Inventory Management

Written by Jacey Harmon
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Without products, a business will not be able to survive. In order to provide the necessary products, businesses must properly maintain their inventories. An inventory that is not tracked and maintained will prohibit companies from producing, or providing their products. Faulty inventory can lead to useless company spending and dissatisfied customers, both of which will hurt the bottom line.

Properly maintaining inventories requires a kind of balancing act. After all, the goal of inventory management is to not have too much of a product, yet have it when you need it. Inventory management requires one to know exactly how much you have and where you have it. It requires an organization to calculate what it will need to fill orders. Where do you get needed inventory, how long it takes to get, and how much it all costs are all questions asked, and answered, through inventory management.

Tools Used in Inventory Management

A well-designed and implemented automatic identification system is a good start to inventory management. Bar codes are a common tool in identification systems. RF tagging is another form of automatic identification. RF tags are used on inventory that moves around a lot, such as rental equipment. Automatic identification systems reduce human error in tracking and recording inventories.

Businesses are starting to recognize the power of the Internet when it comes to inventory management. There are many online applications that allow organizations to manage their inventory. Remote reporting and automatic order placement are a few of the capabilities of online inventory management. Employees can be alerted when specific products are running low, or they can view entire inventory reports online.

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