The inventory management software market is expected to reach $3.2 billion by 2025.
From retailers operating large warehouses to small businesses with limited stock, inventory management software helps organizations of all sizes manage their supply effectively and efficiently.
With the accelerating pace of eCommerce growth and the evident benefits of digitizing inventory management, more businesses are investing in these solutions.
Though these can require an investment of multiple thousands of dollars, smaller businesses are finding great value in open source and free inventory management software.
In this article you'll find:
- The benefits of switching to open source inventory management solutions
- How top free inventory management software systems facilitate supply management
- The top five free inventory tracking tools
Why Use Open Source Inventory Management Software: Key Reasons To Make The Switch
Managing the inventory can be daunting, especially for fast-growing businesses.
Without proper systems in place, an increase in supply can cause issues in logistics and make the supply chain unmanageable.
The biggest names in the business use automated scanner tech that cuts the time and saves money.
However, not everyone can afford high tech equipment, at least not startups and small businesses.
Luckily there is a lot of accessible and simple inventory software that can make this process a lot easier which will not only boost your performance but will save you time and money at the same time.
What’s more, a free inventory tracking tool will help you prevent excess stock and stock-outs. This is especially important because reducing them can lower the overall inventory costs by up to 10%.
It also allows for better customer service since it increases accuracy which ultimately ensures that the right product is delivered to the right place on time.
Speaking of punctuality, 34% of businesses have shipped an order later than expected because they accidentally sold a product that was not in stock.
With open source inventory management software, you will keep track of your warehouse and supply easily, while increasing customer satisfaction as a result.
The use of monthly subscription model software suites is not an uncommon practice in the industry. There are even companies that will outsource running their own inventory stats.
All supply chain requirements need to be on a strictly run schedule - all according to demand. Calculations for procurement can become messy and overwhelming. Especially without prior adequate growth projections.
How Simple Inventory Software Facilitates Supply Management
Manual and inefficient inventory management leaves a lot of room for error, the tiniest of which can cause serious damage; One wrong barcode readout and a chain reaction runs the supply chain, including the whole warehouse, into chaos.
Time is essential for keeping a well-structured supply chain. All info has to be concise, well organized, readable and accessible. Supply must run trouble-free 24/7.
Consequences can leave business flow devastated, and running efficiently affects customers the most; The market is unforgiving and competition is everywhere and ready to take over.
This is where a free inventory management system comes in quite handy.
Top 5 Free Inventory Management Software Systems
Here is a list of the top five free inventory tracking tools that can help you manage your warehouse and supply easily and more efficiently.
Read on to find out which one suits your business the most.
1. Zoho Inventory Is A Simple Inventory Software With A Free Version For Smaller Businesses
Zoho Inventory is an online inventory control software that enables sellers to automate their order and supply management.
It has an entirely web-based system that offers retailers end-to-end tracking from purchase to packing and delivery.
Integrating with online sales channels is also possible, so you can easily connect to eBay, Amazon, Etsy or Shopify.
This is one of the top free inventory management software solutions for small businesses because it is highly customizable, so it can suit all your needs and requirements while letting you make smarter business decisions.
Here are some of the key features it offers:
- Absolute control over inventory (automatic re-orders, scanner managing, product listing)
- Order fulfillment from start to finish
- Sales tracking, complete invoice and billing information in many languages
- Great choice of integrations (payment processors, accounting programs, Google software suite, and Shopify stores)
- Clean and easy to use user dashboard
- Functional and easy to use mobile app
- Mobile tracking for iOS and Android devices
- Export tools for further offline use
- Email notifications
Although used by some of the biggest suppliers in the world including Amazon and Renault, the free version of Zoho Inventory is quite limited. So, it is the most suitable tool for small and mid-sized businesses.
With the free version of this tool, businesses can have:
- 20 online orders/month
- 20 offline orders/month
- 20 shipping labels/month
- 20 shipment tracking/month
- Two users
- One warehouse
What’s great about Zoho is that it has different versions for the US but also for other countries like the UK, Canada and Australia.
