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Stock refers to the products or goods held by a company at a given point in time. This can include raw materials, semi-finished products, or finished products that are kept in anticipation of future demand. Inventory is used to mitigate demand fluctuations, reduce lead times, and ensure product availability.

There are different types of inventory, such as safety stock to address unforeseen events, cycle stock to meet regular demand, and dormant stock which remains unused for an extended period. Effectively managing inventory is essential to optimize costs and customer service.