealing than a recurring subscription model.
3) QuickBooks Commerce
Quickbooks Commerce (formerly TradeGecko) is a warehouse management software that integrates effectively with Quickbooks, an appealing feature for many small wholesale businesses with fewer than 30,000 orders each month.
Quickbooks Commerce promises you can “manage your multichannel and wholesale business in one place” with the service, and it’s got some valuable features to backup that claim.
As with most WMS offerings, this system prides itself on its ability to streamline warehouse operations, making the warehouse process more efficient and productive. With comprehensive inventory management tools and real-time data dashboards, your small business can monitor product levels and quickly identify potential stock issues.
That said, Quickbooks Commerce is not for every business. Your business must be based in the United States to utilize Quickbooks Commerce. In addition, if your business includes drop shipping or you have more than 20,000 SKUs, you’ll need to look elsewhere for your warehouse management software. This is also the case if you make custom products, use serial numbers to track your inventory, or if you need to track raw manufacturing materials.
That said, QuickBooks Commerce warehouse management software is worth checking out if your small business or small wholesale operation is looking to keep your warehouse running smoothly and efficiently.
QuickBooks Commerce offers the following features:
- Accessible B2B dashboard
- Inventory automation
- Supply chain management
- Optimized inventory warehouse placement
- Operational data visibility
- Manufacturing support module
- Push product data to multiple channels at once
- Simplified price management
- Omnichannel capabilities
- Reorder alerts
Quickbooks Commerce has several limited support options, and the service frequently offers promotional pricing that will run you about $100 per month if you pair it with QuickBooks Online. Overall, it’s a good value for smaller, US-based small businesses.
Cin7 calls itself “the inventory management platform for modern product sellers.”
The company offers an automated inventory management platform that provides real-time inventory synchronization and order automation to boost efficiency.
Cin7 also provides businesses with the ability to track trends and forecast future demand. This helps companies stock the right products at the right time, ensuring that they can meet customer needs and avoid lost sales.
In short, Cin7 is an effective tool for any business that wants to optimize its inventory management.
Additional features include:
- Omnichannel inventory
- Powerful Integrations
- Order management
- EDI testing
- Barcoding RFID
- Fully customizable
5) Zoho Inventory
Zoho Inventory provides inventory management software that enables businesses to control inventory, manage and fulfill orders, oversee warehouses, and streamline multiple sales channels.
Zoho Inventory offers a host of benefits for small businesses. Perhaps most importantly, Zoho Inventory can help save time and money by automating many of the tasks associated with warehouse management, from tracking inventory levels to processing orders.
Additionally, Zoho Inventory is highly customizable, meaning that it can be adapted to meet the specific needs of many businesses. And because it is cloud-based, it can be accessed from anywhere, at any time.
Zoho Inventory’s features include:
- FIFO (First In, First Out) method to sell the older stock first
- End-to-end tracking
- Multiple shipping integrations
- Seamless integration with Zoho CRM and Zoho Books
- Warehouse management
- Data reporting
Zoho Inventory offers a free trial period to test drive the software before you commit.
Veeqo’s cloud-based WMS is a good fit for omnichannel ecommerce businesses. This software solution effectively manages shipping, order fulfillment, warehouse operations, and inventory across multiple channels.
With its powerful warehouse management system, users gain real-time control over their inventory and order fulfillment process, ensuring that stock levels are always accurate. What’s more, Veeqo offers a range of other valuable features that can help boost efficiency and productivity for ecommerce businesses.
Veeqo’s features include:
- Mobile app for both IOS and Android
- Warehouse automation
- Multi-warehouse routing
- Inventory forecasting
- Inventory sync across multiple locations and marketplaces
Veeqo offers a 14-day free trial, so you can see if the software solution is a good fit for your small business.
Sortly is a reasonably simple inventory management software allowing small businesses to stay on top of their inventory and assets. The company promises to “streamline and modernize every aspect of managing inventory.”
Sortly makes it easy to keep track of all your warehouse’s inventory in one place. It allows you to create accurate inventory counts, set up reorder alerts, and track where your inventory is located.
Sortly features include:
- Ability to group items by category, location, and more
- Custom barcode and Q are label generation
- Simple data import
- Multi-user access
- Auto-sync data via the cloud
- Automatic low stock alerts
- Customized customer dashboard
Sortly offers a free 14-day trial, and monthly plans start at $49.
Brightpearl claims to be “ideal for multichannel retailers of finished goods selling in-store, online, or via online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.”
This functional WMS is designed specifically for small businesses, making it an intuitive and user-friendly solution that can streamline your operations and keep track of all your products with ease.
Whether you’re managing a warehouse full of stock or simply need a better way to track the items in your ecommerce store, Brightpearl has much of what you need to stay on top of your inventory in one convenient place.
With advanced tracking features and real-time data collection, this WMS will help you keep an eye on your stock levels and increase your overall efficiency.
Their full-featured WMS software includes inventory and order management solutions that integrate with CRM software, point-of-sale, warehouse management, fulfillment, shipping, and accounting software.
Additional features Brightpearl offers include:
- Built for higher transaction volumes
- Decreased fulfillment errors
- Barcoding/ RFID functionality
- Omnichannel management
- Improved order processing and tracking
Brightpearl provides 24/7 customer support as well as online support.
This WMS was designed for retail businesses with omnichannel sales. One of InFlow’s most unique aspects is its built-in B2B portal.
InFlow offers real-time data tracking, so businesses can always see how much inventory they have on hand. This is especially beneficial for companies that sell products online, as it allows them to avoid oversold items and stockouts. Overall, InFlow is an affordable and effective solution for small businesses to improve their warehouse management.
