DEAR Inventory is a cloud-based, inventory and order management application for SMBs which offers a complete back end management solution with purchasing, sales, warehouse management, light manufacturing features as well as shipping, ecommerce and payment gateway integrations.
DEAR Inventory aims to help small to medium business owners take control over inventory and order management while streamlining, automating and simplifying all daily operations.
DEAR has wide applications in various industries by businesses of various sizes. Retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and ecommerce operators are the broad categories of DEAR Inventory users. Some businesses utilise DEAR for simple inventory management needs while others rely on DEAR to meet compliance requirements imposed by their industry, for example food manufacturers need DEAR for lot traceability and expiry date capabilities.
DEAR is phenomenal for a user that is willing to put in the time to discover it.
If PMs had more of a security / controls / data audit background , and implemented processes to address those weaknesses , it could potentially become a solution for businesses of all sizes, not just SMBs.
1- Customer support is on point, probably the best i've ever interacted with. They clearly understand that this is not a word processor, and have built a world-class support service around the software.
2- SaaS is not buggy at all
3- Their devs are constantly rolling out updates
4- DEAR has good, nonbuggy integrations with almost every major app in its market niche.
5- DEAR has succeeded in making a product that is relatively easy to use in what is an otherwise complex piece of software, and has deep complexity
1-Documentation is weak in several non-core modules and functionality. For example, security features don't really have an instruction manual, or if it exists, it is not immediately obvious where that lives, thus leave people having to contact CS.
2- Some features are not really implemented thoughtfully and are more of an horizontal revenue expansion than actually thinking of customer pain points. Example - the notification module could be SO MUCH more, but it has weaknesses like it won't report on stock transfers completed, etc.
3- The overall platform is not hardened against stupid errors. There is no "audit your customer's data" logic in DEAR. Platform assumes user inputs are always right and there are no early warning(s) across the board when users are making obvious mistakes, such as when POs receive impossible / wrong amounts, SKUs, etc. The feedback for "error" popups, is only is given when it is too late.
The software can be used "out-of-the-box" after a minimal amount of setup, and can also be used in more complex installations where bespoke software development might be needed.
The simplicity of the initial setup, the simplicity of the menu navigation, and the speed with which new users are able to grasp what they need to do to accomplish their tasks caused me to take a closer look at this software and I'm glad I took the time to do so.
The multiple warehouse locations field, along with the multiple bin locations field, both available in DEAR but not available in some other offerings, is a basic requirement of a stock management system as far as I am concerned.
Whilst the software might appear complex for first-time users, those with experience of stock systems and business processes should find it a breeze to set up and use for the purpose intended, especially if they are familiar with setting up other software. It's an advantage, but not a requirement, if the person(s) setting it up also have an understanding of business accounts and are able to find their way around creating/editing MS Word mail-merge templates.
I am impressed that I have been able to use the software to accomplish pretty much every task that my clients' have asked of it so far. The ease of integration with other cloud-based applications puts another tick in the box for me.
This is a comment and not a complaint; although the reporting functionality in the 'out-of-the-box' version is adequate there is room for improvement. The limitations can be overcome by exporting the files and adapting them as needed. Those with a more specific software development skill- set (or more time to learn) would be able to achieve a great deal more from the software than is possible using the 'out-of-the-box' version.
"Moved over from sage around 12 months ago to Xero and added Dear which answered the major issues I was having with Sage in that the inventory element (sure, that's not what is was designed for) was woefully inadequate for our business.
I have to report that 12 months in that Dear has met and exceeded expectations and added real value to my inventory management and customer order processing. With the recent addition of the B2B portal, and what my customers will be able to do once is it fully operational will really revolutionalise some of the challenges we faced in, for example, letting customers know what is available from stock etc.
Overall, we made the right move and I haven't seen a better combination of integrated applications than Dear and Xero!
Well done and thanks to both!"
Dear is a brilliant and responsive company, although my only gripe, is that there are few updates or communique's relating to bug fixes or developments of the application. Example is the B2B portal, there are many comments about what features are needed and bug fixes, but as yet no commentary from Dear as to which will or won't be incorporated. Like me, many will become less likely to comment f it is not apparent that they are being acknowledged. Come on Dear, at least add a comment!!
