MARKETING SPECIALIST

The more a company expands, the more need it has for accurate and optimized stock tracking. If you find yourself in this situation, chances are traditional spreadsheets and files just don’t cut it anymore. Fortunately, some developers offer inventory management software free of any additional costs.

But what is inventory management software and what are the best free ones out there? Keep reading if you want to find out what tools can help you grow your business without dipping into your budget too much.

What is Inventory Management Software?

Inventory management software is a subclass of asset tracking software that can handle intangible assets and tangible assets. The former refers to any type of resource that is not physical in nature, such as trademarks, licenses, patents, copyrights, and software.

Managing this type of property is possible through digital asset management software. With its help, you can gain visibility into the company’s intangible assets and manage them under one convenient roof. Apps of this kind generally allow system admins to see a comprehensive list of digital assets and their license numbers, versions, and more.

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The latter terms, namely tangible assets, refers by contrast to resources that are physical in nature.  They include money, hardware, equipment, vehicles, buildings, investments, and inventory. This is where inventory management software comes in.

Wikipedia defines inventory management software as:

a software system for tracking inventory levels, orders, sales and deliveries. It can also be used in the manufacturing industry to create a work order, bill of materials and other production-related documents. Companies use inventory management software to avoid product overstock and outages. It is a tool for organizing inventory data that before was generally stored in hard-copy form or in spreadsheets.

Simply put, inventory management software is a high-tech replacement of the hard copies used by enterprises when keeping track of their assets. By using one, you can better organize your business and cut down on time and resources spent on systematizing your stock.

This is what this type of app can do, in a nutshell. But is inventory management software free? Can this level of optimization be achieved at no additional cost? The short answer is yes, depending on the developer. While some services are subscription-only, others offer costless variants that can actually hold a candle to premium ones. In the next section, I have compiled a handy top 5 of the best alternatives on the market to get you started.

Is Inventory Management Software Free? Top 5 Alternatives

#1 Odoo Inventory

  • Users: Unlimited
  • Products: Unlimited
  • Locations: Unlimited
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Paid Plan: $36 per month

Odoo offers its inventory management software free as a standalone product. By itself, the app contains all the functionalities you will need for straightforward stock processing. However, syncing it to their other products such as the CRM or the Point of Sale (POS) management tool comes at an additional fee of $36 per month.

Since there is no limit on the number of integrated users, products, locations, and transactions, Odoo is a great choice for companies with high-volume sales. Warehouses and drop shippers will particularly enjoy it.

Nevertheless, there are a few drawbacks to this free inventory management software, as there are with any other product of this type. Not only does the app not offer you the possibility to customize your interface, but it cannot be integrated with other apps other than those in Odoo’s catalog.

MORE KEY FEATURES

  • Compatible with digital products
  • Custom alerts for items and suppliers
  • Inventory operations scheduling
  • Automated quote requests
  • Double-entry item management
  • Cycle counting
  • Barcode scanning
  • Barcode or serial number tracking
  • Expiration date field
  • Multiple units of measurement available

#2 Zoho Inventory

  • Users: Two
  • Products: Unlimited
  • Locations: One
  • Transactions: 50/month
  • Paid Plan: $79/month

Zoho Inventory is marketed as an inventory management software free of any charge. This doesn’t mean you will have to compromise on quality when using it, as it comes with all the features your company needs to grow.

With multiple integrations to the CRM and e-commerce platforms and payment gateways, Zoho Inventory is a scalable solution fit for SMBs that want to expand their operations. It comes with inbuilt shipping tools that allow you to generate shipping labels and print packing slips.

However, Zoho Inventory does not come with real-time and multi-location tracking, nor does it offer inventory forecasting. Its shipping tools also have limitations in terms of labels and tracking, which is something to consider before making your choice.

MORE KEY FEATURES

  • Sales order management
  • Android and iOS mobile apps
  • Batch and serial number tracking
  • Barcode scanning
  • Purchase order templates
  • Packaging and shipping management
  • Invoice creation
  • Drop shipments
  • Reorder points
  • SKU generation

#3 Square

  • Users: Unlimited
  • Products: Unlimited
  • Locations: Unlimited
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Paid Plan: None

Square is, at its core, a POS system targeted towards small businesses that also includes the features of inventory management software free of charge. It is best suited for retailers, as it also has an integrated e-commerce platform that is ideal for storefronts.

But while it is an all-in-one solution that handles your point of sale, inventory management, and e-commerce needs, it ultimately comes with pretty basic features. It has no kitting or bundling abilities, nor does it allow for purchase ordering and vendor management.

MORE KEY FEATURES

  • Product category creation
  • Product modifier tracking
  • Bulk product import and management
  • Automated low stock alerts
  • Downloadable product reports

#4 ABC Inventory

  • Users: One
  • Products: Unlimited
  • Locations: Unlimited
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Paid Plan: $435/year

Unlike the previous options which were cloud-based, ABC Inventory by Almyta Systems is a locally installed app that runs on an older interface. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t be too quick to judge this particular book by its cover, as it comes with an array of handy features that are the perfect fit for manufacturers.

Even though Almyta Systems offers its inventory management software free, ABC Inventory can handle manifold warehouses and locations. What is more, it supports multiple supply chain models and complex shipping needs, while at the same time including kitting.

Nonetheless, keep in mind that ABC Inventory is an older program that runs on PC only. It also offers no other support except its dedicated forum, where you have no guarantee that someone will attend to your issue.

MORE KEY FEATURES

  • Management of both tangible and intangible assets
  • Data exports to Microsoft Word, Excel HTML, and text
  • Advanced search and fast browsing functions
  • Purchase, sales, shipping, and work order generation
  • Multiple language options
  • Inventory repair and leasing
  • Barcode scanning
  • Forecasting feature

#5 Stockpile

  • Users: Unlimited
  • Products: Unlimited
  • Locations: Unlimited
  • Transactions: Unlimited
  • Paid Plan: None

Stockpile is Canvus’ version of free inventory management software, and it is entirely cloud-based. It has no limits on users, products, locations, or transactions, and it is fairly simple to set up and use. In addition to this, by using it you will benefit from accessible support at no additional cost.

However, Stockpile’s features don’t venture too far beyond standard inventory management. The app cannot be integrated with any other third-party programs, nor does it offer an option for kitting and bundling. What is more, you will not get any sales or order tools with it, so consider that as well when making your choice.

MORE KEY FEATURES

  • Multiple user levels (base, manager, owner)
  • SKU and UPC tracking
  • Automated low stock alerts
  • Visual media addition
  • Multiple currency options

Wrapping Up…

High-quality inventory management software doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. If expanding the business is the next big step in your plan, the aforementioned five tools are a great way to start. In the future, you might want to consider going for the paid plans though or look for premium solutions that can support the company’s future growth.

Everything needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis, so make sure to look back at your tangible asset management in the coming months and see what can be improved from there. For the handling of your intangible assets, Heimdal™ has your back, so don’t hesitate to drop us a line at sales.inquiries@heimdalsecurity.com.

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