The different types of inventories in logistics

13 October 2021

Each year, companies must conduct an inventory on all products. This can be time consuming. That's why it is important to automate inventory management and stocktaking with an optimized solution in order to increase efficiency and productivity.

There are different types of inventories that correspond to a different way of working in each company. They differ according to the periodicity, the storage, the reference. The purpose of the inventory is to control stocks, reduce errors and logistic problems, label and respect the quantities requested.


The different types of inventories according to the type of product and its function

Beware there is not a perfect inventory, each company determines the type of inventory according to its activity.

The book value of the inventory :

  •  Initial inventory : inventory which is carried out at the beginning of the activity or at the beginning of the year before the additional stocks are carried out as well as the sale.
  • Final inventory : inventory that is carried out at the end of the fiscal year or of each year. It allows to notice the remaining resources, those sold and all the goods obtained thanks to the activity of the company. It also makes it possible to evaluate the commercial actions carried out.


The inventory according to the periodicity :


  • The annual inventory: carried out once a year and which confirms the activity and the accounting inventory
  • The periodic inventory: carried out several times a year covering the references stored,
  • The rotating inventory: allows to regularly count the groups of references and products stored each year. These accounts are distributed over the year at formally defined periods.
  • The permanent inventory: updated regularly to update the imports and exports within the company and in real time. This allows to benefit from a logistic 4.0 vision with an optimized storage system.


  • Inventory according to the product and its type :

Indeed a product is differentiated by its characteristics such as size and weight but also by the type of storage.

  • Stocks of raw materials: allows to determine the total available stocks of raw materials for the production of a finished product.
  • Industrial supplies: counts the goods intended for production.
  • Products in progress: corresponds to semi-finished products and those in the process of production
  • Finished products: corresponds to products that are completely finished and ready to be sold.
  • Goods : goods acquired to be sold directly.
  • Inventory according to its function :


Indeed each product does not have the same function. Each product is stored according to its function.

We distinguish between :

  • Transit stock
    This corresponds to all the goods in transit between the warehouse, the supplier and the company
  • Reserve or safety stock
    This stock records the activity of the company, i.e. the products and raw materials that have a possible defect during the production process. This can cause delays from suppliers and therefore delays in delivery. This stock allows to secure and prevent stock shortages.
  • Decoupling stock
    Allows to differentiate the inventory before and after production. This allows to see the rate of goods sold out.

There are obviously other types of inventories to take into account :

There are also,

- The management of rotating or cyclical stocks : the inventory records the product data, particularly its reference number, in order to respond as well as possible to the demand for replenishment

- The management of dormant, dead or lost stocks : the inventory renames the products whose reference exceeds a certain security: date, breakage, damaged products and which cannot be sold. This is how the company's loss rate is calculated. 

- The available stocks : corresponds to the inventory of the products at disposal and which are ready to enter the sales process.

- Online inventory : corresponds to an inventory that lists a set of product references ready to enter the production line.

- Physical inventory : product inventory that is counted by hand with each reference.

- The management of intermittent inventories : this inventory allows the counting of stocks for an accounting evaluation.

 - Management of permanent inventories: inventory that allows to control and evaluate the different stock movements in a regular and constant way. This allows you to visualize the quantity, the composition of the stocks and the value of the stock in real time. 

- Rotating inventory management: the inventory counts all the products in stock and carries out an inventory regularly over short periods.


How to optimize inventory management ?


There is a large number of inventories that correspond more or less to each company. The goal of each inventory is common: it allows to optimize the storage space, the management of stocks and flows in order to satisfy the customers of a company. Each company must choose its inventory management to save time but also efficiency and productivity.


Automating inventory management is a real advantage for companies. This is done by a WMS warehouse management software that offers the management of several types of inventories regardless of your industry.


The advantages :

  •  Increased productivity and efficiency in business,
  • Saves time for this recurring and time-consuming task
  • Constantly updated: limitation of human errors

The different types of inventories in logistics

Monstock allows you to manage your stocks but also your inventories from end to end and whatever your sector. Automate and simplify the management of your inventories thanks to the Monstock WMS solution which accompanies you in this process.

Discover our use case here which brings you resources and advice on inventories.


For more information: contact the Monstock team


Sign up for our newsletter today