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Written by the Open Sky Staff

A business owner's work never stops. Keeping track of your stock without a system to do so is nearly impossible for a company of any size, but free tools are available to small businesses that will reduce the amount of time, money, and effort spent on certain tasks like ordering and counting stock.

Web based Free Inventory Management Software can help business owners to organize and track stock, minimize waste, lower costs, free up space in storage areas, automate reorders, and more. While different brands of inventory systems come with different features, it's a general rule that a free version of the program is more limited than paid versions of the same program. However, that doesn't mean the features included in free versions of the software aren't useful.

What Is Free Inventory Software?

Inventory management entails having an accurate accounting of all of your inventory at all times and ensuring that inventory goes to the right place at the right time. Poor management can lead to financial losses. Good management can help you perform many important business functions, some of which include identifying where shrinkage is coming from and how to minimize it, automate ordering of stock before it's out, minimize overstock and waste, track profit and loss, and more. Operating a business is more efficient, less stressful, and simply easier when you use software that helps to automate your processes.

Inventory tracking software helps business owners organize and track their stock, minimize waste by eliminating most overstock, lower costs by eliminating restocking of slow-to-sell items or unprofitable products, free up space in storage areas, automate reorders, and more. While free inventory management software features are different depending upon which program you choose, the software's basic features are enough to make it worth the effort.

Common Uses of Free Inventory Software

  • Improve Customer Experiences – If you don't have what your customers want, when they want it, at the prices they want to pay, they'll take their business somewhere else. You need to ensure that shelf space doesn't sit empty and customers have the items they need at their disposal. The best inventory systems automate that process so it's a problem of the past.

  • Audit Trail – Shrinkage is the loss stores suffer due to theft or breakage, shipments arriving damaged, lost stock, and other mostly preventable problems. Good inventory management solutions can tell you where your products are at all times, if an item is being stolen frequently, or it arrives broken too often. It can even reduce shrinkage by as much as 50%.

  • Automate Reordering – One small distraction while a manager is trying to focus can easily result in huge problems for a business. Why leave things like ordering up to chance when you can have market demands anticipated and new orders for your store's profitable bestsellers placed automatically? Free inventory management software can make keeping your store stocked much more effortless.

  • Reduce Waste – One of the biggest problems retailers of perishable goods face is spoilage. When managers don't have the tools they need to predict buying trends, it's nearly impossible to prevent ordering overstock or running out of popular items. Inventory management systems can track trends in consumer spending behavior and predict an increase or decrease in product demand due to seasonal changes and other factors.

  • Finanical Analysis – A good inventory program helps you analyze your costs and profits, and it can make tax time much easier by generating itemized reports based on AVERAGE, LIFO or FIFO costing techniques.

Benefits of Free Inventory Management Software

The benefits of good inventory systems are far-reaching. It can break down your pricing structure, tell you your profit margins on everything you sell, tell you which items aren't selling and when they should be discontinued, tell you when about the popularity of your product, automatically order stock when it's running low, keep track of expenses, work in conjunction with tax accounting software, and so much more. Of course, some of these features may only be unlocked with paid software, but most features can be used for free. And many are available 24/7 just like Cloud Based Inventory Management Software.

Small business owners typically don't understand the power of data, and this type of software can unlock insights about your business that can help you get an edge over competitors. Month after month, your software gathers information about your products, where they are, how fast or slow they're selling, where they're placed in the store, and many other data sets. With this information, you can eventually predict what customers will do next, which gives you more opportunities to sell.

One of the most important parts of using data that's gathered is visualizing it. Good inventory systems auto-populates tables and custom reports, so you can easily understand what your data is telling you. If an item is decreasing in popularity and is about to become a space-waster on your shelves, this software can help you spot those items so you can put them on clearance and discontinue it. Not only can you find out which items aren't bringing you the revenue you need, but you can also reduce theft. You can figure out precisely where products are getting stolen from or broken so you can put them behind glass doors or try other security methods. This software can prevent so much loss while it increases profitability.

Key Considerations for Free Inventory Software

It's important to know that not all inventory management solutions are created equal, and there are dozens of software brands out there with unique features. Make sure that the software you select is as easy to use as Simple Inventory Management Software. Free software typically doesn't come with all of the features unlocked, and you have to upgrade to get the most out of it. Paid programs are obviously going to offer deeper insights, but they aren't always affordable for small businesses. Some paid programs can cost as much as $1,000 per month and don't do much more than the free versions out there.

Some programs have multiple free features that can do a lot for your business, but the additional features unlocked after upgrading aren't that much better. When you're ready to upgrade to a better program, you'll have to transfer all the data and start again. Therefore, it's best to choose a program that will give you great free and paid features. You don't want to have to pay somebody to go through your free program and copy everything over to a better-paid program when you can just run your credit card number to unlock the improved features and be done with it.

How much data is your software gathering about your business? Do they sell your business information to marketers? Some programs run ads and will gather and sell your contact information to marketers, so make sure you read the terms of service and opt-out of having your information sold to the highest bidder.

What Is the Best Free Inventory Software?

  • Odoo lets you track inventory, does forecasting, and has a sales and a customer portal. It als0 features order reminders and automates bid requests. The paid version starts at $36 per month.

  • Zoho is cloud-based and accessible from anywhere. It has the capability to help you build product kits and track your supplies for that in addition to all other inventory. There are ecommerce integrations and shipping management tools that help you to become a better ecommerce seller. Paid features start at $79 per month.

  • Square is user-friendly with unlimited products, and it comes with extra options for labeling different colors, sizes, etc., of the same product. It's synchronized across mobile platforms, desktops, and in-store sales so you can get the information you need in real-time. Upgrades start at $60 per month for retailers.

  • Boxstorm reads barcodes and lets you apply an entire action to the whole list of items. The program also counts sales cycles, automates re-orders, and works well with accounting programs. The upgraded version starts at $79 per month.

  • Skyware Inventory is a web based inventory system that allow you to upload multiple images of your products, as well as setup barcodes, sku's and more. You can set defaults for products and update them in bulk. And you can customize multiple fields to best fit your products and needs. It's easy to get real-time insights about where your products are, how much of each product is selling, automatic reorder alerts and more. You can track profitability, attach important documents to products, and so much more. This is the most versatile free program on the market, and it's free for one user. Each additional user is $3 per month, or more depending on the features that are unlocked. Skyware Inventory is appropriate for large or small businesses.

Leading Free Inventory Management Software: Skyware Inventory

Saving money while getting the best possible product is the ideal situation for anyone, and Skyware does that for you. Business owners and managers can keep a tight rein on expenses, keep track of where items are in storage, always know how much of a product you have and how much longer it'll last before you need to re-order, and so much more.

Other software features are unmatched by what Skyware Inventory offers. For just $3 a month, you can add your manager or business partner and get all the great benefits of software programs that are a lot more expensive. Visit our website today to learn more about how this software can help you run a more profitable business.