Almost all businesses have some sort of inventory. Whether it is a product they are selling or supplies for the bathroom, all inventory needs to be recorded and tracked to be replenished. This portion of the business is called Inventory Control Management.
Definition of Inventory Control Management
Inventory control is that portion of the business that manages how much to invest in the inventory. If you don’t invest enough, you won’t have product to sell to your customers. If you invest too much, you may run out of money as stock sits idly in the warehouse.
Types of Inventory to Manage
The inventory control department manages raw materials, unfinished goods, finished goods and consumables. All inventory items can fall into one of these categories.
Inventory Control Methods
There are a number of methods for managing inventory. Inventory can be managed by simply re-ordering when a minimum level is reached, or it could be reviewed at predetermined intervals to return inventory to a given amount. Managers can determine which method, or combination of methods would best suit their business.
For small inventories, a spreadsheet and clipboard may be all you need to keep track of everything. For larger inventories a computer program may be needed to help keep track of everything. More massive inventories might require RFID, or radio frequency identification, chips that allow scanners to track large amounts of information about the inventory.
Inventory control is about more than just inventory, there are financial matters dealing with purchase orders, delivery notes, returns and requisitions. In larger companies there may be a person, or an entire department, dealing with just this paperwork.
- Management-Hub: Inventory management overview
- Business Link: Stock control and inventory advice
- Masao Nakamura, Sadao Sakakibara and Roger Schroeder. "Adoption of Just-in-Time Manufacturing Methods at U.S.- and Japanese-Owned Plants: Some Empirical Evidence," pages 230-231. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 1988.
- Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. "Regulation S-X, 17 CFR Part 210: Sec. 210.5-02 Balance sheets." Accessed Aug. 1, 2020.
Shawn McClain has spent over 15 years as a journalist covering technology, business, culture and the arts. He has published numerous articles in both national and local publications, and online at various websites. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in journalism at Clarion University.