Free Inventory Management Software: Top Free and Cheap Inventory Tracking Solutions

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Tidying up and organizing a messy inventory is no small task, even for small businesses. Trying to maintain order with pen-and-paper is a dying process prone to error, and purchasing inventory management software to shoulder the burden is expensive. If only there were a cheap way to manage inventory — enter free inventory management software.

Just because you don’t run a Fortune 500 company and can’t afford a cutting-edge system does not preclude you from the inventory management game. We understand your doubts. Cheap solutions sounds like a recipe for disaster — but we’re here to tell you otherwise.

Compare Top Inventory Management Software Leaders

Top Free Inventory Management Software

Is Free Software Worth It?

The world of inventory management is an expensive one. Businesses spare no expense when it comes to developing an efficient and accurate method to store, pick and ship their goods. However, these expenditures are worth it. A recent study shows that as businesses drop their old pen-and-paper methods in favor of inventory management systems productivity jumps by up to 25%, stock use efficiency rises by about 30% and the businesses gain valuable inventory space.

That’s all well and good but does opting for open-source or cheap inventory management software provide the same level of benefit? Firstly, and most obviously, free inventory tracking software is… well… free. This lack of expenditure immediately removes any expense related barriers involved in adopting the system, and in the same vein quickly boosts the ROI associated with implementing this new software.

If you are coming from an analog operation, simply switching to a digital system comes with numerous benefits. Reducing manual data entry, demand forecasting tools and automation features can breathe life into a floundering business. Not only that, but customers who you could have lost to shipping errors or a lack of demand planning can be brought back into the fold and turned into return clients.

Before we jump into the top platforms, covering the must-have features of a successful management system is key. If the platform you are eyeing doesn’t have the features listed below, take a step back and consider some alternatives.

Top Features of Affordable Inventory Management Software

Being free certainly is attractive, but without these key features the cheap system you have your eye on may not cover all your bases. Our SelectHub Analyst Team dug through the inventory management market and discovered these top features to be sure and look for:

top free inventory management software features

Inventory Traceability

Keeping track of a product as it travels from warehouse to shipping is vital. Whether this involves the usage of RFID technology, barcode scanners or real-time stock views, a successful system will keep you updated on where a product is, when it needs to be moved and how to store it at maximum warehousing efficiency. If you don’t know what products you have in-house at all hours of the day, how can you possibly plan for fluctuating demand?

Transfer Management

Many businesses have to transfer stock between warehouses and other locations regularly. A successful management solution should make product movement simple while also providing in-depth information about each move. Included within this feature is the ability to bundle products together, also known as kitting.

Purchasing

Creating and sending purchase orders by hand feels similar to Dark Ages torture. Your cheap inventory management system should give you the ability to create single or bulk POs online and email them directly to your suppliers. Some solutions can automatically generate POs as certain item levels drop within the warehouse.

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Shipping

While you may think shipping belongs in the world of transportation management, your inventory system actually plays a starring role in getting product shipped out correctly. The best systems allow for multi-carrier and multi-modal shipment strategies. You want the most options available as possible to ensure your customers receive their goods on-time. Many systems can automatically generate critical shipping documentation and labels to attach to packages or store for later use as backups.

Order Management

Any system worth its salt should give you support for order management from the creation of the order to fulfillment of the product. Other helpful features of order management let you develop custom pricing guides, send quotes to customers, mark committed stock and send invoices.

Reporting and Analytics

Analytics and reporting are the lifeblood of any growing business. These tools give you real-time access into demand information, on-hand stock, total sales, tax information and more. Features like these give managers and stakeholders up-to-date information to back up their decision-making processes. Analytics can also point out areas of your operation that are suffering or inefficient, giving you the tools required to step in before bigger problems arise.

Mobile Support

The modern workforce is becoming more and more reliant on mobility as time goes on. Being able to unchain ourselves from our desks while still having the ability to interact with our inventory management software is becoming vital today. Many modern solutions give users the ability to log in, update and view important business data, manage processes and more all from internet-enabled smart devices.

As always, there are more features to consider as vendors create cutting-edge technology, but the features listed above are a good roadmap to start with. Now we can take a look at the top performers in the free inventory management market.

