Having the right products in inventory at the right time ensures that money is not tied up in excess inventory. It also allows you to have what is needed to provide a product or service to customers.
The types of inventory items to consider are:
- Consumables like office supplies and janitorial needs
- Raw materials ready to use for the purpose of producing a product or service
- Work in progress or inventory of unfinished products
- Finished products ready for sale
Each one of these inventory categories can be broken down by value to help you manage capital investment in each area. Consumables in most cased will not impact sales, but a lack of inventory in the other categories could make an impact on sales.
Keeping a set amount of inventory can be a way to protect against unforeseen problems with supply and demand.
Key questions to help decide how much stock you should keep:
- How reliable is the supply and are alternative sources available?
- Are the components produced or delivered in batches?
- Is the price steady or does it fluctuate?
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