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Inventory Management

Inventory Management

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Inventory Management

Tepes Ana-Ionela Vîrjoghe Alina Cristina B.A, 8892


Inventory management, or inventory control, is an attempt to balance inventory needs and requirements with the need to minimize costs resulting from obtaining and holding inventory. There are several schools of thought that view inventory and its function differently. These will be addressed later, but first we present a foundation to facilitate the reader's understanding of inventory and its function. In the USA and Canada the term has developed from a list of goods and materials to the goods and materials themselves, especially those held available in stock by a business; and this has become the primary meaning of the term in North American English, equivalent to the term "stock" in British English. In accounting, inventory or stock is considered an asset.

Inventory is a quantity or store of goods that is held for some purpose or use (the term may also be used as a verb, meaning to take inventory or to count all goods held in inventory). Inventory may be kept "in-house," meaning on the premises or nearby for immediate use; or it may be held in a distant warehouse or distribution center for future use. With the exception of firms utilizing just-in-time methods, more often than not, the term "inventory" implies a stored quantity of goods that exceeds what is needed for the firm to function at the current time (e.g., within the next few hours).

Inventory management is primarily about specifying the size and placement of stocked goods. Inventory management is required at different locations within a facility or within multiple locations of a supply network to protect the regular and planned course of production against the random disturbance of running out of materials or goods. The scope of inventory management also concerns the fine lines between replenishment lead time, carrying costs of inventory, asset management, inventory forecasting, inventory valuation, inventory visibility, future inventory price forecasting, physical inventory, available physical space for inventory, quality management, replenishment, returns and defective goods and demand forecasting. Balancing these competing requirements leads to optimal inventory levels, which is an on-going process as the business needs shift and react to the wider environment. Inventory management involves a retailer seeking to acquire and maintain a proper merchandise assortment while ordering, shipping, handling, and related costs are kept in check. Systems and processes that identify inventory requirements, set targets, provide replenishment techniques and report actual and projected inventory status. Handles all functions related to the tracking and management of material. This would include the monitoring of material moved into and out of stockroom locations and the reconciling of the inventory balances. Also may include ABC analysis, lot tracking, cycle counting support etc. Management of the inventories, with the primary objective of determining/controlling stock levels within the physical distribution function to balance the need for product availability against the need for minimizing stock holding and handling costs.

Why would a firm hold more inventory than is currently necessary to ensure the firm's operation? The following is a list of reasons for maintaining what would appear to be "excess" inventory.

steel mills may have a lead time of up to three months. such as Nissan in Smyrna. the larger the quantity of goods the firm must carry in inventory.Table 1 January February March April May June Demand 50 50 0 100 200 200 Produce 100 100 100 100 100 100 Month-end inventory 50 100 200 200 100 0 KEEP OPERATIONS RUNNING. then each machine can maintain its operations for a limited time. Nissan takes delivery on truck seats as many as 18 times per day. components. If a supply of work-in-process inventory is kept between each workcenter. Inventory between successive dependent operations also serves to decouple the dependency of the operations. The longer the lead time. then the client firm must keep an inventory of the needed goods. Tennessee. A machine or workcenter is often dependent upon the previous operation to provide it with parts to work on. However. If work ceases at a workcenter. then all subsequent centers will shut down for lack of work. or subassemblies) in order to manufacture its product. Running out of only one item can prevent a manufacturer from completing the production of its finished goods. That means that a firm that uses steel produced at the mill must place orders at least three months . If a supplier (an external firm or an internal department or plant) cannot supply the required goods on demand. A just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing firm. LEAD TIME Lead time is the time that elapses between the placing of an order (either a purchase order or a production order issued to the shop or the factory floor) and actually receiving the goods ordered. can maintain extremely low levels of inventory. A manufacturer must have certain purchased items (raw materials. hopefully until operations resume the original center.

In fact. if the discount is sufficient to offset the extra holding cost incurred as a result of the excess inventory. HEDGE. many firm's use an ABC approach.in advance of their need. CONTROLLING INVENTORY Firms that carry hundreds or even thousands of different part numbers can be faced with the impossible task of monitoring the inventory levels of each part number. Inventory can also be used as a hedge against price increases and inflation. Notice how the use of inventory has allowed the firm to maintain a steady rate of output (thus avoiding the cost of hiring and training new personnel). an onhand inventory of three months' steel requirements would be necessary. SMOOTHING REQUIREMENTS. QUANTITY DISCOUNT. Sometimes inventory is used to smooth demand requirements in a market where demand is somewhat erratic. this is often called anticipation inventory. Salesmen routinely call purchasing agents shortly before a price increase goes into effect. In order to keep their operations running in the meantime. thus smoothing the demand. However. the decision to buy the large quantity is justified. In order to facilitate this. This also frequently results in inventory in excess of what is currently needed to meet demand. the use of inventory has allowed the firm to move demand requirements to earlier periods. ABC analysis is based on Pareto Analysis. while building up inventory in anticipation of an increase in demand. at a price that is lower than it would be if the buyer waited until after the price increase occurs. Consider the demand forecast and production schedule outlined in Table 1. In essence. Often firms are given a price discount when purchasing large quantities of a good. . This gives the buyer a chance to purchase material. in excess of current need.

