So you are running Quickbooks, and everything is going pretty decent. You grow, and then realize your inventory is still basically being managed by an excel table. So now you need an alternative to Quickbooks inventory. The general situation is that Quickbooks is good for accounting, not good for inventory. That is of course unless you are paying nearly as much as a tier 1 warehouse management system, to get Quickbooks enterprise inventory. Now you find a situation which is rather difficult. Do you justify the cost of Quickbooks enterprise and still find shortcomings? Or, do you find an alternative to Quickbooks inventory and integrate with your existing Quickbooks platform? Here we’ll walk through the thought process to diagnose which might be the better solution.
Find an alternative to Quickbooks Inventory when…
Below are a few cases in which it may make sense to stride away from Quickbooks inventory. When you experience more than one of these issues, you’re likely stunting your growth.
You Expand Locations
Quickbooks inventory works pretty well when you have a single location and you can pretty much count your inventory just by looking down an aisle. But, when you get another warehouse into the mix, then you’ll find yourself hardpressed for capability. Quickbooks doesn’t specifically have the capability to manage many warehouses at once. Transferring product, accepting those transfers, allocating orders to one warehouse over the other, making it easy to cross-dock items etc. becomes a task once you get here. At this point, you need something to manage each warehouse independently. Whether you run a separate Quickbooks installation or get something else, your life will become easier by doing this. You want to know your warehouses run efficiently. This can only be achieved when you have visibility across warehouses, products, and orders. To do this, you need to know what inventory is available at each warehouse, and where that inventory is within the warehouse.
Explore an Alternative to Quickbooks Inventory when your SKU count is high
When you’re carrying a lot of products, it gets harder to coordinate inventory stock levels, replenishment, reorder quantities etc. This being said, you may be going along fine with Quickbooks inventory until all of a sudden you realize it can’t handle the product relationships. Or perhaps you have such a lag between what’s really on hand and what’s in the system that you can never tell how much product is actually available. Another situation could be that you have inventory scattered around your warehouse and it takes 30% more time to find the item than with a simple handheld device telling you. your stock count also will be impeded by the fact that you won’t be able to track different SKUs across various locations. This makes it difficult since many times with high SKU count you will have low turnover items. When the customer order calls for item X but you only have it in one warehouse, Quickbooks won’t be a good friend to tell you about the other item at your other location. This results in lost sales and inefficient warehousing. At this point, there is very compelling evidence the ROI on investing in a Quickbooks integrated WMS will be valuable.
Try Implementing Mobile Barcode-Based Inventory Tracking
With Quickbooks Inventory, unless again you are utilizing the premiere Quickbook Enterprise version you’ll have trouble utilizing any sort of mobile device to help scan barcodes. This is perhaps the largest incremental improvement you could have on your inventory methods. Until now it is virtually impossible to track that employees are picking the right product, checking in the right quantity, restocking to the right place and beyond. While you may be going alright without barcodes, you’ll notice immediately that when you implement barcodes, all a sudden there is less loss or misplaced product, incorrect orders delivered, product missing from shelves where it says in stock and beyond.
You Have no Barcode Scanning Solution
If you aren’t yet tracking inventory via barcode it’s likely that you are missing out on the productivity gain by doing so. Quickbooks does not have any sort of functionality within their system, so you are stuck doing this manually. In alternatives to Quickbooks solutions, you have the accuracy of knowing which product is being sent out at that time, and to which customer. This alone can add up to the difference in what you are paying for Quickbooks compared to implementing a complementary inventory solution.
It Takes 10 Minutes Just to Find a Product to Pick
Indeed this is one area Quickbooks Inventory simply won’t help you with. For basic operations you know where products are. Beyond a certain point, however, you will fight this. Your people will spend far longer than you hoped to try to locate products throughout the warehouse. This is where things like wave picking/batch picking/lot picking etc. come into play. And, they usually have a pretty large impact on your business over time. If you aren’t yet picking via a mobile-based scanning solution, check out the dHUB mobile application.
What Alternative to Quickbooks Inventory Should You Use?
