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What Does Do Not Inventory Mean? (2024 Update)

2 minutes

In this article, we explore what Do Not Inventory means, its purpose, and why it's crucial for businesses to understand and manage effectively. Read on to learn more.

what does do not inventory mean

What Does Do Not Inventory Mean?

Do Not Inventory (DNI) refers to items or materials that should not be included in a company's regular inventory tracking and management processes. These items are treated differently due to their unique characteristics, and understanding their significance is vital for maintaining efficient inventory operations.

Example: Consider a warehouse containing 10,000 widgets and 100 promotional posters. While the widgets are inventoried due to their sales value, the posters, being short-term promotional materials, are tagged DNI "Do Not Inventory."

do not inventory meaning

Purpose of Do Not Inventory

DNI serves various essential purposes in inventory management. There are several reasons why certain items are classified as DNI:

Regulatory Compliance

DNI items may include hazardous materials, controlled substances, or products subject to strict regulatory controls. Managing them separately ensures compliance with legal requirements.

High Value or Risk

Items with exceptionally high value or high risk, such as rare collectibles or fragile artwork, are often designated as DNI to prevent them from getting lost or damaged in regular inventory processes.


Sensitive or confidential items, such as classified documents or proprietary technology, are marked as DNI to maintain strict security measures and prevent unauthorized access.

Temporary Hold

Items that are temporarily not for sale, such as products under quality control evaluation or pending legal disputes, are categorized as DNI until their status changes.


Goods that require customization or alterations for specific customer orders may be labeled as DNI until they are configured to meet individual requirements.

do not inventory

Types of Items Classified as DNI

The range of items classified as DNI is diverse, reflecting the multifaceted nature of inventory management. Below are some common types of items falling under the DNI category:

Consumable Supplies:

Items like office stationery, cleaning supplies, or disposable lab materials which are used up and replaced frequently.

Promotional Items:

Giveaways at conferences or events, such as pens, notepads, or t-shirts with a company's logo.

Temporary Loaner Equipment:

Equipment loaned to an entity for a short period, like a projector for a single event or a laptop for a visiting consultant.

Defective Products:

Items that are set aside for disposal or return to the supplier, which won't be a part of the active inventory.

Hazardous Materials

Chemicals, flammable substances, and other dangerous goods are typically marked as DNI due to the inherent risks associated with their storage and handling.

Obsolete Inventory

Items that have become obsolete, out-of-date, or no longer in demand are designated as DNI to prevent them from cluttering active inventory.

Prototype and Development Items

Products in the prototype or development stage are often considered DNI until they are ready for mass production or sale.

Restricted Access Items

Valuable assets like confidential company data, keys, or specialized equipment are classified as DNI to restrict access to authorized personnel only.

Temporary Exclusions

Products that have been temporarily removed from inventory for maintenance, repair, or evaluation are marked as DNI until they are restored to working condition.

Specialty Items

Unique, one-of-a-kind, or high-value items like artwork, rare collectibles, or luxury goods may be designated as DNI to ensure their careful handling and tracking.

We hope this article has given you a better understanding of what does do not inventory mean. Understanding its purpose is crucial for businesses to streamline their operations, maintain compliance, and protect valuable assets. 

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our article on what inventory cycle count is or our article on what inventory reserve is.

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