Last Updated on September 22, 2020 by The Soft Best
Here are the best inventory management software for small businesses: Effective inventory management can make the difference between getting a sale or giving it to the competition. If you do not have good control of the warehouse, if you do not know what you have or where to find it, it will be difficult for you to sell it.
On the other hand, maintaining good control and stock management system can cause a business to stop wasting money and run more efficiently. You may be interested to know that a small entrepreneur who does not have a good management program spend 30% more than companies that optimize their stock levels.
Why is Inventory Management So Important?
In general, how would you say the management of your inventory has been so far? Are your products available whenever you need it? Have you ever lost business opportunities for not having stock of certain items in periods of high demand? Or have you had money losses from stocking more items than were demanded?
The inventory management of SMEs is the part of the supply chain that seeks to have the right products and items in the right amount at the right time. In other words: that the supply is adjusted in such a way to the demand that you never have a surplus or less product.
Ok, my business inventory management is very important, but how do I do it? And once I have achieved it, how do I keep the results? Take note of these strategies and tools to know how many products you should have in inventory at all times and thus achieve smooth and effective management.
Good inventory management software can fix this problem and also optimize the status of your stock, keeping you up to date with your existence, and knowing what orders you have to make at all times. We recommend you find a solution in the coming months, so you don’t lose hundreds, even thousands, of money in revenue.
Fortunately, you won’t need to reach red numbers to improve. There are free products that can help you manage your inventory and will not cost you a cent.
The Best Inventory Management Software for Small Businesses
Honestly, making a list of inventory management software where free and open source products appear is tricky, as there aren’t too many. Below we propose five that, although being paid, have a free and open-source option.
1. ABC Inventory
ABC Inventory is the offspring of the Almyta Control System. Its free version, for one user, allows you to manage multiple stores, serial numbers, guarantees, and many other data related to the stock.
Although there is no limit of workstations in which to install the software, the free version does not allow synchronization of data between them.
As with most free options, the solution does not offer assistance, although you can use the forums if you encounter any problems. ABC Inventory has been designed for small and medium enterprises that do not need all the functions and possibilities of large solutions.
Canvus is an inventory management software aimed specifically at small businesses. Its inventory management system, called Stockpile, offers the user the possibility of accepting returns, recording damaged sales and items, and supervising the rotation of products.
Stockpile ” Source Management” panel ( Source ). Stockpile is completely free and offers unlimited users, locations, and items, as well as free assistance.
The developers plan to add additional functions such as customer management modules and barcode scanning, among others. These added features are expected to be paid. Stockpile is also likely to introduce advertising at some time, according to sources of the company itself, to be able to afford the assistance system.
Delivrd is an inventory management and order execution solution based on the Cloud that presented its first official version at the end of 2016. It offers two plans: one free and one paid, with a price of 50 dollars per month.
The free plan offers a location and 25 SKUs, or reference codes. It is an excellent option for companies with a limited market niche, such as online shops or specialized product retailers.
If you already use WooCommerce or Shopify, Delivrd has direct integration for both, which makes the organization of the store much easier. If you use another e-commerce platform, you will have to transfer the data manually.
Delivrd also generates barcodes, prepares orders, and creates some financial reports. The payment level supports unlimited locations and products and offers additional sales and order management functions.
4. Odoo Inventory
It is not the first time that Odoo is talked about on this website, and it has many positive aspects. Odoo is free for two people who use the online solution. If you download the open-source version and host it on the server, Odoo is free for any number of users, although you will not have assistance.
Odoo has been designed as an ERP solution, but thanks to its application design with add-ons, you can adapt it to the needs of your business, however small or large they may be. If you need to manage the inventory, you can take advantage of its warehouse management solution and, perhaps, the purchasing solution or point of sale.
Being an ERP, all data is combined in the backend, so you can directly transmit purchases to inventory and accounting. The online version of Odoo is a fantastic open-source solution for small businesses. For large companies, complete and self-installed software will be more useful.
5. RightControl Lite
RightControl Lite offers inventory management for ten product lines. It also includes tools for creating invoices and receipts perfect for freelancers and small businesses. With the exception of the product line limitation, the Lite version offers all the functions of its older brothers in the RightControl series.
The user can set automatic reminders to place orders before the stock runs out, print labels for storage, and integrate the solution with a barcode system.
