Top 8 Types of Inventory Related to Pharma & Medical Device Industry.

The 8 most common types of Inventories


In this article, you will learn the main types of inventory in the supply chain associated with procurement, manufacture, distribution, logistics, and suppliers of the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries.

1. Raw Materials Inventory

Raw materials consist of all components and items that are required to make the final product. In a pharmaceutical manufacturing company, the raw materials are items like active ingredients, vials, and labels that are used in the different stages of production.

Related to raw materials, it is important to realize that raw materials used by a manufacturing company can either be sourced from a supplier or be a by-product of a process.

This type of raw material inventory exists only in the manufacturing industry.

In a service or trading industry in which there is no processing or manufacturing involved, raw material inventory does not exist.

2. WIP Work in Progress Inventory

Work in Process Inventory is called when raw materials are on the manufacturing floor been processed but have not yet been completed, and approved as finished goods.

In fact, the work in progress inventory is a category that contains all the items that have been processed but not ready for sale.

3. Finished Goods Inventory

Finished goods inventory considers the final products that are ready for sale in the market.

These items have passed through all stages of production and quality checking.

4. MRO Maintenance Repairing and Operating Inventory

MRO Inventory means the stock of items and supplies not related to the bill of materials (BOM) of finished products.  Since this type of inventory is typical in manufacturing industries, can be found in some service industries.

Since the MRO items are not used directly in the finished product manufacturing, it is not accounted as inventory items in books of accounts.  But it plays a critical role in the day-to-day working of an organization.

MRO supplies are used for maintenance, repair, and upkeep of the machines, tools, and other equipment used in the production process. Some examples of MRO items are gowning, grease, lubricating oil, gaskets, screws, bolts, etc.

5. Buffer Inventory

Buffer inventory (also known as safety stock), consists of the items stored in the warehouse to cushion the impact of unexpected shocks.

Buffer inventory aims to compensate for fluctuations and market movements that cannot be predicted and can lead to out-of-stock situations.

In this manner, a sudden spike in demand, delay in transport, or labor strike can be managed if sufficient buffer inventory is maintained.

6. Cycle Inventory

Cycle inventory (also known as Recurrent Inventory) consists of the products that are ordered in big lot sizes and on a regular basis.

It is particularly useful when a client places an order for a big amount of your products for the whole year but wants to receive it then distributed on a monthly basis.

Cycle inventories are usually materials that are directly used in the production or they are part of some regular process.

7. Decoupling Inventory

This type of inventory applies when manufacturing is carried on by multiple machines.

The output of one machine is fed into the next machine for further processing.

However, the process only works smoothly if all the machines work in tandem.

A breakdown in any of the machines can derail the entire process, which is when decoupling inventory comes into the picture.

Decoupling inventory consists of items that are kept in reserve to be processed by another machine if the previous machine fails to produce its usual output.

8. Transit Inventory

Transit inventory refers to items that are being moved from one location to another, such as raw materials being transported to the factory by railway or finished goods being transported to the store by truck.

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REFERENCES: Types of Inventory.





Picture of Ramon Cayuela, MS, BS, Chemical Engineering

Ramon Cayuela, MS, BS, Chemical Engineering

CIQA President and CEO.
I've been working in validation engineering since 1992 with many multinational pharmaceutical companies. I love sharing my passion and knowledge with others. If you have any questions about anything (or just have general questions). I will be more than happy to assist you. You can count on the BEST customer service on CIQA. I go to great lengths to make sure my clients are 100% satisfied with their purchases and check emails/messages consistently throughout the day. You can rest assured that everything being sold here is as-described or your money back. I look forward to working with you!