Inventory management refers to the administration, planning and control of material flows within a company or between companies, customers, suppliers or branch offices. On the one hand, it records the movement of goods and, on the other hand, ensures the supply of goods, merchandise and operating materials.
With the increasing size of companies, materials and merchandise management represents a growing challenge, as more and more variables and influencing factors have to be considered. Especially in the area of material supply, storageand replenishment management, there is often considerable potential for optimization, which is why computer-aided merchandise management systems are generally used today.

There are different principles that can be used for manufacturing. Produkte werden teils nach Prognosen gefertigt ohne, dass es dafür einen konkreten Kundenauftrag gibt oder mit der Fertigung wird erst begonnen, wenn ein Kundenauftrag vorliegt.

The production can be structured according to the following principles:

  • Make to Stock (MTS)
  • Assemble to Order (ATO)
  • Make to Order (MTO)
  • Engineer to Order (ETO)

You can find more information on the effective design of the value chain under Lean Management.

Image source: © Franck Boston –

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