That’s because replenishment software tells you exactly when, what, and how much product you need to meet customer demand. That way, you can make data-backed decisions when purchasing inventory.
But what makes replenishment software any good? What should you look for in a tool, and which software is considered top-of-the-line today?
Let’s take a closer look at all the benefits of automated replenishment software, plus a roundup of recommended tools.
The “automated” element refers to fancy features that complete tasks on your behalf. Like automatically sending replenishment alerts when a SKU hits a certain level, so you don’t have to babysit spreadsheets.
For one, automated inventory replenishment software lets you know exactly when to restock—thanks to those handy alerts.
But this software also recommends how much you should reorder to maintain the right inventory levels for your business.
We’ve already touched on one major advantage of this kind of tool: it removes a lot of the guesswork around replenishment.
While that’s enough reason to invest in inventory replenishment software, retailers can take advantage of plenty of other benefits, like automating manual processes, reduced errors, and increased profits.
There’s no other way to say it: Manually monitoring your stock is a major time-suck.
When you rely on manual processes for replenishment, you wind up constantly staring down your inventory levels to figure out when it’s time to reorder.
But the right tools can help you automate your way out of all this clunky, tedious work.
Depending on the size of your business, a manual inventory audit could take several days or weeks to complete. This wastes a lot of valuable hours for you and your team.
But that’s where replenishment software comes to the rescue.
When you use replenishment software, you don’t have to think twice about when to reorder low-stock items (or question how many units you need to buy). The top tools send you automated SMS or email alerts with everything you need to know. Efficient, right?
Take Cogsy, for example. Cogsy’s ops software streamlines all kinds of inventory management activities like drafting purchase orders, managing stock alerts across multiple locations, demand forecasting, and much more.
With a little help from this kind of automation, Cogsy merchants save an average of 20 hours a week—and that’s precious time to reinvest in growing your business.
👉 But why not see for yourself? Try Cogsy free for 14 days!
To err is human. And unfortunately, manual replenishment processes are prone to human errors and inaccuracies.
Even the most experienced data entry pros will make mistakes from time to time. But the tiniest errors can throw off the accuracy of your entire inventory purchasing plan.
Let’s say a team member mistakenly typed 100 units for an upcoming order, but they should’ve written 1,000 units.
This typo means you will be seriously understocked on that SKU. And it basically guarantees stockouts and lost sales galore.
The good news is that replenishment software automatically manages, tracks, and updates your inventory data with minimal (or zero) effort on your part.
Meaning, these automated workflows reduce errors so you can feel confident throughout the replenishment process.
Better yet, replenishment software can recognize emerging trends in consumer behavior that even the best human analysts and demand planner can miss.
In fact, Cogsy spots purchasing trends long before a human ever could—helping you factor these trends into all your replenishment plans.
To keep your retail business running smoothly, you need to optimize your inventory. (No exception.)
After all, both stockouts and overstocking are bad for your bottom line.
Stockouts frustrate your customers since they can’t get what they need right away. But empty shelves also cost you money since unhappy customers may turn to your competitors.
Regardless of the reason, there’s no denying going out of stock hurts your profits. After all, stockouts cost retailers around $1 trillion every year. (Yes, that’s trillions with a T.)
Unfortunately, stocking excess inventory is often just as bad for business as empty shelves.
Storing too many products comes with high holding costs that add up quickly. Not to mention that perishable inventory often expires before it’s sold when you’re overstocked (translating to lost sales and a whole lot of waste).
Fortunately, you can avoid these scenarios with the right tools.
Leaning on a little tech ensures you only restock what you actually need to meet demand (plus a little safety stock for added buffer). That way, you can keep leaner inventory levels and confidently place smaller orders more often.
When you’re only spending money on products your customers want—that is, stock that will definitely sell—you can cut costs in a big way.
Think about it: By replenishing your warehouse solely with SKUs with proven demand, you can minimize your operational costs. And automated inventory replenishment software can help you get there.
Let’s break this down a little further:
Replenishment software helps you check all those boxes. It provides tailored recommendations on what stock and order quantities based on your current inventory levels, consumer demand, and historical sales data.
Fewer holding costs and less unsold inventory? You’re looking at improved cost management across the board.
When a customer receives an out-of-stock message on your site, it dampens their experience. And there’s a 91% chance dissatisfied customers won’t do business with your brand again.
