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The president of Penman Corporation, John Burton, has asked you, the company’s controller, to advise him on whether Penman should develop a just-in-time (JIT) inventory system. Your research concludes that there is a high cost associated with inventory storage facilities; that inventories use a large portion of the company’s cash flow; and that because of the nature of the inventory, there is a significant amount of shrinkage. Research also shows that neither of Penman’s two competitors uses a JIT inventory system. Most of Penman’s employees are trained to do only one job and belong to a local union. The union is strong and, in the past, has opposed major production changes. The union believes major changes will result in the loss of union employees’ jobs. Your research indicates that Penman’s major production item (a fairly new product in the market) should continue to have strong sales growth.

1. Using the information provided, advise John Burton to either continue the present system or work to develop a JIT inventory system.
2. Assume John decides to develop an inventory management system. He plans to evaluate the system after one year. List at least four possible performance measures John could use to evaluate the effectiveness of the system. Describe what information these measures would provide John.

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