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Inventory List Template: Free Download to Get You Organized

Posted by Robert BrandonLast Updated February 1st, 2023
— 7 minutes reading

Bottom line up front: If you’re just here for the free inventory list template, you can find that here. If you’re not quite that far along yet, though, keep reading. On top of providing an inventory list template free of charge, we’ll be discussing what an inventory list is, what they’re used for, and why they’re vital to the successful operation of a business.  

What is an inventory list?

For the most part, an inventory list is exactly what it sounds like: a list of a business’ inventory. That’s a rather broad statement, and for good reason. Keep in mind that the definition of “inventory” changes from business to business. 

5 types of inventory to consider when making an inventory list template:  1. Raw materials.
2. Maintenance, repair & operations goods.
3. Work-in-progress inventory
4. Finished goods
5. Packing materials

Some businesses might have a list of raw materials. Others might have an equipment list. Others still might have a list of defects. Despite this variance, one thing remains true: a cohesive inventory list is crucial to successful business operations. 

What does an inventory list do?

Generally speaking, an inventory list serves two primary purposes. 

First, they help businesses get (and stay) organized. 

Second, they put as much product information as possible into a single place, usually an easily searchable document. This is where an inventory list template comes into play. Instead of searching through manuals or having to memorize product information, employees can just type a few words. It might not seem like much, but in the long term, this can save hours upon hours of company time. 

Why is an inventory list important?

An inventory list may seem simple– and it is– but that doesn’t diminish its importance. 

At the end of the day, a business runs on inventory. No inventory means no sales, and no sales means no capital– which opens the door to a world of problems. Not having a cohesive list might not run your business into the ground, but it does pose its own issues. 

It also has to do with workflow efficiency. 

Using an inventory list template puts all your information in one place, giving you quick and easy access.

You’ve probably heard the adage “time is money” at some point in your life. And while it is an adage, nothing could be more true for businesses. The more time employees spend looking up product details, the less time they spend on more important tasks. Cutting out menial work might not make much difference in the short term, but it matters greatly in the long term. In short, automation could potentially save your company millions.

How do I create an inventory list?

There’s a few ways to go about creating an inventory list. 

There are a lot of free inventory list templates out there (like ours). Whether you’re most comfortable working on Word or Excel, there’s bound to be something for everyone. 

Or you could invest in a program that does it for you. Inventory management software is quickly becoming a dominant force in the modern landscape, and they’re designed to automate manual tasks. Using software like this would eliminate the need for an inventory list template. This isn’t limited to inventory lists, either– but we’ll talk more about that in a bit. 

What basic information should an inventory list display?

It’s important to note that different businesses keep track of different statistics. For example, a business that manufactures products in-house needs to track the input and output of raw materials. On the other hand, a business that uses chemicals needs to keep track of how much chemicals they use and how much they dispose of. 

With that being said, there’s a few key statistics that every inventory list template should include. 

SKU (Stock Keeping Unit)- A SKU is an ID code that businesses use to identify a specific type of product. These can be long or short and can be composed of both letters and numbers. 

Product name- This may be self-explanatory, but it’s still important. SKUs can be random and hard to decipher, so having an easy-to-understand indicator is important.

Product Description- Some products tend to have similar names, so it’s important to have a description of some sort. Otherwise, you may end up selling the wrong item at the wrong price. 

Unit Price- The price per individual unit. Depending on your business, this might split into multiple brackets, like the sales price and restock price. 

Quantity- How many units of a product are currently on hand. 

Value- The total value of each product bracket. It might seem redundant, but it’s one of the most important columns on an inventory list. This allows businesses to see how much money is tied up in their warehouse at a glance. 

An example of an inventory list template

Additional categories for a well-rounded inventory list template

Some additional categories you might include on your list would be:

Reorder level- The lower limit for the amount of a product. Once inventory levels drop to or below this set amount, it’s time to order more. 

Reorder quantity- How much of each product you reorder each time.

If this sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. Inventory lists might be simple, but they cram a lot of information into one place. It’s a useful tool– there’s no doubt about that– but maintaining and updating an inventory list can be time-consuming. 

For this reason, more and more businesses are moving from manually updated inventory lists to automated ones. 

Inventory lists are a short-term solution 

While they can be helpful, using an inventory list template is not a permanent solution, and there are a few reasons for this. 

Not only is manually updating an inventory list extremely tedious, but it’s also extremely time-consuming. Small businesses with only five or so products could feasibly keep track of things manually, but it’s still not ideal. 

On top of that, the ultimate goal of most businesses is to grow and expand. As a business grows, they add more items to their product catalog– which means the inventory list gets bigger. 

At a certain point, manually updating an inventory list takes so long that it doesn’t make sense–  financially or otherwise. At that point, it’s best to switch to an automated solution. 

Inventory management software is the way forward

A “traditional” inventory list on Excel might track your inventory just fine, but it doesn’t do anything outside of that.

For this reason, more and more businesses have been turning to inventory management software, sometimes referred to as stock control systems. As the name suggests, these are more inclusive systems that include an inventory list but perform other functions as well. 

Inventory List Template vs Inventory Management Software

Generally speaking, the purpose of a stock control system is to automate tasks that are both repetitive and time-consuming. This includes inventory lists but isn’t limited to them either. 

For example, on top of automatically tracking sales, stock levels, and manufacturing output, inFlow integrates barcodes and invoice management too! 

Consolidating so much information and so many functions into one place greatly improves the overall workflow of a business. As a result, properly designed stock control systems end up saving businesses money in the long run, despite initial costs. 

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