Inventory is the sixth item in D.O.W.N.T.I.M.E post. Inventory is considered to be transactions waiting to be processed or batch processing. Inventory can also be storage or things that are in stored long term.
This is a one of the few types of waste that are not as prevalent in software development as some of the other types of waste. If we have a retail store and spent a lot on storing inventory, we can think of ways to reduce the cost spent on storage.
If you application does batch processing and things are work in progress it would benefit to look at whether there is a need for real time updates. If real time updates does not occur, how much time is wasted from customer perspective if things are sitting in batch.
For example if there is a loan processing application that accepts loan application but does not send it to the core system real time instead does a nightly batch update. Suppose the core system is then used for making decisions in terms of loan approval and then the approval has to be sent back to the loan processing for the banks to give borrowers an estimate. Also the results from the core system comes back via nightly batch uploads only. If we take the two batch events that occur at night we see that there are atleast 2 nights delay just to see the results. We have to look at
- Is this acceptable time range for customers?
- If not then what can we do to save time?
- Can we get the users access to both the systems?
- Are there ways to pull a report and send it out real time if there is a need for instant approval?