Inventory control, sometimes also referred to as inventory management, is a way of using inventory most effectively to keep costs to a minimum. While inventory management often centers on getting inventory to the right place at the right time, inventory control is the more practical side of inventory management because it focuses on costs and time. That’s why three main components of inventory control are cutting purchases of products that don’t move or are slow moving, avoiding overstock by staying on top of changes in demand, and using inventory efficiently to avoid product spoilage.
If you are looking to sharpen your inventory control skills, look no further. We have rounded up 50 top online learning resources to help you master inventory control for better business practices and a better bottom line. Most of our resources focus on warehouse inventory management and control, but you’ll find a few with a retail focus sprinkled in because some of the basic principles of inventory control overlap.
Our online learning resources for mastering inventory control cover everything from articles to courses and are made available by industry leaders, distinguished learning institutions, and other recognized leaders in inventory control and supply chain management. Please note, we have listed our top 50 online learning resources to master inventory control here, in no particular order. However, we have included a table of contents so that you can jump to the resources categories that are of most interest to you.
1. Top 8 Guidelines to Improve Inventory Management
Modern Materials Handling magazine and website offer productivity solutions, news, and more for distribution, warehousing, and manufacturing. Their inventory control article, Top 8 Guidelines to Improve Inventory Management, shares expert advice from a panel representing a combined 80 years of inventory experience, with a focus on critical strategies some organizations have overlooked.
Three key points we like from Top 8 Guidelines to Improve Inventory Management:
2. Inventory Management 101: Time to Revisit the Principles
Serving executives, managers, and other logistics and supply chain management professionals, Logistics Management Magazine explores the principles of inventory management in this inventory control article. The article reminds readers that inventory costs can skyrocket but inventory control provides many options to improve the bottom line.
Three key points we like from Inventory Management 101: Time to Revisit the Principles:
3. The Advantages of Inventory Control
Kenneth Hamlett of the Houston Chronicle highlights the various advantages companies give themselves when why have mastered inventory control. Even though inventory often is the largest investment a company makes, it is possible for companies to effectively control that inventory and achieve leaner operations and reduced operational expenses at the same time.
Three key points we like from The Advantages of Inventory Control:
4. Inventory Control Systems
This inventory control article from Reference for Business provides an in-depth overview of inventory control. The article also highlights related inventory control topics, including computers and inventory, the future of inventory control systems, warehouse layout and operation, and outsourcing warehouse responsibilities.
Three key points we like from Inventory Control Systems:
5. Avoiding the Top 3 Pitfalls of Lean Inventory Management
A leading consulting firm, Fronetics Strategic Advisors advise companies on their most critical issues and opportunities. In her inventory control article for Fronetics, Jennifer Hart Yim explains that mastering inventory control requires eliminating waste, but it is becoming an even more difficult task for organizations due to multi-channel distribution, inadequate demand forecasting, and lack of communication.
Three key points we like from Avoiding the Top 3 Pitfalls of Lean Inventory Management:
6. 7 Tips for Warehouse Inventory Management
7 Tips for Warehouse Inventory Management, a QStock Inventory blog post by Justin Velthoen, describes some strategies for adopting a warehouse inventory management system and the importance of developing a comprehensive supply chain and inventory management strategy. His tips for warehouse inventory management include some great ideas to help you master inventory control.
Three key ideas we like from 7 Tips for Warehouse Inventory Management:
7. 10 Ways to Improve Warehouse Efficiency and Inventory Management With & Without Software
SkuVault offers a cloud-based warehouse and inventory management app for helping eCommerce retailers reduce out of stock instances and improve warehouse efficiency. Their inventory control article is a list of helpful tips for improving warehouse performance and inventory control, regardless of the type of warehouse operation.
Three key ideas we like from 10 Ways to Improve Warehouse Efficiency and Inventory Management With & Without Software:
8. IKEA’s Inventory Management Strategy: How Does IKEA Do It?
In a TradeGecko blog article that doubles as a case study, Clara Lu explains that IKEA is known for its smooth backend operations and efficient supply chain processes. She highlights the fact that IKEA’s supply chain operations, inventory management, and other business functions work together “to support its distinctive value proposition… committing to a catalog of products that will be stocked for a year at a guaranteed price.”
