The abundance of inventory tracker apps available for restaurant owners to try and process is immense. It seems like new options are being released every week, and it can be hard to sort the good from the bad. In this article, we look at 15 of the best.
For restaurant owners, the task of deciding not only if to engage with an inventory tracker, but which one to choose can be impressively daunting. The existing options are seemingly endless, and all of them each claim to be the best at what they do. It can be difficult, therefore, to get to the meat of their arguments through the fog of choices and stellar marketing. Even if you can, though, you are still left with a plethora of options, each of which seems to be a better one than the last.
And then, as if all of that wasn’t enough, you have the issue of those inventory tracker companies with really great marketing, but a terrible product, to contend with. Those products will talk the talk up, down, and sideways, but can barely even stand up, let alone walk the walk. If the developer of those inventory trackers invests just enough in their marketing, web design, and presentation, then you’ll be hard-pressed to tell the good from the bad. Sure, you can always check out their reviews, but many of those companies will employ people to provide positive reviews in exchange for a bit of cash, making their feedback look much better than it is.
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So what are your options, then? How do you sort through all of this mess and determine the good, from the bad, from the ugly? You don’t; you just buy Zip Inventory. I’m kidding, what you do is you go to look at lists that have been compiled by some of your favorite tech blogs and other industry-specific websites. Check out what their people have had to say about the inventory tracker products and which ones they would recommend. Use that as a way to better inform yourself of the industry’s response to this specific app, and then make your decision from there.
In this article, we are going to do exactly that. More specifically, we are going to have a look at fifteen of what we believe to be the best, most reliable, and most valuable inventory tracker apps available. We’ll be sure to make a note of whether these apps are designed for Android, iOS, or if they’re compatible with both operating systems. Our goal is to help be one of those resources we just mentioned, that manages to keep you informed about the choices you have at your disposal to make about inventory management. By the end of this article, you should be much more confident in some of the inventory tracker choices made available to you. Without further ado, let’s get into our list of the fifteen best inventory tracker apps (in no particular order).
1. Inventory Now - iOS
This app is the honorary first item on this list exclusively because, until recently, it was just known as “Inventory Tracker.” Joking aside, this app is designed for optimal functioning when it comes to small to medium-sized businesses and has a slew of cool features all designed to make the inventory management process easier. Included on that list of features is the fact that all of your inventory is available on a single screen, as well as the fact that you can sort and filter your inventory any way you see fit to find what you’re looking for. It also comes with a handy search function for finding items quickly.
2. Stock Control - iOS
Stock Control is another fantastic inventory tracker option for those with an Apple device (sorry, Android users). While this app features many of the things that you would expect, such as searching and filtering functions, its main selling point is the fact that you can also sort the individual inventory items based on their storage locations. In other words, if you only wanted to see which inventory items you had that were refrigerated, you would be able to do so. Same with frozen, dry, those stored in cabinets or on shelves, etc. This allows you to also, to some extent, check the inventory of the most perishable food items with greater ease.
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3. Goods Order Inventory - iOS & Android
At last, we have an app built for both of the major operating systems for mobile devices. Goods Order Inventory is one of the most feature-dense apps on this list, with the ability to access your inventory information from a desktop, as well as the barcode scanning function that allows for perpetual inventory tracking. It also comes equipped with the ability to be used on multiple devices. All of this, for the low, low price of absolutely nothing. That’s right, all of these features, and the inventory tracker is completely free. As far as the apps go, this one is hard to beat.
4. On Shelf - iOS
On Shelf is an inventory tracker that is very specifically geared towards smaller businesses. It features many of the same functions as Goods Order Inventory, including the barcode reading, perpetual inventory tracking as well as the ability to be shared with multiple Apple devices. In fact, its largest limitation is the fact that it is only available on Apple devices since it offers a rich feature set for a section of the market that is flooded with endless information, but no real resources.
5. myStock Inventory Manager - iOS & Android
Another inventory tracker app that is suitable for both of the major operating systems, myStock Inventory Manager is visually optimized for both phones and tablets. This allows for some of the smoothest operation of any app on this list and introduces some features that medium-sized businesses and franchises/chains will appreciate. myStock Inventory Manager comes ready to handle inventory at multiple locations, keeping the information accessible, while still separate enough that it will be easy to tell which location you are looking at without much fuss.
6. Simple Inventory Control - Microsoft
Alright, I had a feeling we weren’t going to be able to get through this list without a Microsoft app or two on here. Designed specifically for Microsoft-based Windows machines, Simple Inventory Control does earn its name. It is designed to be an easy to use, functional inventory tracker with the kind of perpetual inventory management that we love here. The bonus, though, and one of the reasons it stands out from the rest of the pack, is the fact that it is designed to leave behind a complete audit trail. In other words, it keeps track of everything that happens with your inventory such that, should the IRS or the tax assessor come knocking, you will have all of the records you need to avoid getting into any trouble automatically generated by the app. It doesn’t get much more useful than that.
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7. Rapid Inventory - Android
Rapid Inventory is specific to Android smartphones and tablets and comes with a range of the bells and whistles you would expect. Where it gets to be a bit different, though, is in the technology it uses to monitor your inventory levels in real time. Instead of the traditional barcode scanning that most perpetual inventory apps employ, this system instead uses Bluetooth scanners that are optimized to work with the app. This proprietary method means that any and all issues with the system or the tools can be directed to the same company, rather than having to decipher whether your problem is the barcode scanner or the inventory tracker itself.
