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Inventory, also known as WIP or Work in Process, refers to the accumulation of materials within a process. Inventory can be anything from applications,parts and queries, to patients. One of the goals of process improvement is to keep inventory low at any given step because inventory build up is a sign of waste. With parts it may represent the high cost of doing business, with applications it might result in customer frustration and with patients waiting in the ER it may result in bodily harm.