Abstract In this study we examine the current state of inventory management in Finland by reviewing fifteen case studies made at the Lappeenranta University of Technology. In this paper several aspects of inventory management are considered. In greater detail we have tried to answer questions such as: what is the role of inventory management in corporate planning, and how are inventory decisions made in manufacturing organizations? In addition particular attention is directed at the goal setting and performance measurement in inventory management. We have found out, that important decisions concerning inventories are usually made at a low level in the organizational hierarchy without any guidelines from top or middle management. Furthermore, companies lack accurate, real-time and suitably aggregate information of material flow and stock levels. This makes setting precise quantitative goals for inventory management difficult. Some companies have had financial pressure to decrease inventories and because of the lack of proper inventory control this had led to both external and internal stockouts.