Thank you for this review we are happy to hear everything is going well. We would like to take some time to address some of the cons.
We have new updates/releases of new features pretty much on a weekly basis. The minor changes get notified through in app notifications and major monthly releases get sent out as news letters. This can be found in our release notes sections http://dearsystems.com/inventory-software/blog/category/release-notes/
Regarding the forum we get a lot of inquiries to add new features and we usually work on an up-voting system and implement suggestions that are most popular against our users. When our businesses analysts decide on what we should implement a planned status will appear next to the suggestion. When its in progress the status will change to 'In Progress' and once finished the status will change to Implemented.
Please see our development road-map for everything that is coming up in relation to B2B enhancements based on user requests http://dearsystems.com/inventory-software/development-roadmap/
// DEAR SYSTEMS DOES
+ Manage inventory with different sales channels
+ Send PO/Invoices/Quote/.../... with customisable template
+ Auto assemblies
+ Issues to production
+ Sync to accounting software
+ Handles goods in transit, FX gain or Loss etc
+ They are working on a reseller portal
+ They are working on a POS
+ Chat support is knowledgeable and they really try to help you
They have a forum where users can chat together and upvote functionalities requests.
- They are totally absent from that forum, they say they scan it to update their roadmap but they won't engage in the conversation at all.
- Functionalities are added too fast without feedback from their users.
They really need to work on their communication with their active users.
Thank you so much for your review. We are happy to hear that mostly everything is going well with DEAR. Would like to address your concern with forum activity and explain a little further the process.
The user feature requests work on an up-voting system. When our business analysts review suggestions they look at the ones that have been up voted the most by users. We then need to do market research to see potentially how many businesses this feature would be applicable to and if changes are made we need to make sure that existing users do not get affected by these changes.
When a suggestion is accepted the status will change to Planned. Once it is scheduled for development it will appear on our development roadmap with an ETA. When we start implementing it the status will change on the forum to In Progress. Once we finish the status will change to Implemented.
We'd like to develop every feature we are asked for and we do have to prioritise the work we undertake. We will always measure the demand for certain features, both through our forum and other industry sources.
Some links below to pages that will help understand what has been done recently and where we are heading.
Release notes - http://dearsystems.com/inventory-software/blog/category/release-notes/
Development Roadmap -
Being able to integrate with a number of eCommerce platforms is huge. Support usually replies fast (especially for simpler questions and help). Also the way in which we're able to manage thousands of products over multiple locations is fantastic. Some aspects of DEAR are very intuitive and easy to use. It allows one portal for looking at sales, product orders, inventory storage and movements, basic product history. The reports on the dashboard help us see inventory and financials at a glance. They've also recently expanded, allowing more than 20,000 SKUs at a time in the system!
Because DEAR is used by so many and works with so many different platforms, integration between it and other platforms (we use Shopify) are not always seamless. A feature that works great with one may make another way more difficult to use. On that note, customizing your DEAR account to make it exactly what you need is rather difficult. We often have to find workarounds to ongoing problems that may seem basic to many. And while customer support is friendly and often fast to respond, it's very easy for misunderstandings to occur. As well, new feature requests often don't get acknowledged if they don't fit into DEAR's current plans.
One thing that would be great could be a separation for those who need DEAR just to locate products, vs those who actually need to access all of the parts of DEAR that can change products, sales, locations... We've had a number of mix-ups where inexperienced people made changes that couldn't be undone due to the nature of the software.
Plans start from as little as $199 USD/month for 5 users
Extra users: $50 USD/month
Regardless of a business’s size, product management needs remain the same. A business must manage the flow of products in and out, mitigating loss and fulfilling orders quickly. While larger businesses can afford a full staff and a customized solution, small businesses usually lack the funds to put these resources in place.
DEAR Inventory levels the playing field for SMBs, allowing them to compete with much larger organizations. Whether a business is moving hundreds or hundreds of thousands of products each month, DEAR Inventory offers a back end solution that can help businesses manage daily operations affordably.
