Keeping track of inventory sounds simple–but rarely is. Inventory management is actually a major pain point for businesses large and small. Poor inventory management leads to, at best, wasted resources. At worst, mismanaged inventory can lead to costly product shortages and work stoppages that send clients and customers straight to the competition.
Luckily, there are several ways to keep track of inventory, totally free.
You can keep track of inventory for free using pen and paper, an inventory spreadsheet or free inventory management software. Some modern inventory management apps, like Sortly, Inventory Now, and Stock Control, all offer free subscriptions to their products.
Each of these three inventory management systems (paper, spreadsheet, and app) has its own set of pros and cons.
Some businesses track their inventory on a sheet of paper. Of course, such a system is extremely limited, and works best for businesses that stock fewer than 50 items in one location, and employ just a few people.
Here are the benefits of tracking inventory on a sheet of paper, a word document, or even a sticky note:
Some companies use spreadsheets to track the details of their inventory. While a spreadsheet is certainly a more modern inventory management system than using an inventory sheet, it’s still an error-prone way to track inventory.
Finally, more and more businesses are choosing inventory software to track their inventory. These days, much of this software is offered in the form of inventory apps. These apps typically offer both free and paid subscriptions.
Inventory apps should offer time-saving automation features, like low stock alerts, barcode and QR code scanning and more.
In a perfect world, a free inventory app:
Of course, not all apps are created equal. Find an app that’s intuitive and modern, even for a free app! Some inventory management software require expensive equipment: look for versions that allow you to use existing hardware, like phones or tablets. Also, many of these apps may offer very expensive paid versions. Look for an app that offers a reasonable monthly subscription, should your business needs change.
Want to get started with free inventory management software today? Give Sortly a try!