A surefire way to improve the customer experience (and reduce churn)? Keep their favorite products on your shelves.
Luckily, replenishment software helps you maintain stock levels. That way, customers can always count on your brand to have what they want.
Not only do happy customers usually convert better, but they’re also more likely to stick around.
After all, satisfied shoppers are more likely to return to your store repeatedly—and they typically spend more than other shoppers.
In fact, customers who have a positive experience with a brand spend 140% more than customers who have a bad (or less-than-great) experience with you over time. So, it literally pays to keep your customers happy with consistently stocked shelves.
Let’s connect some dots on the benefits of inventory replenishment software, shall we?
As we mentioned above, replenishment software helps you hone in on the ideal inventory levels so you always have the products customers want available.
Replenishment software also lowers your operational costs by helping you stock inventory with high demand (which means products aren’t stored for long periods of time).
The result? Higher profit margins for your ecommerce brand.
That’s because when customers spend more with your brand and your brand spends less to make that sale happen, your profit margins increase accordingly.
And because replenishment software helps you maintain ideal stock levels, you’ll never miss out on a potential revenue opportunity. Those are some pretty big wins all around!
Not all inventory software is created equal. That’s why you should consider a few factors when choosing the right replenishment software for your brand—like its ease of use, integration options, extra features, and pricing.
If you can’t figure out how to use the system after setting it up, what’s the point? That’s why it’s crucial to choose inventory replenishment software that’s intuitive to use.
Cloud-based programs tend to be a lot more user-friendly than on-premise software. Meaning, your team can quickly get acquainted with the platform, put it to use right away, and log in from anywhere with an internet connection.
This is especially helpful if multiple departments need access to the software.
Plus, a cloud-based solution automatically updates your inventory data in real-time (so everyone’s working with the most accurate info available).
Chances are, replenishment software isn’t the only tool you’ll be using. So, look for software that plays well with your existing tech stack.
So, if possible, opt for a tool that integrates with your analytics software, warehouse management system, or even Amazon. That way, you can see how your product movement and sales data inform your replenishment needs.
If your business is in its early stages, you might not need a ton of advanced features. That is, until you’ve reached a broader customer base or get more sales under your belt.
Medium-to-large businesses with more complex supply chains might also want high-level features like 12-month forecasts that factor in promotions and marketing events.
Price influences almost every part of your retail operations—from the suppliers you choose to the warehouses you partner with to the packaging for your products.
So, it’s no surprise that pricing comes into play when choosing replenishment software.
A typical price range for automated inventory replenishment software ranges from $49 to $200 monthly. But when a company doesn’t list their prices online or asks you to “contact their team for pricing,” be prepared—the quote could give you some serious sticker shock.
That’s why you’ll want to do your homework before committing to a single software. Read through the fine print and determine what you can expect to pay for each platform.
It’s important to choose software that fits your current budget.
After all, there’s no need to get into financial trouble by purchasing the most expensive software—and there’s no reason to believe the most expensive option is inherently better.
Curious about which inventory replenishment software outshines the rest?
We’ve rounded up a list of the 10 most-searched-for inventory replenishment software options (and ranked them using the above considerations).
|Cogsy||Centralized data, 24/7 visibility, automatic replenish alerts, accurate demand forecasting||Starting at $49/month|
|GMDH Streamline||Automated demand forecasting, replenishment planning, optimized stock||Contact GMDH Streamline for pricing|
|SAP||Supply chain planning, product lifecycle management, invoices, payments||Contact SAP for a quote|
|Oracle Demantra||Demand forecasting, historical reporting, supply chain management||Contact Oracle for pricing|
|NetSuite||Real-time inventory visibility, inventory forecasting, demand planning||Starting at $999/month + $99/user|
|Netstock||Forecasting capability, predictive demand planning, supply chain management||Pricing based on inventory value|
|SkuBrain by Logility||Simple user interface, built-in algorithms, demand forecasting, inventory optimization||Starting at $150/month|
|inFlow Inventory||Inventory tracking, barcoding systems, invoice management, integrations||Starting at $89/month|
|Finale Inventory||Centralized inventory data, order management, multichannel integrations||Starting at $75/month|
|Megaventory||Product tracking, multi-location support, invoicing, advanced reporting||Starting at $150/month|
Cogsy makes inventory replenishment a breeze for Shopify and Amazon brands.
