Best Open-Source Inventory Management Options of 2021

Almyta Systems, Odoo, and PartKeepr are our top three picks for open-source inventory management software. Here’s why.
Best overall
Almyta
Almyta Systems
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Multiple warehouses
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Automatic demand forecasting
Best for rapid growth
Odoo
Odoo
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Free inventory module within complex ERP system
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Full ecommerce functionality
Best for manufacturing
PartKeepr
PartKeepr
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Inventory data customization
  • Icon Pros  Dark
    Part tracking

With open-source software, you can access and change the source code of your inventory management system. This lets you add features, integrations, and customizations you may not be able to find with other systems.

And since open-source software is meant to be personalized, it’s usually pretty cheap to buy—or even completely free.

We took a look at the options and narrowed it down to the three open-source inventory platforms that we feel offer the best tools and base options to get you started.

Best open-source inventory management software

Top open-source inventory options at a glance

When researching the best open-source inventory options, we prioritized systems that offered as much built-in functionality as possible. After all, not all inventory managers have the coding skills to add in dozens of vital features.

Based on this criteria, the Almyta Control System (or ACS) gets our number one pick. While it’s not as cheap as Odoo or PartKeepr, the platform gives you more options for managing your inventory—without needing as much time or resources to customize the software.

Overview of our open-source inventory management choices

FeatureAlmyta SystemsOdooPartKeepr
Starting price
$435.00
$0.00
/mo
$0.00
WarehousesUnlimited11
Purchase order generationIcon Check  DarkIcon Check  DarkIcon No  Dark
Demand forecastingIcon Check  DarkIcon Check  DarkIcon No  Dark
Asset managementIcon Check  DarkIcon No  DarkIcon No  Dark
Barcode label generationIcon Check  DarkIcon No  DarkIcon No  Dark
Customer managementIcon Check  DarkIcon No  DarkIcon No  Dark
Part managementIcon No  DarkIcon No  DarkIcon Check  Dark
Software typeLocal or networkLocal or cloud (with additional purchase)Local

Data effective 8/28/20. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Keep in mind, though, that while the ACS starting price of $435 includes lifetime updates and a year of email support, it’s only for single-user access. For multi-user access, you’ll pay upwards of $935. Sure, that’s a one-time fee (not a yearly or monthly subscription). But if it’s too much of an up-front cost for your inventory management software, you may want to start off with Odoo or PartKeepr until you’re ready for a more robust open-source platform.

We also wanted to emphasize that all three of our top open-source platforms are local downloads, meaning they’re installed directly on your device. Fortunately, Almyta and Odoo both offer options to open up your inventory management system to other users—though it may cost extra.

Almyta Systems: Best overall

Lifetime access to a wealth of features
Almyta

Unlike Almyta’s ABC Inventory platform, the Almyta Control System is an open-source inventory management software. With everything from asset management to multi-location storage, the ACS can help business owners manage virtually every aspect of their inventory.

The Almyta Control System (ACS) is really good at . . . well, inventory control. There’s a lot to like, but these are some of our favorite features:

  • Supports multiple warehouses
  • Tracks stock movements in detail
  • Records inventory by location, serial number, and even comments
  • Gives you advanced order fulfillment capabilities
  • Generates customizable inventory reports and sends low stock notifications
  • Automates purchase order generation
  • Provides forecasting

In addition, the ACS includes a few features that aren’t available on other open-source systems—like asset management and customer management. These features help you track your everyday business supplies (like cleaning supplies or employee laptops) and curate a customer contact list, complete with automatic email support and warning flags for potential fraud.

We also want to note that the ACS is one of the few inventory management platforms that offers support for RFID tags. So if you’re interested in scanning items in bulk or taking advantage of all the perks of RFID technology, Almyta is a good bet for your business.

Odoo: Best for rapid growth

Part of a complete ERP solution
Odoo

Running a growing business with an ever-expanding supply chain is tough. Fortunately, enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms like Odoo can make it better with advanced features to facilitate every aspect of your business’s growth.