Three key ideas we like from IKEA’s Inventory Management Strategy: How Does IKEA Do It?:
9. Leveraging Analytics for Effective Inventory Management Control
Manufacturing Business Technology delivers editorial, news, and video content to IT professionals in manufacturing settings. Written by Bob Vormittag, Jr., project director at VAI Software, MBT’s inventory control article, Leveraging Analytics for Effective Inventory Management Control examines how manufacturers balance inventory in order to improve profits and customer service.
Three key points we like from Leveraging Analytics for Effective Inventory Management Control:
10. Top Ten Ways to Manage Inventory
Sherrie Scott of Demand Media shares her top ten ways for managing inventory in this inventory control article. She reminds readers that companies must decide whether to incorporate one key inventory management technique or to combine techniques for meeting the needs of the organization.
Three key tips we like from Top Ten Ways to Manage Inventory:
11. Ten Ways To Improve Inventory Management
Bain & Company deals in issues of strategy, operations, technology, organization, and mergers and acquisitions. Their blog includes an inventory control article that originally appeared in WSJ.com’s CFO Journal, but is made available on the Bain blog free of charge. The article points out that CFOs and senior executives struggle with inventory management and offers 10 questions that lead to tips for improving inventory control.
Three key tips we like from Ten Ways to Improve Inventory Management:
12. Dimensions of Inventory Management: Holistic Strategies for a Volatile World
ChainLink is a leader in supply chain research. Their inventory control article, Dimensions of Inventory Management: Holistic Strategies for a Volatile World, considers the critical dimensions to mastering inventory control and offers an in-depth look at product characteristics and lifecycle, business models, risks, and more.
Three key points we like from Dimensions of Inventory Management: Holistic Strategies for a Volatile World:
13. What Is Inventory Control?
For those new to inventory control, Lightspeed offers an introductory article that gives a detailed overview of it. Written by Justin Laing, co-founder of MerchantOS, the inventory control article explains that inventory control may be referred to as stock control and that it is a “delicate balance of the costs versus profits associated with having stock on hand.”
Three key ideas we like from What Is Inventory Control?:
14. Automating Inventory Control in Bins
Every industry needs to be concerned with inventory control, and those agricultural organizations dealing with granules, pellets, powders, or flakes in bins, tanks, and silos are no exception. BinMaster USA offers solutions for level measurement and inventory monitoring in bins, and their inventory control article is specific to companies that need to monitor bin levels to optimize material storage and save money.
Three key ideas we like from Automating Inventory Control in Bins:
15. Advantages & Disadvantages to a Manual Inventory Control System
Chris Joseph of Demand Media explains in this inventory control article that businesses of all sizes should implement inventory control systems for keeping accurate merchandise counts and for accounting purposes. Manual and computerized inventory control systems are options for companies, but Joseph highlights the advantages and disadvantages of manual inventory control systems in the article.
Three key points we like from Advantages & Disadvantages to a Manual Inventory Control System:
16. Basic Inventory Control
Ron Slee, President of R.J. Slee & Associates, specializes in the parts and service aspects of business in the heavy equipment industries. He also provides specialized training seminars and webinars for manufacturers, dealers, and independent businesses in the construction equipment, light industrial, on-highway, engine, and agricultural industries through Learning Without Scars. Basic Inventory Control is one of Learning Without Scars’ inventory control online courses, and it features a one-hour webinar.
Three key topics we like from Basic Inventory Control:
17. Inventory Management: Planning and Controlling Inventory Effectively
Gothic Logistics specializes in elearning for the producing industry and offers courses in logistics, lean production, and purchasing. Inventory Management: Planning and Controlling Inventory Effectively is their online inventory control course that provides participants with the insights needed to ensure goods arrive in the desired quantity when they are needed in production and market organization.
Three key topics we like from Inventory Management: Planning and Controlling Inventory Effectively:
Cost: € 500, excluding VAT
18. Fundamentals of Inventory Management and Control, Third Edition
Offered as part of the American Management Association’s curriculum, Fundamentals of Inventory Management and Control, Third Edition, is written by Max Muller, who has served as chief executive or operations officer for commandoes distributing products, and Gary Langenwalter, founder and president of Manufacturing Consulting Partners. The inventory control course offers practical, usable information in forecasting, physical control and layout, and problem recognition and resolution.
