Achieving the right balance of stock is critical to success in any business, but it can be especially challenging for eCommerce businesses. On one hand, you need to maintain a certain level of flexibility to meet the constantly shifting demands of your customers. On the other hand, you need to be able to accurately predict future needs and make sure you have enough stock on hand to avoid costly out-of-stocks.

Fortunately, business owners can use real-time supply chain data to make their jobs easier. Inventory control in eCommerce businesses takes on new dimensions with the ability to track consumer demand and manage stock levels across an entire organization.

In this Ultimate Guide, you’ll learn about Inventory Control methods, Inventory Control challenges your eCommerce business may face, and best practices to help you maintain a healthy balance of inventory in order to improve customer satisfaction and reduce costs.

What is Inventory Control?

Inventory control is the process of monitoring and analyzing inventory to make sure it is used in the most efficient way possible. It involves taking steps to ensure that you have the right amount of stock on hand, without wasting money on overstocking or running out of products. It also ensures that you have the right products in stock.

Inventory control can be challenging because companies frequently have to juggle the need for keeping inventory levels down with the fact that they don’t want to get caught out by changing consumer demand.

6 reasons why inventory control is important:

Inventory control is important for a number of reasons, including the following:

1) Essential to effective financial planning:

Without accurate inventory data, it is difficult to make sound financial decisions about production, ordering, and budgeting.

2) Helps you maintain the desired stock level.

Accurate inventory data allows you to keep track of stock levels and make necessary adjustments to avoid running out of products or overstocking. Inventory control also helps you understand what products are moving quickly and which ones need more time on the shelf.

3) Helps you speed up your order fulfillment process.


Keeping inventory levels down means that there will be less time between receiving an order and fulfilling it. Inventory control allows you to better predict how much stock should be available in each warehouse, so your company can fulfill orders faster.

4) Enhances customer satisfaction.


Inventory control helps ensure that customers receive their orders as quickly as possible without any problems or delays with the shipment. It ensures that the products that customers want are available when they need them.

Inventory Control Vs Inventory Management

While the two terms are often used interchangeably, Inventory Control and Inventory Management are technically different processes. Inventory Control is the nuts and bolts of managing stock levels on a day-to-day basis, while Inventory Management is more strategic and looks at long-term planning for stock needs.

Types of Inventory Control

There are a number of different types of inventory control systems, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The three most common types are periodic review, perpetual review, and just in time (JIT). This is not an exhaustive list of the different inventory control systems. Inventory data can be stored in a number of different systems, including spreadsheets and databases. Inventory control is also not necessarily limited to physical goods; companies may gather information about their stock levels for services as well.

Periodic review Inventory system

The periodical system makes use of an occasional physical count to calculate the level of inventory and the required cost of goods sold (COGS). Inventory levels are generally based on a physical count of stock which is performed occasionally, such as once a year. They should also only include the amount of product expected to be used during the period between inventory counts.

Periodic review Inventory system Inventory management is one of the most commonly used inventory control systems in business today. 

Stores and warehouses use a periodic review inventory control system to track how much space they need, where empty space is located, and what items should be added to make sure that there is enough room for products that will be sold in the near future. 

Major disadvantages to this system are that it can be costly and time-consuming, and it can be difficult to track products that are not in the main warehouse.

Perpetual Inventory System

A perpetual inventory system uses a running total of all inventory items, which is updated with each sale and purchase. The perpetual Inventory Control System records the cost of each item as it is taken in or out of inventory. 

This method, sometimes called a perpetual Inventory Control System, does not require an initial physical inventory count and therefore saves time and reduces costs. However, there are several disadvantages to this Inventory Control System as well. 

Inventory levels may be inaccurate due to errors made when recording transactions, it can be difficult to track products that are not in the main warehouse, and it is more difficult to determine how much inventory needs to be reordered.

Just In Time (JIT) Inventory Control

Just In Time Inventory Control is a system that uses a supplier’s production schedule to dictate the need for inventory. JIT Inventory Control is also a system that balances the need to have just enough inventory on hand to meet customer demand without having too much or too little inventory, which can lead to waste. 

The supplier delivers products according to the production schedule, which means that the organization only orders what it needs and does not have to store large amounts of Inventory Control. 

