Updated May 10, 2017: Carta, a great little freebie, is going dark in the middle of the year. As such, I’ve taken it off the list and dropped in Delivrd, another great, free option.
Managing your inventory effectively can be the difference between making the sale and losing it to a competitor. If you don’t know what you have or where it is, you’re going to have a tough time selling it.
Luckily, you don’t have to go broke just keeping an eye on your product. Here are five free or open source inventory management offerings for small businesses, presented in alphabetical order.
ABC Inventory is the child of Almyta Control System. It’s a free package for a single user, allowing you to manage multiple warehouses, serial numbers, warranties, and a host of other inventory related data. This free version is really designed to be run on one computer, though, as multiple workstations can’t sync the same data.
As with almost all free options, you’ll be supplying the support — though there are some forums to give you a hand if things get tough. ABC is geared specifically toward smaller companies that don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with a bigger system.
Delivrd is a cloud-based inventory management and order fulfillment solution that just launched its first official release at the end of 2016. The company offers two plans – free and $50 per month. The free plan covers one location and 25 SKUs. A great option for businesses that have a narrow focus, like online retailers and specialty product retailers.
If you’re using WooCommerce or Shopify, Delivrd can integrate directly with them, making life a whole lot easier on the back end. If you use another eCommerce platform, you’ll have to work through some manual data transfer to make it all work.
Delivrd also supports barcoding, pick and pack, and some financial reporting. At the paid level, you get access to more locations and products, as well as getting some PO and sales management tools.
inFlow is an inventory management software focused on small and medium businesses. The company has been growing since 2007 and now claims over 750,000 users. inFlow has a free option that limits you to 100 products and customers, and a baker’s dozen reports. You also miss out on some advanced user features and inventory management options.
The free version has no expiration, though, and small businesses will be well-served by the small set of options. Default features include barcoding, different accounting methods, and automatic data backup, among others.
Once you outgrow the free version, inFlow can be upgraded for a one-off, $399 payment. That will unlock unlimited products and customers, more reports, and advanced features like customized invoices and order forms. Paying customers also get a year of support.
We’ve talked about Odoo here before, but it’s because there’s a lot to like. For two people using the online system, Odoo is free. If you download the open source version and host it yourself, Odoo can be free for everyone, though you’ll have to support it yourself.
Odoo is designed as an ERP, but thanks to the software’s add-on app layout, you can make it as large or small as your business requires. For inventory management, you’ll probably want to take advantage of at least the warehouse management system and perhaps the purchase or point of sales system as well.
Since it’s an ERP, all of your data will be combined in the backend, so purchases can flow into inventory and into your accounting, as well. Odoo online can be a great open source answer for a small business, while larger businesses can get a lot out of the full featured software.
RightControl Lite provides inventory management for ten product lines. It also comes with invoice and receipt generation tools, geared toward the small business or self-employed individual. Apart from a limitation on product lines, the Lite flavor offers all the features of its bigger sisters and brothers in the RightControl line.
Users can set automatic reorder reminders when stock gets low, can print labels for stock, and can integrate with a barcode system. If you need more than the ten products or want more users, growing businesses can upgrade to RightContol Solo, Pro, or Workgroup for about $1.50, $7.50, or $30 per month — the company’s rates are given in British Pounds. Each comes with an increase in the number of products that can be managed.
All of these systems can manage most small business inventory requirements, with many offering flexibility to move up as your company grows. Odoo may have the strongest position for an existing large company, but the low prices for its competitors mean that there are plenty of options within most budgets.
If you’re looking for even more inventory management software, check out Capterra’s full listing. What other free inventory software solutions are out there? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for Inventory Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Inventory Management software solutions.