Zoho inventory management finally comes for SMBs

Profile picture for user gonzodaddy By Den Howlett October 22, 2015
Summary:
Zoho solves a perennial problem for SMBs with its new Zoho Inventory module. There's plenty to like.

Zoho sales order
Zoho sales order inside Inventory

Inventory management is hard and even harder for the small and medium sized business. Loss of sales, stock outages incorrect product listing and lack of business insight are just a few of the major headaches that SMBs face. Few vendors have ventured into this field, largely because inventory management is complicated and difficult to make digestible for SMBs. The notable exception being Brightpearl. Now we see Zoho entering the fray.

Zoho has launched an inventory management module that is directly integrated into Zoho Books. The price points, which are based upon number of orders and shipments per month run $29 to $449 a month. That pricing includes the professional edition of Zoho Books. So what's in the box?

Zoho Inventory is an inline inventory and order management tool that synchs with multiple sales channels. It claims to take care of the entire order management cycle from purchasing through to shipping. Zoho has integrated to well known online retail stores such as Amazon and eBay and UPS and FedEx on the shopping side. Payment integration to PayPal and Authorize.net are included with Stripe to come.

The system automatically notifies for low stock and provides role based access to maintain division of responsibilities requirements.

I spoke with Raju Vegesna, Zoho's chief evangelist about some of the product capabilities:

 You automatically know which products are selling best, which to put the plug on. We are primarily aiming at retail or online, especially in multiple channels. This could include wholesale in the future but not right now.
Zoho inventory management dashboard
Zoo Inventory Management dashboard

A neat feature comes in the ability to apply different pricing for different channels. You can for example associate a price with a customer. Dynamic pricing isn't there but may be developed for the future once the company sees how customers adopt the current solution.

From a first look, Zoho Inventory needs a POS app and while the company won't be drawn today, I sense they will get this done pretty quickly in order to ensure they reach more than those who operate through digital channels.
I asked Vegesna how Zoho is progressing because clearly, this solution will be useful for the business that carries multiple SKUs and operates in multiple channels.
More and more we see larger SMBs. We are also starting to see an interest in companies taking four or five products. It's not uncommon for us to do deals with 3,000 seats. The largest in the US was 15,000 seats but those are occasional deals. We are still firmly in the SMB market.