Warehouse management is one of the most logistically difficult jobs there is. Between tracking the arrival, storage or movement of goods, and managing the staff that should perform these tasks, there’s simply a lot to keep track of. Warehouse management software (WMS) is specifically designed to ease these challenges. It can considerably improve the day-to-day efficiency of your warehouse management, while cutting costs at the same time. In this article, you’ll learn exactly how to choose the best WMS for your business, and discover our 10 picks for the top options available right now.
Our rankings have certainly not been thrown together at random. They are instead the result of extensive research combined with a strict, defined set of criteria. Only the top platforms satisfied these requirements, and the extent to which they did so has determined our ordering.
This section will explain what the criteria are and how we used them to both classify and evaluate each piece of software.
Before we can begin judging software against our criteria, we first need to classify it. To kick things off, therefore, here are the parameters by which we organized the various warehouse management tools.
This serves as our very first parameter for classifying software. While some platforms aim to cater to all sectors, most are suited to certain industries more than others, and many specifically state this.
These are just a few of the industries in which WMS software might be used:
Businesses of different sizes can have wildly different requirements, meaning this is another fundamental way to classify this software.
The three main categories we use are:
Freelance and personal use are also taken into consideration but are less common given the scale of warehouse management.
Again, while some platforms will satisfy businesses of different sizes, most will be targeted at a certain level, and these will often be unsuited to users elsewhere.
The deployment method is the third and final way in which we classify warehouse management platforms. There are three categories here:
None of these are automatically ‘better’ than the others, so that hasn’t factored into our actual evaluations. The best option for you depends on your company’s needs.
On-premise software is highly secure and suited to single-location warehouses. If you’re managing multiple locations, though, cloud-based solutions offer much easier collaboration. SaaS platforms also use a shared infrastructure (with your company’s data completely segmented from other users), but — although they might be cheaper — tend to lack in features and customization compared to cloud-based warehouse inventory management software.
This is arguably WMS’ most important role, and as such is the first criterion we look at during our evaluation.
The top platforms not only allow you to monitor your inventory levels but let you do so in real-time. This can help to prevent two of the most common problems in warehouse management, namely under-stocking and overstocking, which can result in orders being lost and space being wasted, respectively. The more details your software allows you to record, the more efficiently you can arrange your warehouse, with factors like shape and size being key.
Another feature the top warehouse management software will include is the ability to add custom inventory rules. These effectively act as automated quality control, wherein you set a series of standards, and are subsequently notified when picking, products, etc., don't meet them.
We believe this is the other ‘must-have’ feature of WMS.
A modern platform should make the basics of product movement effortless, whether that’s managing, analyzing, or tracking the movement of the goods. This should achieve two goals: a more efficient arrangement of inventory in the warehouse and the speeding up of order processing. By analyzing such factors, you can swiftly determine whether you’re getting a good return on your software investment.
An excellent warehouse management system should also enable barcodes to make product movement more efficient, with RFID tags slightly more unusual. If these tags can be applied and tracked via mobile devices by both you and your staff, that’s even better.
Multiple device support is one of the biggest areas in which WMS has developed in recent years. Nowadays, while software will typically still start off and be based on your desktop, you should still be able to access the information you need from any place, at any time. Most modern systems facilitate this by storing data in the cloud, meaning that you’ll be able to access it using any device with an internet connection, preferably with an app.
One way in which the best warehouse inventory management software makes life easier is by enabling managers and pickers to be out and about on the floor, updating the system as they go, with no need for manually inputting data on a computer.
With 3PL teams being an increasingly important part of the warehousing industry, many modern WMS platforms incorporate features for them, while others are designed explicitly for 3PL businesses.
One such feature is locating and managing shipments and inventory, not just for one business, but potentially for a number of companies. Then, there is the ability to automate financials — collecting and monitoring payments — allowing you to concentrate on moving the actual products.
Modern inventory and warehouse management software shouldn’t merely log the inventory. It should also assist with storing the products in a suitable location, ready to be speedily picked up again when needed. Some higher-end software might even have pick-to-light or pick-to-voice technology, which can be a big bonus in more complex operations.
This is another essential measurement for WMS quality.