A firm may physically count a certain section of the plant or warehouse. Then the process starts all over again. By classifying each inventory item as an A. with A items requiring the most accurate record keeping. The 80/20 comes from Pareto's finding that 20 percent of the populace possessed 80 percent of the wealth. with "B" items falling in between A and C items. but B items usually represent about 30 percent of the total inventory items and 15 percent of the costs. it has to be the correct 20 percent.also known as the "80/20" rule. and C items yearly. The firm may also choose to count all the A items. Items that are extremely inexpensive or have low demand are termed "C" items. The percentages may vary with each firm. B items quarterly. A item may be counted monthly. moving on to other sections upon completion. and finally the C items. a firm can control 80 percent of its inventory costs by monitoring and controlling 20 percent of its inventory. Usually this means that the firm monitors A items very closely but can check on B and C items on a periodic basis (for example. the counting frequency will vary with the classification of each item. Cycle counting is used instead of the traditional "once-a-year" inventory count where firms shut down for a short period of time and physically count all inventory assets in an attempt to reconcile any possible discrepancies in their inventory records. Therefore. Another control method related to the ABC concept is cycle counting. effort and money) to dedicate to each item. then the B items. The top 20 percent of the firm's most costly items are termed "A" items (this should approximately represent 80 percent of total inventory costs). B or C the firm can determine the resources (time. monthly for B items and quarterly for C items). But. In other words. From an inventory perspective it can restated thusly: approximately 20 percent of all inventory items represent 80 percent of inventory costs. . When cycle counting is used the firm is continually taking a physical count but not of total inventory. Certainly. In addition the required accuracy of inventory records may vary according to classification. until the entire facility is counted. C items generally constitute 50 percent of all inventory items but only around 5 percent of the costs.

Now. set-up costs. There are three types of costs that together constitute total inventory costs: holding costs. obsolescence. Inventory in excess of current demand frequently means that its holder must provide a place for its storage when not in use. Average inventory can be computed by dividing the amount of goods that are ordered every time an order is placed ( Q ) by two. lighting. A storage facility requires personnel to move the inventory when needed and to keep track of what is stored and where it is stored. also called carrying costs. The firm must pay taxes on the inventory. and opportunity costs occur from the lost use of the funds that were spent on the inventory. are the costs that result from maintaining the inventory. Also.BALANCING INVENTORY AND COSTS As stated earlier. Storage facilities also require heating. cooling. how do we balance this supply with its costs? First let's look at what kind of costs we are talking about. . then. can be expressed as H ( Q /2). HOLDING COSTS. This could range from a small storage area near the production line to a huge warehouse or distribution center. and purchasing costs. forklifts may be necessary to move it around. pilferage (theft). average inventory is expressed as Q /2. Annual holding cost. and water. inventory management is an attempt to maintain an adequate supply of goods while minimizing inventory costs. Holding costs. If the firm can determine the cost of holding one unit of inventory for one year ( H ) it can determine its annual holding cost by multiplying the cost of holding one unit by the average inventory held for a one-year period. Thus. We saw a variety of reasons companies hold inventory and these reasons dictate what is deemed to be an adequate supply of inventory. and shrinkage are problems. All of these things add cost to holding or carrying inventory. If the inventory is heavy or bulky.

Suppose a firm has an annual demand ( D ) of 1. annual set-up/order cost can be expressed as S ( D / Q ). the firm will obviously place 10 orders per year ( D / Q ). The technician then takes the currently needed tooling from the tool room (where it has been maintained. and computer systems and support. that will have to be scrapped (a cost). There the technician has to assemble the tooling on the machine in the manner required for the good to be produced (this is known as a "set-up"). forms and documents. some firms include the cost of shipping the purchased goods in the order cost. it can determine its annual setup/order cost by multiplying the cost of one set-up by the number of set-ups made or orders placed annually. office space. In a manufacturing setting this would require the use of a skilled technician (a cost) who disassembles the tooling that is currently in use on the machine. copiers and office supplies. If the firm can determine the cost of one set-up ( S ) or one order. the firm can determine its annual purchasing cost by . rather than a set-up cost.000 units. If the firm purchases the part or raw material. The disassembled tooling is then taken to a tool room or tool shop for maintenance or possible repair (another cost). is incurred. Also. Then the technician has to calibrate the machine and probably will run a number of parts. in order to get the machine correctly calibrated and running. If the firm orders 100 units ( Q ) every time it places and order. administrative and secretarial support.SET-UP COSTS. If the firm purchases a part that goes into its finished product. there is considerable cost involved in set-up. As one can see. PURCHASING COST. Hence. Set-up costs are the costs incurred from getting a machine ready to produce the desired good. then an order cost. All the while the machine has been idle and not producing any parts (opportunity cost). Ordering costs include the purchasing agent's salary and travel/entertainment budget. long-distance telephone bills. another cost) and brings it to the machine in question. Purchasing cost is simply the cost of the purchased item itself.

