Inventory Control Workshop Series

The APICS Educational and Research Foundation, Inc., and the APICS SIGs have developed an Inventory Control Workshop Series for professionals responsible for inventory control. Each of the four-hour workshops contains instruction necessary for organizations striving to implement best practices in inventory management and continuous improvement programs. Workshops can be taught individually or scheduled to put participants through the full, five workshop curriculum. For more information on planning an Inventory Control Workshop Series, please contact APICS Baltimore’s Vice President of Education, Todd Sabin

The full curriculum includes:

The Basics of Inventory Management, Distribution Inventory Management, and Material Requirements Planning and Bills of Material workshops will give your management team an in-depth understanding of proper inventory management techniques, as well as how their positions impact, and are related to, inventory control decisions. The Physical Inventory and Cycle Counting workshops will show you how to develop an organized strategy for auditing your inventory investment, implement a program of root-cause analysis, and transition to a full cycle counting program.

Basics of Inventory Management

To most organizations inventory is one of the more visible and tangible aspects of doing business. Beginning with the management of suppliers delivering raw materials to goods in various levels of completion in the production process and management and delivery of finished goods in the distributions channel, each type represents money tied up until the inventory becomes purchased products. The workshop provides a broad overview of basic concepts and good inventory management strategies.



  • Provide a basic description of the functions of inventory management
  • Define various methods of inventory management
  • Discuss real world applications of inventory management


  • Inventory management systems
  • Costs associated with inventory systems
  • Quantitative methods of inventory management

Distribution Inventory Management

This workshop focuses on the distribution network model and its objectives, activities, and distribution inventory management decisions and includes interactive exercises to present the fundamental concepts associated with the distribution environment. It is appropriate for management, sales, purchasing, forecasting, materials management, operations personnel, shipping/receiving, and any other supply chain function tangent to the distribution activity.



  • Describe the distribution model
  • Identify the strategic planning issues
  • List the operational activities
  • Execute effective inventory management
  • Implement JIT/lean practices
  • Perform ROP, DRP and qualitative factor calculations


  • The distribution network model
  • Objectives of distribution
  • Distribution activities
  • Replenishment methods
  • JIT/ lean trends

Material Requirements Planning and Bills of Material

To effectively use a Material Requirements Planning (MRP) system, it is essential to understand how bills of material (BOMs) are structured and how MRP calculates requirements. This course includes instruction and exercises so students can practice these important concepts. From structuring simple BOMs to creating phantom bills, modular bills, and super bills, the participant will learn many ways to use BOMs, how to calculate material requirements, and some common action/exception messages that MRP systems frequently include.



  • Build bills of material that accurately define a product
  • Describe the use of planning bills such as common parts bills or modular bills
  • Perform an MRP explosion
  • Use MRP-generated action messages


  • What is MRP?
  • Benefits of using MRP
  • Requirement for MRP to work
  • Bills of material
  • Planning factors
  • Assumptions we make
  • MRP process

Physical Inventory

This workshop will discuss what works and what doesn’t as the participant learns the essential preparation steps and activities to perform in advance. These activities include everything from cleanup and sorting to working with auditors. The best physical inventories require the best, most thorough, preparation. The participant will also learn how to keep the physical inventory under control once it starts. From tracking of tags to weigh scales and facility maps to handling recounts, this course guides the way.



  • List areas that require preparation
  • List preparations for those areas
  • Define criteria for control of inventory tags
  • Properly prepare counters
  • Properly reconcile count discrepancies
  • Effectively work with auditors
  • Complete and close a physical inventory


  • Defining a physical inventory
  • Preparing for a physical inventory
  • Conducting the physical inventory
  • Reconciling the difference
  • Reporting results
  • Tricks, traps, problems and solutions

Cycle Counting

In this workshop, the participants will learn how to implement or improve a cycle counting program and what the real purpose of cycle counting is: finding and fixing the causes of inventory errors. Also included are several methods for selecting items to count, using correct accounting techniques, and reconciling any outstanding transactions. In addition, the participant will learn various reporting methods to illustrate the results of the cycle counting program to employees and management.



  • List the true purpose of cycle counting
  • Perform an ABC analysis of your inventory
  • List at least five benefits of cycle counting
  • Correctly define a “control group” and its use
  • List at least six common causes for inventory errors


  • What is cycle counting?
  • Benefits of cycle counting
  • Requirements
  • Deciding what to count and when
  • Reconciling difference
  • Reporting results
  • Performance check