Top platforms can be set to create labels and forms automatically, which will then be attached to the appropriate goods before they’re dispatched. Relevant documents can also be sent as the goods are en route, ranging from simple invoices to itemized bills of lading and advanced shipment notifications, all of which can be used by the buyer to confirm everything is in order.
The top warehouse management software vendors don’t necessarily need to provide every feature themselves. Instead, they might choose to integrate with platforms that do include those features.
Integrations with supply chain and ERP systems are particularly valuable, as they keep all parties across your organization informed about shipping movements and inventory levels. Once almost every step of your supply chain has been automated, it becomes much easier to track and respond to seasonal inventory dips, hiring spikes, and so on.
At the higher levels, data compiled from multiple supply chain systems will augment warehouse analytics, giving you even more power to increase productivity and reduce waste.
Most modern-day software for warehouse management will provide at least some reporting capabilities. The specifics of these vary greatly, but the most useful features, such as the ability to track different subsets of inventory on different days, are those which enable you (or the managers) to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire warehouse management operation and turn around any weaknesses.
A platform can have all the features in the world, but if you’ve got no idea how to use it — or it takes forever to do so — it isn’t of much use.
We make sure to only list software for warehouse management that is genuinely easy to use. Most often, this will come courtesy of a well-designed, intuitive user interface, which makes it easy to pick up and start using the system.
We’re not here to merely recommend cheap products. It’s far more important that the software offers actual value for money, and this consideration is something which informs our entire valuation. We have also done extensive research to determine the industry standard for the warehouse management system price, and any platforms which go either much higher or lower than this won’t make the cut.
Software that offers a free trial, or a money-back guarantee, will automatically get a boost in our rankings. We believe it’s a huge advantage to be able to try a system for yourself before committing financially to it.
Finally, in this particular industry, the pricing for many platforms is only available on request. This is because most warehouse management software companies prefer to give bespoke quotes, based mainly on volume, rather than offer generalized prices. Every selection in our rankings does offer reasonable quotes, though, and we’ve included price estimates where possible.
If you wanted to discover the top WMS platforms available right now, you came to the right place. We’ve put a tremendous amount of time and effort into researching all of the options, and — based on the criteria mentioned earlier — we’re confident in saying these are the very best of the best.
Read on to discover the 10 best platforms, their most impressive features, and pricing information.
While NetSuite has long been a highly-regarded platform, its purchase by the industry titan Oracle in 2016 has helped catapult it to new heights. As a key part of their renowned ERP package, NetSuite’s warehouse management system module is currently the most feature-complete such system on the market. It scales to operations of basically any size, industry and complexity, and works brilliantly on mobile devices and the Mac OS.
NetSuite’s Advanced warehouse management app packs in such a ridiculous number of features that it’s hard to know where to begin. Aside from everything else you get elsewhere from NetSuite, which integrates flawlessly into the WMS, there’s a multi-location inventory module that can be customized with warehouse-specific parameters. That inventory can be tracked via barcode labeling, license plating, or expiration/shelf life tracking.
There’s plenty here to help you organize a large operation, including wave management, ASN handling, and user-defined putaway and picking strategies. All of this and more can be done on mobile too, with features on the warehouse management app ranging from simple monitoring of inventory across different locations to automated optimization of routes for picks and putaways.
NetSuite’s pricing is available on request — something you’ll find a lot when it comes to WMS.
Our research, though, suggests that you should expect to pay $999/month for the base license, with additional users costing $99 each. While NetSuite can be tailored towards teams of all sizes, this pricing probably will alienate smaller operations.
That said, as we stated earlier, our rankings are all about value for money. NetSuite is at the higher end of the spectrum, in terms of warehouse management software cost, but its enormous feature set and the sheer quality on display will surely justify the cost for bigger businesses.
Apart from ranking among the best procurement software providers, TradeGecko also represents a wholly-affordable, yet feature-rich WMS, making it a particularly appealing option to those with lower budgets. Users can maintain constant visibility and control over their products via the main user-friendly cloud-based platform and an excellent mobile app.
Considering this is relatively cheap warehouse management software, the feature set is certainly impressive. There are plenty of tools here to help you with inventory management, operational optimization, forecasting, and so on.
If you’re running a multi-location operation, moving products between warehouses is a cinch thanks to easily-created stock transfer documents, and you can easily choose which specific warehouses should dispatch or receive stock.