We might assume this means that purchasing cost is not relevant to our order decision and . we determine the total costs without using the EOQ method: Q = $10(1000/2) + $150(12.000 = $800 Notice that if you remove purchasing cost from the equation. if we want to minimize total inventory cost. every time we place an order.000/1000) + $25(12. Therefore. the point at which they intersect (that is. In order to minimize total inventory cost. annual holding cost of $10 per unit and an order cost of $150 per order (with orders placed once a month) could save $800 annually by utilizing the EOQ.000) = $306.800 Then we calculate EOQ: EOQ = 2(12. we should order the quantity ( Q ) that corresponds to the point where the two values are equal.000) = $306. the savings is still $800.multiplying the cost of one purchased unit ( P ) by the number of finished products demanded in a year ( D ). purchasing cost is expressed as PD. we subtract the total cost of Q from Q to determine the savings: $306. For example. the point at which they are equal) would indicate the lowest total inventory cost.000)($150)/$10= 600 And we calculate total costs at the EOQ of 600: Q = $10(600/2) + $150(12.000/600) + $25(12. a firm with an annual demand of 12. If we set the two costs equal and solve for Q we get: H ( Q /2) = S ( D / Q ) Q = 2 DS / H The quantity Q is known as the economic order quantity (EOQ).000 Finally. Now total inventory cost can be expressed as: Total = Holding cost + Set-up/Order cost + Purchasing cost or Total = H ( Q /2) + S ( D / Q ) + PD If holding costs and set-up costs were plotted as lines on a graph. First. Hence. the firm will order Q every time it places an order.000 units (at a purchase price of $25 each).800 − 306.

chances are you would walk out with 100 paper clips. A firm might also use a fixed-order quantity when it is captive to packaging situations. FIXED-ORDER-QUANTITY MODEL. These include the fixed-order quantity. These include: • • • • • Only one product is involved. Deterministic demand (demand is known with certainty). If a quantity discount is available. While these assumptions would seem to make EOQ irrelevant for use in a realistic situation. it is relevant for items that have independent demand. It must be noted that this is true only as long as no quantity discount exists. the single-period model. EOQ is an example of the fixed-order-quantity model since the same quantity is ordered every time an order is placed. There are a number of assumptions that must be made with the use of the EOQ. purses have independent demand. You were captive to the . Constant costs (no price increases or inflation). OTHER LOT-SIZING TECHNIQUES There are a number of other lot-sizing techniques available in addition to EOQ. Constant demand (demand is stable through-out the year). This means that the demand for the item is not derived from the demand for something else (usually a parent item for which the unit in question is a component).can be eliminated from the equation. No quantity discounts. and part-period balancing. the demand for steering wheels would be derived from the demand for automobiles (dependent demand) but the demand for purses is not derived from anything else. the firm must determine whether the savings of the quantity discount are sufficient to offset the loss of the savings resulting from the use of the EOQ. fixed-order-interval model. If you were to walk into an office supply store and ask to buy 22 paper clips. For example.

or monthly. i. The fixed-order-interval model is used when orders have to be placed at fixed time intervals such as weekly.e. and items with a limited life.packaging requirements of paper clips. A supplier may package their goods in certain quantities so that their customers must buy that quantity or a multiple of that quantity. The lot size is dependent upon how much inventory is needed from the time of order until the next order must be placed (order cycle). such as food and flowers. When a proper lot size has been determined. can be determined by the rate of demand and the lead time. If safety stock is necessary it would be added to the reorder point quantity. The single-period model is used in ordering perishables. PART-PERIOD BALANCING. Part-period balancing attempts to select the number of periods covered by the inventory order that will make total carrying costs as close as possible to the set-up/order cost. It works the same way for other purchasing situations. with the cost of having excess inventory left at the end of a period.. the reorder point. SINGLE-PERIOD MODEL. This model tries to balance the cost of lost customer goodwill and opportunity cost that is incurred from not having enough inventory. utilizing one of the above techniques. or point at which an order should be placed. biweekly. such as newspapers. they come 100 to a box and you cannot purchase a partial box. This system requires periodic checks of inventory levels and is used by many retail firms such as drug stores and small grocery stores. FIXED-ORDER-INTERVAL MODEL. Unsold or unused goods are not typically carried over from one period to another and there may even be some disposal costs involved. .

Reorder point = Expected demand during lead time + Safety stock Thus.Production & Material Planning Inventory Management and Inventory Control must be designed to meet the dictates of the marketplace and support the company's strategic plan. a two-month lead time and a desired safety stock of two weeks would have reorder point of 250.Company Strategic Goals .Sales Forecasting . Reorder point = 100/month × 2 months + 2 weeks' safety stock = 250 Inventory Management Inventory Control Must tie together the following objectives. global sourcing of materials. The many changes in market demand. means many companies need to change their Inventory Management approach and change the process for Inventory Control. The . In other words.Sales & Operations Planning . new opportunities due to worldwide marketing. and new manufacturing technology. an inventory item with a demand of 100 per month. Inventory management is a method to meet the needs of the organization while keeping the costs of storing materials to a minimum. an order would be placed whenever the inventory level for that good reached 250 units. Companies that store inventory must have a management system to track the materials and products in the organization. to insure there is continuity between functions: .

Each of the areas above will . planning. they provide the information to Managers who make more accurate and timely decisions to manage their operations. the basic principles of Inventory Management and Inventory Control remain the same. Inventory Management and Inventory Control must be designed to meet the dictates of the marketplace and support the company's strategic plan. means many companies need to change their Inventory Management approach and change the process for Inventory Control. and new manufacturing technology. The Inventory Management system and the Inventory Control Process provides information to efficiently manage the flow of materials.management system the company uses impacts several departments within the organization. and what requirements are placed on it due to market demands. but the underlying principles for accomplishing good Inventory Management and Inventory activities have not changed. effectively utilize people and equipment. and communicate with customers. Despite the many changes that companies go through. global sourcing of materials. The basic building blocks for the Inventory Management system and Inventory Control activities are: Sales Forecasting or Demand Management Sales and Operations Planning Production Planning Material Requirements Planning Inventory Reduction The emphases on each area will vary depending on the company and how it operates. accounting and production. Inventory Management and the activities of Inventory Control do not make decisions or manage operations. new opportunities due to worldwide marketing. coordinate internal activities. Some of the new approaches and techniques are wrapped in new terminology. such as purchasing. The many changes in market demand.

