Determine the types of inventories these companies currently manage and describe their essential inventory characteristics (Milazzo 2015). Dollar General uses four different types of inventories. They use raw materials, work-in-process, maintenance, repair, operating supply, and finished goods. Raw materials are items that vendors supply the store with. These items have no labor added by the firm receiving these items. Work-in-process means the products are at different stages of being completed in the production process. Maintenance, repair, operating supply is items that are needed to accomplish tasks of the operation. These are items that the company needs throughout the day like pencils or toilet paper. Finished goods means items that are completed and are ready to enter the distribution channel. Wal-Mart is very similar to Dollar General in the different types of inventories. They use finished goods, work-in-process, raw materials and supplies. Dollar General and Wal-Mart both are the same in inventory characteristics. Both companies have the characteristic of a stock-keeping unit (SKU), A SKU is different items stored in certain locations. For instance, every different item of something has a different SKU. The same brand of pens but the package that has one count compared to the same brand that has a count of two would have a different SKU. They also have a characteristic of independent demand and dependent demand. Independent demand means the item does not rely on any other item to be forecasted. For example a computer is an independent product because there is nothing out there that Computers can rely on, it is a finished product. Microchips would be a dependent demand because they rely on computers to be used. Without computers, the microchip would have no use. Dependent demands do not need to be forecasted whereas independent demand does. Both of the companies have stock out as a characteristic.
Inventory Management Inventory Management The two companies I decided to focus on for my paper are on very different ends of the spectrum. They are a salon named Hair Cuttery and a specialty food store called Chamberlin’s Natural Food Stores. Hair Cuttery is a chain of beauty salons found across the United States. They are located on approximately 14 states as well as Great Britain. Chamberlin’s is a chain of specialty food stores that are found across the Central Florida-Orlando area. Hair Cuttery salon was founded in 1974 by Dennis and Anne Ratner. The first salon was opened in West Springfield, Virginia and the Hair Cuttery chain is now the largest privately held salon chain in the United States. Hair Cuttery offers a wide range of unisex services. These include haircuts, styles, coloring, hair treatments, waxing as well as other services that may only be offered at a select few salons. These services include hair extensions as well as some other hair treatments Most of the inventory for Hair Cuttery consists of hair products available for the public to buy, as well as products used by the stylists. The way that Hair Cuttery tracks their inventory is pretty straight forward. They usually do not have excess products in stock and they track their stock with SKU codes. They also have security cameras around the store to help deter stealing. When I was getting my hair done this past week I was talking to my stylist about inventory tracking in their store. She said that even the stylists have to use the SKU to get certain products and that their suppliers come in about once a week to check the various inventory to make sure they have what they need in stock. Also to help cut costs if any of the products are returned to the store, usually they but it on their shampoo bar to be utilized by the hair dressers. This prevents a loss of product and a loss of money.