Author Topic: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?  (Read 11017 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline e100

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 321
Currently I'm using Google sheets with one tab per component type which doesn't scale at all well.
For each tab I have a handful of fields such as "Qty total", "Qty in use" "Calculated qty available", "Qty on order" plus basic data and a link to a datasheet. Embedding photos half works as photos aren't linked to rows.

I had a look at partkeeper.org and partsbox.io but they were both lacking basic features such as "qty on order" etc.

Mike
 

Offline hcglitte

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 114
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2017, 11:08:37 am »
I use inflow inventory.
I have no comparison with other SW.
It works fine, but some quirks as there always are with SW.

Anyone else who uses it?
 

Offline ElektroQuark

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1216
  • Country: es
    • ElektroQuark
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2017, 01:03:11 pm »
EleLa

In German and English.

Works on Windows, Linux and RaspberryPi.

Offline Cloud

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 169
  • Country: si
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2017, 04:06:10 pm »
 
The following users thanked this post: ar__systems

Offline HoracioDos

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 335
  • Country: ar
  • Just an IT monkey with a DSO
 

Offline Mr. Scram

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8041
  • Country: 00
  • Display aficionado
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2017, 01:26:34 am »
Try this http://ic-locker.com/
While your nickname is humorously appropriate, I do not really see the need for this to be online. It is one of those services that can disappear without warning, obviously when you need it most.
 

Offline spanner888

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 10
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2017, 01:38:35 am »
PartKeepr is pretty good, especially now it has an import function. It does all the expected basic tracking and also handles projects. I implemented it a few years back in a hackerspace and we also used it to track drinks and tool loans etc.

Link is to an online demo https://demo.partkeepr.org/
 

Offline hcglitte

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 114
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2017, 12:00:53 pm »
Could someone tell me if any of the mentioned software has the ability to create a BOM where unique lines in the BOM can point to multiple inventory lines?
This is very useful if you have a specific line in your BOM (e.g. 100 nF cap) that can be of various manufacturers/variants etc.
A bonus point would be if you could set a priority to the "alternate" parts for which it will use first when you create a work order.

HC
 

Offline kayvee

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 139
  • Country: za
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2017, 11:53:37 am »
https://www.minimrp.com/ does all I need.
 

Offline DTJ

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 873
  • Country: au
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2017, 12:02:08 pm »
https://www.minimrp.com/ does all I need.

Good to see someone happy with it. I've been looking for quite a while and minimrp seems to be the best.

I'm not quite at the stage of needing it yet but when I do I'll spend my money with them. I think it's around us$200 for an indefinite licence with local data storage (no cloud rubbish).



I'm quite surprised an enthusuast with software skills has not put together a decent free package.
 

Offline kayvee

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 139
  • Country: za
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2017, 12:06:11 pm »
Definitely worth the asking price IMO.

I know of a few other small companies running it and they are all satisfied.
 
The following users thanked this post: DTJ

Offline NivagSwerdna

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1780
  • Country: gb
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2017, 12:14:35 pm »
https://www.minimrp.com/ does all I need.
I might look at this.  I was using partkeepr but gave up on it... it was too slow and buggy for me.
 

Offline kb0thn

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 20
  • Country: us
    • APRS World, LLC
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2017, 05:32:45 pm »
My company is transitioning from various spreadsheets and manual systems to a system based around partkeepr. I found partkeepr to be pretty bad by default. But I looked at how much work to get to where it is, and decided I could use it as a starting point. I spent about 2 days modifying forms and fields and making it useable for what I need for parts management.
 

Offline jwr

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 30
  • Country: pl
  • PartsBox.io founder
    • PartsBox
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2017, 06:45:29 am »
Hey everyone, PartsBox founder here.

Just so that you know, I try to read these discussions regularly to see what features are needed. In particular, while "parts on order" isn't there yet, it definitely will be. I've recently added a Project/BOM pricing subsystem, which was a huge amount of work, but should work much better than anything spreadsheet-based, especially if you want to consider multiple price breaks and if you have offers in multiple currencies.

