Introduction To The Company

Commonwealth Industrial Services (CIS) provides major services in Hopewell, Virginia, which include competitive services such as rail reloading for CSXT and Norfolk Southern Rail lines. CIS is a major distribution point for Honeywell, which includes mainly Caprolactam pallets. CIS also provides a trucking scales facility which allows drivers to stop in to get weighed. Lastly, CIS offers competitive high volume warehouse storage for other businesses to hold goods.

Their Inventory Management Services

Basic Principles of Inventory ManagementThis article will concentrate exclusively on the inventory management services provided by CIS. They are really among the most important services that they provide, and they do so using SAP databases. The fact that CIS has an inventory management system (IMS) at all is the secret to their success and that of other major retail companies. It enables them to keep track of large quantities of merchandise and also to keep their promise of low prices. Inventory management helps those responsible to know which items are being sold and which ones are not, and thus tell the warehouses how much of each asset to ship to them.

A Brief History

Although naturally, merchants have always had to keep track of the things that they sell, the present concept of inventory management is less than a hundred years old. Back in the 1930s, whenever something in the store room was purchased, the management team would be informed via punch card technology. Such machines were expensive, cumbersome and inefficient by modern standards, and soon involved into the modern barcode reader, which was available by 1952. The Universal Product Code (UPC) system followed 22 years later.

The Importance Of Warehousing

Warehousing is one of the most essential elements of good, efficient inventory management, and it involves more than just storing goods before they are moved to their final destination point. Packaging and distribution are also included.

Using Tools To Manage Inventory

Basic Principles of Inventory ManagementA functioning IMS provides aid to (1) managers to see what is happening in their stores and (2) suppliers to know what products they need to ship and what times and in what quantities. Running a successful business depends on open lines of communication between retailers and their suppliers, and there are programs that will automatically recommend specific purchasing strategies.

The books in every company include a Merchandise Inventory asset account in the general ledger, which contains the total monetary value of a company’s merchandise at a given moment. Individual items are given accounts in a subsidiary ledger. To make a manual count of the number of items on hand can be a long and tedious process, and the person in charge of the counting could easily make mistakes, which can be very costly as they result in unnecessary back orders or even loss of sales. Modern IMS technology eliminates the necessity of manual counting, and if a label comes off or is damaged, computers can print a new one. The money saved by the use of machines can more than outweigh the costs thereof in less than a year, and “benefits over costs” is one of the core principles of business management.


Inventory must be maintained as efficiently as possible in stores that handle large quantities of merchandise, but that is not the only reason to have an IMS. It is also that businesses are always looking for ways to outdo their competitors, so they have every reason not to want slow and outdated inventory methods to slow things down. Besides, the constant advance of technology brings with it the necessity of having a more efficient means of tracking merchandise.

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Industrial Services

Commonwealth Industrial Services, Inc. (CIS) is an industrial services company located in Hopewell, Virginia. Although historically a service business, CIS’ primary profit center is the packaging and resale of ammonium sulfate.
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