Top Five Free Inventory Management Software

Our SelectHub Analyst Team gathered up the top-performing solutions and came up with this list of the top five contenders and their standout benefits, features and limitations:

Compare Top Inventory Management Software Leaders

Zoho Inventory

Designed for small to mid-size businesses, Zoho Inventory helps businesses manage sales, create purchase orders and accurately track inventory. It integrates with several online sales channels, including Amazon, Etsy and eBay. It also includes Shopify support and is available on all platforms.

zoho inventory

Zoho Inventory gives users visually digestible data

This free version includes 20 online and offline orders, 20 shipping labels, 20 shipment trackings and one warehouse. It includes support for inventory and warehouse management, multichannel selling, reporting and more.

Standout Benefits & Features

Zoho Inventory features several helpful inclusions and tools, but here are some of it’s main offerings:

  • Inventory Control: Zoho Inventory features a centralized system that updates critical inventory information across all sales channels. This occurs automatically and happens as soon as a sale is made.
  • Warehouse Management: Maintaining an organized warehouse is key, and Zoho Inventory gives users the tools to manage multiple locations while generating valuable insights through reporting features.
  • Item Kitting: Users can quickly bundle multiple products while updating shipping information to include any relevant new details.
  • Re-Ordering: Users can create reorder points and attach them to your preferred vendors. Stay ahead of stock-outs and always have products on hand to meet demand.
Compare Pricing & Costs with our Inventory Management Software Pricing Guide

Limitations

No system is without a few faults, here are some pitfalls to be aware of:

  • The currency functionality feature is cumbersome
  • Does not support customer segmenting based on item purchases
  • Cannot print delivery notes
  • Lacks forecasting features
Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
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Company Size Suitability: S M L

inFlow On-Premise

InFlow On-Premise is designed specifically for item-based businesses of all sizes. It is available on Windows and contains several helpful inventory management features, including barcoding, invoicing, manufacturing, reports and more.

It is available as a self-hosted, on-premise solution and (obviously) offers a free version. Its free edition is perfect for smaller retailers and wholesalers looking for tracking tools. Users can access 15 reports with no ongoing costs and up to 100 products. Technical support, however, is not included in the free version. There is a cloud-based version called inFlow Cloud available that is more comprehensive but lacks a free offering.

inflow on-premise

inFlow’s On-Premise offering

Standout Benefits & Features

In-Flow On-Premise contains a suite of powerful tools — here are some of the standouts:

  • Inventory Management: Keep track of inventory movement, stock levels, prices and more with inFlow On-Premise. See what is reserved or on order while actively tracking product movement histories. It handles costing (FIFO and LIFO), and automatically tracks items down to each adjustment.
  • Selling & Invoicing: Users can capture sales and track invoices along with the ability to import them from CSVs. The system also syncs invoices and sales with Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce or Squarespace. It can also automatically reserve a product when an order arrives while warning users if sales are about to overcome available stock.
  • Reporting: Reporting features are vital to business growth, and inFlow On-Premise offers summary reports for sales, purchasing inventory and admin.
  • B2B Portal: Clients can visit a B2B portal that shows them pictures, descriptions and prices of items on a product list. There is also a showroom available where users can showcase discounted items.
Compare Pricing & Costs with our Inventory Management Software Pricing Guide

Limitations

Here are a few shortcomings associated with this system:

  • The system can only fully integrate with Shopify
  • Client data is synced over a local network. Only computers attached to this network can access the system
  • It is limited to the Windows operating system
  • Backups are only stored on the server computer
Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
Platform:

Company Size Suitability: S M L 

Odoo

Odoo is an open-source system for businesses of all sizes. It provides support for warehouse management and offers a variety of modules and apps to fit the unique requirements of your business.

Some of it’s basic offerings include inventory adjustments, packing, receipts and multiple location support. It is available both as a SaaS or self-hosted solution and is compatible with all platforms.

odoo

Odoo’s expansive inventory options

Standout Benefits & Features

Odoo gives customers a robust suite of tools at no cost, here are some major features:

  • Order Delivery: With or without the use of barcode scanners, Odoo can pack and deliver orders. Orders are prepared for clients based on the availability of the products in question.
  • Inventory Adjustments: This included module helps prepare cycle counts and can make quick inventory adjustments based on zone, lot, pallet, box or specific product.
  • Barcode Scanning: Odoo leverages barcoding for inventories, upcoming shipments, packing orders and more.  Users can simply can goods to confirm the reception of a product. It also supports EAN13 and EAN14.
  • Inventory Forecasting: This system uses confirmed sales orders, purchase orders, internal moves and manufacturing orders to forecast product availability.
Compare Pricing & Costs with our Inventory Management Software Pricing Guide

Limitations

Here are some pitfalls to consider:

  • Users cannot redo or revise adjustments after they are made
  • Not all localizations are supported
Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
Platform:

Company Size Suitability: S M L 

Stockpile

Stockpile provides small to medium-sized businesses with free inventory management software support. This system uses a tiered access model to manage users and administer locations, manufacturers, preferences and physical areas.

