Exploring Inventory data in the last two charts generated some great conversation, which led to more questions and ideas to explore. First we looked at how much inventory is typically inactive (defined by inventory items having 0 issues in the last 12 months), which opened some eyes as to how much inventory actually sits on the shelf without being requested. Next we examined, of the inventory being issued, which types are issued most frequently, which revealed some interesting differences between K-12 and Higher Education.
Now we'd like to provide a general benchmark for how much inventory is typically stored on your shelves. In order to make apples to apples comparisons, we've normalized the data by transforming it to an Inventory Amount On Hand/Student. When we looked at the data, we saw noticeable differences between education segments, so we broke the averages out by Public K-12, Higher Education, Community Colleges, and Independent/Private schools.
Independent/Private schools stores the most inventory/student at $313/student. When we multiply that by the average number of students for Independent/Private schools (~820 students) we see the average value of on hand inventory for Independent/Private schools is around $256,000. That's a significant investment sitting in the warehouse, on trucks, and in storage closets.
With the other education segments there is a wider range of enrollment, so getting an average is not as meaningful- but with this Inventory/Student benchmark, you can do the math to get a general idea of how much inventory you have on hand. For example, a Public K-12 district with 7000 students has an average on hand value of around $350,000.
Any way you look at it, inventory items represents up a significant value of the overall operations budget. In fact, behind payroll and utilities, on-hand inventory is next largest expense for an operations team.
Naturally the question arises, how is that inventory being managed? It's a theme we hear every year at SchoolDude University and in Community Discussion posts. If you're curious to hear how others are managing their inventory, our Campus Champions Panel Discussion this year at SchoolDude University will certainly reveal some valuable strategies that we'll share in future posts. If you can't make it to Myrtle Beach this March, follow our Discussions on Inventory and ask the experts, or comment on this blog.