Odoo is an ERP system, which means you can mix and match modules to create a customized business management platform that perfectly suits your needs. Odoo’s free inventory management tool comes with a decent number of features, including the following standouts:

  • Automatic purchase order generation
  • Automatic stock updates based on quotes and sales orders
  • Comprehensive reporting
  • Inventory history
  • Cross-docking
  • Dropshipping

We also like that Odoo can integrate with other modules like Odoo Accounting or Odoo Point of Sale to eliminate double entry and make your system more accurate.

Odoo also offers automation features to help ecommerce businesses and retailers alike. For starters, the platform can automatically track inventory movements in real time. You can also use the system to auto-schedule your order fulfillment based on the sales orders you received. And with Odoo’s automatic demand forecasting, you can plan out your budget in advance based on your upcoming inventory needs.

PartKeepr: Best for manufacturing

Part tracking at no cost
PartKeepr

PartKeepr offers great features for manufacturers, thanks in large part to its integration with Octopart—a search engine service designed to help businesses look up stock levels for electronic and industrial parts.

PartKeepr’s built-in integration with Octopart simplifies the inventory tracking process for manufacturers, saving you time by looking up part data and availability. PartKeepr inventory software also offers a broad internal search feature that filters your product catalog by stock level. This means you can instantly view all items that fall below their minimum stock levels.

These features help you take your inventory optimization to the next level while saving time and effort on your manufacturing jobs.

We also like that PartKeepr offers an intuitive platform that simplifies order management. And with the barcode scanning feature, you can quickly and easily retrieve data about all the parts related to your production job without ever needing to sit down in front of a computer screen.

The best part? PartKeepr allows you to customize practically every aspect of your item listings. You can add as many attachments as you like and track any parameters your business uses.

Sell products your way

Ordoro offers everything you need to sell your products online or in person.

  • Get total control over your inventory
  • Align your business strategy with your stock management
  • Maintain vendor and customer relationships

Open-source inventory management FAQ

Why use open-source inventory software?

Open-source inventory software allows you to get into the code of your software and customize it to your preferences. That means you can add any and all features you need to get your stock management dialed in where you want it.

Open-source software is also fairly easy to use, since it’s scaled down to allow for personalization. That means the learning curve to use open-source inventory solutions is usually shorter—fewer menus and features to navigate through.

You can also customize open-source inventory platforms to integrate with any other business services you use. So if you want your system to sync up with your point-of-sale (POS) system, your accounting service, and all your various sales channels, you can write custom code to make it happen.

Who shouldn’t use open-source inventory software?

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.

Best Inventory Management Software
Ordoro
Best for ecommerce
InFlow
Most budget pick
Upserve
Best for restaurants
Cin7
Best ERP solution
Zoho Inventory
Best for small businesses
Learn more about our top brands.

What’s the best free inventory management software?

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.

Megaphone
Another option: Microsoft Excel

Do you have Microsoft Office on your PC? If so, the simplest and most cost-effective inventory management solution may be a simple Microsoft Excel document. While Excel doesn’t offer many of the automated, real-time features of inventory management software, it gets the job done when it comes to keeping track of inventory levels and shipments. To learn more, take a look at our overview of how to use Excel for inventory management.

The takeaway

Open-source inventory management software is a great solution for businesses on a budget that want to customize their system to their exact needs and specifications. But while customization is an important element of open-source inventory tools, we also acknowledge that not every business owner has the time, resources, and know-how needed to custom code their inventory software.

Consequently, we think the Almyta Control System is a great pick for most small businesses since it offers the most features out of the box. However, if your business is more budget-conscious, free options like Odoo and PartKeepr can be great inventory management solutions—especially for rapidly growing businesses and manufacturers.

For even more budget-friendly inventory management solutions, check out our top picks for free inventory management software.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Courtenay Stevens
Written by
Courtenay Stevens
Courtenay cut her teeth (and occasionally her tongue) on the world of business when she was eight years old, licking envelopes to help her dad mail calendars to his clients. Ever since, she has fostered a passion for entrepreneurship, which makes small business one of her favorite topics to write about. When Courtenay isn’t writing, she enjoys podcasting about pop culture and attempting to keep up with her hellspawn (aka children).
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