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Every industry-specific POS software provider will claim to have the features you need, but how do you decide which is the best inventory software for your auto parts store?
At the most basic level, you need to track stock levels and locations, alongside procurement and sales prices.
However, the best software can do so much more, from analyzing sales trends to simplifying the ordering process. If you want to optimize your business, you'll want to take advantage of these more advanced features.
The right POS system will make all the difference to streamline operations.
So, let's dive into my review on the 5 very best POS and auto parts inventory management systems available below.
Product and Inventory Management
Customer Relationship Management
From $69 per month
From $7995 (one time payment)
From $92 per month
Rev Parts Management Software - Best Overall
Autopart by MAM - Best Business Analysis
Lightspeed Retail POS - Best Value for Money
Acctivate - Best for Quick Books Users
Windward Software - Best for Repair Shops
Rev Parts Management Software, despite the name, is actually a complete cloud-based POS, CRM, Inventory Management, Back Office, Shop, and Warehouse management solution, in effect a full Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
Their quotes are all based on accessing the full suite of solutions so there are no hidden extras.
The comprehensive features, easy-to-use dashboards, and outstanding customer support make Rev Parts Management Software a real standout and my pick for the overall best auto parts store POS on the market.
In addition to monitoring inventory levels and tracking parts in process/transit, Rev Auto Parts Management Software provide an innovative solution to pricing information. The system allows you to enter jobber, true, and discounted prices, choosing which to use in calculating the cost to the customer either manually or using automated settings.
Whether you prefer to operate on a fixed price, fixed mark-up, or hybrid pricing scheme, the system can take care of it so your sales staff just pass on the bottom line information to the customer.
The customer relationship management (CRM) functions of the Rev Auto Parts Management Software are equally impressive. Starting from the point of initial contact, the CRM module lets you collect data on potential customers and convert them into the client database once they start buying from you.
As well as purchase history and category preferences (manufacturers, part types, etc), the system allows you to store personal information if shared with you and can, for example, be set to remind you of a customer's upcoming birthday so you can send best wishes and a birthday discount voucher.
Promotions can also be easily set up and distributed based on preferences e.g. to all the customers who buy parts from a specific manufacturer.
Despite offering a one-stop system, Rev APMS understands many auto parts retailers have existing software for at least some aspects of their operation and either don't wish to switch from systems that are already working smoothly or don't wish to take the necessary downtime for changing everything over in one go.
Therefore, the system is designed to run alongside your existing modules while you gradually transfer operations. The company also has a dedicated team of transition support staff who can assist you through every step.
Autopart is another industry-specific software solution.
Although not quite as comprehensive as Rev Parts, it has excellent inventory, sales, and business analysis features which make this system well worth consideration.
The sales and order processing component of the Autopart POS system lets users easily select car parts from integrated electronic catalogs, process sales including discounts and delivery charges, and generate pick tickets or delivery notes accordingly.
Prices can be customized based on customer type e.g. wholesale, retail, regular client, etc and if the salesperson pulls up the customer information from the CRM database prior to adding parts to the order, only the correct pricing info will be shown.
Another handy feature is the ability to view related parts or alternative products e.g. aftermarket upgrades alongside the product originally searched for, so sellers can improve customer service whilst quickly identifying opportunities for upselling.
The Autopart inventory management software has all the functions you need to track inventory levels across multiple locations, calculate freight markups and landed costs, print labels and barcodes, and make sure you always know exactly where the right car parts are for any order.
The inventory reporting system updates live and can be viewed on a location-by-location basis or as a full overview of all stock held. You can see at a glance whether low stock levels in one location can be addressed via redistribution from another, or whether it's time to order more from the supplier.
The Autopart POS system uses the highly popular cloud-based Phocas Business Intelligence module to give auto parts stores all the data they need about their performance.
All sales data can be analyzed using an impressive range of filters and presentation formats, designed to allow trend, variance, and gap analysis. You can also export both the data itself and your reports to several different file formats for sharing with employees and/or shareholders.
Lightspeed provides a general retail POS and inventory control software with tons of features, which makes them one of the leading POS system providers in the industry.
They don't provide a package specifically for the auto parts sellers market but don't let that put you off.
There's very little that specific auto parts software can do which isn't mirrored in this powerful package.
The Lightspeed Supplier Market feature allows you to search parts across several suppliers catalogs simultaneously through a simple interface, import item details, and add multiple photos for available parts into both your in-store POS system and online shop.
Purchase orders are automatically created in when the supplier ships out your parts, and the purchasing module is integrated into the same module as the parts inventory and sales functions, eliminating unnecessary transfer processes.
Parts can be organized, priced, and tracked, within the Lightspeed system using serial numbers, SKUs, or category descriptors. Bundles of related parts can be created, which allows customers to undertake more extensive repairs to purchase multiple parts for a given system via a more streamlined process.
The auto parts inventory tracking features allow for automatic notifications at custom reorder points, which can be set for individual parts, all parts of a given type, or other custom categories. The inbuilt analytics also monitor inventory trends to anticipate changes in optimal stock levels over time> the system allows you to see where certain parts/variations are increasing or declining in popularity so you can adjust your inventory accordingly.
