Inventory Management Solutions

Tourist
9 0 5

(edited: 1/12/15)

We've been researching and testing potential inventory solutions for our ecommerce store.  I have yet to find a suitable solution for our needs and thought I would share my findings and seek suggestions from developers and store owners.

About our store:

  • Online sales only
  • One-channel only (Shopify)
  • Over 5,500 unique SKU's 
  • Shipping via Shipstation
  • In-house shipping, no drop shipping

Our needs:

  1. Inventory updates with barcode scanner
    - Web-based app for use with laptop and barcode scanner
    - Select "Goods-in" and any item scanned will be added to inventory. (Groovepacker once they can integrate with Profiteer)
    - Select "Cycle Count" and any item scanned will override that item's inventory.  (Groovepacker once they can integrate with Profiteer)
    - Variance report that will provide initial count, count adjustment and final count after item(s) have been counted.  This is important so that we know how far off our inventory is/was.
    - No manual keying inventory amounts required.  For instance, when you scan an item you can manually enter 3 for a particular SKU, but more importantly, you can just scan all three of the same barcode with a resulting count of 3 for that SKU.  Since many of our items look the same, have different SKU's but are located in the same bin, scanning each item individually will be a more accurate way for us to be sure of a correct count.
  2. Product barcode printing (Shopify's Barcode App solution falls short)
    ​- Generate barcodes for products without a barcode.
    - Print template that includes barcode, SKU, Item name, Variant Opt 1 (size), Variant Opt 2 (color)
    - Print export that includes current inventory information in order to print multiple of the same barcode, determined by how many are currently in stock.
  3. Bin Numbers/Inventory Location
    - Scan order barcode and app displays bin number/column/row of product(s)
  4. Product cost data (how an ecommerce platform such as Shopify doesn't have a wholesale price field is beyond me)
    - Input product cost for COGS reports, etc. (Profiteer)
    - Year-end inventory report that shows itemized and total inventory loss for previous year.
  5. Shipping accuracy
    - Scan order barcode.  (Groovepacker)
    - Scan each barcode before packing order to ensure accuracy (Groovepacker)
    - Scan shipping label to ensure order is being shipped to correct customer.

Apps I've researched and/or tested:

ShipHero 
More of a fulfillment app than an inventory solution.

SkuVault
Expensive.  Cycle Counting made easy with barcode scanner. Bin Numbers

Stitch Labs 
Can Import Inventory via CSV.  No bin #'s?  No barcodes?

Lettuce 
Polished interface.  Barcodes, yes.  Bin Numbers, no.

Bright Pearl
Haven't tested yet.  Anybody using it?

SumAll
Haven't tested yet.  Anybody using it?

Groovepacker
Dan gave me a demo of Groovepacker today and I'm excited to give it a trial run.  Great for shipping accuracy.

 

Pricing per month (based on our  store's needs):

$9 - SumAll

$80 - Groovepacker

$89 - Lettuce

$99 - ShipHero

$125 - Stitch Labs

$220 - BrightPearl

$500 + Setup fee - SkuVault

 

Obviously it will be impossible to find one app to do it all, but the fewer touch points the better.  Ideally, I'd like to cover all of these needs with 2-3 apps.  I'd really like to hear any suggestions from those who already have a good system in place.  Thank you!

-Jud

 

 

 

 

 

2 Likes
Tourist
15 0 3

The ShipHero cycle count module is live. Here's a quick inventory of how it works.

 

 

Having trouble keeping your inventory accurate or making shipping mistakes? The problem is not the people, it's that they don't have the process and tools in place to catch and prevent those mistakes. ShipHero is the system and tool to help you.
1 Like
Shopify Partner
30 0 5

Judson, 

We are a custom software development company and build custom built applications and connections to help in scenario's like you are experiencing.  We recently created a mobile solution for a Vend client that connects to Shopify to update and sync inventory across 5 locations and two different system. 

We used Infinite Peripherals hardware, custom software application and daily updates.  Inventory management took them 4-6 hours per day.  It was consolidate down to 15 minutes to replenish the shelves.  

Since our solutions are custom, costs is higher than the solutions above although you would only see a one-time cost and never have a fee again. 

