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Inventory management coursework Essay

“Down with Inventory” by Rene T. Domingo talks about the third industrial revolution which is taking place today. The first industrial revolution started in the 18th century and the second started in the early 1900s.  The third and current one started in the early 1960s in Japan with Toyota’s Just in Time (JIT) Inventory System.  Today, JIT is no longer confined to car manufacturing but has spread to various industries and numerous countries worldwide.  The two most important principles of JIT are zero defect and zero inventory.  The industrial revolution focused on mechanization and speed while JIT focuses on perfection and minimization. The zero defect principle is now an important part of most corporate cultures and is especially applicable in high volume manufacturing and service operations.  The most powerful principle of JIT is zero inventories; at the same time this principle is also the least understood and appreciated.  JIT gives special emphasis on outlining techniques which would help eliminate inventory and promotes the concept that stockless operation is necessary for survival in today’s highly competitive environment.   But achieving this objective requires significant changes in lifestyle, work style and management style. 

“Living in Dell Time” by Bill Breen talks about ho Dell

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has replaced inventory with information and has become the fastest and most hyper efficient organization in the world.  Dell’s most important competitive weapon is its unrelenting sense of urgency and speed. Dell also follows the JIT model and believes in an ultra lean and high speed organizational structure and processes.  Dell believes in zero inventories and has so far survived in a highly competitive industry with never a delayed customer order.

            William Stevenson in his book also talks about managing inventories and promotes the concept that with streamlined inventories enables companies to become competitive with reduced costs, increased flexibility and improved quality.  According to the author, inventory has several functions some of which include meeting of anticipated demand, smoothing of production requirements and protection against stock outs. At the same time, Inventory control should be a core objective because it allows organizations to achieve satisfactory levels of customer service but at the same time helps keeps inventory costs within reasonable bounds.  He highlights the need to implement an inventory management system to keep track of inventory.  This should be based on accurate forecasting of demand and knowledge of lead times.  Reasonable estimates of holding costs, ordering costs and shortage costs should also be used.

In the article “MIKOH takes a smart and secure approach to inventory tracking”, Jeff Berman talks about a new application developed by MIKOH Corporation that pledges to provide shippers with a packaged solution that delivers physical security and makes the warehouse and distribution center processes more efficient.  This application is called the Smart and Secure Warehouse and allows shippers to manage inventory as well as keep an eye on this inventory by validating relationships between RFID tags and product containers.  MIKOH is basically trying to implement a system that incorporates RFID technology but at the same time ensures that shippers are automating their processes RFID tags. William Stevenson also talks about supply chain management which he defines as a sequence of organizations – their facilities, functions and activities that are involved in producing and delivery a product or service. RFID is the newest supply chain technology and is used by most big organizations today.  It is supposed to eliminate shipping problems and maximize supply chain efficiency.


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