Lightspeed is set up to provide solutions that grow alongside the client's business. The system is designed to easily handle operations for companies with multiple warehouses or retail locations. Purchasing can be centralized, stock seamlessly transferred between outlets, performance analyzed across locations and customer data shared between all physical or online sales locations.
If you already operate more than one auto parts business or are looking to expand in the future, the Lightspeed Retail POS has all the features you need.
Acctivate is an inventory management system that works alongside and is integrated with Quick Books accounting software.
Although, like Lightspeed, not specifically designed for the auto parts industry, Acctivate also has a whole host of features that make it just as good as, if not better than, many of the bespoke options on the market.
With Acctivate you can track inventory however you want. Whether you prefer to follow whole consignments by batch number or individual parts using the serial number or stock-keeping unit (SKU), the system lets you follow your stock at all stages of transportation and warehousing.
Knowing where your inventory is in real-time helps provide accurate delivery estimates to customers and streamlines the process for compliance with manufacturer product recalls.
Your product information pages allow for entry of dimensions and weight, facilitating accurate shipping charge calculations directly without having to look up details elsewhere.
If you're selling a combination of OEM and aftermarket parts, Acctivate allows you to easily group these under the vehicle(s) and function, whilst assigning unique prices and descriptors for the available variants.
This function means even less experienced sales staff should be able to give customers a rundown of the options and prices, complete with which are currently in stock.
Many auto parts dealers sell via a combination of in-store, telephone/email orders, and an online shop. Acctivate deals with input from all streams, updating stock availability instantly and avoiding problems such as the same parts being sold twice.
The system also functions as a CRM platform, collecting client data and storing purchase histories. Being able to analyze the purchasing trends, especially for your biggest customers such as automotive repair shops, helps build your reputation for excellent customer service.
Another provider servicing multiple industries, Windward has produced POS and inventory software aimed at both auto parts stores and repair shops.
If you're a combination auto parts dealer and service center, this might be the best POS system for you.
The Windward Software POS system covers all aspects of workflow for repairs and servicing. You can schedule all of your jobs, track processes, and assign parts direct from inventory to jobs, either individually or grouped into an entire unit for larger jobs. Alongside the labor tracking capabilities of the system, this helps with accurate costing for every job without the tedious tasks associated with compiling information manually.
Service and repair history is also assigned to the CRM system, so when a customer has a query or needs to book in you can see exactly when the relevant parts and systems were last inspected or repaired.
Auto parts inventory is primarily tracked and organized based on the serial number, with the system retaining comprehensive information about the parts you stock. In addition to basic product information, all of which is linked to the barcode and visible on scanning, the Windward auto parts inventory software stores data about warranties, taxes and duties applicable (e.g. for batteries).
Another handy feature allows variations on specific parts to be ranked in a hierarchy based on quality or age, so you can see preceding, equivalent, or superseding variants.
Windward Software heavily prioritizes CRM features. The customer experience is monitored and quantified from their first appearance as a prospect, through every purchase or service they make. As well as the standard personal information collected by most systems (Name, address, phone number, purchase history, etc), this CRM module holds tax and pricing codes, communications history, and has room for custom fields. The system even allows leads to be prioritized based on some of these categories, picking out those most likely to become customers or the most valuable clients to pursue.
There are certain minimum expectations from any auto parts store POS system. Any software should be able to handle purchasing, inventory tracking, process sales orders, and generate bills but the very best can do so much more to automate tasks and prevent manual errors, whilst helping develop customer and supplier relationships. Here are some top features to look out for.
From purchase to sale, inventory control is vital for an auto parts store. The best auto parts inventory software packages allow easy comparison of suppliers and parts at the point of purchase, comprehensive tracking (including transfers across multiple locations), and stock level control.
Sales staff should be able to use the auto parts inventory software to view stock levels, variations, and price points for all available parts.
Meanwhile, both staff and any customers shopping online need to be able to see informative listings, so in addition to the part information, the ability to add multiple photos and suggest links to alternative or related inventory items is highly valuable.
The checkout process itself also needs to be as seamless as possible. Features such as the option to connect QR labels to a car part and add items to a customer's order directly via a mobile device or barcode scanner are as commonplace as credit card processing facilities these days.
To make your auto parts store stand out for customer service, you'll want a POS system that allows sales staff to immediately identify valued or returning customers and apply personalized discounts. The ability to recommend additional discounted purchases based on the current basket or purchase history will also add value to sales whilst making the customer feel like your staff really know them.
Every business owner needs to understand their performance in more detail than just the bottom line. A top POS system does more than just give access to the data itself. Many provide regular insights based on your KPIs and some of the best will automatically notify you of sales trends you hadn't even thought to look into. If one of your outlets starts significantly outperforming another or there's a sudden uptick in sales from a particular aftermarket parts manufacturer, it's important for you to be aware of these changes asap, and you also need the data tools to dig into the detail and find out more.