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Inventory Systems: The Good and the Bad

Angela Brooks, LaTasha Dillahunt, Brian Eaglin

Martin Tkacs, Cherese White

University of Phoenix

College of Graduate Business and Management

Quantitative Reasoning 501

Michael Latta, Ph.D.

August 29, 2010


As, James Sinegal, an American businessman puts it, “We want to turn our inventory faster than our people.” This paper will discuss different inventory systems researched by each individual team member as well as comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each system.

Inventory Examples

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is an inventory system used by brokers and real estate agents to track the housing market. It helps customers easily access information through websites like Assigning a MLS number to property allows easy tracking in an information data base. The advantage of this inventory system is it is automatic and requires no manpower to keep frequent stocktaking making it easier to find a house for sale on the internet. Buyers do not have to rely on brokers or realtors. One disadvantage to this system is it does not take into account houses for sale by owners. If a buyer likes an area they may have to visit the location to find these houses. The MLS inventory system does not account for shadow inventory. In today’s market there is a limbo between several owners and banks with houses being foreclosed. These houses are not accounted for and make it hard to keep a proper inventory of vacant houses and houses that will potentially be on the market in the near future. Without this information it hinders buyers and sellers from forecasting accurate trends in the housing market.

Wal*Mart recently announced implementing an electronic tracking system to maintain better control of inventory. This new system is the radio-frequency ID tags, RFID. This small electronic handheld device will allow Wal*Mart to track jeans and underwear. RFID is a hand-held scanner that allows...