Wall-to-Wall Inventory

Wall-to-wall inventory is an inventory management technique in which material enters a plant and is processed through the plant into finished goods without ever having entered a formal stock area. In other words, there is no “buffer” or “safety stock” of materials on hand at any stage of the production process; instead, materials are continuously replenished as needed from upstream sources.

  • While this approach may seem risky, it can actually be quite efficient, since it eliminates the need for costly and time-consuming inventory movements (and associated storage and handling costs) between different production stages.
  • In addition, it can help to reduce the overall lead time for production, since there is no need to wait for materials to be delivered from an off-site stock area.

However, wall-to-wall inventory is not without its challenges; in particular, it requires a high degree of coordination between different parts of the supply chain, and a significant investment in just-in-time (JIT) delivery systems. In addition, it can be difficult to maintain the required level of quality control when materials are constantly moving and being processed since there is no opportunity to inspect them at rest.

Overall, wall-to-wall inventory is a powerful tool for reducing lead times and costs in manufacturing and logistics operations; however, it is important to carefully consider whether it is the right approach for your specific needs.

Related Links

What is wall-to-wall inventory?
Definition of wall-to-wall inventory
Wall-to-Wall Count EN – Base Logistics