JIT Inventory Control can also help organizations reduce their storage facilities since they do not need to have large amounts of Inventory Control on hand at one time. 

The system has some disadvantages as well, including the higher costs associated with maintaining a supplier relationship and having inventory delivered just-in-time rather than all at once, which can make it difficult to respond quickly in the event of an emergency.

Challenges of Inventory Control

There are a number of common challenges that companies face when it comes to Inventory Control:

The need to balance stock reduction with meeting customer demand:

This is one of the most difficult challenges that inventory managers face. You want to have enough stock on hand to meet customer demand, but you also don’t want to have too much inventory that costs money to store. It can be difficult to make accurate predictions about future demand.

The impact of technology on Inventory Control:

Technology has made Inventory Control much easier than it used to be, but it also introduces new challenges. With the rise of online shopping, inventory managers have to deal with real-time stock data and changes in demand that can happen at any time.

The need for flexibility:

The nature of Inventory Control means that you often have to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances. You may need to produce more products one week and reduce production the next week, depending on what is selling well.

The challenge of coordinating with suppliers and distributors:

Good Inventory Control requires good communication with suppliers and distributors. You need to make sure that you have enough stock, without placing too large of an order. Inventory Control is a key part of the supply chain and business operations in general.

Best Practices for Inventory Control


Now that you understand the basics of inventory control, it’s time to put best practices into action. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Establish reorder points:

A reorder point is the minimum amount of stock that you should have on hand at all times. This helps you stay prepared for unexpected surges in demand and prevents you from running out of products.

Use forecasting tools:

There are many different forecasting tools available online that you can use to predict future demand and adjust your inventory levels accordingly. Inventory control relies on being proactive, so it’s important to have the ability to accurately forecast what your sales will be in the near future.

Have a clear strategy:

Inventory control only works if everyone involved understands how it works and what they need to do during each step. Make sure there is consistent communication throughout your company and that all employees understand their roles in this process. Inventory control isn’t just about the numbers – it’s about people, too!

Regularly inspect your shelves:

Inventory control is all about using best practices to maximize efficiency and minimize risk. The last thing you want is for items to be expired or damaged because nobody took the time to check stock levels every once in a while. Inventory control shouldn’t feel like an overwhelming task – if implemented correctly, it can actually help bring structure to your organization and make life easier for everyone involved

Use Inventory Management Software:

Inventory management software is a computerized system that helps you track inventory levels, create purchase orders, and manage shipping and billing. This software can be extremely helpful in organizing and managing your inventory.

Take control over your inventory with Fulfillment Bridge efficient Inventory Control Software

We make Inventory Control easy and manageable for your business.

At Fulfillment Bridge, we provide integrated inventory management software to eCommerce businesses, retailers, wholesale distributors, and manufacturers to help streamline your Inventory Control process. We can provide you with real-time access to inventory across multiple channels so that it will be easier than ever for you to manage all of your products in one place. Our Inventory Management tools allow you to create purchase orders, track shipping & handling status, maintain reorder points, find product availability, and more.


  • What is an inventory control technique?

Inventory control is the practice of monitoring and analyzing inventory to maximize efficiency, minimize losses, manage space, or maintain quality standards.

  • What is the Inventory turnover ratio?

The Inventory turnover ratio is a measure of how often a company’s inventory is sold and replaced during a period. It is calculated by dividing the cost of goods sold by the average inventory balance.

  • How can barcoding help with Inventory Control?

Barcoding is the process of scanning product items with a barcode scanner to track them electronically. This helps you keep track of inventory levels in real-time and makes it easier to find and stock items in your warehouse.

  • Inventory control standard operating procedure?

An Inventory control standard operating procedure is a set of guidelines that outline how inventory should be managed in order to achieve specific goals. This document should include information on how to forecast future demand, place orders, and track stock levels.


Inventory Control can be challenging because of the complexity that human behavior and cognition bring into the process.

As an e-commerce business owner or retailer, you must invest in the right process and tools that will allow you to successfully manage your inventory and avoid stock-outs, which can impact your bottom line. You must constantly be aware of what’s selling, what’s not, and how much stock you have on hand so that you can adjust accordingly.

Get the best out of inventory control with us Today!

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