8. topShelf Mobile Inventory - iOS & Android
topShelf Mobile Inventory is a cloud-based system that makes use of not only your basic inventory tracker needs. No, it also integrates things like accounting and CRM, which can make the app super useful as a multipurpose restaurant management tool that is not restricted to a single function. Because of the interplay between these major management areas, being able to contain the relevant data in one place means you only actually need to enter it once, rather than several times. The thing is, though, that you don’t need to enter the inventory data when counting time comes since this is another perpetual inventory tracking system that updates the data in real time using a barcode scanner.
9. Barcode eXpress Pro - Android
Barcode eXpress Pro is an app that doesn’t necessarily offer any groundbreaking features or functionality that sets it apart from the other items on this list. No, the thing that sets it apart is that fact that you can schedule automated data backups within the app, such that it backs up your data to the cloud instantly without the need for you to intervene. This is a superb way to ensure that your data is always saved somewhere, regardless of whether or not you remember to do it yourself. It also features many of the perpetual inventory tracker functions that you would expect, including the use of a barcode scanner.
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10. On Hand - Android
As an inventory tracker app, On Hand does plenty of things right. Its visual aesthetic is simple and easy to navigate, it performs pretty much every major function you would expect out of an inventory tracker, and it features the same barcode scanning functionality that most of the other inventory trackers on this list do, as well. Its major standout, in truth, is the fact that there isn’t a major standout. It’s an app without pretense or gimmick; it is designed to not just do a job for the user, but to do it with superb quality and precision. In that regard, it excels.
11. Inventory Scanner – iOS
Inventory Scanner may win the award for “Least Creative App Name,” but it makes up for this in the value it provides to users. It is designed to not just eliminate the manual, periodic, one-by-one method of conducting inventory counts by hand, but also to eliminate the need to bring spreadsheets into the equation. Its interface is designed to provide all of the information you need in lists, the kind that almost looks like you’re checking out a take-out menu on Yelp or something similar. It saves and backs up all of the relevant information, which can be exported in any format you’d like, but within the app itself, it makes everything clear and easy to understand and navigate. This significantly cuts down on time spent searching relentlessly for an inventory item, and almost makes it a pleasurable inventory tracker experience to boot.
12. Scan to Spreadsheet - iOS & Android
Scan to Spreadsheet is an app whose name, admittedly, spoils a bit of the major point of its inclusion on this list. Designed first and foremost as an inventory management app and inventory tracker, one of the truly stand-out features of this app is the fact that it employs the same perpetual, barcode scanning method we’ve seen sometimes now, but with a bit of a bonus. Once it has this information, it then keeps a running total and updates the information in what can best be described as a cloud-based spreadsheet, something that you can access whenever you’d like without needing to update the information manually at all. One of the true gems of this inventory tracker though is that it can be exported to another device or an email address in Microsoft Excel format, meaning you won’t have to take any time to convert the data over into Excel once you have it exported. If other apps started implementing this, it would be a far more competitive race.
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13. 2B-Inventory - Contact Company for Quote
I know, I said I was going to stick to the major operating systems, but humor me. 2B-Inventory is, you guessed it, an inventory tracker whose biggest asset comes in the form of its range of capability. By this, I don’t mean that it comes stock with a ton of features. Rather, it is an app that can be implemented for businesses of literally any size. Often, we see apps or tools aimed and small and medium-sized businesses and apps that are aimed specifically at much larger ones. We very rarely see an app that is built for businesses of any size, which means that as your business grows, this inventory tracking system can grow with it.
14. Stock Controller - Android
I chose to include Stock Controller on this list for one particular reason, which we’ll address in just a second. On the surface, though, there is nothing particularly special about Stock Controller. It offers most of the basic functions you’d expect to see, and though it’s user interface is clean and easy to navigate, it is not necessarily extraordinarily appealing. What the inventory tracker app does offer, though, and the reason I’m so fond of including it on this list, is a huge number of tutorials to help you not just navigate and work the app, but understand the inventory process. So often, app developers take for granted the fact that a restaurant administrator will know all about inventory management and simply want a device to help them do it. In a lot of cases, though, and especially in the case of small, new restaurants, the owners and managers are still learning their way through everything. Being able to confidently help educate them along the way is something I’m a bit upset more inventory tracker apps and tools aren’t doing.
15. Instant Inventory - Android
This app is a classic. Not in the sense that it has been around since the dawn of times, but just regarding how highly recommended this one comes. People seem to absolutely love it, and I’ve heard people mention it in discussions about this kind of thing time and time again (look, we get bored here at the office, and sometimes we start talking about our work like it’s a competitive sport. It’s how most of these lists are devised). So what makes it so great? It’s just easy. There isn’t another way to put it, honestly. The inventory tracker app is just beyond user-friendly, with inventory item addition that is quick and easy to do, and allows for you to determine the quantity of each item that you consider to be the bottom threshold, at which point it will send you an alert. With hundreds of reviews in the Google Play Store to back it up, it’s hard not to at the very least consider this as one of the inventory trackers you may want to use. Oh, and did we mention? It’s FREE!
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Well all, there you have it - our list of the fifteen best inventory tracker apps that you should consider employing in your restaurant. We hope that this list has helped to narrow down your choices, but also given you an idea of what to look for in each of these inventory tracker apps when one comes across your radar as being interesting. It doesn’t have to be nearly the complex, stressful experience that the sheer amount of choice makes it seem, and with a bit of extra know-how, you can make it downright easy. Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out this article we wrote on some more restaurant technology.