That’s because Cogsy stores all your inventory data in one convenient place. So, you get 24/7 visibility into your stock levels (including restocking needs), incoming purchase orders, and upcoming marketing events—all on the same platform.
Cogsy also helps you optimize your inventory counts with automatic replenish alerts and handy restock recommendations.
These notifications arrive at just the right time to avoid stockouts (and no risk of human error). Even better: Cogsy can forecast demand with pinpoint accuracy (up to 12 months out), so you can stock your shelves accordingly.
Your brand can even run “what-if” scenarios to identify your best-case, worst-case, and most probable inventory strategies, thanks to Cogsy’s growth planning functionality.
That way, you avoid expensive mistakes (like stockouts and excess inventory) that prevent you from reaching your revenue goals.
But don’t just take our word for it—try Cogsy free for 14 days!
Pros: Centralized data, 24/7 visibility, automatic replenish alerts, accurate demand forecasting
Cons: Doesn’t (yet) support managing component parts
Cost: Starting at $49 per month
GMDH Streamline is a supply chain management solution geared toward distributors, manufacturers, and product-based brands. The Streamline system helps with ops tasks like demand forecasting, replenishment planning, and PO creation.
This software automatically generates forecasts and replenishment plans based on your sales activities, product shortages, and seasonal products or promotions.
That said, GMDH Streamline can be challenging to use. Unless you have the right set of people on your team to help with implementation (and beyond), it will be tough to capitalize on the functionality of this software.
Keep in mind that finding and hiring those people will come at an extra cost, too.
Pros: Automated demand forecasting, replenishment planning, optimized stock levels
Cons: Tedious implementation process and confusing interface
Cost: Contact GMDH Streamline for current pricing
SAP is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for large organizations and established brands.
This platform aggregates your brand’s inventory data for easier demand planning, forecasting, and supply chain management.
In other words, SAP helps brands manage large amounts of data and make better decisions for replenishment (all while keeping up with fluctuations in demand).
Still, SAP has its share of drawbacks. Namely, it’s designed for a standard way of doing business. Meaning it’s a pretty rigid system that doesn’t allow for much customization.
So, even though SAP is easy to use, there isn’t much wiggle room for custom development.
Pros: Supply chain planning, product lifecycle management, invoices, payments
Cons: Not much room for modifications or customizations to your account
Cost: Starting at $199 per user
Oracle Demantra is a demand management and supply chain management tool from Oracle. This software works best for large enterprise brands that need help with demand planning.
Similar to what Cogsy does for smaller brands, Demantra maps demand forecasting against supply chain restrictions, customer commitments, and real-time inventory counts.
This way, each forecast is generated in response to current market trends and customer buying habits (which improves the accuracy of those forecasts).
The trouble with Oracle Demantra is that its performance depends on how well you maintain the infrastructure.
After implementation, it’s important to regularly clean out dead-combination (location-SKU) data to keep the software running smoothly. If not, you’ll be dealing with a clunky and sluggish user interface.
Pros: Demand forecasting, historical reporting, supply chain management
Cons: Calls for continual maintenance even after implementation is complete
Cost: Contact Oracle for current pricing
NetSuite is another ERP solution tailored to large brands and established enterprises.
The NetSuite system prioritizes inventory management by giving brands a real-time view of their inventory levels.
What’s more, NetSuite has a fully integrated system of finance, human resources, and customer relationship tools. Using these connections, brands can reduce inventory costs, improve the customer experience, and grow their business more sustainably.
And yet, NetSuite isn’t without its flaws. Aside from being significantly more expensive than most other software, NetSuite has a reputation for being difficult to implement—and is typically too heavyweight for Shopify and Amazon sellers.
Pros: Real-time inventory visibility, inventory forecasting, demand planning
Cons: Steep costs that increase as you add more stakeholders, tedious implementation
Cost: Starting at $999 per month + $99/user
Netstock’s cloud-based software helps with the redundancies of daily retail operations, from generating forecasts to creating purchase orders and improving supplier relationships.
With Netstock, small and midsize brands can place orders faster, reduce the frequency of stockouts, and minimize the amount of excess stock hanging out at their warehouse.
The Netstock platform also integrates with some of today’s most popular ERPs. This way, you get uninterrupted end-to-end processes within a single, unified platform.
