Keeping track of consumables for little start ups

Hi all!

I was hoping some of you probably know of software package or a service you can host.

The background

Participatory City Foundation is a community charity that focuses more on the community side of things rather than the charity side. The objective is to get people talking and doing things toguether. To do that we have many different tools.

The main one of interest is the collaborative business program. We get a highly diverse group of people that want to try selling things. We put them toguether in a sort of incubator of co-ops. One line could be homeware products and another could be baked products.

Participants need for us to buy some consumables for them (we batch purchase and are VAT registered). And we later discount it from their sales (we use izettle POS).

The Problem

It is currently a load of Google spreadsheets. Because participants see what others have ordered and edit it themselves and we later do the calculations and reports for each participant. I can see how there might be a problem in future (check out xkcd 1667 and 2180).

The solution we are looking for?

An off the shelf hosted solution that give participants ownership and don’t have to wait for us to manually go through spreadsheets to know how they are doing.

Tools we have
Google business but uneasy because of GDPR
Monday dot com

All which are not compulsory to use.

I had a look at gnucash but could not find a way to share it. It is as far as I know for one location only, sadly having a file shared and synced to local machines is not an option. might be an option But I have been unable to test it because of yak shaving and wanted to make sure there weren’t any other options. And a general accounting system seems to me that it will still need some manual tinkering to do this collaboratively rather than department silos.

1 Like

At Platform 6 we’re experimenting with using Open Collective. We set ourselves up as a host organisation on the platform, and collectives can be created that use us as their host and fiscal sponsor. Multiple projects, transparent transactions, one bank account. I don’t know if it will meet your needs, but it might be something worth looking at.


Might be! Looks like the accounting thing that we might need.

It seems like a full on CRM system, (we are using HubSpot but could change).

Not totally sure, but maybe odoo? Apparently it’s like salesforce in that its a really pluggable crm, but has inventory management components pre-built:

A tech co-op called coopdevs out of catalonia has some experience with it. I can poke around later to see if any of them are on this forum already :slight_smile:

That would be great, my Catalan is not great but hopefully English and Spanish will be enough!

For us Open Collective provides a very simple lightweight mechanism for collectives we’re working with to manage their money without needing their own bank account. CRM/ERP tools (we use CiviCRM) are not involved/integrated in our case. Setting up something like Odoo sounds like a big pile of work.

1 Like

I’m not sure, but this sounds like something Open Food Network software might be able to handle.

1 Like

cc @LuisRamos @enricostn

Thanks! it almost has it with the enterprise fee but it does not seem to be able to add “ingredient” cost to each product.

Great system though! Will forward it to an organic food distribution that I know of!

1 Like

Hi @amunizp! You can reach out to the community in our Slack. I’m sure someone somewhere had a case similar to yours.


That link isn’t resolving :frowning:


My apologies @todrobbins. This other link should work


Fabulous! That worked. Thank you!

1 Like