As for part alternates (the ability to include multiple part choices as a BOM line item), it's something that I also have on my TODO list. It isn't easy to design, so I have to think it through carefully — it has to play well with the pricing engine. But it will definitely be there, it's something I need to use myself, too.

best regards,
--Jan
  Founder, PartsBox · https://partsbox.io/ · Twitter: @PartsBoxIO
Jan Rychter
Founder, PartsBox (https://partsbox.io/ — Keep track of your electronic components)
 

Offline ^_^

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 81
  • Country: au
  • EE
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2017, 08:50:44 pm »
Hmm, I just wanted to try out http://ic-locker.com/ but it seems down.
For online-based storage it can't be a good sign.
 

Offline DTJ

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 873
  • Country: au
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2017, 01:22:42 am »
Hmm, I just wanted to try out http://ic-locker.com/ but it seems down.
For online-based storage it can't be a good sign.

For me personally the fact that it's online storage rules it out.
That said, I'm still looking for a decent stand-along package.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8041
  • Country: 00
  • Display aficionado
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2017, 02:02:13 am »
For me personally the fact that it's online storage rules it out.
That said, I'm still looking for a decent stand-along package.
There are so many cloud options nowadays, but what happens if the website goes down and your hard work and parts system goes with it?
 

Offline SVFeingold

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 154
  • Country: us
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2017, 09:04:55 pm »
That's why if you use cloud software you use companies that are well established and profitable.

Frankly I don't understand the hatred of cloud services on this forum. Is it an age thing? Culture? So many people think that their data is somehow safer on their $99 external USB hard drive than on Amazon's servers. Very few people know how to implement proper backups and security anyhow.  Seeing as how, for a business, you rely so heavily on cloud services (whether you know it or not) then you're kind of screwed if the internet goes down anyway.

Granted, I see how it may not appeal to people who only need to track their stuff in their one lab on one computer. Or those that have shoddy internet connections or some such.

So really you have a few risk factors:

1) Quality of internet access: varies by region/person
2) Longevity of company: do your diligence, don't put your data into a company that's liable to be out of business in a week. I imagine any worthwhile inventory tool will let you export your data locally.
3) Security of company: The elusive HACKERS  :scared:. Your personal computer is at far greater risk.
4) Accessibility of data: Depends on the company, see again point 2. When is the last time Amazon "just went down?" When's the last time all your local DNS servers "just went down" leaving you unable to access anything?
5) Safety of data: Pretty much every internet service that exists runs on Amazon AWS. Again, your data is much safer there than it is on your home computer.

Maybe I'm biased living in an area with pretty good, solid internet. I just don't get the fear. For an inventory tool to be useful you need it to access the internet anyway, unless you plan to download all product data from Digikey somehow or you deal only with internal part numbers.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8041
  • Country: 00
  • Display aficionado
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2017, 10:25:23 pm »
That's why if you use cloud software you use companies that are well established and profitable.

Frankly I don't understand the hatred of cloud services on this forum. Is it an age thing? Culture? So many people think that their data is somehow safer on their $99 external USB hard drive than on Amazon's servers. Very few people know how to implement proper backups and security anyhow.  Seeing as how, for a business, you rely so heavily on cloud services (whether you know it or not) then you're kind of screwed if the internet goes down anyway.

Granted, I see how it may not appeal to people who only need to track their stuff in their one lab on one computer. Or those that have shoddy internet connections or some such.

So really you have a few risk factors:

1) Quality of internet access: varies by region/person
2) Longevity of company: do your diligence, don't put your data into a company that's liable to be out of business in a week. I imagine any worthwhile inventory tool will let you export your data locally.
3) Security of company: The elusive HACKERS  :scared:. Your personal computer is at far greater risk.
4) Accessibility of data: Depends on the company, see again point 2. When is the last time Amazon "just went down?" When's the last time all your local DNS servers "just went down" leaving you unable to access anything?
5) Safety of data: Pretty much every internet service that exists runs on Amazon AWS. Again, your data is much safer there than it is on your home computer.