2. Odoo Is An Open Source Inventory Management Software With A Free 'Community Edition'
Odoo is a fully integrated, customizable and open source inventory management software that offers great flexibility.
It is suitable for businesses of all sizes and it allows warehouse managers to manage their supply, deliveries and sales in one place while maximizing efficiency.
This tool also makes it possible to keep track of employees and employee documents as well as enables easy collaboration between teams and departments.
Its free “Community Edition” earns top marks for great functionality and adaptability.
Some of the main features this platform offers are:
- Automation and time-sheets scheduling
- Fully-fledged customer portal
- Tracking invoicing and payments
- Desktop user interface
- Employee Directory
- Inventory and sales management
- Website building tools (blogs, presentations, themes)
- Full eCommerce functionality
- Point of Sale and PoS Restaurants
- Live chat and email marketing
- Google Spreadsheet integration
Some of the downsides of this platform are the lack of automated migration tools and functional support.
However, you can always consider the paid subscription plan that costs 11.37/ month per user.
3. inFlow On-Premise Offers A Free Inventory Management Software For Windows
inFlow On-Premise is one of the top free inventory management software systems on our list as it offers some pretty unique features.
Thus, it has over 1 million installs and is used by 940,000+ small businesses worldwide.
Here are some of its primary functionalities that can help you run your business more effectively:
- Up to 100 products and customers in total
- 15 reports
- Multi-user mode: read-only
- Live chat
- Phone, email, and forum support
- Shopify Integration
- One year support
- Daily backups
- Multiple locations
The free edition of this simple inventory software fits small and mid-sized businesses the best.
The system, however, doesn’t use the cloud for information processing. It only runs locally, meaning you need to download and install it.
The free version of inFlow is available for Windows only. And while this tool works online and may seem a bit limiting, it offers great inventory management tasks.
4. OpenBoxes Offers A Free Wearhouse Management Solution
OpenBoxes offers a completely online-based warehouse management platform.
This solution is great for small businesses.
It offers compatibility with the most popular operating systems including Windows, macOS and Linux. So, you can use it on different devices with ease.
Here are some of the top features OpenBoxes offers:
- Allows managing multiple warehouses
- Multiple region organization
- Fully item tracking enabled
- Detailed user dashboard
- Statistics and reporting functionality
- Multi-language user interface
- Powerful exporting capability
- Versatility for product tagging
- Email functionality with notifications
However, OpenBoxes is restrictive in integration capabilities. It also misses out on several features that other open-source competitors offer.
Most obvious is the lack of any type of Shopify and Google suite integration which is a big disadvantage for business users who need and often use such functionalities.
5. Boxstorm Offers A 'Forever Free' Version
Boxstorm is the industry go-to recommendation for small businesses because it blends vast functionalities with excellent integration.
This free inventory management software is quite flexible and shares connectivity to one of the best business accounting software QuickBooksOnline.
What’s great about this tool is that retailers can easily manage their inventory on the go from any mobile or desktop device.
The “Forever Free” version of Boxstorm is a well-rounded software system and an all in one solution.
With it you can enjoy one user, one location, 25 items and 100 transactions per month.
Here is a list of features that make it stand out:
- Cloud-based inventory management
- Advanced QuickBooksOnline integration
- Android and iOS mobile application
- Extensive import and export functionality
- Detailed inventory tracking
- Barcode scans
- Readily available customer support and training access
While it may seem like least functionality on offer - Boxstorm offers the most for small business owners. The cost of the “Pro” subscription plan is enticing ($79/month).
So Boxstorm is the absolute best value cloud-based inventory management software on our list.
If you do not manage multiple warehouses then this software platform is a valid solution.
Takeaways On Free Inventory Management Software
These platforms facilitate the management of warehouse or retail operations for small businesses.
- streamline your daily operations
- increase efficiency
- increase customer satisfaction
Zoho Inventory, Odoo, inFlow On-Premise, OpenBoxes and Boxstorm are just a few of the cost-cutting simple inventory software systems that are most suitable for small and midsize businesses.
Thanks to their unique features, you can easily cope with the demand for expanding and opening to a bigger customer base and face the risk of increasing challenges.