What kind of blog would it bee if we didn’t pedal our own product, right? Well, yes obviously this is our own product, and yes we are excited about it. But, this is for good reason. First of all, it was built for Quickbooks people, like you! The great advantage of Distribution Hub is that because we actually provide the inventory management and last-mile routing capability. Before we get going on the las-mile piece of the equation, let’s talk about inventory management. For inventory management, you need something which can take care of the product, product relationships (pallet, case, lot, batch etc.), multi-warehouse, and location within the warehouse. All these things considered, Distribution Hub is actually placed quite well if you compare the price-to-value. Of course, the value are things that help you recover ROI. When you consider moving up from Quickbooks you want something that will not only handle your inventory completely but can seamlessly handle all the actions of your warehouse. Especially if you are a distributor, that is, with your own fleet of routing and delivery vehicles, there is near no other match to Distribution Hub. You’ll handle everything from purchase orders (syncing with Quickbooks) to picking/packing, shipping, and last-mile delivery. We can handle the purchase order, product, relationships between them, transfers, cross-docking, picking, packing, and delivery. If these things are what you’re looking for, to be honest, you’d be irrational not to consider the option. But not to worry, there are a few others below.
Fishbowl is a long time player in the inventory management space. They have good software for inventory management alone. Fishbowl operates on a local system as opposed to the cloud, though they are working on their offering. They are a good system for when you need inventory management and don’t have multiple warehouses to operate. They will handle much of the same tasks associated, and will integrate with Quickbooks. The drawback of this system is that it must be downloaded to a local environment. Beyond this, you’ll have the full visibility to do what you need within your warehouse environment. This includes the product, relationships, locations, as well as your connections. They are quite expensive I will warn you. This may be okay if you are in need of a solution for a temporary fix to your situation. Fishbowl is not meant to be a complete WMS, but they will handle most of your warehouse tasks.
Cin7 Alternative to Quickbooks Inventory
Regarded as one of the top tier two systems, Cin7 has an impressive product for small wholesalers. They have the key integrations needed and have the tools needed for EDI, POS payments, as well as picking. Even still you will find drawbacks if you want to use over 50,000 SKUs, have complex product relationships, and if you are planning to deliver items yourself, this will need something else. Cin7 is a cloud – system, but they do not have a native mobile app for product updates and picking. It can be a good alternative to Quickbooks, but you will pay significantly more, and you may still have drawbacks in functionality. Be sure to vet this option before committing.
Zoho is a suite of business apps from accounting to payroll, inventory to spreadsheets and everything in between. This option works well if you plan to transition over to the Zoho environment. Outside of this, it will still connect to Quickbooks, but Zoho is very similar to Quickbooks inventory, so you will want to be sure whether or not your desired capability is contained within their system. Zoho is one of the more reasonably priced options, so you should see savings here. Since this platform has other components outside of inventory, you may find that it becomes a good solution for your entire business operations. In any case, if you are looking for a true WMS, this will be hard to find all the functionality you need.
Sage ERP Quickbooks
Sage is a high-end alternative to QuickBooks inventory. Well known as a full ERP, Sage has s solid warehouse management offering. This does not come at little cost, however, for the right sized business, it might be just what you are looking for. Though their mobile offerings are somewhat limited, and you will still need hardware for barcode scanning, this is for a quick-growing, or large scale business who seriously needs an upgrade to their accounting and warehouse management system.
Veeqo Alternative to Quickbooks Inventory
Veeqo regards their platform as the king of omnichannel. Their native integrations with Quickbooks online and offline versions are strong. Their warehouse management system is solid, though you will find some drawbacks when compared to a tried-and-true warehouse management system such as SKU count, product sales limits, device compatibility, and functionality to handle complex product setups. This system is great for the next level up and it will come in at a price slightly under the Quickbooks Enterprise service, which may be another upgrade alternative from Quickbooks.
For many reading this, you are probably already considering if Quickbooks enterprise will be the solution you go with. There are some very good benefits to staying within one ecosystem. The enterprise version has quite a bit more capability than Quickbooks inventory, in that it will handle more product variations, locations in the warehouse, and detailed product reports. This is good for the growing company, especially if you only have one warehouse. Beyond this, if you are running multiple warehouses, there is currently no actual way to deal with this. Also if you are hoping to have lead timing on the inbound product, there is little to help here, however, you can sync up with Quickbooks to provide tracking. Another piece to consider here is that you will need to buy Quickbooks devices if you plan to utilize any type of mobile barcode scanning. Certainly, consider the situation you are in to see if it’s the right option.
All this being said, the choice will come down to what things you view as most important to growing and simplifying your operations. Of course, price is a factor. Anytime you move up in the major systems, this price goes up. So, you should do your best to provide an accurate analysis of your business, what the essentials are, what you can do without, and how much money you are willing to spend. We put together a great WMS price guide for your use in evaluating these solutions. If this is something you are evaluating, give us a call at 401-300-4653 where we will provide you some feedback on options, as well as to showcase how dHub may, or may not, be the right solution, and if not, we can provide some of our favorite alternatives.
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