What Are the Different Types of Inventory Management Training?

D. Nelson

The term "inventory management" refers to any process or system used to keep track of tangible assets that belong to an organization. Assets that make up inventory can include products that are for sale, pieces of equipment, tools, computers, and other devices that are used in a business's day to day operations. Professionals who practice inventory management may need to take courses that teach them about current inventory practices for cutting cost and minimizing loss and damages. Inventory managers may also need to conduct training for employees who need to use new technologies. Some of the most common types of inventory management training are job training, instruction in using asset management systems such as tracking devices, and courses and tutorials in best inventory management practices.

Man checking inventory with a portable device.
Man checking inventory with a portable device.

Most asset managers conduct inventory management training with employees who are new to an organization. This training normally occurs when an employee is on the clock. Training often includes firsthand instruction. A manager might give an employee a tour of a warehouse and show him or her how inventory items are organized. If an employee is responsible for receiving or shipping items, a manager might instruct that employee in how to update data related to items that have been received or shipped.

Keeping track of inventory with a laser barcode scanner.
Keeping track of inventory with a laser barcode scanner.

When a new asset tracking system is introduced into an organization's process, inventory management training may include using readers and software interfaces. Two of the most common tracking systems are bar code and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems. Bar codes must be scanned at close range, while RFID tags can be tracked by readers from a greater distance since they communicate with RFID tags via radio waves.

Once employees learn how to scan or read items, inventory management training may then include interface training. Users learn how to locate and interpret notation related to a scanned item on a computer monitor. Employees may also learn how to enter and save information.

Many asset managers attend inventory management training courses, seminars, and tutorials. These services can provide a number of different functions, such as introducing managers to new kinds of software, updated tracking systems, and methods for inventory management that can cut cost. Access to this kind of training may be paid for by an inventory manager's employer.

Inventory management training may also be available for free online. A number of websites feature articles and self-guided tutorials that train asset managers in better inventory tracking practices. Trade publications may also contain informative articles that can train asset managers to develop new perspectives that are thought to be more in line with contemporary markets and demands.

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