Distribution Inventory Management Software

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abas Distribution

Abas ERP is a solution geared towards small to midsize manufacturers and distributors. Abas has three main application offerings on the market today: Abas ERP, Abas Distribution and Abas eB, a line of e-business solutions that can...Read more about abas Distribution

4.14 (7 reviews)

S2K Enterprise

VAI’s is an independent software developer and the author of S2K Enterprise, an award winning cloud-based ERP solution utilized by customers operating across the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail, and service sectors, ...Read more about S2K Enterprise

4.33 (9 reviews)

Körber K.Motion WMS

Körber's K.Motion Warehouse Management System is an adaptable, process based WMS designed to be tailored to companies' unique business practices. Due to its modular design, users can pick and choose from a suite of applications to...Read more about Körber K.Motion WMS

4.00 (9 reviews)


With an integrated system that includes ERP, financials, commerce, inventory management, HR, PSA, supply chain management, CRM and more – NetSuite enables fast-growing businesses across all industries to work more effectively by a...Read more about NetSuite

4.14 (937 reviews)

48 recommendations

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NECS entrée is an on-premise ERP solution designed explicitly for food distributors. It offers functionality for inventory management, truck routing, sales management and reporting, and is suitable for both full-line distributors,...Read more about Entree

4.46 (13 reviews)

1 recommendations

SCP 4.0

Jada vendor management inventory and demand planning system is suitable for businesses looking to manage inventory holding costs and track service levels. SCP is offered as a best of breed application that is ideal for both midsiz...Read more about SCP 4.0

4.83 (9 reviews)


ERP123 offers small and midsize manufacturers and distributors an ERP solution that automates and integrates business operations. This software allows the user to the organize their MRP, inventory management, picking and shipping,...Read more about ERP123

4.50 (6 reviews)

Dynamics 365 Business Central

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution designed for midsize organizations to streamline business operations and accelerate cash flow. This SaaS solution offers...Read more about Dynamics 365 Business Central

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Blue Link ERP

Blue Link is a cloud-based ERP, inventory management and accounting solution that caters to small and midsize businesses. The solution helps businesses handle the back-office needs as well as logistical and operational requirement...Read more about Blue Link ERP

4.18 (33 reviews)

1 recommendations

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JD Edwards EnterpriseOne

Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne is an enterprise resource planning software with primary features such as real estate management, human capital management, environmental health and safety and commodity trading. What is JD...Read more about JD Edwards EnterpriseOne

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Iptor ERP

Iptor (formerly known as IBS Enterprise) offers cloud-based solutions for supply chain managers and distributors of all scale and size. It provides integrated ERP solution with built-in capabilities for supply chain management, in...Read more about Iptor ERP

3.00 (1 reviews)

Infor Distribution SX.e

With a continually shifting business landscape and growing competition, wholesale distributors are pressured to exceed customer expectations. You need an easy-to-use, modern ERP solution that addresses the highly specialized, core...Read more about Infor Distribution SX.e

4.50 (14 reviews)

3 recommendations

Cove Systems Stream V

Cove Systems Stream V - Distribution is a fully integrated ERP distribution solution that contains functionality for customer management, warehouse management, purchasing and procurement, inventory management and transportation ma...Read more about Cove Systems Stream V

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SR2Food is an on-premise food distribution solution designed for small food distribution businesses, such as meat, produce, dairy, seafood, food manufacturers and distributors. SR2Food offers lot tracking, which allows distri...Read more about SR2Food

4.63 (8 reviews)


Fishbowl is the #1 manufacturing and warehouse inventory management software! Its powerful inventory control system gives your small or midsize business the exact tools needed to transform your inventory management and scale your ...Read more about Fishbowl

4.16 (787 reviews)

53 recommendations

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Cloud ERP

Bizautomation offers cloud-based ERP for smaller SMBs. Functionality includes accounting, order management, inventory, customer relationship management (CRM), sales commissions, e-commerce (including a business portal), purchase p...Read more about Cloud ERP

4.86 (28 reviews)

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Interprise Suite

Small and midsize distributors that are in need of a customizable enterprise resource management solution should look into what Interprise Suite has to offer. Interprise Suite is offered as either an on-premise or cloud-based solu...Read more about Interprise Suite

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Produce Pro Software

Produce Pro is an on-premise and cloud-based ERP solution for midsize to large perishable food growers, distributors and wholesalers. It is suitable for companies that operate in the meat, seafood, floral and produce industries. K...Read more about Produce Pro Software

4.40 (5 reviews)

Enterprise 21 ERP

Enterprise 21 ERP from TGI is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that provides small and midsize businesses across various industry verticals tools and functionalities to manage day-to-day operations and rou...Read more about Enterprise 21 ERP

4.50 (3 reviews)

R4 Enterprise

Royal 4 Enterprise is an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution with built-in modules for distribution, manufacturing, planning, inventory management, reporting and company financials. It serves midsize to large en...Read more about R4 Enterprise

4.50 (4 reviews)

1 recommendations

Buyers Guide

Last Updated: November 24, 2022

Inventory management is one of the oldest uses for computer systems and it remains one of the most complex issues. As a result, we track more than 100 different systems. We wrote this buyer’s guide to help buyers shed some light on this market.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Distribution Inventory Management Software?
Common Features of a Distribution Inventory Management System
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits and Potential Issues
Market Trends to Understand
The Vendor Landscape

What Is Distribution Inventory Management Software?

