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.
An inventory template is used to create a basic list of your assets. It can be used in different industries such as manufacturing, office, construction, etc. It is used by auditors to update the business’ inventory list. This template has been built to performing the following:
- Add an item to your inventory list;
- Record labels or product numbers;
- Capture photos of the products;
- List the quantity and net value;
- Complete the audit by confirming the total number of inventory items and its value; and
- Affix a digital signature to validate your audit.
This article will briefly discuss the following:
- types of inventory;
- what is the difference between an inventory template and a stock checklist?;
- why use inventory templates?;
- what is the importance of inventory management?;
- how to manage inventory effectively;
- how to create an inventory list;
- update inventory in real-time with iAuditor; and
- free, ready-to-use inventory templates you can download and customize.
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.
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 SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor). 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:
- Download industry-guided inventory list templates from SafetyCulture’s public library.
- Convert existing Word, Excel, and PDF inventory checklists using iAuditor’s SmartScan technology.
- Upload inventory forms via the Template Upload portal and let experienced template builders create them in iAuditor for you.
- Create and customize your own inventory list using iAuditor’s easy-to-use drag-and-drop template editor by signing up for free today!
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.
SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) 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!
This inventory template can be used to record raw stocks or items that have not yet been used. List the items and determine whether these are directly or indirectly incorporated into the final product. Record the total number of items and check if there are degraded or broken items. Get the total number of acceptable items for use in production. You can take advantage of SafetyCulture (iAuditor)’s API Integration and incorporate SafetyCulture (iAuditor) with your other systems when you subscribe to Premium.
This Work-in-process Inventory List Template can be used to help auditors and inventory clerks determine which items should be prioritized and completed. Unfinished goods should be recorded to report the total cost of items that are still on the factory or manufacturing floor. Maximize SafetyCulture (iAuditor)’s features by using Action via the paperclip icon and assign tasks to appropriate persons or departments.
One of the final steps before displaying the finished goods to your customers is to conduct a final quality check. You can use this Finished Goods Inventory Template to list the manufactured items, evaluate the condition of each item, and record the total quantity, cost per item, and the total cost. Use SafetyCulture (iAuditor)’s Analytics feature to track how many finished goods did not pass quality standards, identify underlying factors, and help develop manufacturing processes that can improve quality.
This Food Inventory Checklist can be used to record food stocks in your pantry. It contains preset responses which you can customize based on your usual food stock list. Use SafetyCulture (iAuditor)’s scheduled audits feature to assign templates to inventory clerks when conducting daily, weekly or monthly food inventory checks. This hassle-free scheduling of audits with SafetyCulture (iAuditor) will save admins the effort of constantly remembering which inspections to do and which checklists to use.
This Kitchen Inventory Audit can be used to create a basic list of your stocks. Add items by using SafetyCulture (iAuditor)’s Dynamic Fields which allows you to ask recurring questions, record the labels or product numbers, capture photos of the products and more.
You can use this Property Inventory Template when creating a list of real property items. Indicate item costs, date of purchase, and the current market value for each item from all areas of the property. Evaluate the quality of each item and take a photo using a mobile device, iPad, or tablet. Share your audits to your managers or supervisors and generate real time reports while on-site.
Warehouses receive a lot of incoming stocks for manufacturing and production. Use this Warehouse Stock Audit checklist to itemize supplies by stock keeping unit (SKU), bin number, quantity and cost. Enter the total inventory value, total bin count, and number of inventory items in the confirmation section.