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