The Inventory of a Firm should be Open within an Organization. Searching with a browser, Integrateable with departmental webware/intranet. With a very easy readable non-programmer friendly API.
The Search must be based on Multiple Keywords, Filters or Tags. Dormant Inventory and Parts/Equipment/Furniture not on any live project anymore, Excess Inventory and Obsoleted Parts due to Tech Advancement; should be flagged. This enables other departments to use it, consume it for Maintenance or Research projects or integrate into new designs if not-obsolete.
Components Parts Kits and Materials
If found to be valueless, damaged or worn-out by all departments and responsible engineers, then inventory should be sold or given away. The Employees can be the first customers for an inhouse Corporate Garage Sale. An un-organized, complexly-computerized and non-transparent/blocked Stores will end up in a Flea Market.
Vendor Development and Component Sourcing must be impartial and based on quality, supply consistency and price. Commitment and Collaboration with vendor is good, but only if quality is maintained. Quantities purchased should be little over the needs. Both Overstocking and Understocking can trouble Firms Capabilities.
Engineering Resources and Supplies
The R&D should maintain its own Inventory. Similarly the Administrative Sections too should have its own Materials Store. This way cost measurements and material maintenance are more effective and simple.
Design as per Inventory
Sometimes a Spartan R&D Engineer needs to know more ...
When you design a new product, we can design it with new types of parts, but it is also important to use parts that are standard to the company's inventory, Also you need to use up the parts which have been accumulated due to a discontinued product line or a failed idea.
This way the design becomes more frugal and efficient. And the inventory valuation more accurate. It also saves the company to build a new part type stock. And finally a balance sheet which is realistic.
What is good for the firm, is good for you.