An inventory management system is the combination of technology (hardware and software) and processes and procedures that oversee the monitoring and maintenance of stocked products, whether those products are company assets, raw materials and supplies, or finished products ready to be sent to vendors or end consumers.
Without an inventory management system, the goods and products that flow through an organization will inevitably be in disarray. An inventory management system enables a company to maintain a centralized record of every asset and item in the control of the organization, providing a single source of truth for the location of every item, vendor and supplier information, specifications, and the total number of a particular item currently in stock.
Inventory management systems can have a dramatic effect on productivity and efficiency when implemented properly. Most of the challenges associated with inventory management systems arise from failing to follow best practices or relying on outdated methods, such as manual documentation and inconsistent storage layouts and processes. In these cases, a complete inventory management overhaul may be in order to streamline inventory management and add clarity and consistency to the process company-wide.