If you need to introduce more than ten products or want to give access to more users, you can subscribe to the Solo, Pro, or Workgroup payment plans. Each level allows us to manage a greater number of products.
Secret Inventory Management Tips for SMEs
A good warehouse management program is key. Warehouse management software is the best tool you have available to improve the inventory management of your small business.
There are many software options that can help SMEs digitize your inventory so that you can effectively track, forecast demand, and analyze the status of your list from all types of devices.
In the case of Secret warehouse management software, you will have inventory management in the Cloud that fits perfectly with growing small businesses. It is intuitive and adapted to the needs of SMEs, both functionally and economically.
With Secret, you have multiple inventory management tools that will allow you to control your warehouse and unify multi-channel sales since it links to online stores developed with PrestaShop. It also integrates work with barcodes, as well as serial numbers, expiration dates, sizes, and colors, etc.
Identify Low Rotation Items
Identify your articles and products of low rotation and, above all, those that you have not sold in the last 6-12 months. If you find products of this type in your inventory, you will most likely have to consider stopping replenishing them.
Keep in mind that the speed of sale of some types of items can vary greatly depending on the time of year (Halloween costumes in October, swimsuits, and shorts in spring and summer), so evaluate well what you should keep in stock and what do not.
When you have identified those items and products whose sales speed is always low regardless of the time, decide if you want to stop replacing them. Be creative in the way you get rid of what is left of that product. For example, you can create a special discount or promotion to remove that product from the shelves. This is a great help for your business since excess stock takes up time, space, and money.
To know exactly how long have you had in stock a product, your program warehouse management should allow you to carry a control of inventory in time real. If you have not yet started working with management app, you may have detected that you have products in your warehouse from the beginning of your company’s activity. Any item with an excessive period of permanence in your warehouse or shelves has to leave at any given time.
Use the FIFO Approach
The acronym FIFO refers to the English expression ” First in, First Out, “that is: the first to enter, the first to leave. In the field of inventory management, it means that you should sell your products in the chronological order in which you bought or created them.
So what comes first must go first. The FIFO approach seeks to prioritize the output of older items and products. This rule is useful for all types of companies and products, but it is specially designed for perishable goods such as plants, makeup, food, or other organic items.
A good way to start using this approach is to organize your store according to it: that is, the oldest products you must bring to the front and the new ones must go back. In this way, you will ensure that the first article to enter is always the first to leave.
Keep Track of Your Stock Levels
Again, this is a task to entrust to your inventory management software, and it is a very important task. You need a good management system that helps you keep track of stock levels to know what to stop replenishing, what to send first, and what has come new to your warehouse.
Audit your inventory
To ensure that your information is completely up to date, do not rely solely on your warehouse management software, just as you would not trust yourself.
Even with the best software on the market, you should carry out periodic counts to make sure the numbers fit and match. Although they are less common than in humans, errors also exist in computer systems, so carrying out that double-check may not be a bad idea.
Regularly counting your inventory is a good way to ensure, on a double basis, that your warehouse is as it should. There are several ways to carry out such an audit (for example, at the end of the year). Do it as you see fit, but do it.
Consider Hiring Ahead of Stock Control
Stock control shows the inventory status of your SME at all times and contains everything from raw materials to finished products. If you have a business that manufactures products with multiple components, it could be of help to hire a chief or responsible for the control of stock, plus management software.
It will be the head of stock control who buys all orders, receives them, and is fully responsible for ensuring that the products that arrive at the warehouse match those that were ordered.
Don’t Forget the Quality Control
Finally, do not forget to carry out quality controls. No matter what you sell, you have to make sure that the appearance of your product is adequate, that it works correctly and that it does what it is supposed to do.
Some companies have an employee dedicated exclusively to quality control. In contrast, others have a team that performs quick checks when performing audits or when the stock arrives, to check for damage or other problems.
If your product has the highest quality, customers perceive that your company really cares about what it produces and sells. This helps you in inventory management because, in this way, you make sure that your warehouse only has the best possible products. Thus, you avoid saturating your shelves with broken, defective, or aesthetically unpleasant products.
All of these solutions can manage the main inventory requirements of small businesses, and many of them offer flexibility to stay with you as your business grows. Odoo may be the best option for large established companies, but the low prices of its competitors offer many possibilities for all budgets.
If you are looking for more inventory management software options, check out the full list of the best inventory management software for small businesses. Do you know other inventory software? Leave a comment below.