This course provides participants with an operational knowledge and understanding of inventory and distribution management principles and techniques, replenishment policies, conducting physical inventories and cycle counts as well as inventory performance measurement.

Basic methods of planning and controlling inventory in manufacturing, institutional distribution and retail environments are studied. Questions of what and how much to stock are addressed through an examination of current and evolving technologies of inventory management.

The course offers a classroom-based, instructor-led educational opportunity for people new to inventory management or those with experience to gain additional insight and expand their knowledge base. Participants gain practical, essential skills that lead to greater effectiveness and productivity in the workplace.

The course culminates in interactive case studies helping to solve problems regarding inventory issues at the students’ places of business.


This course is developed for Operations and Supply Chain professionals and practitioners who seek to gain practical knowledge and job skills for immediate application in the workplace. It will prepare learners for additional professional development and certification.  This course is for:  Planners, Buyers, Master Schedulers, Demand Planners, Production Planners, Material Planners, Production and Inventory Control Coordinators, Cost Accountants, Quality Control personnel, and others who are involved in the day-to-day activities of Operations and Supply Chain management.

Recommended Prerequisites

No prerequisites for this course.

Topics and Course Content

  1. Fundamentals of Inventory Management introduces the role of inventory management in the organization, basic inventory flows, classes of inventory, and overview of the inventory planning process.
  2. Purpose and Function of Inventory defines the purpose and functions of inventory, basic issues in inventory management, costing and valuation, and obsolete and excess inventory management.
  3. Inventory Replenishment Management introduces basic ordering techniques such as economic order quantity (EOQ), lot sizing, concept of stock replenishment, measuring demand uncertainty, order point concepts, and the role of safety stock.
  4. Additional Inventory Replenishment Techniques and Inventory Performance introduces ordering with supplier lead time uncertainty, the time phased order point, replenishment by class, ABC classification, and inventory accuracy.
  5. Lean inventory-Theory and Practice defines the lean philosophy, inventory waste elimination strategies, lean inventory practice techniques and continuous improvement.
  6. Physical Inventory Management Introduces best practices from preparation to completion for Physical Inventories as well as effectively working with auditors.
  7. Cycle Counting teaches the true purpose of cycle counting, its benefits and examines the common causes for inventory errors.
  8. Introduction to Distribution & Logistics defines distribution management and explores the guidelines of an effective distribution strategy.
  9. Warehouse Management addresses warehouse management functions and activities including material handling, product storage, order picking and shipping and receiving.
  10. Putting Knowledge into Practice gives students an opportunity to develop strategies to overcome real issues in inventory.


Learning Goals and results

On completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Provide a fundamental understanding of inventory management and distribution principles and techniques
  • Examine inventory control roles and responsibilities and their impact on a business
  • Become a capable member of any physical inventory or cycle counting team.

Time Investment

This is a 40 hour class, taught weekly in ten 4-hour sessions.  Homework will include reading the chapters prior to class, completing assigned exercises and developing case studies.

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