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What is Inventory? Definition

What is Inventory? Definition

Inventory refers to the stock of any goods or materials that a company uses in its business operations. It is often one of the most important assets that a company has, as it can be used to generate revenue and profit. Inventory can be divided into two main types: finished goods and raw materials. Finished goods are items that are ready to be sold to customers, while raw materials are those that still need to be processed in some way before they can be sold. A company’s inventory is usually managed by its accounting or finance department. This is because inventory levels can have a significant impact on a company’s financial statement

What is inventory?

Inventory is a term that refers to the raw materials, finished products, and partially completed products that are considered to be the property of a business. These items are usually stored in a designated area, such as a warehouse, and are used to support the operations of the business.

There are several different types of inventory that a business may maintain, including finished goods, work-in-progress (WIP), and raw materials. The finished goods inventory includes all products that are completed and ready to be sold to customers. The WIP inventory consists of products that are in the process of being produced, but have not yet been completed. Raw materials inventory includes all of the items that are needed in order to create a product, but have not yet been used in the production process.

The level of inventory that a business maintains can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of business, the nature of its products, and customer demand. In general, businesses try to keep their inventory levels as low as possible in order to minimize storage costs and avoid having too much money tied up in unsold goods.

The types of inventory

There are four main types of inventory:

1. Raw materials
2. Work-in-progress (WIP)
3. Finished goods
4. Maintenance, repair and operations (MRO)

Raw materials are the unprocessed inputs used in the production of finished goods. They can be either perishable, such as food items, or non-perishable, such as metals and plastics.

Work-in-progress (WIP) inventory refers to partially completed products that are waiting to be finished. This could include items that are at various stages of the manufacturing process, or it could refer to completely assembled products that are waiting to be shipped to customers.

Finished goods are products that have completed the manufacturing process and are ready to be sold to customers. These items are often stored in warehouses until they are needed.

Maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) inventory includes all the spare parts, tools and supplies needed to maintain and repair equipment and machinery. This could include everything from light bulbs and cleaning supplies to replacement parts for machinery.

How inventory is valued

Inventory is valued at the lower of cost or market. Cost is determined using a first-in, first-out (FIFO) or weighted average cost method. Market is the replacement cost of the inventory less any cumulative impairment losses.

The importance of inventory

Inventory refers to the stock of goods or materials held by a business. It is a crucial part of any business operations as it represents the company’s investment in raw materials and finished products.

There are several reasons why inventory is important:

1. It ensures that the company has the necessary materials or products to meet customer demand.

2. It provides a buffer against fluctuations in raw material prices or supplier delivery times.

3. It allows businesses to take advantage of economies of scale by buying in bulk.

4. It enables businesses to offer a wider range of products or services to their customers.

5. It can be used as collateral for loans or lines of credit.


Inventory refers to the goods and materials that a business holds for the purpose of selling or using in their production process. A company’s inventory is one of its most important assets, as it represents the potential future revenue from sales. Therefore, it is crucial for businesses to manage their inventory levels carefully and efficiently in order to maximize profitability.

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