However, there are disadvantages to using Netstock as well. One of the biggest complaints from Netstock customers is that the data refreshes daily (rather than around the clock).
While you can perform a manual refresh, this is not as efficient as working with software that updates your inventory information in real-time.
Pros: Forecasting capability, predictive demand planning, supply chain management
Cons: Data is not constantly refreshed (leaving room for lags and inaccuracies)
Cost: Pricing based on inventory value
SkuBrain by Logility is a web-based demand forecasting and inventory optimization solution for small and midsize retailers, distributors, and suppliers.
One of the highlights of SkuBrain is its ability to predict future demand for your entire product catalog.
Like many other options on this list, the software analyzes your current stock levels and identifies SKUs nearing their reorder point (so you can replenish inventory at the right time).
SkuBrain also helps manage promotions for any overstocked goods. This ensures your products get sold rather than heading for dangerous dead stock territory.
Despite these advantages, SkuBrain also has a few pitfalls. While many retailers find that it performs well when first implemented, they quickly exceed the capabilities of this platform. That is to say, SkuBrain doesn’t have the capacity to scale alongside high-growth brands.
Pros: Simple user interface, built-in algorithms, demand forecasting, inventory optimization
Cons: Lacks the flexibility and adaptability needed for major growth potential
Cost: Starting at $150 per month
inFlow Inventory is inventory management software that helps DTC and B2B sellers keep track of their stock. More accurately, inFlow Inventory tells you what you have in stock, which orders are coming in, and when you might need to order more inventory.
With inFlow Inventory, you can maintain inventory control and get a real-time picture of what’s in stock and where each product is—even across multiple locations.
This software also allows you to fulfill orders and update your inventory levels on the spot, all directly from your smartphone.
But despite these selling points, inFlow Inventory hasn’t totally knocked it out of the park.
One of the main issues is that there’s no way to export your forms to Excel or Google Sheets. Instead, you must print each document as a PDF and manually convert it if spreadsheet formatting is needed.
On top of that, there’s no option to filter SKUs by multiple fields (which can put a big damper on your team’s productivity).
Pros: Inventory tracking, barcoding systems, invoice management, integrations
Cons: Can’t export forms to Excel or Word, can’t filter SKUs by multiple fields
Cost: Starting at $89 per month
Finale Inventory is a cloud-based inventory management system for small retailers looking to scale.
With Finale Inventory, multichannel retailers can manage their inventory across all warehousing locations around-the-clock. That way, you always know what’s running low and when you can wait to reorder.
The challenge with Finale Inventory is that its reporting is much less sophisticated than other software (and some reports are difficult to create).
Worse yet, the initial data loading can be super slow—creating a time-consuming implementation that’s not the best use of your team’s resources.
Pros: Centralized inventory data, order management, multichannel integrations
Cons: Basic reporting (lacking critical details), sluggish data loading
Cost: Starting at $75 per month
Megaventory is a cloud-based order and inventory management software aimed at medium-sized businesses.
This software focuses on managing inventory at multiple locations, keeping track of stock levels, and ensuring on-time inventory replenishment.
Megaventory’s top features include support for order fulfillment and manufacturing management. However, it’s also widely recognized for its advanced, customizable reporting.
On that note, Megaventory gives retailers access to valuable data they can leverage for their inventory planning and demand forecasting needs. These reports cover everything from gross profit to inventory value to product availability.
The problem retailers have with Megaventory is that its purchase requisition process doesn’t include manager approval (which creates a big disconnect with replenishment).
Pros: Product tracking, multi-location support, invoicing, advanced reporting
Cons: Faulty purchase requisition process that’s vulnerable to inaccuracies
Cost: Starting at $150 per month
There are 3 different methods retailers can use for inventory replenishment:
To create an inventory replenishment strategy, you’ll want to reassess your demand forecasts to ensure your predictions align with customers’ needs. Next, you can monitor real-time inventory data to understand how products sell. That way, you know exactly when it’s time to replenish and how much you need to reorder. Finally, you can set up inventory replenishment software to automatically calculate reorder points and offer specific replenishment recommendations.
Inventory replenishment software provides visibility into real-time stock levels, current demand, and incoming purchase orders. When it’s time to restock, replenishment software will notify you and recommend how much to reorder. Meanwhile, warehouse management software aims to control the storage and movement of your products and raw materials throughout your warehouse(s).