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The word inventory simply means the goods and services that businesses hold in stock. There are, however, several different categories or types of inventory. The first is called materials and components. This usually consists of the essential items needed to create or make a finished product, such as gears for a bicycle, microchips for a computer, or screens and tubes for a television set. The second type of inventory is called WIP, or work in progress inventory. This refers to items that are partially completed, but are not the entire finished product. They are on their way to becoming whole items but are not quite their yet. The third and most common form of inventory is called finished goods. These are the final products that are ready to be purchased by customers and consumers. Finished goods can range from cakes to furniture to vehicles. Most people think of the finished goods as being part of an inventory stock, but the parts that create them are held accountable in inventory as well. There's many different ways that companies handle their inventory. Overall it depends on what kind of business it is. For example, a food manufacturer who makes canned fruit may take into account every single piece of that can in its inventory. The materials used to make the can, the labels, the fruit, and the sugary filling could all be part of the overall analysis of inventory. Keeping track of inventory can be a complex process. The term for watching inventory is called logistics. Logistics is a detailed process by which all inventory is tracked and logged. Several different people are involved in logistics. This can include everything from the owner of the company to the transportation company that delivers the goods to the manufacturing plant. By using complex systems such as barcode integration, every piece of inventory from the smallest parts to the largest finished product can be tracked and observed. You may wonder why companies keep such a close eye on their inventory. The answer is really simple: the bottom line. Without inventory control, millions of dollars could be lost each year just because there was no accountability for everything involved in making a product. Of course, inventory is also important on the checks and balances side. Accountants keep an eye on inventory counts in order to be sure that fraud or embezzlement is not occurring. This also serves as a backup to check and be sure that everything is in its place and nothing out of the ordinary is taking place. There have actually been books written on how to reconcile inventory, keep accurate stock counts, reasons that errors occur, tools to use to help make sure inventory is on time and in its place, and much more. Once you learn about the various forms of inventory and the importance of making sure it is logged properly, the process of tracking it should be fairly streamlined and simple, giving your business a cost-effective and competitive edge.
Various Costs Related To Inventory Management :
13.2.1 Costs Of Ordering Or Costs Of Acquisition : For a large organization, it becomes necessary to have a separate purchase office to purchase thousands of items. The demands received are technically scrutinized and for purchasing them, inquiries are issued, tenders are received and evaluated, orders are progressed, materials are received and inspected and lastly, the payments are arranged. All these mean additional costs to the organization. All these costs together constitute what is called cost of ordering or cost of acquisition.
1000 to Rs. be taken into consideration. total number of purchases are ascertained and average cost per purchase order worked out. This factor is relatively higher for spare parts inventory as against raw material inventory. 13. handling and stock verification : There are additional costs because of the clerical work involved in handling of materials in the ward. are very important even though they are very difficult to assess. in preservation of materials as well as the costs because of various equipments and facilities created for the purpose of materials. Based on some of the studies made ordering costs may be as follows: o Cash Purchase Rs. (b) Obsolescence and depreciation : The costs because of obsolescence and depreciation.2000 " These are just approximate and may vary considerably depending upon various factors. In a developing economy. Larger the stock we keep more the risk of obsolescence and as such. We should be interested in knowing the variable costs. This opportunity to earn more profits which we loose can be expressed as opportunity cost. A part of this cost is of a fixed nature. can be treated as variable costs at least in the long run. we do not have a system of working out these costs. in stock verification. the real value of capital is much higher than the nominal rate of interest which the organization like Railways may be paying. the higher of the three factors viz. As we are using 3 major systems of purchasing viz. interest. The . limited tender and cash purchase systems. however. cost of capital or opportunity cost should. The major portion of the cost including the cost of staff. It is repeated that every Railway should establish these costs from time to time so that they can be used in designing proper inventory models. This may be roughly 20% per annum.600 " o Advertised Tender Purchase Rs.2. . This cost can be roughly 3 to 5% of the inventory holding. But it is necessary that for a given stores organization. In the Railways. The different elements of costs involved in holding inventory are as follows: (a) Interest on capital / cost of capital / opportunity costs : When materials are kept in stock money representing the value of materials is blocked. (c) The cost of storage. advertised tender..2 Inventory Carrying Costs : The very fact that the items are required to be kept in stock means additional expenditure to the organization.. the costs are expressed as the percentage costs to the average inventory holding and can be between 2 to 5%. When we work out the costs. we may find that some costs are fixed while some are variable. While working out the inventory carrying cost in an organization. capital is extremely scarce and as such.300 to Rs.money which is blocked up is not available to the organization to do more business or to use it for alternative productive investment.100 per purchase o Limited Tender Purchase Rs.50 to Rs. it is advisable to work out the ordering costs for these three different procedures of purchasing.
