Searching online for inventory management systems

Considering Cin7 or DEAR? 

TL:DR – Neither option is great for many of our clients. Read more to find out why.

With several large inventory management platforms sunsetting in this year, many ecommerce business owners have been forced to find migratory software. COOs and CIOs of mid size businesses have become frustrated and overwhelmed with trying to navigate which limited platforms are most suitable to them.

Inevitably many Ecommerce companies are turning to the feature charts and webinars to find the next scalable inventory solution for their business but there are inherent downsides of these decision helping tools.

As a former cloud inventory implementation partner of LOCATE, and having helped companies migrate from platforms like Tradegecko, we have been able to assess and understand many of the hurdles users faced on those platforms.

We also understand the core difference between ERP solutions and IMS solutions on the market today and resonate with business owners who may feel stuck “in the middle”.

So while Clearinity doesn’t offer feature charts and we don’t offer ERP options yet, what platforms are we suggesting to our clients today? 

Consider Cin7

TLDR

Pros:

  • Batch accounting
  • Optional Transactional Level Accounting
  • Order Management
  • Plug-and-play integration philosophy

Cons:

  • Not built around best practices 
  • No refined workflows
  • No separation in core functionality 

Overall:

  • It is best fit for businesses above a Stage 4 Maturity and is best for those looking retail ecommerce hybrid options, with heavy emphasis on EDI connections.

Cin7 was established in 2011 out of New Zealand. It offers a full point of sale and inventory management package for scaling and mid-size businesses. Cin7 boasts more than 500+ integrations through its own modules and third party software marketplace. 

Cin7 allows connection with your marketplaces, sales channels, fulfillment centers, and accounting making it suitable for ecommerce businesses. This platform is on the cloud and does not need a server. Cin7 does offer data security level access so your entire team can be aligned but not have high level access to sensitive data. 

For those that have brick and mortar locations or offer onsight POS, Cin7 does offer retail and ecommerce hybrid solutions. 

We recommend this system is best suited for those businesses that are making over $5MM or have a maturity level of above Stage 4

Because Cin7 has some core inefficiencies, it’s not great for businesses that offer rentals or need asset management. The core inefficiencies of Cin7 that we have noted are:

  • Too flexible in modulation 
  • Non-intuitive workflows
  • Does not offer accounting , documentation management or reporting capabilities

Consider DEAR

TLDR

Pro: 

  • Built in reporting
  • Real time visibility into your order management 
  • Great for ecommerce models

Cons:

  • Accounting is transactional not summarized, meaning it’s weak for ecommerce
  • Product Structures are not optimized for complex BOMs
  • Very weak OR very robust manufacturing models with few shades of gray in the middle
  • Heavy manufacturing is new and cumbersome for implementors, users, and reporting

Overall:

  • Great for businesses between Stage 3 and Stage 5. Works well for ecommerce owners not ready for a full scale ERP implementation but need to move off of QuickBooks Desktop (to QBO) or smaller inventory platforms. 

DEAR launched in 2012 and was acquired by Cin7 in 2020. This platform offers warehouse, inventory, and production management for a diverse size range of businesses. We recommend DEAR for businesses that are in growth Stages of 2 or more. 

DEAR offers seamless integration with QBO and Xero, though the accounting integration still has its complexities. DEAR is best suited for ecommerce business owners who need sales order management, financial management, resource and inventory transparency and goods planning for production. It does not offer a retail ecommerce solution at this time but does offer RFID tracking. 

This platform is a great introductory to IMS for businesses making over $600k all the way to $50M. It does offer B2B portal capabilities and documentation management, for those businesses that need to offer high volume and custom work. 

DEAR struggles for those that have bundled products that need to be split into multiple parts. It also does not work great for those that need customizable fields or additional project management control. 

Your Next Inventory Management Solution

Whether you explore Cin7 or DEAR, your next inventory management solution should fit not only your immediate needs but also be considerate with visions of the future. Both these platforms have limitations and often see hurdles when it comes to clients expanding their product lines. 

If you are feeling stuck in the middle between your inventory management system software and ERP options, we are here to help. Our Step 1- Discovery is designed to tease and pull out the future vision plans so we can help navigate the potential hurdles and opportunities of whatever technology your company is looking at today.