Inventory Management

What is the Main Purpose of Inventory Management?

November 9, 2023 • 3 min read

Inventory management is key to maintaining a profitable, organized, and productive business. For some companies, practicing inventory management is simple: they take inventory every week or so by walking through a storage closet and checking to see if they’re low on anything. But other companies must take inventory management quite seriously, tracking every item the minute it arrives, moves, or is used up. 

In this article, we’ll cover the definition of inventory management, the purposes of inventory management, and a few ways the right inventory system can help you manage your business’s inventory.

What is the definition of inventory management?

Inventory management refers to the ordering, stocking, storing, and utilizing of inventory. All businesses practice some form of inventory management, whether it's keeping track of finished products sold in stores, or tracking the equipment and supplies they use to create a product or service. Many businesses turn to inventory management software to help them get a handle on inventory quickly and efficiently.

What is the main purpose of inventory management?

The main purpose of inventory management is to help businesses easily and efficiently manage the ordering, stocking, storing, and using of inventory. By effectively managing your inventory, you’ll always know what items are in stock, how many of them there are, and where they are located. 

Plus, practicing strong inventory management allows you to understand how you use your inventory–and how demand changes for it–over time. You can zero in on exactly what you need, what’s not so important, and what’s just a waste of money. That’s using inventory management to practice inventory control. By the way, inventory control is the balancing act of always having enough stock to meet demand, while spending as little as possible on ordering and carrying inventory.


Inventory management for physical and perpetual inventory

If you count your inventory manually every time you need to find out what’s in stock, you take physical inventory. If you’re constantly updating what you’ve got on hand and where it is, you take perpetual inventory. 

Perpetual inventory is practically impossible to track manually. There are just too many moving parts! You’ll almost certainly require technology, like an inventory app, to keep your records up to date. Key automation features, like QR code scanning, can make keeping your inventory app synced fast and simple. 

If you take physical inventory, you can decide between using pen and paper, an inventory spreadsheet, or inventory management software. Just know that manual tracking tends to take a lot of time, and can lend itself to human error. 

Related: What is the difference between perpetual inventory and physical inventory?

The role of inventory management software

Sortly inventory software and the role of inventory management.

Sortly inventory management software helps you track, manage, and organize your inventory—from any device, in any location. We’re an easy-to-use inventory solution that’s perfect for small businesses. Sortly builds inventory tracking seamlessly into your workday so you can save time and money, satisfy your customers, and help your business succeed.

With Sortly, you can track inventory, supplies, parts, tools, assets like equipment and machinery, and anything else that matters to your business. It comes equipped with smart features like barcoding & QR coding, low stock alerts, customizable folders, data-rich reporting, and much more. Best of all, you can update inventory right from your smartphone, whether you’re on the job, in the warehouse, or on the go.

Whether you’re just getting started with inventory management or you’re an expert looking for a more efficient solution, we can transform how your company manages inventory—so you can focus on building your business. That’s why over 10,000 businesses globally trust us as their inventory management solution.

Start your two-week free trial of Sortly today.