InFlow’s features include:
- Barcode scanning
- Warehouse management
- Robust reporting
- Inventory control software
- Integration with over 3,000 apps
InFlow offers a 14-day free trial, and paid plans start at $71 per month.
If your small business isn’t so small anymore, Oracle’s NetSuite may be the warehouse management solution for you.
Netsuite inventory management system offers many benefits for small to large businesses. It helps control inventory levels and provides accurate real-time information about stock levels.
Additionally, it can be used to track orders and monitor warehouse operations. As a result, it can help to improve warehouse efficiency and reduce operational costs. In addition, Netsuite inventory management system offers features that help to improve customer service.
Netsuite is undoubtedly one of the pricier WMS options and is an effective modular solution that integrates easily with NetSuite ERP.
NetSuite’s many features include:
- Warehouse in shipping management
- Sales and inventory forecasting
- Robust order management tools
- Enterprise Resource Planning options
- Supply chain optimization and management
NetSuite Offers 24/7 live support and remote and in-person training to get your business fully up to speed with the software.
Odoo (formerly OpenERP) Is a cloud-based inventory management software. This free WMS offers a smooth and straightforward user experience.
Odoo is a unique WMS that can help small businesses manage their inventory more effectively.
With its advanced tracking capabilities, users can quickly identify which products are selling well and which are not.
In addition, Odoo’s sophisticated reporting features make it easy to stay on top of trends in customer demand, allowing businesses to identify popular products and respond accordingly.
Overall, Odoo’s innovative inventory management system has many benefits for small businesses looking to streamline their operations and increase sales.
In addition, Odoo’s solution allows users to automate transactions and decrease order processing time.
Features offered by Odoo include:
- Multiple warehouse support
- Automated inventory adjustment
- Delivery scheduling
- Customer dashboard
- Barcoding supported
Odoo’s free, open-source option does not come with customer support. Their paid option, Odoo Inventory, is priced at just $36 per month and includes customer support.
Logiwa is a cloud-based warehouse management software specialized for omnichannel businesses. It connects shopping sites with third-party carriers and simplifies the supply chain process from picking and packing to returns.
Logiwa helps small business owners and warehouse managers to control and monitor warehouse inventory, track shipments, and manage warehouse labor.
Logiwa is a cloud-based WMS designed to be user-friendly and easy to implement, making it an ideal solution for small businesses.
In addition, Logiwa offers real-time visibility into warehouse operations, which helps to improve accuracy and efficiency.
Logiwa’s many features include:
- Allowing rule-based Solutions for 3PL clients
- Generating customer reports
- Adding and removing users
- Multiple-location Inventory management
- Customer dashboards for self-serve reporting
FAQs about warehouse management software for small businesses
How does warehouse software help with labor management?
Warehouse management software (WMS) significantly streamlines labor management in various ways. It helps optimize labor allocation by determining the best routes and methods for picking, packing, and shipping (such as SkuVault Core’s interactive wave-picking feature).
A WMS can assign tasks based on priority and worker availability, minimizing idle time and improving productivity.
It also tracks employee performance, giving managers the data they need to provide targeted training or identify areas where automation could further improve efficiency.
What are third-party logistics, and how does a WMS help?
Third-party logistics (3PL) providers are companies that manage and execute logistics operations for other companies, typically involving warehousing and transportation services.
While 3PLs can help businesses streamline their supply chain operations, using a WMS can provide more control and visibility.
A WMS allows businesses to automate and monitor warehouse processes, reducing the need for 3PL services or enhancing collaboration by providing real-time inventory and shipment data.
It also ensures consistency and transparency in operations, regardless of whether they’re handled in-house or by a third party.
What are the best ways to manage multiple warehouses?
Managing multiple warehouses can be complex, but it’s achievable with the right strategies and tools.
Here’s a rough blueprint of how to keep multiple manages in order (while keeping your sanity):
Step 1: Centralize data with a WMS
A WMS like SkuVault can give you a single source of truth for all your locations, providing real-time insights into inventory levels, order statuses, and performance metrics across all warehouses.
Step 2: Standardize processes across all locations
SOP (standard operating procedures) ensure everyone is “reading from the same sheet of music” across your locations. This leads to more consistency, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.
Step 3: Cross-train staff across locations
Cross-training encourages consistent practices, aids in knowledge sharing, and provides flexibility in managing personnel resources.
Harness the power of optimized inventory management: SkuVault Core is your key to success
Running a successful small business requires the right tools. The challenges faced by small and mid-sized companies, especially in managing inventory, can seem daunting.
Imagine trying to maintain optimal stock levels, streamline reordering processes, and ensure efficient order fulfillment by hand. This doesn’t even account for your day-to-day operations or if something goes wrong!
This is where Linnworks and SkuVault Core steps in. Our warehouse management system is designed to help you streamline your warehouse operations and enhance efficiency.
SkuVault Core provides critical real-time insights and effortless inventory level tracking. With our platform, managing your inventory becomes a seamless part of your operations, freeing you to focus on what matters most – growing your business.
Linnworks’ solutions are cost-effective, making advanced inventory management technology accessible even for small businesses.
Whether you’re looking to streamline warehouse operations, want reliable insights into your company’s performance, or need a robust tool to stay competitive in today’s market, SkuVault Core is the solution.
Ready to see how SkuVault Core can revolutionize your warehouse management? We’ve designed a self-guided, interactive product tour that lets you dive into our platform and explore all its features at your own pace. There’s no sales pitch, no pressure, and it only takes three minutes of your time.
Check out our interactive demo here and discover how SkuVault Core can be a game-changer for your business.