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What Is a Non-stock Inventory? | Speed Commerce

What Is Non-stock inventory?

3PL Glossary > Non-stock inventory

What Is Non-stock inventory?

Non-stock inventory refers to items that a company does not track or manage in the same way as its regular stock. Unlike stock inventory, which consists of regularly monitored and replenished items, non-stock inventory items are typically infrequently used, specialized, or have unpredictable demand. These items are not part of the regular product lineup and are often procured on a case-by-case basis. Non-stock inventory can include spare parts, unique tools, or specific materials needed for occasional projects or unforeseen events.

What distinguishes non-stock inventory from stock inventory, and how does the management of non-stock inventory differ in a business setting?

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Non-stock inventory items possess distinctive characteristics that differentiate them from regular stock. One key feature is the irregularity of demand; these items are not routinely restocked or reordered but are acquired as needed. Additionally, non-stock inventory items may have a higher unit cost or unique specifications compared to regular stock items. Managing non-stock inventory requires a flexible approach, as it involves handling a diverse range of items with varying usage patterns, making accurate demand forecasting more challenging.

Effectively managing non-stock inventory presents challenges for businesses, such as the need for accurate tracking without the benefit of regular monitoring. Balancing the costs associated with storing non-stock items, such as warehouse space and carrying costs, can be challenging due to their sporadic use. To address these challenges, companies often employ inventory management systems that allow for real-time tracking, automation of reordering processes, and strategic categorization of non-stock items. This ensures that businesses can efficiently fulfill unexpected demands for these items while minimizing the associated costs and logistical complexities.


Yes, non-stock inventory is generally used for items that a company doesn't intend to keep in long-term storage. These items are often acquired on a per-order basis and may not be part of the company's regular stock.

Yes, non-stock inventory can be easily reordered when needed, and there is usually no requirement to maintain a predefined stocking level. Companies can procure non-stock items as necessary to fulfill specific customer orders or short-term needs without the commitment to keeping them in constant inventory.

Yes, non-stock inventory is often suitable for items with unpredictable demand or those that are rarely requested by customers. It allows companies to maintain flexibility in their inventory management, ensuring that they can fulfill customer requests for a wide range of items without the need to allocate valuable storage space for low-demand products.

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