A leaner inventory also reduces the space needed to store materials. The purchasing department orders materials when the quantity reaches a specific amount. Purchasing o The inventory management system provides trigger points for material purchases. A lean inventory is flexible and can respond faster to material changes.need to be addressed in some form or another to have a successful program of Inventory Management and Inventory Control. Excessive amounts of inventory tie up company funds and can result in waste. . changes in production or material specifications can cause an abundance of materials held in stock to become obsolete. Reduce Costs o An accurate inventory management system prevents delays in purchases or over ordering materials for production. Inaccuracies in the system can result in shortages of materials or products. For example. An inaccurate inventory can cause delays in the materials necessary to build products. which may delay production and delivery times for customers. Keeping only what is necessary on hand reduces the company's investment in materials until there is customer demand. Vendor lead times are a factor in determining the quantity necessary to trigger a purchase. The planning department schedules production to meet the demands of customer orders. Production Planning o The production planning department relies on accurate inventory quantities to schedule builds or production runs. Accurate quantities in the system allow the company to build the product within the time frame the customer demands as well. Defects found in materials may cause excessive waste when large amounts of inventory are in stock. Meet Customer Demand o The inventory management system ensures the company has the materials available to build product to meet customer demand. An inventory management system ensures the smooth flow of materials to production when it is needed to create products for customers. Inaccuracies in the inventory quantities may result in ordering delays or over ordering materials for production.

a necessity for a complex item with dependent demand. as such. Just-in-time (JIT) is a philosophy that advocates the lowest possible levels of inventory. While it agrees with JIT that inventory should be at the lowest level possible in most instances. JIT espouses that firms need only keep inventory in the right quantity at the right time with the right quality. allow discrete ordering (ordering only what is currently needed). even though one hears the term "zero inventory" used.OTHER SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT IN INVENTORY MANAGEMENT There are a number of techniques and philosophies that view inventory management from different perspectives. The ideal lot size for JIT is one. MRP and MRP II look at order quantities period by period and. JUST-IN-TIME (JIT). MRP and MRP II are computer-based resource management systems designed for items that have dependent demand. Theory of constraints (TOC) is a philosophy which emphasizes that all management actions should center around the firm's constraints. In this way inventory levels can be kept at a very low level. THEORY OF CONSTRAINTS (TOC). MRP AND MRP II. it advocates that there be some .

Business inventory The reasons for keeping stock There are three basic reasons for keeping an inventory: .g. In addition to raw materials.buffer inventory around any capacity constraint (e. through altruism or legislation. of environmental management has added a new dimension to inventory management-reverse supply chain logistics. Environmental management has expanded the number of inventory types that firms have to coordinate. or color. finish. poor fit.. the slowest machine) and before finished goods. Retailers have the same type problems dealing with inventory that has been returned due to defective material or manufacture. and MRO goods. returned goods. recycling. THE FUTURE OF INVENTORY MANAGEMENT The advent. or secondary use in another product. firms now have to deal with post-consumer items such as scrap. and any number of items that require repair. supply chain management has had a considerable impact on inventory management. reuse. finished goods. today's firm has to make inventory decisions that benefit the entire supply chain. Instead of managing one's inventory to maximize profit and minimize cost for the individual firm. or outright "I changed my mind" responses from customers. Finally. reusable or recyclable containers. work-in-process.

supply and movements of goods. when he needs it" principle tends to incur lots of costs in terms of logistics. All these stock reasons can apply to any owner or product stage. it is often the work practice to hold all these stocks mixed together before or after the sub-process to which they relate." 2. . thus inventory. Some plants have centralized stock holding across sub-processes. So bulk buying. These classifications apply along the whole Supply chain. This 'reduces' costs. Because they are mixed up together there is no visual reminder to operators of the adjacent sub-processes or line management of the stock. Uncertainty . Therefore. which is due to a particular cause and should be a particular individual's responsibility with inevitable consequences. Time . This level of detailed specification assists in managing inventory. This stock is then used while that changeover is happening.The time lags present in the supply chain.1. Where these stocks contain the same or similar items. • Stockout means running out of the inventory of an SKU. movement and storing brings in economies of scale. any change in the packaging or product is a new SKU.Ideal condition of "one unit at a time at a place where a user needs it. • Buffer stock is held in individual workstations against the possibility that the upstream workstation may be a little delayed in long setup or change over time. not just within a facility or plant. Special terms used in dealing with inventory • Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) is a unique combination of all the components that are assembled into the purchasable item. requires that you maintain certain amounts of inventory to use in this "lead time.Inventories are maintained as buffers to meet uncertainties in demand. from supplier to user at every stage. 3. which makes the situation even more acute. Economies of scale . This stock can be eliminated by tools like SMED.