Maybe I'm biased living in an area with pretty good, solid internet. I just don't get the fear. For an inventory tool to be useful you need it to access the internet anyway, unless you plan to download all product data from Digikey somehow or you deal only with internal part numbers.
Amazon does not appear to have an online parts inventory service, nor does Google, nor does Microsoft. Many people have already been bitten by services evaporating from one day to the next. The fact that Amazon hosts the service does not mean they will host it tomorrow. They want to get paid. If a customer packs up shop, they will not hesitate to pull the servers. If the service is provided by the big three themselves, there still is no guarantee it will be around tomorrow. Myriad examples exists of services being abandoned or replaced. Even various physical products have been rendered completely useless because their required cloud services were pulled.

In many cases you might be able to backup the data yourself, but you still would not have the infrastructure to do anything with it. If things roll over, a company might need weeks to substitute the infrastructure, which might very well be the end of the business. There is nothing you can do about that, while you can do something about the risk of storing your things on a USB drive. People being stupid with their data does not detract from that. In all cases you need to think about data security and take appropriate measures.

The 'hatred' is not as unfounded as you purport it to be here. The problem is that, nowadays, anything and everything is moved towards the cloud, even if that is not the most optimal solution. Cloud services have a place in the modern IT world and can be great in certain situations and user cases. However, currently it is a buzzword and everyone is tripping over themselves to get on board and force their portfolio into that ubiquitous cloud shape. When all you have is a hammer, well, you known the rest. Not even the greatest oscilloscope in the world makes for a complete and adequate tool kit on its own.

Of course, there is also the discussion of data harvesting. Some people are fine with every company collecting, compiling and selling their personal and behavioural data. However, many are fairly uncomfortable with it. When you use a cloud service, there is very little you can do about it if and when that happens. It would be safe to say that most online services do something of that nature. In many cases, big data has become the core business and the product a means.

Reliability is far from perfect, even in areas with great internet reliability. I know of several companies that migrated to Office 365, only to turn around and go back to a more traditional set-up. They experienced too many outages or performance was not up to par, even when combined with a mature infrastructure. In their cases, it was just not the right tool for the job.

In conclusion, people having a distrust of the cloud has nothing to do with age, culture, unfounded fears, bad internet or other irrelevant factors. Instead, many people have very well considered reasons or real world experiences that have made them wary. It would be too easy to dismiss anyone hesitant to go all in as a naysayer.
 
The following users thanked this post: Kean, DTJ

Offline SVFeingold

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 154
  • Country: us
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2017, 01:29:06 am »
I have to use far more online services than I'd like, simply because either my company uses them, or my clients, or they're required for X, Y, Z. Not once, not one single time, ever, has one of them just suddenly vanished. Yes, it happens, but it's exceedingly rare that a well established company (i.e. not 2 programmers in a room) just suddenly dies and deletes all of their data without warning. I agree that not everything is well suited to being a cloud service. However many things can and do benefit from that. By way of example, Autodesk asking me to login every other time I go to use EAGLE is infuriating. On the other hand, keeping all my important data that I need to share between 3 computers on Dropbox is supremely useful and saves a ton of time. And of course, I regularly backup my Dropbox just in case.

Office 365, sure I agree with you. I don't benefit from their "cloud" features at all. An inventory management tool? There are legitimate use cases there. It would be nice to walk around the shop using my phone to scan items rather than having to either carry a computer or carry products to a desk. Being able to check your inventory remotely when you aren't in front of your computer at home is useful for me. If you don't benefit at all from something that's connected to the internet and you just want a standalone program, that's fine. I'm sure many exist. Even so, anytime I see discussion on this topic it's always along the lines of "What if X just goes down?" That does not happen very often. People forgetting to backup data or not securing their backups sufficiently? Happens all the time. If you're an exception to that then good, no argument here.

