Tech Stack PRO: Inventory Planning Software

Tech Stack PRO: Inventory Planning Software
Inventory Planning Software

The worst-kept secret in retail is that retailers are overstocked. Buyers mistook COVID-19 growth for marketing skills. It was luck. Founders have lost their brands because of this.

The biggest lie is that the root cause of this issue has been fixed.

The second biggest lie is that there is an easy fix.

Inventory Planning Software is not a new category. It pre-dates DTC, but DTC demand dynamics have certainly stirred the pot.

It is incredibly nuanced, and each software has its place in the market depending on a brand size, sales channels, product types and categories, seasonality, assortment, continuity of products and growth rate.

That's before you consider integration to your Ecommerce platform, ERP or WMS. Yikes. No wonder Operators burn more time reviewing these solutions than any other.

The vendors find this tough, too. Some of the vendors I am highlighting here rejected my request for a demo 👀

Even if you're not currently shopping in this category, save this as your shortlist for when you need to. 📥

If you're one of these vendors, please use the comments to state your differentiation and call out your ideal customer profile to help people qualify themselves.

Inventory Planner by Sage - Wider SKU range. Repeating products. £10K+ per year.

Toolio - Merchandising focused. Works well with NetSuite. Retail+DTC forecasting. $10K+ per year/module.

Flieber - recommended by a client of mine. Uses AI. No pricing intel.

Singuli. Data scientists. Strong in 'What to buy'. Starts at $3,000/month.

Optiply - AI and automated buying. Great for seasonality and resellers of brands with big catalogues.

Syrup Tech - Google-backed. I don't know much, but logos look cool. I would love a demo tbh 😂

Lokad - The nerds of inventory forecasting. Over my head, but one for the more studious operator.

Prediko is Shopify-focused. It integrates with the Bundle app and Shopify bundles. It is Accel-backed. It starts from £300/month.

Slimstock - Veterans of the game. Solid platform. Pricing is not disclosed.

Netstock - ERP-Focused inventory planning. Works well with NetSuite in particular. It's a solid option if you have an ERP-stack.

Madden Analytics - Fashion-focused merchandise solution. I've got a demo lined up next week. More soon 👀

No inventory planning solution is going to replace the art of merchandising. These are tools to make the merchandise team's life easier so they can focus on making the right decisions.

The hottest tip outside these solutions is Klaviyo waitlists and using pre-orders on new products to gauge demand and reorder before they land.

Airtable isn't the right solution for figuring out what to buy. Airtable can help combine your costs, purchase orders, and supply chain workflow with the 'what to buy' data your inventory planning software generates.

Oliver Rhodes

Oliver Rhodes