This top warehouse management software lets you invoice from within the platform and track payments, too, minimizing the need for other platforms. The live tracking of inventory — including shipping, receiving, picking, and packing — works brilliantly, helped by an excellent mobile app. Such data can easily be shared between team members, but you also have the option to grant specific user rights.
TradeGecko can be paid monthly or annually, with the latter option being up to 20% cheaper. There are a hefty six price plans, along with a feature-complete free trial.
The cheapest option — Founder — is priced at a competitive $39 per month, billed annually. This is clearly intended as warehouse management software for small business owners, restricted to 50 sales/month, one user, and one warehouse, but does grant access to accounting and payment integrations.
Next up is Lite, at $79/month. While still targeted at small businesses, monthly sales are increased to 300, two users can access it, and the basic automation features — called TradeGecko Connect — are unlocked.
Small Business ($199/month) is the first package suited to multi-location operations. In addition to supporting multiple warehouses, five users, and 1000 sales/month, you also get basic user rights, batch order tracking, and even an account manager.
The Business package, priced at $599/month, is warehouse inventory management software targeted at high-volume businesses. It supports 3,000 orders/month, eight users, advanced user rights, API access, demand forecasting, advanced customization, and much more. Premium — at $799 — has basically the same features, but with 15 users, 5,000 sales, and a dedicated account manager.
Finally, enterprise-level businesses are catered for via the Pro package. It offers customized pricing, users, and basically everything else depending on your needs.
This cloud-based solution is specifically targeted at retail operations, and particularly mid-to-large businesses. Accordingly, there’s an emphasis on easy eCommerce integration and a handy tool for barcode scanning in the warehouse management software. These sit nicely alongside typical warehouse management features, including inventory management, invoicing, and so on, while the POS tool is particularly impressive.
Making retail operations as efficient as possible is the name of the game here, with Cin7 serving as a link between warehouses and brick-and-mortar stores. Users can monitor inventory levels at various warehouses in real-time, which reduces the risk of under or overstocking. The software's excellent POS tool subsequently tracks sales within a store and immediately relays this information into the wider system.
One of the major warehouse management system benefits is automation, and this is put into full effect with Cin7. Multiple channels and warehouses are automatically integrated into one system. Cin7 streamlines orders across these channels, enables bin location assignments, and helps with intelligent pricing. Both batch and wave picking are supported, and both are made quicker and easier thanks to a highly efficient barcode scanning tool.
Cin7’s pricing is neatly divided into three plans, although only the cheapest actually has a publicly-available price, with the rest available on request. There is also a free trial.
The first package — Starter — begins at $299/month. While this not might be the cheap solution you are looking for, this warehouse management system software is explicitly intended for operations with sales revenues already at or approaching $2 million.
The other two packages — Momentum and Advanced — don’t have prices attached. Cin7 doesn’t specify which features are unlocked with each plan, either, except for a dedicated account manager at the highest level. Advanced is intended for brands holding stock in “many locations,” though, and selling through multiple channels.
Part of the wider Fishbowl Inventory toolset, Fishbowl Warehouse is one of the best warehouse management software options for small to medium-sized businesses. It’s a highly affordable solution, and, while it’s not the prettiest platform, it gets the job done when it comes to inventory and order management.
Fishbowl Warehouse gets the bulk of its functionality through QuickBooks integration. If you’re already using QuickBooks or Xero (which this warehouse stock management software also integrates with), the transition should be seamless.
Either way, the result is effective order fulfillment, inventory management, and parts tracking across multiple locations. The sales order module is highly customizable, allowing you to create pricing tiers, save quick lists for swift order fulfillment, and so on. Multi-currency conversions are included by default, while purchase orders, sales orders, and pick tickets all use auto-reorder points and are subject to in-depth reports (which can help forecast future inventory needs). Shipping is also made easier via integrations with the likes of UPS and FedEx.
The pricing for Fishbowl Warehouse is somewhat unusual. Unlike most types of warehouse management systems, this one comes with a one-time fee, with no need to agree to a monthly subscription.
That fee starts at $4,395, with the pricing being gradually reduced as you add more users. That might sound like a large sum, but given that you might use this software for years to come, it will almost certainly work out cheaper than a monthly payment option. There’s also a free trial available, so you can test the software for yourself before purchasing.
Finally, it should be noted that while that payment will get you the software permanently Fishbowl still charges an annual fee if you also want to get support and updates. The cost for that is not publicly available, however.
A top-notch free warehouse management software might sound like an impossible dream, but Zoho Inventory shows this is not the case (for its basic features, at least). This is a highly intuitive and attractive cloud-based platform intended for small to medium-sized businesses. Thanks to certain integrations and tools, it’s particularly useful for eCommerce stores, though it also works well with more general retail operations.
Zoho Inventory is an entirely cloud-based warehouse management tool, and this is leveraged into live end-to-end order tracking (including batch tracking) and inventory management. You can also get real-time shipping rates and in-transit details from carriers, and instantly check stock levels and generate reports across various locations. This live connectivity is further augmented by excellent mobile apps on both iOS and Android.
For eCommerce businesses, Zoho Inventory’s integrations are a dream come true, with the system tying in flawlessly to the likes of Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Shopify. Further integrations are also available with Zoho’s other excellent products, such as CRM and Books. Within the actual warehouse management platform, you can create purchase orders, set up drop shipping, create automated workflows, and use Automated Reordering if a product is out of stock.
There are four packages for Zoho Inventory. The three paid plans can be subscribed to monthly or annually, with the latter being roughly 30% cheaper.
Personal and small businesses can use the Free price plan. The plan is limited to 40 total orders per month (20 online and 20 offline), 20 shipments tracked, one warehouse, and two users, but you still get access to all the eCommerce integrations and warehouse management apps.
The cheapest paid plan is Basic, at $39/month billed annually. It covers 3,000 total orders, 150 shipments, two warehouses, 10 users, and 10 automated workflows instead of five.
Next comes Standard, at $79/month. This is another step up, with 20,000 orders, 1000 shipments, five warehouses, 15 users, and two Shopify store integrations instead of one. The plan also allows batch and serial number tracking.
Finally, the Professional plan costs $199/month. It allows 60,000 orders, 3,000 shipments, 10 warehouses, 20 users, and five Shopify integrations.
As one of the most renowned names in supply chain management, Infor has created extremely advanced warehouse inventory management software. The platform is highly configurable and intuitive, intended primarily for industrial customers. It’s available on-premise or in the cloud and contains useful labor management tools alongside a wide-ranging suite of warehouse management features.
There are plenty of tools here to support even the biggest industrial warehousing operations. One of the most eye-catching features we’ve seen in this entire warehouse management software comparison is Infor’s 3D visual warehouse, which allows you to literally see exactly what’s going on from your screen. You can subsequently monitor and manage order workflow, view bottlenecks, shift labor around, and so on.
Additionally, there are various advanced warehousing processes you can use. These include attribute capture and serialization, multi-sequenced putaway, wave management, web receiving, and cross-docking. Integrated analytics help identify the availability and constraints of labor, space, equipment, and more. All this can be applied across multiple sites and channels from a single source.
Pricing for the Infor Cloudsuite warehouse management solution is only available on request. This is because it depends nearly entirely on your specific needs — from the number of warehouses you’re operating, and the number of orders being processed, to your choice between the cloud-based, on-premise or SaaS options.
Our warehouse software management reviews continue with Brightpearl, an integrated cloud-based platform for retailers and wholesalers. It targets larger operations, specifically those registering or approaching at least $1 million in monthly sales. These customers get a system designed to streamline warehouse management by eliminating errors and enabling efficient storage and dispatch of goods.
Brightpearl is so feature-rich, it can seem overwhelming. The platform helps streamline processes and eliminate mistakes, including scheduled computerized cycle counts and stock checks, barcode scanning, automated partial fulfillment and dropshipping, and configurable workflows.
If your warehouse management system functional requirements include multi-location support, you’ll be delighted with what’s on offer. Agile order picking allows pickers to take goods from optimal locations, each warehouse team can have their own user interface, and there’s integration for 3PL systems and several major shipping providers.
As is often the case with WMS, Brightpearl’s pricing is only available on request. The consensus amongst user reviews, though, is that — while this isn’t the cheapest option around — you certainly get what you pay for.
Packages are highly customizable depending on your requirements, with extra add-ons available to purchase on top of the base WMS software. You can also get a personalized demo to try out the platform before you commit to a purchase.
