Inventory Software Options for Small Business

Are you stil managing your inventory from a spreadsheet or on paper?  That's great when you have a really small business but it isn't really scalable.  At the same time, you aren't ready to jump into Sage or Great Plains or another 5-digit package yet either.   So where does that leave you?

There are loads of inventory packages available, with prices ranging from free to hundreds of thousands of dollars.  There are a fair amount even below $1000.  It can be really confusing to decide what package to choose. 

I went through and reviewed some of the inventory packages available below $1000.  Some of the things I looked at were:  

  1. How easy is the product to use?
  2. How well supported is it?
  3. What features does it have? 
  4. How easy is it to configure? 
  5. Can I test it out for free? (This is significant because you need to see the product in action.)

And yes, I did look at Quickbooks inventory, but it quickly came off the list because it is not easy to use and is not very rich in features.  Quickbooks manages inventory from an accounting viewpoint, so it is fairly limited.

Here is what I came up with:

  1.  inFlow Inventory System  - This package is clearly the best that I found for the price by far.  It has 2 price points ($299 and $499), a demo version that is very strong and the most features for the money.  It is also very well supported.   The Premium version even comes with phone support.  The only negatives for this program that I found are 1) it is Windows only and 2)  it does not print bar codes.  
  2. ABC Inventory Software - This product is pretty good, considering it's free.  It is difficult to set up, but it is fairly flexible and has a lot of features.  It has a very strong user forum for support and can print and scan bar codes, along with many other features.  It is Access-based and Windows Only
  3.  Inventoria Mac Inventory Management  -  This is the only product for the Mac that seems to be in the same classe as inFlow and ABC Inventory.  It doesn't provide as much functionality, but it is pretty close.  It isn't as easy to use as inFlow, but easier than ABC Inventory.  The demo is a 14-day trial, which isn't bad. Inventoria also offers a Windows-based version that is comparable.

There are lots of other inventory packages out there.  Many are industry-specific, which can come with some benefits and usually less setup time because it's already mostly configured to your business. 

Here are a couple more resources to help you on your search: