In general, we’d recommend avoiding open-source inventory software if you’re unfamiliar with writing code (and don’t have a programmer to do it for you) or you’re running a large retail or wholesale business.
Open-source inventory management software is meant to be customized, but that customization requires a knowledge of coding. If you’re not familiar with how to write code for an inventory system, you may have to hire a programmer to do the coding for you (which gets expensive fast). If you’re not willing to outsource the personalization of your system, an open-source solution may wind up being too scaled back for your needs.
As for large retailers and wholesalers, most open-source solutions are too scaled back to offer all the features you’d need to run a large business—at least, not without a lot of intensive coding. While some ERP solutions (like Odoo) certainly provide open-source software while catering to big businesses, they may prove more time-consuming and expensive than an out-of-the-box ERP option.
If you’re looking for free inventory and supply chain management, our top picks are inFlow Inventory and Zoho Inventory. But for some businesses, the best free options are often open-source solutions like Odoo and PartKeepr. Check out our complete guide to free inventory management software to see how open-source software compares to other free options.