In this fast-paced world, entrepreneurs have a lot on their plate. From overseeing business operations, managing finances, initiating new marketing techniques, to keeping track of inventory – everything can get overwhelming.

Similarly, as sales volume increases and you plan expansion across channels, manual bookkeeping seems impossible. Alongside exhausting resources, you need a lot of human capital. Therefore, say goodbye to traditional business practices and integrate technology.

When it comes to growing businesses, managing inventory is the most significant challenge. You have to log into multiple selling channels and product listings to process orders.

In the case of sales returns, you have to cancel all details and manually adjust stock levels again. Surprisingly, tech-friendly inventory management systems are changing the game. It is software for tracking inventory levels, managing orders, sales, and deliveries.

It closes the door for human errors, fraud, mismanagement, overstock, or inventory shortage and organizes data beforehand, ensuring a smooth flow of deliveries.

Are you thinking to get an inventory management software? The plethora of choices can make it arduous to pick the best one. Some people stick to free tools, while others opt for paid systems to enjoy maximum features.

If you can’t decide which is ideal for your company, have a look below. Here is brief compassion – Free vs. paid inventory management system.

1. Paid Inventory Management System | Online Inventory Management System

‘We are out of stock’ – nothing is more disappointing for customers than hearing this statement. Brands end up losing immediate sales and potential customers since switching to a substitute is pretty simple.

As a result, companies go for a paid inventory management system to keep up with the warehouse’s stock levels. These systems can accommodate extensive business landscape and diverse product offering.

Before calling the shots, explore its usage and drawbacks to make the best decision. Let us unwind the pros and cons of paid inventory management systems.

a) Pros

i. Trend Analysis: Surplus and shortage is every company’s main concern. Paid systems provide trend analysis, helping you predict future inventory needs. It tells how much stock you have available and if it is sufficient to meet the upcoming demand.

ii. Mobile Access: Is your business operating at multiple locations? Mobile access comes in handy since it lets you access inventory lists of every worksite. You can keep track of inventory levels and sales by tapping your fingers on the screen.

iii. User-Friendly: A complex infrastructure of an inventory management system can complicate business processes. Paid tools have simple navigation tools, loads information quickly, and include user training. Hence, all employees can work on the software without any hassle.

iv. Automatic Restocking: With on-going business operations, you might not have enough time to order new stock. These inventory management systems can set automatic restocking of products.

You can put a limit on how much stock you need in inventory. As soon as the product limit falls, the system places an order on your behalf with the supplier.

v. Data Security: Paid systems have restricted user rights, meaning only authorized people can access it. Managers can monitor every activity on the system – making orders, transferring products, new shipments, etc. Hence, this can speed up the process without compromising on security.

b) Cons

HIGH COSTS: All these incredible features come with a cost. Determine your business size and stock levels to judge whether it is worth investing in inventory management systems. You can conduct a cost-benefit analysis to check if benefits outweigh the costs.

2. Free Inventory Management System | Online Inventory Management System

Whether you own a multi-national organization or a small company, no one can afford to mishandle inventory. Alongside creating financial issues, it reduces productivity and sales, affecting your business operations. As a result, business owners give a shot to free inventory management systems.

A single Google search lands you with hundreds of free options, but you have to pick one with maximum features. After all, the more the features, the higher the efficiency. Here are some pros and cons.

a) Pros

i. Asset-Tracking: Theft has always been a concern for companies. Inventory management systems secure all the assets by tracking their barcodes and serial numbers. Thus, you can maintain a check-in balance of stock round the clock.

ii. Organizes Warehouse: These systems assist wholesalers and distributors in optimizing their warehouses. They can place the top-selling products upfront to ensure a fast delivery process.

iii. Pocket Friendly: Manual records of inventory exhaust resources and money, but online systems only need software that doesn’t cost a penny. Lookup for credible online inventory management software and download the one with positive reviews. Explore the tool to learn how it works.

iv. Saves Time: These systems maintain accurate records without human intervention. There are no in-person inventory checks, improving efficiency, and promises fast deliveries.

b) Cons

i. Requires Training To Use: Some systems are a bit complicated with confusing navigation tools. You might have to provide training to workers to assist them in handling the online inventories.

ii. Limited Features: Unlike paid tools, you can’t enjoy trend analysis or data security. Despite an online system, you will still come across problems of shortages and surplus.

3. Final Thoughts | Online Inventory Management System

In this modern era, every business needs an inventory management system to keep up productivity levels. The choice between paid and free tools depends on your requirements. If you are a newbie in the industry, a free tool can be good enough.

Simultaneously, if you are expanding or growing the distribution channels, a paid inventory management system offers more. Alongside administering inventory levels, the extra features of trend analysis and automatic restocking can do wonders for your business.