Inventory control vs inventory management

By Annapoorna


Updated on: May 17th, 2022


3 min read

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Having an efficient inventory control and inventory management system is essential to ensure that you have the right amount of stock in hand to meet consumer demands and minimise inventory investment.

Meaning of inventory management

Inventory management means procuring, storing and selling stock. It also collects data from inventory control and analyses it for important business decision making processes. For better inventory management, one must first focus on better inventory control. Inventory management involves forecasting stock replenishment which aims at when to order, how much to order and from whom to order. Some of the other functions of inventory management are:

  • To meet uncertainty in customer demand.
  • To meet smooth production requirements.
  • To avoid stock out situation.
  • To take advantage of quantity discounts.

Automated inventory management software facilitate real-time inventory updates, which ultimately helps to improve the flow of goods to the customers. Thus, it helps in increasing sales.

Meaning of inventory control

Inventory control is also called stock control. It is a process of managing inventory in its warehouse or other storage locations. It includes managing the inventory levels in the company’s warehouse. It ensures that there are no overstocking or stockouts. Further, it also ensures that all goods remain in a usable condition. It helps to set a balancing point between the finished goods and their optimum storage capacity. Some of the other functions of inventory control are:

  • It helps to supply stock to different departments in the organisation and keeps a record of the same.
  • It works on location, storage and accounting of inventories.
  • It bifurcates high-value stocks to help storage.

In simple words, we can say that an effective inventory control system thoroughly monitors the movement, storage and usage of stocks. Automation of inventory control systems aims at maximising profits with the least amount of inventory sitting in the warehouse.

Comparison between inventory management and inventory control

Both inventory control and inventory management work hand in hand, but still they have a few differences, which are narrated below:

ParticularsInventory controlInventory management
MeaningIt manages inventory already sitting in the company’s warehouse.It works on business processes of forecasting and stock replenishment.
EnsuresIt ensures that the inventory in the warehouse is in good condition.It ensures that the right inventory set is lying in the right place and at the right quantity.
ScopeIt has a limited scope of managing optimum inventory levels.It has a wider scope which involves planning and forecasting.
Its purposeInventory control aims to recognise how many goods are being stocked and ensure that they are kept in usable condition.The main purpose of inventory management is to manage product demand and maintain good relationships with vendors and suppliers.
About the Author

I preach the words, “Learning never exhausts the mind.” An aspiring CA and a passionate content writer having 4+ years of hands-on experience in deciphering jargon in Indian GST, Income Tax, off late also into the much larger Indian finance ecosystem, I love curating content in various forms to the interest of tax professionals, and enterprises, both big and small. While not writing, you can catch me singing Shāstriya Sangeetha and tuning my violin ;). Read more


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