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Inventory Analytics

Rutgers University via Coursera


Inventory analytics is the corner stone of supply chain analytics. A company in trade industries may have 30-50% of their assets tied up in inventory. An effective inventory management can improve revenue by increasing product variety and availability, and reduce cost and speed up cash cycle by reducing excessive inventory and waste.

Through real-life examples (e.g., Amazon vs Macy’s), you will learn hands-on tools and skills to discover and solve inventory problems by data analytics. Upon completion, you can answer the following questions:

1. For which industries is inventory important?
2. How may inventory drive a company’s financial performance?
3. How do I know that I have an inventory problem?
4. How to classify inventory and manage it accordingly?

Note: This course is for beginners and thus focuses more on discovering inventory problems than solving them. It is our belief that discovering a problem and knowing which directions to go is at least equally important as solving the problem. We are planning to launch new courses or expand this course to cover more sophisticated inventory solutions in the future - thank you.


  • The Value and Impact of Inventory
    • Welcome to inventory analytics - the corner-stone of supply chain analytics. In this week, you will first learn the story of Amazon and Macy’s, then get an overview of the course, including the value, trend, breakdown, and economic indication of inventory in the US and the world.
  • In Which Industries Is Inventory Important?
    • The importance of inventory is industry and country dependent. In this week, you will be able to identify the importance of inventory in various industries (and countries) by two metrics: Inventory as a percentage of the total assets and inventory turns (or days).
  • How May Inventory Drive Financials and How to Discover Inventory Problems?
    • How may inventory drive a company’s financial performance? How do I know that I have an inventory problem? Why do companies hold inventory and why not? You will be able to answer these questions in this week.
  • Classifying and Managing Inventory
    • Some products are more important than others for inventory management; the inventory of different products may be managed in different ways. In this week, you will learn how to classify inventory and manage it accordingly.

Taught by

Yao Zhao

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