What is Inventory Operations?
I define Inventory Operations as the combination of systems and processes involved with inventory management as well as the physical aspects of storage and material handling. I use this definition to control the content of this site.
What is InventoryOps.com?
InventoryOps.com is intended to be a starting point in your quest for information on Inventory Management and Warehouse Operations. This site contains original content related to inventory accuracy, cycle counting, lot sizing, safety stock, WMS, ERP, MRP, software selection and implementation, manufacturing, warehousing, shipping, receiving, material handling, and safety. Built on the original premise of the internet being a place to share information, I try to present a high level of content available to anyone looking for information on inventory management and warehouse operations.
The content on InventoryOps.com is provided as a free service by Inventory Operations Consulting LLC. Inventory Operations Consulting LLC is owned and operated by me (Dave Piasecki). I've created all the content for this site and have also authored books on topics related to inventory management and warehouse operations.
How did InventoryOps.com come to be?
The history of this site.
The first few months.
When I started my consulting business in March of 2000, I figured I should put together a website. At the time, most small businesses still didn't have web sites, and those that did, typically just had a very basic site made up of anywhere from one to three pages—basically a yellow-pages ad converted to the web. As I started to put together my site, I kept thinking it could be so much more than that.
So I decided to add some content I thought would be useful to others looking for information related to managing inventory and warehouse operations. Obviously I had hoped that some of the people that would find this content useful would also consider my consulting services, but I didn't want to let that restrict the usefulness of the content. I didn't want to create "teaser" content that only provided enough information to get you interested, but then you would need to hire me to get the real answers. I saw the web's potential for sharing information, and I wanted to be part of that. (the image on the right is the home page of InventoryOps.com a few months after I started it.
I decided to start with an online dictionary/glossary of terms related to inventory management and warehouse operations, an extensive links page that provided organized links to other sites of interest, some book reviews, and a few articles. Back then my links page was actually a big part of the site. This was back when search engines weren't very good (I hadn't even heard of Google until maybe a year or so later), so finding a good list of organized relative links was very useful.
Since my phone wasn't exactly ringing off the hook with companies eager to hire me, I had plenty of time to create content. So I kept going . . .
The site quickly became popular.
I was a bit surprised just how popular the site got, and how quickly it all happened. I was getting a lot of positive feedback from users of my content, which encouraged me to write more. A bigger surprise came when I started getting inquiries from industry magazines about republishing my articles or writing articles for them. This was all within the first year. Honestly, I never saw myself as an author. My grammar skills were mediocre at best (you'll find plenty of proof of that on these pages), and prior to starting the site all I had written were work procedures for warehouse workers. But I did know the subject matter and I understood my target audience—because they were basically me years earlier. I remembered how hard it was finding useful information on these topics, so I wrote content that I would have liked to have read (this would eventually lead to writing books).
The content portion of the site quickly overshadowed the pages dedicated to my consulting business.
The site quickly evolved from a "This is my consulting business and here is some content you might find useful" site to a "Here is some content you might find useful and, by the way, I also have a consulting business". The reality was the vast majority of site visitors were just looking for information and had no interest in hiring a consultant. So it only makes sense to have the site set up to reflect that. My consulting pages got moved to a back corner of the website. In fact, there was a period of time where the site navigation almost entirely ignored my consulting pages. I've rectified that in recent years though. My consulting pages are still kind of off to the side, but I at least want site visitors to know they are there.
2011 I start experimenting with a little advertising.
I ran the site for 10 years without advertising because I thought it looked hokey. I was hesitant to even advertise my business and books on the content pages of my site. But the web has evolved, my site has evolved, and I've come around to the idea that ads may not be such a bad thing. I'm a serious web user myself and have actually learned about new products through web ads on other sites, so why not. I wasn't ready to go nuts with ads, and I absolutely refuse to allow advertisers to influence my content, but other than that, I'm ok with it now.
2012 I finally got around to upgrading the site.
The look of my site changed a bit during the early years (I even had a brief "purple" period), but it's been pretty much the same for about 10 years. Since the site evolved over time, I didn't have consistency across the entire site and the underlying html code was quite messy. So in 2012 I finally got around to redesigning the site and migrating all the existing content. The look still has similarities to the old site, but it is definitely more consistent and the coding should be clean enough to not freak out actual professional web developers should they peak at the code (and they do).
The future of InventoryOps.com
Who knows? I'm amazed at how much the internet has evolved during the first 10 years of this site and I just hope to keep riding the wave. My focus has always been on content, so I don't need to follow the latest technology and fads (can you believe there are still websites with ridiculously long Flash intros that prevent you from getting to their content?)