Inventory Management Software

K_Wilke used Ask the Experts™
Hello all,
I have a client that needs to get an inventory management software.  I know that there seems to be hundreds if not thousands of inventory management software.  The client is a physician's office and the current emr/practice management system has an inventory system but it is very bad.  The software needs to be independent of any EMR/practice management or any other system.  A possible link to Quickbooks would be nice but not necessary.
Here is a list of what we are looking to do with the software:
1)   One central person will be inputting all inventory into the system
2)   This central person will have the main barcode label printer and barcode scanner.
3)   The software database will reside on a file server and will be on between two to five computers
4)   When the clinicians use the other barcode scanners in the patient rooms we want it to go to this software without necessarily having to have to be connected to the software in the clinicians room.  
5)   We would like #4 above to be in real time instead of batching
6)   Reporting is necessary and it would be nice to create reports as needed without having a certification in any of the report writers.
I know this is a long list and we may not get everything we want but are there any good inventory management software programs that will do the above?
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Developer & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Look to a web based solution. It will be a lot easier to manage.  Check out  It is a collection of apps including inventory management.  Or even something like which is an online shopping cart but can be used for tracking inventory.  You can keep the site they are hosted on open only to internal staff if needed.  

By keeping it web based, you don't have to worry about internal networking or using on multiple devices like phone or tablet or notebook or destkop. Only a browser.

Most inventory systems are meant to track probably more than you want.  I think what you need to do is better define what you are doing with this inventory.  

How is inventory received / input?
Do you need to interface the inventory system with paying invoices?
Are you selling products or are they used for office visits or both?
Does it need to interface with a POS system
Do you need to have products seen on an internal or external website?
How are products taken out of inventory?
Are you tracking different sizes, colors etc?
Are you tracking departments, categories?
What specific reports are you looking for?

A barcode scanner is just an extension of the keyboard in the same manner a mouse is. When you scan a barcode or type it the inventory item in a form and hit enter it is the same thing.


Answers to the questions:
1)   No to web based.  We live in an area where the internet is sketchy and not stable.  Rural area and not a metropolitan area so there is not much choice in ISPs.
2)  Inventory is received by one person and is currently cataloged by an old paper system.
3)  Inventory does not need to interface with paying invoices.  Just have to have a handle on the inventory.
4)  Both selling products and they are used by office visits.  The practice management software handles this.  Again we just need a better inventory program than what the practice management program has.
5)  No interface with a POS system
6)  No interfacing with any websites
7)  Products are taken out of inventory by the one person who puts them into inventory OR by the clinicians using them in procedures and now reporting to the one person who puts them into inventory.
8)  We are tracking different sizes
9)  Not tracking departments
10)  Reports mainly for the controller of what was purchased for each inventory item and then what was sold.  Of course as soon as one report is given the controller will want to change the report around and/or have different reports.

About odoo...will not even go there...had a different client that went to odoo and they wanted all of these very specialized reports that they had to hire an internal IT person to keep up with this.  They have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on odoo and they still are not happy with it.  I tried to urge them not to go with odoo but the owner is from Europe and he was bound and determined to go to odoo...I was no longer needed when they hired an internal IT person...odoo has left a bad taste in my mouth.
Scott FellDeveloper & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013

It sounds like oodo replaced your business and if that is the case, then any of the cloud applications would be off limits anyway.  

Based on what you are explaining, you may want to go with a custom application perhaps based on ms access or sql server community edition. Essentially your only need is to add items to inventory and take them out  and tracking if it is out of inventory because it was used by a clinician, is no longer usable or lost/stolen. By the log in you can track who added or removed the item. You can create your own categories and sizes.  For reporting, you can of course generate your own as part of the application. But you can also use a BI tool like that would allow a user to create on the fly reporting.

If you go with an off the shelf service, I think it will offer more tools than what you need and could end up confusing things. The other software I would mention is zoho but that is similar to odoo

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