Joe

 

 

0 Likes
Tourist
9 0 2

Hi JC,

Did you find anything yet? I wish I could help you on the barcode side, but ecomdash hasn't provided that solution just yet...we're somewhere in-between StitchLabs and ChannelAdvisor - so more for the multi-channel seller with complex inventory needs. We have warehouse management features with bin#s, shipping, kitting/bundling and building - just no barcode scanner today. We're super affordable too (starts at $50/mo). I'm surprised there isn't a barcode/inventory app for just Shopify that's affordable yet? Did you check with SkuVault to see if you can "just" use their scanner/inventory app and not get all the other add-ons with the companies they partner with?

Have you tried checking out the lists on WebRetailer or EcomBytes? 

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Tourist
9 0 5

 

@ Aaron - The improvements to ShipHero look great but I'm looking for a solution that will allow me to scan the items.  It looks like the ShipHero app requires the user to manually select and input quantity.  We don't necessarily need this to be an iOS app, in fact it would probably be easier for us to do with a laptop and barcode scanner using your web-based app.  Please let me know if you have plans to develop this functionality, thanks.

@Joe - Thank you for your inquiry; however, we're looking for a turn-key solution at the moment and a little ways off from seeking custom development for our store.  A one-time fee isn't likely since additional development will be required as our needs change.  Thank you for your input and I'll definitely keep you in the Rolodex for when we're large enough to budget custom development.

@Laura - ecomdash looks like a great solution for multi-channel sellers.  SkuVault is a complete package so we cannot use just the cycle count feature of the app, unfortunately.  I haven't looked at WebRetailer or EcomBytes, but I'll take a look.  Thanks for the suggestion.

0 Likes
Highlighted
Explorer
53 0 15

This is great post JC and I agree completely with your list especially

 (1) Variance report that will provide initial count, count adjustment and final count after item(s) have been counted.

(2) Year-end inventory report that shows itemized and total inventory loss for previous year.

I have also been communicating with Shopify to integrate these features especially for full paying customers.  Daily inventory levels are available within Shopify because they show it to use everyday.  It needs to be captured and and then account for adjustments as a result of sales/returns/manual (and show this to us as well) and viola we have a full on inventory reporting system that can graphed over time to assess inventory loads and monitor potential pilferage/loss.  

Full paying customers should not have to buy an app for this.  

Wholesale cost of goods a bit harder I think.  I just started using profiteer so I cannot tell it manages calculation with changes to prices.  The fundamental issue is each new purchase of inventory needs to be tied to a specific costs that may be difference than last order and if some of that last order is still in stock the cost of those items need to be tied to a different cost than those just added to inventory.  Only then can you decide on a LIFO or FIFO approach to inventory values.  Therefore a purchasing order element needs to be integrated into Shopify.  Right now I think this should be on the list but requires a dedicate team to solve while others fix the lower hanging fruit.

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Shopify Partner
3 0 0

Hey JC,

Can you please give more details on what you need from "Print template that includes barcode...". Is all you need to be able to create a template with your logo, etc. and have the app automatically fill in the product details giving you a printable label? I have a site http://barcodeapi.co/ and i can customize it to fit your needs for free. Let me know. (At this point I am looking for ways to develop this site).

best,

--Eytan

0 Likes
New Member
1 0 0

Hi Joe G, 

Read in another thread that you were working on a CC surcharge solution for shopify.  The thread is closed so couldn't reply there. Have you finished that solution yet? I'm looking for the same for my store.

 

Thanks,

Ash

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Excursionist
19 0 6

Hey!

We’ve just created a tool for Shopify which can help you to solve the inventory management issues — Shop Sync.

It pulls in your all of your product variations from multiple sales channels and allows you to manage them in a single location.

Currently multiple Shopify stores are supported, but in the next coming weeks, we plan to add support for Etsy, Amazon and Ebay as well.

Shop Sync has a built in search function that makes it fast and easy to navigate through all of items by name, quantity, product type and sales channel.

After you’ve made your inventory adjustments — the App syncs all the changes directly to Shopify.

The application is currently free to install, so you can play around with it at no cost.

Click HERE  and check out our page on Shopify.

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Tourist
10 0 2

JC and anyone else who has been waiting for this feature, scan to count is live on http://www.ShipHero.com. You can download the latest version of the iPod and iPads apps at https://app.shiphero.com/apps

1 Like