Manhattan’s Warehouse Management can be deployed either on-premise or in-cloud. It uses smart algorithms to optimize your warehouse operations significantly and speed up the flow of goods, with a particular focus on using high-quality mobile apps. Advanced AI and machine learning help to round out an extremely high-tech offering.
The automation and AI capabilities of this platform are up there with the very best warehouse inventory management software. Proprietary algorithms are used to mathematically organize and optimize processes, while concurrently ensuring your business stays within industry regulations, enabling cross-docking and expediting back-ordered products in the process. AI can also be used in reporting to give quality audits and analyze vendor performance.
Manhattan is proud of their mobile capabilities, and rightly so. The apps help users achieve omnichannel fulfillment and can be used to process orders and even automate information capture via voice recognition.
Manhattan’s pricing is available on request, but user reports suggest it certainly wouldn’t qualify as a cheap warehouse management software. Still, you definitely get a sizable and powerful feature set for your money, and the package will be customized based on your number of users, sales, and locations.
SAP has been a giant amongst software development companies for decades, and their Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) platform — one of the longest-running on the market — fits perfectly into this legacy. It’s designed to integrate complex supply chain logistics between high volume warehouse operations and can be deployed in the cloud or on-premise.
SAP EWM does a great job of streamlining basic warehouse management. This comes via built-in quality control and yard management, physical inventory and cycle counting, and multiple stock ownership. Both inbound and outbound shipping is similarly improved thanks to advanced shipping notifications, optimized receipt processes, the ability to schedule picking, packing and shipping in two waves, and even augmented reality and voice picking.
Larger operations will find this warehouse management tool particularly beneficial. The management of batches, serial numbers and catch weights, scheduling of dock appointments, and usage of cross-functional analytics and regulatory compliance checks can all be implemented across multiple locations.
Pricing for SAP EWM is only available on request. You must contact a customer service representative to get a quote based mainly on volume, with the tiered pricing structure ensuring a decrease in unit prices at higher volumes. It’s also worth noting that basic EWM features are included in SAP’s broader Enterprise Management license.
3PL Warehouse Manager is, as its name suggests, warehouse management software for third-party logistics companies. It’s designed to allow users to deal with customers in different industries, and enable cloud-based warehouse management across multiple locations.
3PL Warehouse Manager has already allowed thousands of 3PL companies to shorten order cycles and improve efficiency. This all starts with an intuitive user interface, progressing to more complex features like API and EDI integrations. The app enables repeatable and scalable customer-specific workflows, while basic tasks are made easier thanks to the segmentation of 3PL-specific inventory, billing and reporting, and QuickBooks integration.
The cloud-based nature of this warehouse receiving and management software allows easy on-demand reporting and connects multiple locations for mobile scanning. An integrated SmartPack solution helps verify orders in real-time, and this already-impressive feature set can be augmented via integrations with leading marketplaces and shopping carts.
3PL Warehouse Manager can be demoed via a free trial, with no commitment to buy. The specific pricing is only available on request, but packages are highly customizable depending on the features you require. In short, you won’t be shelling out for functionality that you don’t need.
Thanks to our comprehensive reviews, you already know the best solutions currently available. That, however, doesn’t mean that our job is done.
We’re also here to guide you through the shortlisting of relevant options, and ultimately the selection of the perfect platform for you.
Weed out any software that doesn’t align with the industry focus or size of your business.
If you’re running an eCommerce operation, for example, you don’t want software for industrial 3PLs. If you only have one warehouse, and a five-person team, you don’t need software designed for 20 users covering five different locations.
Get rid of any warehouse management platforms which are clearly unsuited to your business, then verify that the remaining options abide by your specific regulations.
You already know what you don’t require from a platform, but what do you need to succeed? Write down a list of features you want, be it technical tools like mobile apps or a customizable workflow, or something else like a dedicated account manager.
Now, compare warehouse management software options you have so far against these features. Platforms which satisfy these requirements get to stay on the shortlist.
If the most powerful and intuitive platform in the world were free, everyone would probably use it. This is not the case in reality, though, and you need to decide how much you can afford — or simply want — to spend. Also, think about whether you want to pay monthly, annually, or purchase the software for a one-time fee.
Compare this budget and payment structure against your shortlisted platforms. The platform that best matches your requirements, and also fits within your budget, is the perfect warehouse management software for you. Enjoy!