Investor's wiki



What Is Inventory?

The term inventory alludes to the raw materials utilized in production as well as the goods delivered that are ready to move. A company's inventory addresses one of the most important assets it has on the grounds that the turnover of inventory addresses one of the primary wellsprings of revenue generation and subsequent earnings for the company's shareholders. There are three types of inventory, including raw materials, work-in-progress, and finished goods. It is classified as a current asset on a company's balance sheet.

Understanding Inventory

Inventory is a vital asset for any company. It is defined as the variety of goods utilized in production or finished goods held by a company during its normal course of business. There are three general categories of inventory, including raw materials (any supplies that are utilized to create finished goods), work-in-progress (WIP), and finished goods or those that are ready available to be purchased.

As verified above, inventory is classified as a current asset on a company's balance sheet, and it fills in as a buffer between manufacturing and order satisfaction. At the point when an inventory thing is sold, its carrying cost transfers to the cost of goods sold (COGS) category on the income statement.

Inventory can be valued in three different ways. These methods are the:

  • First-in, first-out (FIFO) method, which says that the cost of goods sold depends on the cost of the earliest purchased materials. The carrying cost of remaining inventory, then again, depends on the cost of the most recent purchased materials
  • Toward the end in, first-out (LIFO) method, which states that the cost of goods sold is valued using the cost of the most recent purchased materials, while the value of the remaining inventory depends on the earliest purchased materials.
  • Weighted average method, which requires valuing both inventory and the COGS in light of the average cost of all materials bought during the period.

Company management, analysts, and investors can utilize a company's inventory turnover to determine how frequently it sells its products over a certain period of time. Inventory turnover can indicate whether a company has too a lot or too little inventory close by.

Special Considerations

Numerous producers partner with retailers to transfer their inventory. Consignment inventory is the inventory owned by the provider/maker (generally a wholesaler) however held by a customer (generally a retailer). The customer then purchases the inventory whenever it has been sold to the end customer or when they consume it (e.g., to create their own products).

The benefit to the provider is that their product is advanced by the customer and promptly available to end users. The benefit to the customer is that they don't use capital until it becomes profitable to them. This means they possibly purchase it when the end client purchases it from them or until they consume the inventory for their operations.

Inventory Management

Possessing a high amount of inventory for quite a while is generally just plain dumb for a business. That is a result of the difficulties it presents, including storage costs, spoilage costs, and the threat of obsolescence.

Possessing too little inventory additionally has its disservices. For instance, a company runs the risk of market share erosion and losing profit from likely sales.

Inventory management conjectures and strategies, for example, a just-in-time (JIT) inventory system (with backflush costing), can assist companies with minimizing inventory costs since goods are made or received just when required.

Types of Inventory

Recall that inventory is generally sorted as raw materials, work-in-progress, and finished goods. The IRS likewise groups merchandise and supplies as extra categories of inventory.

Raw materials are natural materials used to create a decent. Instances of raw materials include:

  • Aluminum and steel for the production of cars
  • Flour for pastry kitchens that produce bread
  • Crude oil held by refineries

Work-in-progress inventory is the to some degree finished goods waiting for completion and resale. WIP inventory is otherwise called inventory on the production floor. A half-collected airliner or a somewhat completed yacht is frequently viewed as work-in-process inventory.

Finished goods are products that go through the production cycle, and are completed and ready available to be purchased. Retailers normally allude to this inventory as merchandise. Common instances of merchandise include hardware, garments, and cars held by retailers.


  • Inventory is valued in one of three different ways, including the first-in, first-out method; the rearward in, first-out method; and the weighted average method.
  • It is classified as a current asset on a company's balance sheet.
  • Inventory management permits businesses to minimize inventory costs as they make or receive goods dependent upon the situation.
  • The three types of inventory include raw materials, work-in-progress, and finished goods.
  • Inventory is the raw materials used to deliver goods as well as the goods that are ready to move.


How Do You Define Inventory?

Inventory alludes to a company's goods and products that are ready to sell, along with the raw materials that are utilized to deliver them. Inventory can be sorted in three distinct ways, including raw materials, work-in-progress, and finished goods.In accounting, inventory is viewed as a current asset in light of the fact that a company normally plans to sell the finished products within a year.Methods to value the inventory include rearward in, first-out (LIFO); first-in, first-out (FIFO); and the weighted average method.

What Is an Example of Inventory?

Consider a fashion retailer, for example, Zara, which operates on a seasonal schedule. In view of the fast fashion nature of turnover, Zara, as other fashion retailers is feeling the squeeze to quickly sell inventory. Zara's merchandise is an illustration of inventory in the finished product stage. Then again, the fabric and other production materials are viewed as a raw material form of inventory.

What Can Inventory Tell You About a Business?

One method for tracking the performance of a business is the speed of its inventory turnover. At the point when a business sells inventory at a faster rate than its rivals, it incurs lower holding costs and diminished opportunity costs. Thus, they frequently outperform, since this assists with the proficiency of its sale of goods.