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Inventory: The stock of goods or materials that a business holds for sale or use in production.

Inventory refers to the stock of goods or materials that a business holds for sale or use in production. Inventory can include finished products, raw materials, work in progress, and supplies.

Inventory is a key component of a business's operations, as it allows them to meet customer demand and maintain production schedules. Effective inventory management is critical for businesses to achieve their goals, as inventory represents a significant investment of capital and can have a significant impact on a business's profitability.

There are several types of inventory, including:

  1. Raw materials: These are the materials that are used to manufacture a product. Raw materials can include steel, wood, chemicals, and other materials.
  2. Work in progress: This is inventory that is in the process of being manufactured or assembled but is not yet complete.
  3. Finished goods: These are the completed products that are ready for sale to customers.
  4. Maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) supplies: These are materials and supplies that are used to support production processes, such as lubricants, tools, and spare parts.

Inventory is managed through a variety of strategies and tools, including just-in-time (JIT) inventory management, economic order quantity (EOQ), and safety stock. Effective inventory management helps businesses optimize inventory levels, reduce waste, and improve customer satisfaction.

Overall, inventory is a critical component of a business's operations, and effective inventory management is essential for achieving long-term success in a competitive marketplace. By carefully analyzing demand patterns, production schedules, and inventory holding costs, businesses can optimize their inventory management strategies and achieve their goals.