Inventory Management

Explaining SMB Inventory Management

By May 15, 2023 August 24th, 2023 No Comments

If you’re new to the inventory software world, it can be easy to find yourself lost among all the technical jargon and unfamiliar concepts that come with the industry. However, if you need to make crucial business decisions relating to the management of your warehouse, understanding certain distinctions and nuances among the variety of options at your disposal is essential. In this article we will attempt to clarify the different types of inventory management systems out there, and if you’re currently shopping, help you identify what you should be looking for.

Inventory Management: Three Types

While no two inventory management systems are identical, nearly all of them may be categorized in one of three major types: manufacturing, wholesale distributions, and eCommerce. These broad categories reflect the kinds of businesses they are intended for, and come with features that suit each model. Note that some systems are versatile and may fulfill more than one role.


Inventory software systems that are geared for manufacturing tend to focus on things such as tracking costs, bills of material, production orders, serial and tracking numbers, and assemblies. They are primarily concerned with internal functionality within the manufacturing process, and less on user interface for customers and clients. They may operate from a cloud system, or a local network.

Brands that are capable and geared toward manufacturing include: MiSys, Katana, AdvancePro, Unleashed, InFlow, and Fishbowl.

Ecommerce for SMB

Ecommerce systems are geared to help those who are conducting a business that is either partially or completely run through a website or other virtual medium. They may be used independently from or in conjunction with other software systems to provide customers with a platform to purchase goods from you, and for you to track and fulfill those orders.

Services like Shopify, Dear, WooCommerce, and Salesforce are popular eCommerce platforms.

Wholesale Distribution

Wholesale Distribution software focuses on item tracking, pricing, and point of sale, ensuring that your shelves are stocked according to demand, and that prices and quantities are reflected accurately. Emphasizes visibility and control over your product to provide a seamless transition first from your inventory to the shelf, then from the shelf to the customer.

Systems that cover wholesale distribution include: Netsuite, Accolent, Acumatica, Order Time, Sage, and Odoo.


Knowing the different types of inventory management is paramount when deciding what software will work best for your small business. After you have an idea of what category you fall under, you will find it easier to search for an appropriate option that suits your needs. However, if you are still struggling to find a suitable option, we offer assessment services to help you narrow down the options. Give us a call and we will be happy to assist you.