service-providers and not-for-profits .have left the factory but not arrived at the customer yet) Inventory examples While accountants often discuss inventory in terms of goods for sale. it is the available inventory. organizations manufacturers. furniture. Buffer/safety stock 2. Manufacturers'. ice cream for summer) 5.. and the new old stock may represent the only market source of a particular item at the present time. De-coupling (Buffer stock that is held by both the supplier and the user) 4. While the reasons for holding stock were covered earlier. distributors'.materials and components scheduled for use in making a product.g. . supplies. excluding buffer stock) 3. .• "New old stock" (sometimes abbreviated NOS) is a term used in business to refer to merchandise being offered for sale that was manufactured long ago but that has never been used.. Inventories not intended for sale to customers or to clients may be held in any premises an organization uses. Stock ties up cash and.) that they do not intend to sell. it will be impossible to know the actual level of stocks and therefore impossible to control them. Typology 1. most manufacturing organizations usually divide their "goods for sale" inventory into: • Raw materials . if uncontrolled.also have inventories (fixtures. and wholesalers' inventory tends to cluster in warehouses.e. Pipeline stock (Goods still in transit or in the process of distribution . Anticipation stock (Building up extra stock for periods of increased demand . Retailers' inventory may exist in a warehouse or in a shop or store accessible to customers. Such merchandise may not be produced anymore. Cycle stock (Used in batch processes.

Its finished good inventory consists of all the filled and labeled cans of food in its warehouse that it has manufactured and wishes to sell to food distributors (wholesalers). and an effective business process to support that. ..goods ready for sale to customers. and consistently show that the improvement of inventory management has two parts: the capability of the organisation to manage inventory. the system cannot bring the necessary benefits to the organisation in isolation. combining certain aspects of each to create The K Curve Methodology. The firm's work in process includes those materials from the time of release to the work floor until they become complete and ready for sale to wholesale or retail customers. A more sophisticated method takes these two techniques further. • • For example: Manufacturing A canned food manufacturer's materials inventory includes the ingredients to form the foods to be canned. .returned goods that are salable. and the way in which it chooses to do so. to grocery stores (retailers). For example.materials and components that have begun their transformation to finished goods.. but unless there is a good understanding of the role of inventory and its parameters. This may be vats of prepared food. empty cans and their lids (or coils of steel or aluminum for constructing those components). glue. a company may wish to install a complex inventory system. filled cans not yet labeled or sub-assemblies of food components. Finished goods . Typical Inventory Management techniques include Pareto Curve ABC Classification and Economic Order Quantity Management. A case study of k-curve benefits to one company shows a successful implementation.• Work in process. WIP . Examples of case studies are very revealing.) that will form part of a finished can. and anything else (solder. labels. Goods for resale . and even perhaps to consumers through arrangements like factory stores and outlet centers. It may also include finished cans that are not yet packaged into cartons or pallets.

Unnecessary inventory adds enormously to the working capital tied up in the business. There are well-proven processes and techniques to assist in inventory planning and strategy. Excess inventory is sub-optimal because the money spent to obtain it could have been utilized better elsewhere. By integrating accurate demand forecasting with inventory management." that is. In such a case. and thereby closer to achieving the primary goal. etc.e. to the product that just ran out. Reduction and elimination of these inventory 'wait' states is a key concept in Lean. The primary optimal outcome is to have the same number of days' (or hours'. this allows for inventory to be in proportion to expected short-term sales or consumption rather than to past averages. Too big an inventory reduction too quickly can cause a business to be anorexic. replenishment inventories can be scheduled to arrive just in time to replenish the product destined to run out first. Many of the big MRP/and ERP systems do not offer the necessary inventory planning tools within their integrated planning applications. Accurate demand forecasting also allows the desired inventory proportions to be dynamic by determining expected sales out into the future. both at the business overview and part number level. inventory that would be left over of another product when the first product runs out. there is no "excess inventory. . Integrating demand forecasting into inventory management in this way also allows for the prediction of the "can fit" point when inventory storage is limited on a per-product basis. while at the same time balancing out the inventory supply of all products to make their inventories more proportional. Principle of inventory proportionality Purpose Inventory proportionality is the goal of demand-driven inventory management.) worth of inventory on hand across all products so that the time of runout of all products would be simultaneous. a much more accurate and optimal outcome. i. as well as the complexity of the supply chain. The secondary goal of inventory proportionality is inventory minimization.

in proportion to the sales of each grade. Additionally. Inventory proportionality minimizes the amount of excess inventory carried in underground storage tanks. The motorists do not know whether they are buying gasoline off the top or bottom of the tank. the product is expensive. Roots The use of inventory proportionality in the United States is thought to have been inspired by Japanese just-in-time parts inventory management made famous by Toyota Motors in the 1980s. these storage tanks have a maximum capacity and cannot be overfilled. Most major oil companies use such systems today. This application for motor fuel was first developed and implemented by Petrolsoft Corporation in 1990 for Chevron Products Company.g. unwanted or stale. . each stored in dedicated tanks. nor need they care. so it is simply cash sunk (literally) into the ground.Applications The technique of inventory proportionality is most appropriate for inventories that remain unseen by the consumer. Motor fuel (e. Excess inventory is not seen or valued by the consumer. and differentiated from the "trigger point" systems where product is reordered when it hits a certain level. inventory proportionality is used effectively by just-in-time manufacturing processes and retail applications where the product is hidden from view. One early example of inventory proportionality used in a retail application in the United States is for motor fuel. Inventory proportionality is used to balance the inventories of the different grades of motor fuel. gasoline) is generally stored in underground storage tanks. As opposed to "keep full" systems where a retail consumer would like to see full shelves of the product they are buying so as not to think they are buying something old. Finally.

