Warehouse Management and Inventory Management Software
They are two separate types of software that are often misinterpreted into one thing by organizations due to their lack of knowledge.
Nonetheless, a business organization planning to use these software needs to know that, both inventory management software and warehouse management software refer to product management yet both of them have significant differences that must be considered thoroughly.
Throughout the article, we are going to explain the differences and similarities between these two types of software, explain the basic ideas of them and also illustrate and clear the misunderstandings about these terms.
Why Use Management Software
Many people have a very common question about these types of software; why is management software important? People also ask themselves what are the uses of these types of software?
While handling inventory a business, one must consider a lot of things such as stock, shipping logistics, perishability and many more. All of these elements can be very hassling for a business to manage efficiently and management software can be a great solution to these kinds of disturbance.
A business organization can easily keep track of inventory locations and levels with the use of management software.
What is Inventory Management Software?
Inventory management software is a system for keeping the track of orders, deliveries, sales and inventory levels.
The use of it can also be seen in the manufacturing industry for constructing bills of materials, work orders, and other production-related documents.
This type of software is very useful for users who are interested in a less complex medium and also for the handling of the physical product itself.
The Use of Inventory Management Software
For a long time, businesses implement basic methods or some personalized methods to keep track of their inventory. Pen, paper or an excel spreadsheet was required for most of them.
However, issues such as miss-ships, product returns, overstocks, and out-of-stocks have changed their view and businesses now rely upon inventory management software for a solution.
So, the usage and the demand for inventory management software has increased dramatically.
Although it might seem that subscribing to an inventory management software can be costly, according to a famous article, “Companies can increase their profitability 20 to 50 percent or more through careful inventory management”.
As a result, many successful businesses of the modern age rely upon inventory management or warehouse management software for efficient inventory control.
Recently, the use of inventory management software has become more common as growing businesses lead to growing inventory issues which can be very troublesome. As a matter of fact, one of the 9 reasons for small businesses fail is poor inventory management.
Integrating a management software or the process of using a management software can be very complex. If we take a closer look at one, we can see that management softwares are product-detail oriented.
However, the value these types of software provide in terms of time and money is worth the trouble learning them.
Which Type of Business Should Use Inventory Management Software
Inventory management software is quite useful for businesses that are small or midsized and do not have a broad range of products.
As such, businesses that do not require a complex management system tend to subscribe to inventory management software as it has the necessities and won’t be as much of a headache to handle than warehouse management software.
The Use of Warehouse Management Software
Some aspects of warehouse management software are similar to inventory management software. It is able to monitor product quantities, picking, shipping, packing, cycle counting and also managing multiple locations similar to inventory management software.
Nonetheless, warehouse management software consists of more perks such as; it can provide more detail and abilities catered to product shipping, listing channels, and many other features as well.
As a matter of fact, warehouse management software has a lot of features, so many that it cannot be described in one article only.
Basically, warehouse management software is useful for keeping track of the details of the product and also for taking proper warehouse process steps to make an assessment for greater efficiency.
Another great feature of warehouse management software is that it is able to monitor online inventory across several channels.
Generally, the basic use of warehouse management software is to optimize warehouse processes and to increase efficiency.
However, there is another major function of this software which is tracking and controlling of inventory across numerous eCommerce sites. Warehouse management software runs real-time quantity sync across numerous marketplaces while keeping track of the online inventory.
As a result, if an organization sells an item on one marketplace the product will be removed from other sales on all other marketplaces.
Differences Between Inventory Management and Warehouse Management
Usage and Complexity
The major difference that can be seen between warehouse management software and warehouse management software lies in their usage and how complex they are.
Normally, inventory management software is quite simple and easy to implement. But, the use of inventory management software is very limited and it is to manage inventory and nothing else.
Although this software consists of a broad range of functions, it still lacks many other features which are listed in a warehouse management software.
For example, product location is not found in inventory management software. This means the system will be able to tell you which building contains what set of products, but it cannot tell you specifically where in the building are the products located.
On the other hand, warehouse management software is more complex as it has many different features and is more capable of processing inventory.
Software Integration Difficulty
One other difference between inventory management software and warehouse management software is their ability to integrate with different software.
Although the first step when installing warehouse management software is the integration of inventory management software, most of these warehouse softwares are unable to integrate with other operating softwares that are already in use.
On the other hand, warehouse management software can easily integrate with other operating software.
For instance, Skuvault provides warehouse management software which has the ability to sync or integrate with other software. It can sync properly with other management software like ShipWorks, a software that handles the shipping logistics of a business.
The warehouse management software of Skuvault is created to sync properly with these types of management software. It can sync smoothly with ShipWorks so the products and shipping imitate the same data and it also allows both the software to communicate with each other.
As a result, when integration is possible, large businesses tend to shift to warehouse management software from inventory management software, as it is better suited for their operations.
Getting a Management Software
In terms of deciding whether to get warehouse management software or inventory management software, a business must consider which one is best suited for their business model.
An inventory management software is suitable for a small or midsized business organization that has one or two warehouses, like a business that sells bicycles and bicycle parts.
For a business like this inventory management software is best suited as the needs of this business is less.
On the other hand, if a business is selling to many places and would require maybe tens of warehouses to store their goods, warehouse management software would be the better option.
Should you Shift from Inventory Management to Warehouse Management
Should you shift from one software to the other? Well, let’s say you started a small business this year, and go 10 years ahead into the future.
After 10 years, it quite reasonable to believe that your business has grown and is in need of more warehouses to store your goods. This would be because your customer pool has grown from all channels and the demand for your products has increased.
If you as a business owner were to stick to using just inventory management software, you would not be efficiently handling more demand.
In this situation, businesses will likely move to warehouse management software. Warehouse management software comes with a lot more features and is more compatible with a big business; which is why it is wise to shift to this software when your business expands.
The software does not only allow for inventory management but also allows you to take full control of your warehouses. Additionally, you will be able to monitor online sales, manage your channel, monitor your shipping, and get accurate data reports.
Nonetheless, a great deal of careful consideration is required while choosing between inventory management software and warehouse management software. It may seem that these types of software provide the same benefits, but there is a lot of difference between these types of software.
So, businesses must research properly and carefully plan to choose the best suitable software required for their needs. If they are just starting out, small or mid-sized, inventory management software should be your choice.
If you’re a large business or have several warehouses, warehouse management software would be your best bet.