What Is an Inventory Map?

by Mary Jane; Updated September 26, 2017

The term “inventory map” refers to an actual map of an inventory. However, the word has various interpretations, as “inventory mapping,” which refers to different mapping techniques of inventories and “mapping an inventory” which is an action. It is important to separate these definitions to understand what an inventory map is, how it is used and why it is important.

Inventory Map

An inventory map is an actual map of a given inventory. Larger businesses have a map of the inventory and managers rely on it to locate items within. The map includes the location of the item, the size of it in case the items have different sizes or shapes and the price of the item. The map must be updated each time a new item is added to the inventory or if the location of a given item changes.

Important of Inventory Map

An inventory map is important for several reasons. An inventory map keeps a large inventory organized, saves time when looking for specific items and serves as an inventory control measure. Inventory control measures help protect the value of the inventory, as it is the key company asset.

Mapping an Inventory

The term “mapping an inventory” refers to the action of creating an inventory map. The steps include drawing an identical map of the inventory, but not necessarily to scale and identifying the location of the items on the map. The inventory map hangs outside the inventory or all employees allowed in the inventory have a personal copy. The sizes and prices must be included on the map to ensure the employees know where to find specific items in the inventory during a busy workday.

Inventory Mapping

The term “inventory mapping” is also used in medical and corporate location techniques. Inventory mapping is the action of finding locations or businesses that have certain items stocked in their inventory for medical or professional use. Larger international businesses will use an inventory mapping system as a method of communicating with other locations about inventory items.

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.