Three key topics we like from Fundamentals of Inventory Management and Control, Third Edition:
19. Inventory Management
The HP LIFE Program is a learning initiative for entrepreneurs that trains students, entrepreneurs, and small business owners how to apply IT and business skills. The HP LIFE inventory control course, Inventory Management, is an online course with practical applications that participants can begin using immediately upon completion of the course.
Three key topics we like from Inventory Management:
20. Supply Chain Inventory Management (Online)
The UCLA Extension is the continuing professional education division of UCLA that offers evening and online courses and dozens of certificates. Instructed by Tony Swain, project management and supply chain management expert, Supply Chain Inventory Management (Online) is an inventory control course offered at various times throughout the year, so interested participants should check for class availability.
Three key topics we like from Supply Chain Inventory Management (Online):
21. Profitable Inventory Management and Control
Next Level Purchasing Association is a large procurement association and the source of the senior professional in supply management (SPSM) family of certifications. Their inventory control course, Profitable Inventory Management and Control, centers on strategically managing inventory.
Three key topics we like from Profitable Inventory Management and Control:
22. Warehousing & Inventory Control Training
iACT Global offers certification and training services to individuals and businesses in more than 50 domains worldwide. Warehousing & Inventory Control Training, their inventory control course, covers efficient warehouse operations and the need for conceptual understanding of warehouse and inventory control along with computerized operations.
Three key topics we like from Warehousing & Inventory Control Training:
Cost: Contact for registration price
23. Certificate Logistics and Inventory Management
An online professional development course, Certificate Logistics and Inventory Management provides learners with an understanding of the history, perspectives, strategies, and key areas involved with logistics, inventory, and supply chain management. The course also helps participants develop the skills required for cost analysis, decision making, quality management, and value analysis.
Three key topics we like from Certificate Logistics and Inventory Management:
24. Inventory Management (Level 3)
Brentwood Open Learning College (BOLC UK) is a provider of accredited distance learning courses. They offer Inventory Management (Level 3), for inventory management certification online, to help learners understand how to manage a smooth, cost-effective operation with enough products on hand to meet demand without stockpiling too much inventory.
Three key topics we like from Inventory Management (Level 3):
eBooks, Guides, and White Papers
25. Inventory Management for Online Retailers
Freestyle Solutions, developed by retailers for retailers, has been providing inventory control solutions for 25 years. Their inventory control eBook, Inventory Management for Online Retailers, includes strategies for efficient inventory control that “take the guesswork out of what’s ‘available to sell’ and includes information about automating inventory.
Three key points we like from Inventory Management for Online Retailers:
26. Inventory Management: Getting Started
TradeGecko’s inventory control eBook is a perfect introduction to inventory control. Inventory Management: Getting Started features the key terms associated with inventory management and is a must-read for inventory control beginners.
Three key topics we like from Inventory Management; Getting Started:
Cost: FREE with email registration
27. Inventory Management: Principles, Concepts, and Techniques
Author John Toomey explains the dynamics of inventory management in this eBook. Chapters contain case studies and the related inventory management problems, along with suggested solutions. The book also is a resource for assisting in the training of students as well as APICS CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) candidates.
Three key topics we like from Inventory Management: Principles, Concepts, and Techniques:
28. Top 5 Tips for Effective Inventory Control
An experienced software provider specializing in inventory control for complex business environments, Goldsoft offers its inventory control book on SlideShare. Top 5 Tips for Effective Inventory Control addresses five major inventory challenges, to help readers manage inventory more effectively.
Three key topics we like from Top 5 Tips for Effective Inventory Control:
29. Inventory Control Management
Fadooengineers.com is a leading provider of education and study materials for engineering students. They offer an inventory control eBook, available for download by chapter, along with related lecture notes.
