Inventory Templates

Efficiently keep track of stocks and supplies using inventory templates in a mobile device

Published 5 Jan 2022

What is an Inventory Template?

An inventory template, or inventory checklist, is used by businesses to itemize stocks of merchandise, goods, properties, or building materials. Inventory templates are used by auditors to ensure that the list of supplies and purchases match the actual count of products on hand.

This article will briefly discuss the following:

4 Types of Inventory

There are different ways to categorize inventory. This ensures that the inventory system stays organized and keeps everything accounted for. Keep track of inventory by separating them into these categories:

  • Raw materials – items that are used to make finished products. Another term for raw materials is feedstock. These are unprocessed materials which are commonly found in nature. Some examples are wood, resin, latex, vegetables, and other raw materials from plants and trees. Other examples are coal, fabric, stones, and metal.
  • Work-in-progress (WIP) – items that are are partially completed products. These are components that are used during assembly. For example, the raw material is fabric while the work-in-progress are the collar, sleeves, cuffs, etc. The WIP costs will be transferred to the finished goods account after completion.
  • Maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) – MRO inventory refers to materials that are useful and necessary to keep business production running. Spare parts of machinery and tools and equipment used during repair fall under this category.
  • Finished goods – completed products that are ready to be shipped and sold. Finished goods is the next step after work-in-progress inventory.
The types of invetory are raw materials, WIP, MRO, and finished Goods

Types of Inventory | SafetyCulture

Inventory Template vs Stock Checklist

Stock checklists are different from inventory templates. The difference between stock and inventory is that stock only includes the products being sold by a business, while inventory contains stocks (finished goods), raw materials, and work-in-progress goods. This means that inventory is the overall available materials.

The primary objective of an inventory checklist is to avoid overproduction, product spoilage, or inadequate supplies by helping assess current assets and if stocks can meet a business’s deliverables.

Why Use Inventory Templates?

Inventory templates, often referred to as inventory forms, are useful tools for controlling inventory, comparing sales with inventory usage, and analyzing business profitability. Use an inventory template as a guide in regularly updating your inventory and take your business to the next phase. With an inventory template, managers can deliver a report that’s backed by numbers to potential investors, ensuring transparency.

Importance of Inventory Management

Proper inventory management is needed by both large enterprises and small businesses because it has an impact on logistics.  It assists in determining which branch needs to be restocked and which have surplus goods. Logistic processes are further streamlined by sending out surplus products to branches that are low on stock instead of increasing production.

How to Manage Inventory Effectively

The significance of inventory management to organizations is clear, but inventory audits need to be accurate and efficient for it to be effective. Inventory can change quickly, which can make monitoring difficult. Companies adopt different practices and strategies on how to best perform their inventory processes.

There are 2 ways to keep your inventory up to date: manual and digital.

Manual Inventory Management

Manual inventory is handwritten or printed on paper forms. There are a lot of inventory templates available online and you can choose from multiple file types such as spreadsheet, PDF, or document. Ultimately, the inventory templates will still be printed and filled out manually.

One of the benefits of paper-based forms is that they are always accessible and don’t need batteries or electricity to work. A downside is that there’s a possibility of misplacing the printed inventory checklist form so it’s best to have a dedicated place for storage, which could become a challenge in the long run as paper forms pile up.

Those that are assigned to take down inventory will also have to be meticulous. Errors in inventory checklists result in miscommunication between coworkers and branches. In a paper-based workflow, employees are responsible for passing the inventory form to one another in between shifts, which slows down the process. This method is also not environmentally friendly due to the volume of paper used.

Digital Inventory Management

Digital is the more efficient method with real-time updates. Excel spreadsheets are a popular file type since there are tons of inventory spreadsheet templates online that can be downloaded for free. An advantage of using spreadsheets is the ability to use formulas to automate certain functions.

On the other hand, using spreadsheets increases the likelihood of incorrect data encoded, unresponsive software, and corrupted files. Autosave and link sharing features are also available, but functions such as data analysis are still limited and data security is easily breached. 

Inventory software is another digital option but can be costly to run and maintain. This software should have every inventory function necessary and be personalized according to business need. Big conglomerates and organizations can benefit from specialized inventory software, but it might not be a viable option for small businesses since some features may be inapplicable.

Another option is to use a versatile checklist app like iAuditor by SafetyCulture. It’s capable of automatic cloud syncing and allows you to easily share inventory data across your organization. This removes the fear of losing inventory data.

Access iAuditor’s public library to download and customize the inventory checklist template that fits your business. You’ll also be helping the environment since this digital method reduces your carbon footprint.

How to Create an Inventory List

With iAuditor, creating inventory lists has never been easier. Whether you’re in the office, reconciling tons of paperwork to come up with an accurate list, or you’re onsite, currently checking the actual inventory, here are 4 easy ways to create an inventory list using iAuditor:

Every inventory list you create using iAuditor can be used wherever you are—even while offline. Your inventory data automatically syncs upon internet availability, securing them in the cloud.

Update Inventory in Real-time With iAuditor

We compiled 7 of the best inventory templates you can use to perform more efficient inventory checks when receiving supplies, preparing merchandise for selling, and replenishing stocks.

iAuditor by SafetyCulture is a cloud-based inspection app that can be used to replace tons of paper inventory forms. It helps facility teams to do the following:

  • Perform inventory audits using a mobile device
  • Record product SKUs, item quantity, and total costs
  • Evaluate the quality of goods
  • Capture photos of defective items
  • Assign a user or group to perform the inventory inspection
  • Create a scheduled inventory assessment
  • Get notifications when a scheduled inventory needs to be done
  • Store data in unlimited cloud storage
  • Generate real-time inventory reports anytime, anywhere
  • Save inventory forms as a DOC, PDF, CSV, or JSON file

Download and customize these free templates based on your inventory needs with iAuditor!

SafetyCulture staff writer

Sare Hawes