high-level financial inventory has these two basic formulas. the burgeoning need for financial reporting after 1900 created unavoidable pressure for financial accounting of stock and the management need to cost manage products became overshadowed. This is particularly true of inventory. A variety of attempts to achieve this were unsuccessful due to the huge overhead of the information processing of the time. Manufacturing management is more interested in inventory turnover ratio or average days to sell inventory since it tells them something about relative inventory levels. it was the need for audited accounts that sealed the fate of managerial cost accounting. Cost of Beginning Inventory at the start of the period + inventory purchases within the period + cost of production within the period = cost of goods available 2. Cost of goods available − cost of ending inventory at the end of the period = cost of goods sold The benefit of these formulae is that the first absorbs all overheads of production and raw material costs into a value of inventory for reporting. which relate to the accounting period: 1. However. The second formula then creates the new start point for the next period and gives a figure to be subtracted from the sales price to determine some form of sales-margin figure. . Those companies (especially in metalworking) attempted to achieve success through economies of scope .High-level inventory management It seems that around 1880 there was a change in manufacturing practice from companies with relatively homogeneous lines of products to vertically integrated companies with unprecedented diversity in processes and products. The managers now needed information on the effect of product-mix decisions on overall profits and therefore needed accurate product-cost information. The dominance of financial reporting accounting over management accounting remains to this day with few exceptions.the gains of jointly producing two or more products in one facility. Hence. In particular. and the financial reporting definitions of 'cost' have distorted effective management 'cost' accounting since that time.

This improvement will have some negative results in the financial reporting. The methodology applied is based on historical cost of goods sold. so many things that can vary hidden under this appearance of simplicity that a variety of 'adjusting' assumptions may be used. Inventory management should be forward looking. Inventory Turn is a financial accounting tool for evaluating inventory and it is not necessarily a management tool. as well as customer demand. whereas a factory that moves from six turns to twelve turns has probably improved effectiveness by 100%. since the 'value' now stored in the factory as inventory is reduced.Inventory turnover ratio (also known as inventory turns) = cost of goods sold / Average Inventory = Cost of Goods Sold / ((Beginning Inventory + Ending Inventory) / 2) and its inverse Average Days to Sell Inventory = Number of Days a Year / Inventory Turnover Ratio = 365 days a year / Inventory Turnover Ratio This ratio estimates how many times the inventory turns over a year. There are. which is generally not a good figure (depending upon the industry). they are also fraught with the danger of their own assumptions. While these accounting measures of inventory are very useful because of their simplicity. The ratio may not be able to reflect the usability of future production demand. . This number tells how much cash/goods are tied up waiting for the process and is a critical measure of process reliability and effectiveness. in fact. So a factory with two inventory turns has six months stock on hand. These include: • • • • Specific Identification Weighted Average Cost Moving-Average Cost FIFO and LIFO.

but the valuation is a management decision since there is no market for the partially finished product. Where 'one process' factories exist. Whereas in the past most enterprises ran simple. there is a market for the goods created. one-process factories. attempt to minimize on-hand inventory and increase inventory turns.Business models. The internal costing/valuation of inventory can be complex.S. such enterprises are quite probably in the minority in the 21st century. This needs to be valued in the accounts. organizations in the U. For example. It is intentional that financial accounting uses standards that allow the public to compare firms' performance. cost accounting functions internally to an organization and potentially with much greater flexibility. This somewhat arbitrary 'valuation' of WIP combined with the allocation of overheads to it has led to some unintended and undesirable results. there is much inventory that would once have been finished goods which is now held as 'work in process' (WIP). which establishes an independent market value for the good.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other federal and state agencies. VMI and CMI have gained considerable attention due to the success of third-party vendors who offer added expertise and knowledge that organizations may not possess. Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) and Customer Managed Inventory (CMI). Today. including Just in Time (JIT) Inventory. with multistage-process companies. Each country has its own rules about accounting for inventory that fit with their financialreporting rules. define inventory to suit their needs within US Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP). Other countries often have similar arrangements but with their own GAAP and national agencies instead. . A discussion of inventory from standard and Theory of Constraints-based (throughput) cost accounting perspective follows some examples and a discussion of inventory from a financial accounting perspective. the rules defined by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) (and others) and enforced by the U.

Salespeople. and others. often receive sales-commission payments. Inventory may also cause significant tax expenses. so unavailable goods may reduce their potential personal income. This effort. but it also ties up money that could serve for other purposes and requires additional expense for its protection.Financial accounting An organization's inventory can appear a mixed blessing. inventory also brings associated costs for warehouse space. obsolescence. Such holding costs can mount up: between a third and a half of its acquisition value per year. Inventory appears as a current asset on an organization's balance sheet because the organization can. in principle. turn it into cash by selling it. known as "Lean production" will significantly reduce working capital tied up in inventory and reduce manufacturing costs (See the Toyota Production System). Commissioner. for utilities. shrinkage (theft and errors). since it counts as an asset on the balance sheet. the accountants can help the public sector to change in a very positive way that delivers increased value for the taxpayer’s . depending on particular countries' laws regarding depreciation of inventory. Businesses that stock too little inventory cannot take advantage of large orders from customers if they cannot deliver. in particular. Role of inventory accounting By helping the organization to make better decisions. as in Thor Power Tool Company v. In addition to the money tied up by acquiring inventory. Some organizations hold larger inventories than their operations require in order to inflate their apparent asset value and their perceived profitability. and for insurance to cover staff to handle and protect it from fire and other disasters. This conflict can be minimised by reducing production time to being near or less than customers' expected delivery time. The conflicting objectives of cost control and customer service often pit an organization's financial and operating managers against its sales and marketing departments.

