Understanding inventory control is not so much about understanding what you have in stock, but what is being ordered over some time period. Whether you're talking about fast food and tracking the number of burgers you need to have every hour or a retail big box store keeping its store shelves stocked, the key here is to understand the amount people are ordering so you can then understand what to keep in stock.
The following table provides an example of how to rank your inventory of stock. For supplies that are ordered more often, they will need to be kept in resupply at a faster rate. This translates to the product being ordered more often so you can ensure you have enough inventory available for your customers to purchase.
|Rank of Product||Description||Days Resupply Required|
|A||Fast-moving products||7–14 days|
|B||Medium-moving products||30–60 days|
|C||Slow-moving products||Stock quantity|
|X||Surplus and storage||Stock quantity|
 This table is based off of the Product Rank table in "The First Steps to Achieving Effective Inventory Control" (Schreibfeder, www.microsoft.com/dynamics/industry/wholesale_distribution_whitepapers.mspx, 2004).
For slow-moving products or products that receive very few to no orders, you establish a threshold stock quantity and order only once you dip below that threshold. How does all this relate to your orders? You want to build some criteria for your product ranking based on the number of orders created instead of the amount of stock you will ...