Stock out costs can vary from item to item and from situation to situation depending upon the emergency action possible. 3 to 5% Insurance costs 1 to 2% Total 21 to 37% o In the Indian Railways. I found an interesting article entitled “Inventory Control Methods. therefore. but now we’re going to get down to the nitty-gritty details of making it work.2. In most of the situations.3 Shortage Or Stock Out Costs : Whenever an item is out of stock and as such cannot be supplied.. the earning capacity of the locomotive is lost for the duration of this period. For example.(d) Insurance Costs : Materials in stocks are either insured against theft. is normally made to evaluate a stock out cost of an item. . 4 Inventory Control Methods You Need to Know Posted on October 4. the reasonable assessment of inventory carrying costs shall be about 20 to 25% per year of the average inventory holding. there is no substantial increase in costs because of the proposed control system and in such cases. these costs can be overlooked.4 Systems Costs : These are the costs which are associated with the nature of the control systems selected. inventory holding cost and cost of ordering is used and operated with the help of a computer. 13. it may give the theoretical minimum of the other costs but the cost of such control system may be sufficiently high to offset the advantages achieved. be as follows: Interest/costs of capital/opportunity cost 15 to 25% Obsolescence and depreciation cost 2 to 5% Storage. the spare parts required will have to be purchased on emergency basis or have to be specially manufactured resulting in additional costs. Nevertheless. It is again clarified here that these costs are not normally reflected in our accounting system and as such are required to be established by individual Railway.” which talks about the best and worst ways to manage your inventory. On the other hand. leads to financial loss associated with such stoppage or delay of work. We should have a rough grading of the items depending upon the possible stock out costs. or we may have to employ watch & ward organization and also fire fighting organizations. in turn. even though the actual quantification is not possible. it means that some work or the other is delayed and this.2. If a very sophisticated model of the relationship between stockout costs. if a locomotive remains idle for want of spare parts. No attempt therefore. however. fire etc. The author of that article described four helpful inventory control methods businesses can use. The average inventory carrying costs can. Cost of this may also be 1 to 2%. 2010 by Robert Lockard It’s all well and good to discuss inventory management in the abstract. it is important to understand the concept of stock out costs. 13. handling etc.
Two-Bin System. REALLY good at inventory management. less-expensive items go into B. products and needs. B and C. Order-Cycling System. You can do the rest with the help of inventory control software. This system lets you do inventory checks at set intervals (e. Pros: This method is simple and it makes the task of balancing inventory fairly straightforward. Here are those methods. . based on which group they’re in. And there’s no margin for error on ordering the right amount of products at each check. you set two lines – one at the top and one at the bottom of how much of each product you must keep on hand. you have a main bin and a backup bin of products. depending on your size. but once you run out and need to reorder. Expensive items go into A. you’re okay. 30 days) and reorder products that are likely to run out by the next check. Cons: It still requires a lot of work to maintain healthy inventory levels. As long as you’re somewhere in the middle. you need to keep an eye on your carrying costs. ABC Analysis. This way. Separate your products into three groups: A. Also. Pros: Now this is more like it. you order enough of that product so you won’t go above the top line. you use the backup bin to fill orders until the new products are received. you can organize your data and know how long it will take to order different parts and products. When you reach the bottom line. it simply tells you how long it will take to order those products. There you go. you might be able to pull this off.g. Cons: Its simplicity could lead to trouble because you might order too many products or run out before they arrive. You normally use the main bin. This system doesn’t set rigid standards on how many products to keep on hand. and small parts and other inexpensive items go into C. Forget constantly checking your inventory. Cons: This system is risky and costly! Doing a physical inventory check every 30 days or so will get expensive quickly. After a careful examination of your inventory needs. In this system. Pros: You’ve always got spare products for emergencies and sudden rises in demand. Cons: The products in the backup bin could spoil or become obsolete unless they are cycled into the main bin every now and then. You can decide which of these inventory control methods will work best for your organization. Pros: If you’re really. along with their pros and cons: Min-Max System.
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