And if the company that made the standalone program goes out of business, what then? Sure you have your program. And if Digikey or whoever modifies or updates their API and you can no longer access the API correctly? Who is around to fix it? You are left with the same potential issue of having to migrate to a new platform. Anything that works as a tightly-integrated inventory management tool relies heavily on being connected to the outside world. And if you don't need any of that, a spreadsheet is probably just fine.

Being cloud-connected doesn't automatically make a product good, but it doesn't automatically make it bad either.
 
The following users thanked this post: julianhigginson

Offline alexanderbrevig

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 585
  • Country: no
  • Musician, programmer and EE hobbyist
    • alexanderbrevig.com
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2017, 02:02:05 pm »
Anyone given http://bomer.co a try? I liked it when I tried it back when the beta was announced.
Don't remember if it supports nested BOMs though.

Offline dundee

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 58
  • Country: de
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2017, 07:37:33 am »
Hi Guys!

PartKeepr looks very nice. Can't install it on my webspace due to missing plugins :(.

After searching a bit I found Part-DB:
Discussion: https://www.mikrocontroller.net/topic/305023 (German)

Github: https://github.com/jbtronics/Part-DB/tree/nextgen

Demo: http://part-db.bplaced.net/startup.php

« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 08:01:32 am by dundee »
 

Offline jwr

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 30
  • Country: pl
  • PartsBox.io founder
    • PartsBox
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2017, 12:10:33 pm »
Hi,

Since part alternates were discussed here as an important feature, I thought I'd let everyone know, that PartsBox (https://partsbox.io/) now has "meta-parts", which implement this concept.

A meta-part contains other parts, which are assumed to be equivalent (any of them can be used as an alternate). When you use meta-parts in your projects/BOMs, you can delay the decision on the actual part to be used until later. When pricing (in the paid plans), PartsBox will consider offers for all alternates and choose the least expensive one. When building the project and removing stock, you will have to select the actual part (and storage location) that you intend to use for building.

This was an often-requested feature, and it is indeed very useful, especially with long-term production and simple passives, where people switch components often depending on pricing and availability.

--Jan
  Founder, PartsBox · https://partsbox.io/ · Twitter: @PartsBoxIO

Jan Rychter
Founder, PartsBox (https://partsbox.io/ — Keep track of your electronic components)
 

Offline desertgreg

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 14
  • Country: us
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2017, 11:17:43 pm »
I am considering using PartsBox after reading your posts.  I use KiCad so I tried out your BOM import tool.  Unfortunately it only seems to work with the BOM I can export from the kiCad PCB layout tool.  I think it would be better if it worked with the BOM from the schematic editor.  My schematic BOM has everything, manufacturer, datasheet, part number, etc.  The other one I didn't even know existed and it doesn't have half of the data (e.g. no part numbers).

Then after I imported the BOM into a project, I couldn't figure out how to edit the entries to add the part numbers manually.  Its close but not quite there.  If you'd like I could send you an example BOM file.



 

Offline jgalak

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 237
  • Country: us
  • KQ2Z
    • Blog, mostly about learning electronics.
Re: Basic software for keeping track of component inventory levels?
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2017, 02:26:19 pm »
PartsBox looks really nice, but the plans aren't useful for me in their current form.  The free plan can't import a BOM from Eagle (I'm currently using the free version), and the cheapest paid plan is too expensive - and I don't really need any of the features there other than the BOM import.

If there was a "hobbyist +" plan that was in the range of about $100 per year and offered more import options (and maybe the custom fields), I'd be all over it.

The fact that the founder is on this forum and is responsive is a big plus in my book.
Blog, mostly about learning electronics: http://kq2z.com/
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf