Types of inventory

Raw materials are inventory items that are used in the manufacturer’s conversion process to produce components, subassemblies, or finished products. These inventory items may be commodities or extracted materials that the firm or its subsidiary has produced or extracted.

Work-in-process (WIP) is made up of all the materials, parts (components), assemblies, and subassemblies that are being processed or are waiting to be processed within the system.

A finished good is a completed part that is ready for a customer order. Therefore, finished goods inventory is the stock of completed products. These goods have been inspected and have passed final inspection requirements so that they can be transferred out of work-in-process and into finished goods inventory.

Transit inventories result from the need to transport items or material from one location to another, and from the fact that there is some transportation time involved in getting from one location to another. Sometimes this is referred to as pipeline inventory.

 Buffer inventory used to protect against the uncertainties of supply and demand, as well as unpredictable events such as poor delivery reliability or poor quality of a supplier’s products. These inventory cushions are often referred to as safety stock. Safety stock or buffer inventory is any amount held on hand that is over and above that currently needed to meet demand.

Anticipation inventory is when , firms will purchase and hold inventory that is in excess of their current need in anticipation of a possible future event. Such events may include a price increase, a seasonal increase in demand, or even an impending labor strike.

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