Inventory Tracking

Inventory tracking monitors where a company’s inventory resides in the supply chain. Inventory tracking also provides a company with data on how much inventory it owns, where its inventories exist, the status of its inventories (damaged, returned, rejected, on hold) and it helps deter theft and loss.

Inventory tracking also becomes part of a company’s complete inventory management program. Inventory management forms the guidelines under which inventory gets purchased, used, moved, sold and destroyed.

Tracking Methods

There are two main Tracking Methods:

1. The Barcode


The barcode, also known as the universal product code (UPC), remains one of the most common inventory tracking methods. Barcode labels are useful tools for tracking assets and inventory across organizations and through the entire supply chain. The barcode contains data on the item’s description, the item’s price and the item’s unit of measure.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is another method used to track inventory. RFID technology comes in two forms: active RFID and passive RFID.

Active RFID works best in environments where security issues exist and ones that require real-time tracking information.

Passive RFID works best when used with handheld scanners and where security issues do not exist.