8 Key Inventory Reports Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know

  business advice, analytics, inventory management

For manufacturing, wholesale, and retail businesses, holding the right amount of inventory is a critical, but often-overlooked, skill to ensure profitable growth.

Many businesses struggle with finding the optimal amount of inventory to hold in their warehouses. On the one hand, having too much stock results in higher warehousing costs. On the other hand, having too little inventory puts you at risk of stock-outs, lost sales, and dissatisfied customers.

While not having optimal inventory levels is a problem, inaccurate inventory numbers can be even costlier. Retailers lose $1.75 trillion a year for this reason, and that figure is forecasted to grow.

Thus, to successfully grow your wholesale business, it is essential to manage your inventory as accurately and optimally as possible.

One key to managing your inventory better is utilizing the right inventory reports. Accurate, up-to-date inventory reports enable easy discovery of favorable trends and quick identification of gaps and inefficiencies. Using these insights, you can take steps to grow profitably while eliminating time and resource waste.

Now, what types of reports allow you to get this information quickly? How can you synthesize all of the important data your business generates down to the key insights you need? What reports drive you to those key insights and are therefore the most important for your business? We’ve compiled a list of 8 inventory management reports that you can use to improve your business.


1. Multi-Stock Location Report

A multi-stock location inventory report enables your business to track inventory across all of your stock locations, warehouses, or distribution centers. With it, you can quickly gain visibility into the inventory quantities at each site. This information allows you to create a more efficient production process. If one location is low on inventory, you have the option of deciding if you should order more stock from your suppliers or if transferring inventory from a warehouse in close proximity would be better.

2. Inventory On-Hand Report

Sometimes knowing how much inventory is in your warehouse is not enough. Your total inventory numbers include goods waiting to be sold and goods already allocated to outgoing customers’ orders. With an inventory on-hand report, you can accurately gauge the disparity between allocated stock and available stock, resulting in fewer stock-outs and more sales opportunities.

3. Inventory Change Report

When analyzing the inventory outflow, knowing how many products are entering and exiting your warehouses is insufficient. Instead, understanding the “why” is essential to capturing efficiencies. For that, use an inventory change report to track how inventory is being depleted and why. Being selective with assigning reasons when making stock transfers or adjustments will make future analysis easier and allow a better understanding of stock movements and easier understanding of waste.

4. Stock-Reorder Report

A stock re-order report indicates when a re-order of goods is necessary. Re-order points are typically unique to each product since they are a factor of delivery lead times, sales, and safety stock. Additionally, a product kept at multiple stock locations may have different re-order points depending on the location of warehouse and sales throughput from that location. Using a stock re-order report for each stock location to understand what products to replenish, helps you avoid low-stock and stock outs situations.

5. Purchase Order Report

Now you’ve taken steps to account for inventory going out of your business and on the shelves. However, it is also critical to track and manage incoming inventory. A purchase order report allows you to track what stock is incoming and when it will be arriving at your warehouse. Using a purchase order report, you can then account for incoming product appropriately, plan ahead on order fulfillment, and prevent over-ordering, helping to streamlining your entire supply chain.

Warehousing And Fulfillment

6. Inventory Pick List Report

A pick list is a list of items for your operations team to take from inventory. Typically this is for the purpose of fulfilling customers’ orders for the day or for supplying to the production of finished goods. The use of pick lists enables accurate inventory on-hand numbers because it includes consideration of inventory dedicated to orders or production.

7. Inventory Packing List

An inventory packing list or production report details the total amount of each item required to fulfill each customer’s order. It allows you to take into account each customer’s orders and how the finished goods inventory should get assigned separately for each customer. With it, you can quickly check that each customer order contains the right products in the right quantities.

Sales Analysis

8. Sales Reports

Ultimately, business success is dependent on revenue which comes from product sales to customers. A sales report helps you to analyze your company’s performance. To have a good sales report, you will need to be able to break your sales down into different time periods, for various products, and customer level. Through these different insights, you can uncover trends to help you identify your top customers, and help you forecast inventory better in the future.


These 8 inventory reports are a great starting point for business to analyze their inventory management and business performance. Most companies know that having inventory reports are important for business growth. Unfortunately, most find this to be a very time-consuming process when just running the business is hard enough.

With Sweet, real-time inventory reports are generated instantly using your current inventory data. Sweet is an affordable inventory and order management platform designed to help small to medium business.

Get in touch with us to find out how Sweet can help you solve your inventory reporting needs.

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