Ross Perot said “Inventories can be managed but people must be led.” Both parts of the sentence are important in understanding inventory management software. Distribution inventory management software helps companies buy, track, deliver merchandise and supplies. It tracks the on-hand, allocated and ordered quantities to show actual stock levels. It shows the current value, and provides historical and trend information for planning purposes. Inventory management software helps balance supply levels so that sufficient quantities are on hand to supply customer needs without having too much capital invested or having inventory that goes out of date or spoils.

The inventory system performs other important tasks. The first is that it produces the picking information to fulfill customer orders. Second, it provides receiving information to make sure that orders placed with vendors are completed successfully. Inventory control systems are used for tracking reorder points, managing lot number tracking, generating order advice or even placing orders automatically. Order management systems can integrate with inventory systems to check quantities on hand or lead times for out-of-stock items. Inventory applications also track important inventory value information for accounting purposes.

Common Features of a Distribution Inventory Management System

The five features below are common in most modern distribution inventory management systems:

  • Front counter operations. This feature helps handle the necessary transactional tasks, such as processing orders, calculating taxes and printing receipts.
  • Warehouse and inventory management. These features work together to help distributors monitor inventory levels, manage receiving and shipping and determining optimal reordering.
  • Transportation management. Users can manage the scheduling of shipments and routes to improve logistics and reduce costs.
  • Customer management (CRM). A CRM in distribution keeps a log of retrievable customer information to improve speed and satisfaction. Users can also produce reports to identify purchasing trends.
  • Distribution accounting. This feature helps handle all the revenues and expenditures, and offers a general ledger to track all transactions.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Before evaluating different solutions, you’ll need to determine what type of buyer you are. Over 90 percent of buyers fall into one of these four groups:

Full-suite buyer. These buyers value the seamless integration of data and processes that comes from having one provider for all functions. For example, a top full-suite system for accounting, customer relationship management and inventory management can turn quotes automatically into orders and then generate picking lists, shipping labels and invoices. These buyers favor complete software suites like Oracle, SAP, Sage ERP or Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Multiple warehouse operations buyer. These enterprise buyers run multiple facilities and need to track and balance inventories over a geographical area. The buyers require software that can balance inventory between warehouses while strategically placing it closest to the probable customers. Finally, the software must determine the best choice between drop shipping split orders between warehouses or centrally receiving inventory and then shipping to warehouses.

Departmental buyer. These buyers are distribution specialists for firms that have an internal distribution network. They may only sell to their own outlets, but they must contend with multiple suppliers, inventory issues, competing corporate customers and transportation decisions similar to commercial distributors use.

Small business buyer. These buyers may work for distributors or wholesalers or may have a distribution component as part of their company. They usually have smaller numbers of clients, suppliers and inventory and may include some assembly or production components but still face the same basic issues as large-scale distributors. They may be using dedicated systems or an integrated solution.

Benefits and Potential Issues

Effective inventory management is a critical success factor for distributors. You can expect the following benefits from an inventory management system.

Time savings. Inventory management systems can save time in all aspects of handling inventory. Slotting analysis saves time by having frequently picked items placed where they can be quickly located. Picking systems speed the process to fulfill customer orders. Receiving systems allow for the efficient inflow and processing of inventory.

Capital savings. Inventory management systems can help business reorder stock and supplies at economic reorder amounts. 

Integration with accounting systems. Integration with the rest of the accounting system is hugely important. Information shared with the general ledger keeps balance sheets current. Inventory reorders trigger entries in purchase order and accounts receivable. Pick information and shipping information is shared with accounts payable.

There are two key issues with general ledger systems. The first is the cost of implementation and maintenance. The inventory must start from a clean physical inventory, which can be time consuming and labor intensive. Periodic inventories must be conducted to ensure that the physical count agrees with the system count.

The second challenge is discipline. It is very, very easy to grab a piece of stock from a shelf for a customer and “catch up on the paperwork later.” It is easy to do and, as a manager, it is easy to excuse. But it can have a devastating effect on an inventory management system. And when it is part of a integrated system, the errors spread all the way through.

Market Trends to Understand

Inventory systems continue to evolve and are one of the most dynamic parts of ERP and supply chain systems. The following are trends to consider when selecting a system.

Pick to light technology. Pick to light (PTL) is a paperless picking technology. Instead of printing a pick list, arrays of lights on the ceiling and shelving indicate the location of the items to be picked. Digital displays on the shelf give the quantity to pick. 

Intelligent inventory tagging. The use of one-dimensional bar coding for equipment and inventory tagging is well established in manufacturing programs. Recent systems use radio frequency identification (RFID), which can be read remotely to check inventory levels and to confirm equipment availability. Other systems use two-dimensional bar codes which contain descriptive information in addition to an identifier like a part number.

Advanced slotting analysis. Advanced slotting analysis uses historical inventory information, picking trends and warehouse shelving layout information to determine the most cost-effective placement of supplies. Slotting analysis can also ensure that dangerous items are not stored together, for example, ammonia next to chlorine, which could violate government regulations, insurance restrictions and common sense.

The Vendor Landscape

Inventory management systems vary greatly; buyers need to understand their scope and scale while evaluating inventory packages.

This type of buyer... Should evaluate these systems
Full-suite buyer SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics
Multiple warehouse operations Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite, Infor
Departmental buyer Exact Globe, Geneva, ADS, Oracle, SAP
Small business buyer Blue Link, ADS, Infor, Abas