PurchTips - Edition # 123


This is the Web-based version of this article. Click here for the printer-friendly version.
* More Purchasing Articles

Picture of Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Inventory Purchasing Terms You Must Know

By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Do You Know These Inventory Purchasing Terms?

With companies moving their inventory functions under Purchasing, it would be smart to learn what you can about inventory, beginning with these terms.

Consignment - An arrangement where the supplier "owns" the inventory in the buying organization's possession until it is removed from inventory for use. One of the advantages of consignment includes improvements to cash flow due to delayed payments. In addition, it eliminates a common risk among buying organizations who may buy inventory and never use it.

Dock-To-Stock - An arrangement where materials bypass an incoming quality inspection and are moved straight from the receiving dock to the warehouse.

JIT - Short for "Just In Time," JIT inventory management is an approach where Purchasing strives to have no inventory, instead relying on suppliers to deliver material as soon to the time it is needed as possible.

Kanban - A strategy for moving materials in a multi-stage production environment. The overriding philosophy is that materials are moved to the next stage of the production process only when the next stage actually needs those materials as opposed to movement according to a schedule or forecast.

Min/Max - An approach to inventory levels where you set a minimum inventory quantity for an item and a maximum inventory quantity for that item. When the inventory level reaches the minimum quantity, you order enough to bring inventory to the maximum quantity.

Vendor Managed Inventory - An approach to replenishing inventory where it is the vendor's responsibility to ensure that adequate stock is maintained to meet demand. The buying organization does not monitor inventory levels nor place individual orders in a Vendor Managed Inventory approach.

Spotlight On Professional Development Opportunities

Are you setting yourself up for failure in inventory management? Bad inventory decisions can kill an organization's profitability, whittle away at its market share, and generally wreak havoc on the supply chain, but it doesn't have to be that way.

The course "Profitable Inventory Management and Control" will give you the skills you need to use inventory as a strategic weapon for boosting profitability and giving your organization a competitive advantage. You'll become an inventory management and control expert, you'll have fun doing so, and your organization's financial and operational performance will improve as you implement the easy-to-apply best practices taught in this course.

Sign up for Profitable Inventory Management And Control today!

Free Procurement Training & Certification Starter Kit

This Starter Kit gives procurement professionals like you a clear idea on what it will take to become certified. You'll get an excellent feel for what you will need to learn and how long it will take.

Click here to learn more

Included in your free Starter Kit:

  • Access to two lessons from courses that are part of the Senior Professional in Supply Management® Program
  • A Certification & Training Planning Template
  • Case studies
  • A free Basic Membership in the NLPA

Together, these materials will help you decide how well the SPSM® Certification can help you achieve your career goals.

So, what are you waiting for? Begin your pursuit of a more rewarding procurement career – get your Procurement Training & Certification Starter Kit now by signing up for a free NLPA Basic Membership!

If you are already a member of the NLPA, click here to login and visit the "Starter Kit" tab to access these resources.