Using DEAR Inventory, businesses can reduce manpower without sacrificing efficiency. The app can integrate with a business’s inventory software to provide ongoing access to financial information for business managers. Profit and loss statements and balance sheets will always be updated, reflecting the latest information about sales online and at a business’s retail locations.
Because inventory information is always updated, employees will no longer make promises they can’t fulfill. If a product shows as in stock, it will be, allowing floor workers and websites to always know if an item is available.
Using DEAR Inventory, businesses can create and track each phase of the purchasing process. Once a purchase order has been created, it appears in the list of orders for easy tracking. The order is submitted to the specified vendor, automating the ordering process to remove the burden from workers. Businesses can also access information on the reorder level of all stock.
Through reporting, businesses can see all purchase orders, with separate reports available for pending purchase orders and purchase cost analysis. A Supplier/Product report can show all activity with a specific supplier or product for a specific date range, as well as all pending orders for that supplier or product.
Managing inventory can be difficult, especially as a business’s product offerings grow. Once an item is entered into the inventory system, it can be transferred and adjusted within DEAR Inventory. DEAR Inventory supports many aspects of inventory not available in other solutions, like serial numbers, batch/log tracking, and expiration dates.
An Inventory Aging Report can help an organization pinpoint all items with upcoming expiration, preventing waste by giving businesses an opportunity to move that inventory at a reduced rate in the weeks leading up to a product’s end of life. DEAR Inventory supports a FEFO (First Expiry First Out) costing method to further prevent waste. If a product requires a recall, businesses can conduct a batch/lot recall within DEAR Inventory.
DEAR Inventory’s happy customers list its logical workflow as one of its biggest benefits. Each section of the app works with other sections to create a seamless process for users. When integrated with other apps used by a business, DEAR Inventory can provide an easy-to-learn interface for everyone within the organization.
With DEAR Inventory’s Users & Permissions setting, managers can give each user the access he or she needs. Editing capabilities can be locked down to only those employees who need to add and remove information, with others within the organization only having the ability to read information.
Manufacturers can keep up with production on each item through DEAR Inventory’s production section. Even before production starts, DEAR Inventory can be used for job costing and to issue an item to production. Inside the application, users can view the Bill of Materials and wastage percentages.
DEAR Inventory can also help with Disassembly manufacturing. Within the system, businesses can enter an item and include the quantity that needs to be disassembled.
Because DEAR Inventory works with the accounting applications businesses already use, updating financial data as items are ordered and sold. This reduces duplicate entry and reduces the risk of error due to missed entries.
With the ability to pull reports, businesses can have updated information on all aspects of their organization in just minutes. Everything will be located in the cloud, giving professionals the ability to login from any internet-connected device to view up-to-date information.
DEAR Inventory integrates with applications for accounting, eCommerce, and shipment. Currently, the app features integrations with Xero and Quickbooks for accounting; eBay, Magento, and Shopify for eCommerce; and ShipStation for shipping.
For one user, the software is only $31 per month, which includes one location, one currency, 600 products, and unlimited customers and suppliers. Plans for three users and locations are available at $64 per month and plans for five or more users begin at $85 per month.
Below are some frequently asked questions for DEAR Inventory.
DEAR Inventory offers the following pricing plans:
Starting from: US$199,00/month
Pricing model: Subscription
Free Trial: Available
Plans start from as little as $199 USD/month for 5 users
Extra users: $50 USD/month
DEAR Inventory offers the following features:
DEAR Inventory has the following typical customers:
Freelancers, Large Enterprises, Mid Size Business, Non Profit, Public Administrations, Small Business
DEAR Inventory supports the following languages:
Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English
DEAR Inventory has the following pricing plans:
DEAR Inventory supports the following devices:
Android, iPhone, iPad
DEAR Inventory integrates with the following applications:
Crossfire Cloud EDI, Handshake, Hike, Pepperi, QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, Salpo CRM, StarShipIT, Xero, Xero
DEAR Inventory offers the following support options:
FAQs, Knowledge Base, Online Support, Phone Support, Video Tutorials