ethical manner. if not all.first out. So often they are the litmus test by which public confidence in the institution is either won or lost. It is critical that these foundations are firmly laid. then an agreed method must be derived to evaluate it. accountants must choose a method that fits the nature of the sale. This goes beyond the traditional preoccupation with budgets – how much have we spent so far. Two popular methods that normally exist are: FIFO and LIFO accounting (first in .investment. how much do we have left to spend? It is about helping the organization to better understand its own performance. LIFO accounting When a merchant buys goods from inventory. It should be steering the stewardship and accountability systems that ensure that the organization is conducting its business in an appropriate. FIFO regards the first unit that arrived in inventory as the first one sold. in turn. by ensuring that success is appropriately recognized in both the formal and informal reward systems of the organization. Which method an accountant selects can have a significant effect on net income and book value and. Finance is connected to most. on taxation. Using LIFO accounting for inventory. FIFO vs. but where it has. a company generally reports lower net income and lower book value. It can also help to incentivise progress and to ensure that reforms are sustainable and effective in the long term. Finance should also be providing the information. It is also about understanding and actively managing risks within the organization and its activities. due to the effects of . That means making the connections and understanding the relationships between given inputs – the resources brought to bear – and the outputs and outcomes that they achieve. For commodity items that one cannot track individually. To say that they have a key role to play is an understatement. of the key business processes within the organization. last in . LIFO considers the last unit arriving in inventory as the first one sold. This is simple where the CoG has not varied across those held in stock. the value of the inventory account is reduced by the cost of goods sold (COGS). analysis and advice to enable the organizations’ service managers to operate effectively.first out).

Goldratt developed the Theory of Constraints in part to address the costaccounting problems in what he calls the "cost world. found a successor. Theory of constraints cost accounting Eliyahu M. the process takes longer and uses more than the standard labor time. Standard cost accounting can hurt managers. firms use the same efficiencies to downsize. Standard cost accounting Standard cost accounting uses ratios called efficiencies that compare the labour and materials actually used to produce a good with those that the same goods would have required under "standard" conditions. few problems arise. Standard methods continue to emphasize labor efficiency even though that resource now constitutes a (very) small part of cost in most cases.inflation. or otherwise reduce their labor force. When (not if) something goes wrong. Many financial and cost accountants have agreed for many years on the desirability of replacing standard cost accounting. UK GAAP and IAS have effectively banned LIFO inventory accounting. This generally results in lower taxation. which means that processes must operate at higher rates. They have not. even though s/he has no control over the production requirement or the problem. rightsize. Due to LIFO's potential to skew inventory value. workers. In adverse economic times. The manager appears responsible for the excess. called throughput accounting. a policy decision to increase inventory can harm a manufacturing manager's performance evaluation. standard cost accounting methods developed about 100 years ago." He offers a substitute. when labor comprised the most important cost in manufactured goods. Unfortunately. that uses throughput (money for goods sold to customers) in place of . however. Increasing inventory requires increased production. and firms in several ways. Workers laid off under those circumstances have even less control over excess inventory and cost efficiencies than their managers. As long as similar actual and standard conditions obtain. For example.

like materials and components. machinery.who have little or no control over their situations. Distressed inventory Also known as distressed or expired stock. Instead of an incentive to reduce labor cost. including buildings. He defines inventory simply as everything the organization owns that it plans to sell. One current example of distressed inventory is the VHS format In 2001. and old newspapers or magazines.output (goods produced that may sell or may boost inventory) and considers labor as a fixed rather than as a variable cost. Finished goods inventories remain balance-sheet assets. In certain industries it could also mean that the stock is or will soon be impossible to sell. Throughput accounting recognizes only one class of variable costs: the truly variable costs. which vary directly with the quantity produced. It also includes computer or consumer-electronic equipment that is obsolete or discontinued and whose manufacturer is unable to support it. . Examples of distressed inventory include products that have reached their expiry date. and many other things in addition to the categories listed here. clothing that is defective or out of fashion. Those relationships direct attention to the constraints or bottlenecks that prevent the system from producing more throughput.g. distressed inventory is inventory whose potential to be sold at a normal cost has passed or will soon pass. 3 months left to expiry). but labor-efficiency ratios no longer evaluate managers and workers. This is one of the biggest inventory write-offs in business history.25 billion due to duplicate orders. or have reached a date in advance of expiry at which the planned market will no longer purchase them (e. throughput accounting focuses attention on the relationships between throughput (revenue or income) on one hand and controllable operating expenses and changes in inventory on the other. rather than to people . Cisco wrote off inventory worth US $2.

