Inventory management and stock control are they the same thing?
Business terminology can depend on where you are located in the world, but generally speaking, “inventory” is more an American term, while “stock” is more for the British. Either way, both terms are describing quantities of items a business owns and has existing in one or more locations.
Inventory management and stock control, both terms are describing the control and management of quantities of items such as MRO consumables and spare parts.
What are the four types of stock/inventory?
Generally, inventory types can be grouped into four classifications: raw material, work-in-process, finished goods, and Maintenance, Repair and Operating (MRO) items. MRO items include consumables and spare parts, laboratory items, office supplies, industrial equipment (such as compressors, pumps, and valves), plant upkeep supplies (such as gaskets, lubricants, and repair tools).
Why control MRO items?
Many people don’t fully appreciate the vital role MRO items play in keeping supply chains running smoothly. But failure to routinely maintain, repair, and overhaul systems, can cripple a business. Contrarily: businesses that diligently maintain MRO inventory and optimize supply chains, can better supply products to customers in a timely and economical manner.
Combine inventory management and stock control for a holistic approach
Stock control regulates items that exist, their quantity and location, while inventory management comprises of the above controls and includes the activities of forecasting and product replenishment. Inventory management determines when to order products, how much to order and the most effective source of supply for each item.
Inventory management and stock control combined guarantees you have the right quantity of the right item in the right location at the right time.
What do inventory management and stock control software do?
Inventory management and stock control software offers the framework to optimise the tracking of “how, when and what quantity of stock or inventory is used for what purposes”. Tools analyse where the stock is consumed and maintains optimum stock levels. This is important in relation to spare parts and actioning on repairs in a timely manner.
Unscheduled downtime is costly for any business
Key benefits for combining inventory management and stock control
- Ensure you’re not overstocking or understocking
- Report on audit trail of stock usage
- Automatic re-order of stock based upon usage and minimum levels
- Ensure critical spare parts are available in the event of a breakdown
- Minimise wastage, underutilisation and theft
- Optimise stock quantities “on-hand” and purchase at the optimum price
- Stock/inventory and asset management integrated into one system
- An accurate record of what was “on-hand” for insurance claims
- Fast issue and/or transfer of items
- Rapid stock/inventory audits
- Increased efficiency in stock control via automatic stock reorder
- A complete history of pricing and/or supplier changes
Maintain item and supplier information:
- Shelf life
- Warranty period
- Restricted Goods
- Re-order point and standard re-order quantity
- How stock is consumed
- The quantity that exists (total) and quantity by location
- Location of stock
- Supplier lead time
- The lowest and highest purchase price
- The maximum and minimum quantity “on-hand”
- Supplier and alternative supplier
- Stock code, product barcode and serial number
- Brand and model details
- Product type and stock type
Hardcat inventory management and stock control module
Track, re-order, move, change and report on stock and consumables/spare parts anywhere, anytime and know the location and quantity “on-hand”. By managing the “how, when and what quantity is used for what purposes”, the operator maintains optimum stock levels (not too high not too low) as well as a complete history of pricing changes and supply chain information.
Hardcat combines stock and inventory with a range of asset management benefits.
Integrating Hardcat’s maintenance and help desk functionality with inventory management allows us to flag which spare parts are critical to avoid loss of productivity in the event of production equipment breakdown.
Implementing the stock management module has been the driver of a substantial transformation within our department,” Thiru said. “It has allowed us to better manage the spare parts we keep on hand and to monitor our usage of these parts. Through the use of the image upload feature, we are now easily able to identify and locate the relevant spare parts we keep on hand when we need them.
Royal Melbourne Hospital has completed a complete transformation in the way it procures, manages and stores spare parts used in the maintenance and repair of critical medical equipment used in clinical operations. Read the case study.
Watch Hardcat in action
HardcatWeb – assign spare parts to a work order or help desk issue
HardcatWeb – issue and return of assets, inventory and stock