Phrase used to describe the process of a supplier managing the inventory levels and purchases of the materials he supplies. This process can be very low tech, such as an office supplies supplier or maintenance supplies supplier coming into your facility once per week to visually check stock levels and place a re-supply order, or high tech, such as an electronic component supplier having remote access to your inventory management and MRP system and producing and automatically shipping to meet your production schedule. Vendor-managed inventory reduces internal costs associated with planning and procuring materials and enables the vendor to better manage his inventory through higher visibility to the supply chain. Vendor-managed inventory may be owned by the vendor (consignment inventory) or the customer.
A business process whereby suppliers take responsibility for customer inventory and ensure that agreed inventory and service levels are fulfilled.
A manufacturer's management of the inventories inside a retailer's store, including sales forecasting, promotional adjustment/ allowances, ordering and delivery.