A precondition for such credit is that banks must be confident that the stored product will be available if they need to call on the collateral. If the supplying node is a production segment of the same company. for example in developing countries where land title may be lacking. then the replenishment order is filled from stock on hand. Single-Level Inventory Policies Inventory policies specify decision rules with respect to the point in time when a replenishment of the inventory should be initiated. this implies the existence of a reliable network of certified warehouses. as well as to the replenishment quantity that should be ordered from the supplying node in the supply network. . archaeological evidence suggests that it was practiced in Ancient Rome. Inventory credit on the basis of stored agricultural produce is widely used in Latin American countries and in some Asian countries. then the replenishment order is filled after the flow time of a production order at the production node. If the supplying node is an inventory node located upstream in the supply network (an inventory node of the same company or an external supplier). used with Parmesan cheese in Italy. This is not a new concept.Inventory credit Inventory credit refers to the use of stock. as collateral to raise finance. for example. Where banks may be reluctant to accept traditional collateral. inventory credit is a potentially important way of overcoming financing constraints. or inventory. The possibility of sudden falls in commodity prices means that they are usually reluctant to lend more than about 60% of the value of the inventory at the time of the loan. possibly after an inventory-related waiting time. Banks also face problems in valuing the inventory. It is. Obtaining finance against stocks of a wide range of products held in a bonded warehouse is common in much of the world.

then the replenishment lead time is equal to the customer order waiting time provided by the supplier. This is usually the case for spare parts or retail goods. the utilization of the production stage being one of them. in cases when capacity oriented. In all mentioned cases it is clear that the replenishment lead time may be subject to random variations. then the replenishment lead time is a function of the flow time of a production order and depends on numerous factors. The application of inventory policies is also proposed for B and C products. deterministic methods of constructing a production schedule are too costly or unavailable. plus an additional time required for material handling and transportation.Inventory policies must be applied when no sufficient planning data are available that could be used to construct a deterministic production schedule based on the predicted development of the future demand. If the source is another inventory node of the company. then the order is a demand observed by this inventory node and the replenishment lead time depends on the inventory available on hand as well as on the time required for material handling and transportation processes. The inventory is supplied from a "source" which fulfills orders for the considered product after a certain replenishment lead time.according to an ABC classification. Multi-Level Inventory Systems . If the source is an external supplier. If the source is a production segment or rather production stage of the same company.

i. The reason is: In a multi-level supply network. nodes located downstream) serving random demands. Therefore the replenishment lead time seen by the customer node is the customer order waiting time provided by the supplier node. In this case the replenishment decisions are made for each inventory node in isolation. Reducing the customer's replenishment lead time reduces the required safety stock. a two-stage inventory system is considered with one central warehouse (wholesaler. The central warehouse sends replenishment orders to an external supplier who delivers after a fixed delivery lead time (which is the replenishment lead time of the central warehouse).Compared to single-level inventory systems. To put it the other way round. The inventory node located upstream (central warehouse) has several options to use the data that are available after an inventory review: • Local Control – Installation Stock Policies. An installation stock policy uses only inventory data with respect to the local inventory node. node located upstream) and multiple regional warehouses (retailer. e. Echelon stock policies use inventory information from all nodes located downstream in the supply network which are linked to the focused inventory node. the downstream node is the customer of the upstream node. we consider: . The majority of approaches to the analysis of supply networks consider system structures which include solely inventory nodes. • Central Control – Echelon Stock Policies. In the case studied most often. According to the different types of system structures which can be further differentiated with respect to the number of levels. without considering the states of the other nodes in the supply network. multi-level supply networks are much more complicated. Reducing the customer order waiting time is possible by increasing the supplier's safety stock. an upstream node is the supplier of a downstream node.

Inventory management software Inventory management software helps create invoices. This system structure is the most complicated one and the structure that is most often found in practice. An inventory management software system configured to your warehouse. payment receipts and can print bar coded labels. We are your source for inventory management information. receiving lists. In a divergent system each node has at most one predecessor node (upstream node) but may have multiple successor nodes. at least if the value-adding processes are modeled in detail. A complete Inventory Management Control system contains the following components: . Finally. retail or product line will help to create revenue for your company. inventory management software and tools. The Inventory Management will control operating costs and provide better understanding. The most popular system of this kind is the ”OneWarehouse-N-Retailer” distribution system. purchase orders. in a generally structured system there are no restrictions with respect to the number of predecessors and successors that a node may have.• Convergent systems • Divergent systems • Generally structured systems In a convergent system each node of the supply network has at most one successor (downstream node). This type of system structure is often used for modeling the valueadding process of an end product in a supply network consisting of several tiers of suppliers and the different production stages within a factory.

With NetSuite. you gain an in-depth. NetSuite delivers an end-to-end procure-to-pay process that truly creates competitive advantage. With NetSuite. improving customer service. inventory and procurement indicators. you'll be able to better manage inventory levels and costs—and better meet fulfillment expectations. . real-time view into key supplier. manufacturing. Self-service capabilities for partners. vendors and customers allow you to share supply and demand information—improving collaboration throughout the entire supply chain. and purchasing capabilities that will provide you with integrated supply chain management and control across your entire organization.• • • • • • • • Inventory Management Definition Inventory Management Terms Inventory Management Purposes Definition and Objectives for Inventory Management Organizational Hierarchy of Inventory Management Inventory Management Planning Inventory Management Controls for Inventory Determining Inventory Management Stock Levels Total Visibility and Control of Your Supply Chain NetSuite inventory management software offers a complete set of inventory management.

supply. vendors and partners by providing self service and real-time visibility Effectively and efficiently meet customer demand. costs and fulfillment measures and trends Manage margins with a clear view into inventory costs. turn rates and inventory profitability Eliminate manual inventory management processes and improve vendor satisfaction with a seamless procure-to-pay process Significantly improve your relationships with suppliers. helping drive and maintain superior customer service levels • • • • .Benefits • Get complete real-time visibility into demand.

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