Three key topics we like from Inventory Control Management:
30. Inventory Control Basics: A Systematic Guide for Controlling Inventory In Your Restaurant
Founder and principal of RestaurantOwner.com, an industry-leading resource for restaurant operators, Joe Erickson penned this inventory control guide specifically for those in the restaurant business. Recognizing that restaurant owners have uncommon inventory control challenges like daily turnover of highly perishable supplies and materials, Erickson offers tips and strategies for effective restaurant inventory control.
Three key points we like from Inventory Control Basics: A Systematic Guide for Controlling Inventory In Your Restaurant:
31. Stock Control and Inventory
The Montreal Chamber of Commerce offers this inventory control guide, Stock Control and Inventory, to help readers gain an understanding of various stock control methods, how to set up an efficient inventory control plan, and more. The guide is appropriate for those who deal with raw materials or finished goods and covers stock at every stage of the production process.
Three key topics we like from Stock Control and Inventory:
32. How to Control Inventory
For inventory control beginners, wikiHow is a good place to start learning about inventory control. How to Control Inventory is a five-step guide for effective inventory control for business success that covers deciding what and how much to order, keeping accurate inventory counts, handling excesses and shortages, and more.
Three key topics we like from How to Control Inventory:
33. Inventory Basics – Inventory Management
Clear Inventory offers online inventory management software known for its security and ease of use. Their inventory control guide, Inventory Basics – Inventory Management, is a detailed guide best suited to inventory control beginners.
Three key ideas we like from Inventory Basics – Inventory Management:
34. How Inventory Control Can Benefit Your Business
ADSS Global has been making information work efficiently and profitably for companies and organizations since 1981. The number one Sage ERP Business Partner in the U.S. and Canada, ADSS Global offers this inventory control white paper to help readers consider how operations could improve by implementing an inventory management system.
Three key ideas we like from How Inventory Control Can Benefit Your Business:
35. Count, Manage, and Move: Warehouse Inventory Control Strategies
RM US LLP, a leading provider of audit, tax, and consulting services, offers Count, Manage, and Move: Warehouse Inventory Control Strategies, an inventory control white paper. Authors Paul Calamita and Sean Ellis explore how accurate and efficient inventory control processes are essential for remaining competitive, especially in the fashion and home furnishings industries.
Three key ideas we like from Count, Manage, and Move: Warehouse Inventory Control Strategies:
36. Eliminate Hidden Holding Costs: Mastering Your Inventory
Epicor offers business software solutions for the manufacturing, distribution, and retail industries. As part of their Retail Best Practices Series, Epicor’s inventory control white paper, Eliminate Hidden Holding Costs: Mastering Your Inventory, is a 10-page inventory control resource for mastering inventory control with the goal of helping your bottom line.
Three key points we like from Eliminate Hidden Holding Costs: Mastering Your Inventory:
37. Inventory: Control It Before It Controls You
Wiser offers a full-featured pricing and merchandising platform for monitoring, analyzing, and dynamically repricing products to increase profits. Their inventory control infographic visualizes the ways in which inventory affects a company’s bottom line and explores why inventory optimization matters.
Three key facts we like from Inventory: Control It Before It Controls You:
38. Inventory Management Techniques
TradeGecko’s inventory control infographic is part of a larger article exploring the inventory management techniques that will help or hurt your business. The infographic acts as a barometer for inventory holding cost and shows the relationship between various inventory control methods, inventory holding costs, and potential profits.
Three key facts we like from Inventory Management Techniques:
39. Inventory Management: 6 Ways Successful Businesses Manage Inventory
Utilizing research from various studies, Freestyle Solution gathered information on inventory control and created this inventory control infographic. Inventory Management: 6 Ways Successful Businesses Mange Inventory, Freestyle’s infographic, explores the benefits of tracking inventory from all sales channels, gaining control of kitted and bundled products, managing drop-ship orders, staving off backorders, enabling bin and lot tracking, and implementing barcode scanning.
Three key facts we like from Inventory Management: 6 Ways Successful Businesses Mange Inventory:
40. How to Deliver What You Promise
SalesWarp helps companies consolidate omni channel commerce operations into one complete system, so they can sell more and manage less. Because omni channel commerce demands merchants to consider how they access and manage inventory, SalesWarp shares their inventory control infographic, How to Deliver What You Promise, in an effort to show the value of merchants keeping their inventory promises.