It contains reporting features that give the users valuable information on inventory turnover and other business-critical considerations. It is available with a SaaS deployment and is compatible with all platforms.

stockpile

Stockpile gives users multiple avenues of visibility into their inventory

Standout Benefits & Features

  • Inventory Management: Stockpile handles new item additions to inventory, sales transactions, returns and more.
  • Minimum Stock Counts: Users can set up automatic alerts that notify appropriate team members when minimum safe levels of stock are hit to avoid stock-outs.
  • Inventory Transfers: This solution uses its inventory management module to transfer stock movements between warehouses or areas of storage.
  • Free Benefits: Even as a free solution, Stockpile provides the user with several benefits, including access from anywhere and unlimited users, items, locations and free support.
Compare Pricing & Costs with our Inventory Management Software Pricing Guide

Limitations

  • Printing images of items of inventoried items is difficult
  • Searches can often come back with irrelevant results
Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
Platform:

Company Size Suitability: S M L

Delivrd

Delivrd is a cloud-based free inventory management solution that compliments businesses of all sizes. It is available for all platforms and its free version includes support for a single user and location, a product catalog of up to 10 items, stock level alerts, transaction histories, email support and stock reception.

It leverages barcode scanning to boost logistics processes and improve inventory accuracy. This system mainly serves retail and e-commerce industries.

delivrd

Delivrd’s inventory lists help track and label products

Standout Benefits & Features

Delivrd brings numerous free features to clients, including:

  • Profit & Loss Analysis: Users can better determine the profitability of an item with Deliverd’s profit and loss tools. This feature accounts for shipping and packaging costs to give users a clear view of the costs associated with an item.
  • 3rd Party Integrations: Delivrd comes with built in integrations to Shopify and WooCommerce order import tools. Users can also import orders from any source using a CSV file import tool.
  • Pick, Pack and Ship Support: Unfulfilled orders can automatically be converted into pick waves and pack orders with the included barcode scanning tools. This ensures error free fulfillment throughout the shipping process.
  • Wave Packing: Delivrd walks users through the physical process of packing products while fulfilling customer orders. It uses “keyboard-free” processes that rely on barcode scanning instead of manual data entry.
Compare Pricing & Costs with our Inventory Management Software Pricing Guide

Limitations

While there is only one, curious users should always pay attention to any lacking areas:

  • Integrations with the system are very limited
Price: $$$$$
Deployment:
Platform:

Company Size Suitability: S M L

Next Steps

With the knowledge of the top contenders in the free inventory management software arena fresh in your mind, what next? Well, before you quickly jump to a conclusion and decide on your favorite cheap solution; take some time, think it over and ask yourself some probing questions.

While jumping onto a free solution without spending too long thinking about it may not seem like a costly mistake, you would be wrong. Even though you may not be spending money on the actual system itself, the damage you could do to your operation certainly is not free. Consider a few of these questions before making the leap:

What size is your team?

Just because a solution is free doesn’t mean you need something massively complex if you run a small business. Just because something comes with advanced features does not mean that will be a fit. If you only need a few employees to keep your business running smoothly adopting a solution meant for teams of 60 people or more will only slow things down more.

Is there time to learn a new system?

Even though these systems are free monetarily, you’ll have to spend other resources getting your employees comfortable with the new system. Is this something you can afford to do right now, or is everything so up in the air that a complicated new edition would serve only to create further confusion?

How can you be sure one system is the right fit?

Choosing the wrong system can be catastrophic, so it stands to reason that there is a fair amount of anxiety around the final choice. Talk to vendors, ask questions and look for demos until you and your teams are comfortable with how the system of choice works before settling down.

Compare Costs with our Inventory Management Software Pricing Guide

Final Thoughts

As you can see, just because a solution is free does not mean it’s lacking in features or benefits. Free products may not be a winning choice for globe scaling enterprises, but for smaller operations, they could be the first step toward organization and profitability. Still curious? Take a look at our SelectHub analyst curated comparison report of the top inventory management performers.

How have free inventory management solutions helped (or hurt) your business? Let us know with a comment below!

Hunter LoweFree Inventory Management Software: Top Free and Cheap Inventory Tracking Solutions

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