Three key facts we like from How to Deliver What You Promise:
41. Inventory Management Online Sales Trends: Size Matters
The folks at Stitch Labs love inventory and they create some of the most popular technology for online stores seeking “simple, smart, beautiful inventory control.” So, when it comes to information about online sales trends and inventory control, Stitch Labs shares some of the best, including Inventory Management Online Sales Trends: Size Matters, an infographic. While the infographic is specific to the apparel and accessories industry, the infographic includes universal lessons in inventory control.
Three key facts we like from Inventory Management Online Sales Trends: Size Matters:
42. POS and Inventory Control
RICS Software delivers point of sale and inventory management solutions for retailers. By combining POS and inventory control, retailers streamline their businesses, and POS and Inventory Control is an inventory control infographic that explains why that is the case.
Three key facts we like from POS and Inventory Control:
43. Infographic: 4 Reasons to Control Your Remote Inventory
The ERP Software Blog is the largest Microsoft Dynamics ERP group blog site, offering expert reviews and opinions to help professionals select their ERP. 4 Reasons to Control Your Remote Inventory visualizes the benefits of inventory control, especially for remote inventory.
Three key facts we like from Infographic: 4 Reasons to Control Your Remote Inventory:
Videos, Webinars, and Presentations
44. 3 Popular Inventory Management Techniques – Business Quick Tips
Fishbowl Inventory offers the number one manufacturing and warehouse management solution for QuickBooks users. With more than 14,450 views on YouTube, their inventory control video, 3 Popular Inventory Management Techniques – Business Quick Tips, explores the most popular inventory management techniques to help viewers determine which technique is best suited to their business.
Three key topics we like from 3 Popular Inventory Management Techniques – Business Quick Tips:
45. Inventory Control Systems
Dr. Narendar Sumukadas is an associate professor of operations management at the University of Hartford who shares inventory control videos on his YouTube channel. Inventory Control Systems is one of the videos from Dr. Sumukadas’ Operations Management Lecture Series, and it provides an in-depth look at inventory control systems.
Three key topics we like from Inventory Control Systems:
46. The Vital Role of Inventory Control
Larry Miller is the creator of ShrinkTrax and the National Shrink Survey. Miller is CEO of the Retail Control Group, which specializes in best practices for shrink control and loss prevention in the grocery and convenience store industry. He also has a YouTube channel featuring inventory control videos, such as The Vital Role of Inventory Control. This inventory control video serves as an introduction to the importance of inventory control.
Three key points we like from The Vital Role of Inventory Control:
47. Effective Inventory Management
Fred Pryor Seminars is a well-respected provider of professional seminars. Their inventory management webinar, Effective Inventory Management, is an effective inventory control resource for those looking to “develop a streamlined method for producing efficient cycle counts, tightening logistics, and cutting costs.”
Three key topics we like from Effective Inventory Management:
48. Webinar: Effective Inventory Management – Achieving Best Practices with Today’s Inventory Management Systems
Jon Schreibfeder is owner and president of Effective Inventory Management, Inc., author of server books on inventory management, and a guest lecturer at Purdue University. Schreibfeder offers strategies for making the most of its inventory management software in his inventory control webinar, available on YouTube.
Three key ideas we like from Webinar: Effective Inventory Management – Achieving Best Practices with Today’s Inventory Management Systems:
49. Managing Your Inventory – Track Product from Ordering to Sales
CBORD offers a host of comprehensive solutions and innovative products for colleges and universities, healthcare facilities, supermarkets, and other market segments. With a focus on automating the inventory management process, CBORD’s inventory control webinar, Managing Your Inventory – Track Product from Ordering to Sales, is a resource to help you master inventory control.
Three key topics we like from Managing Your Inventory – Track Product from Ordering to Sales:
50. Inventory Control & Management
The Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research’s WeSchool offers post graduate diplomas in management. Inventory is an important component of distribution management, and this SlideShare presentation from WeSchool investigates inventory control and management and the various techniques for efficient inventory control.
Three key topics we like from Inventory Control & Management:
Asset Tracking Solutions from Camcode: