A grocery store will have a higher inventory turnover rate than a business selling specialty packaged (non-perishable) gourmet foods, for example. Identify which products are likely to be “impulse buys” for your customers and move them to high-traffic areas of your store. You can apply this same principle when you build your e-commerce website by featuring a particular product on your homepage or making a particular product image larger and more prominent within a section. As you test out different placements, pay attention to your inventory turnover ratio before and after each change to help you determine what’s working and what isn’t. Average inventory is the average cost of a set of goods during two or more specified time periods. It takes into account the beginning inventory balance at the start of the fiscal year plus the ending inventory balance of the same year.

This value will vary by industry, so a good approach is to look up the financial records of public companies in your industry and use their financial statements to compare your inventory turns to theirs. Keep in mind that what you read on the financial statements will include the additional general ledger accounts. In some cases, the inventory value is the average cost of the inventory at the start of the year (if we’re calculating our metric annually) and the inventory cost at the end of the year. In other cases, people may choose to use the end of year inventory cost. Suppose you go to your company accountant and ask them for details on the COGS calculation.

  • If suppliers are located far away, companies tend to keep more safety stock on hand.
  • Inventory turnover is calculated by dividing the cost of goods sold (COGS) by the average value of the inventory.
  • Let’s move on to see what value we put in the denominator of our equation for the inventory cost.
  • Here’s why inventory turnover ratio is important and how to calculate it.

The volume of inventory sold can be enhanced by increasing the volume of marketing activities. For example, running a special deal for certain poorly-selling items may increase their sales, flushing them out of inventory. As the example indicates, marketing is an especially useful tool for eliminating slow-moving inventory. This is a good way to avoid having to take obsolete inventory write-offs later on. The trick to effective marketing is to identify situations in which sales are tailing off and inventory levels are too high to be completely eliminated by the projected reduced sales level.

The inventory turnover rate takes the inventory turnover ratio and divides that number into the number of days in the period. This calculation tells you how many days it takes to sell the inventory on hand. Inventory turnover ratio is an efficiency ratio that measures how well a company can manage its inventory. It is important to achieve a high ratio, as higher turnover rates reduce storage and other holding costs. It is vital to compare the ratios between companies operating in the same industry and not for companies operating in different industries.

Purchasing Policy

Inventory turnover is a financial ratio showing how many times a company turned over its inventory relative to its cost of goods sold (COGS) in a given period. A company can then divide the days in the period, typically a fiscal year, by the inventory turnover ratio to calculate how many days it takes, on average, to sell its inventory. The inventory turnover ratio is calculated by dividing the cost of goods sold (COGS) by the average inventory balance for the matching period. Inventory turnover can also vary during the year if a business is locked into a seasonal sales cycle. For example, a snow shovel manufacturer will likely produce shovels all year, with inventory levels gradually rising until the Fall sales season, when sales occur and inventory plummets.

  • Some retailers may employ open-to-buy purchase budgeting or inventory management software to ensure that they’re stocking enough to maximize sales without wasting capital or taking unnecessary risks.
  • The rate of inventory turnover is driven by a number of factors, including the following items.
  • In general, the higher the inventory turnover ratio, the better it is for the company, as it indicates a greater generation of sales.
  • Now, let’s assume that you have the opposite problem—your inventory ratio is too high.
  • The trick to effective marketing is to identify situations in which sales are tailing off and inventory levels are too high to be completely eliminated by the projected reduced sales level.
  • However, a car dealer will have a low turnover due to the item being a slow moving item.

By using such a drop shipping arrangement, the seller maintains no inventory levels at all. However, this can reduce the speed of delivery to customers, since the seller has no control over the speed with which the supplier ships goods. The inventory turnover measure can be incorporated into an organization’s budgeting and management systems, so that it can take the actions noted below. If your inventory turnover is low, your stock might be spending too much time sitting on your shelves, not being sold. That translates into money being wasted on inefficiently used storage space, plus the possibility that the longer the inventory sits around, the more likely it’ll get damaged or depreciate in value. Inventory turnover can be compared to historical turnover ratios, planned ratios, and industry averages to assess competitiveness and intra-industry performance.

What is Inventory Turnover?

The Inventory Turnover Ratio measures the number of times that a company replaced its inventory balance across a specific time period. Business owners who discover that their turnover needs some improvement might need to make some tweaks to their approach, such as lowering prices or changing products. While a high level of inventory turnover is an enticing goal, it is quite possible to take the concept too far.


The lower prices will reduce the profit percentage, but also reduces the risk of incurring expenses for obsolete inventory. One of the best uses of the inventory turnover measurement is to predict the amount of cash flow in future periods. This approach works well when the turnover rate is relatively consistent from period to period. Inventory purchases cost money, and if you sell items too slowly, you aren’t turning that inventory into revenue any time soon. Storage costs on unsold inventory add up, and will reduce your profit margin. Understanding what’s not selling can help you understand whether you need to adjust pricing by offering discounts or even dispose of dead stock.

Eliminate Poorly-Selling Products

The inventory turnover ratio is closely tied to the days inventory outstanding (DIO) metric, which measures the number of days needed by a company to sell off its inventory in its entirety. The inventory turnover ratio is a financial metric that portrays the efficiency at which the inventory of a company is converted into finished goods and sold to customers. Too high of turnover rate, and you run the risk of running out of product. It could also indicate that your products are priced low—maybe too low. Yet another turnover improvement approach is to have shorter production runs, which reduces the amount of finished goods inventory. It is especially useful when sales are both seasonal and unpredictable, so that the business is caught with less inventory on hand when the season is over.

DSI is calculated as average value of inventory divided by cost of sales or COGS, and multiplied by 365. Competitors including H&M and Zara typically limit runs and replace depleted inventory quickly with new items. There is also the opportunity cost of low inventory turnover; an item that takes a long time to sell delays the stocking of new merchandise that might prove more popular.

This is because a push system is based on estimates of what will be sold, while a pull system is based on actual customer orders. Consequently, the presence of estimates in a push system results in excess finished goods inventory. Kelly is an SMB Editor specializing in starting and marketing new ventures.

Your inventory turnover ratio is one of the many indicators of a healthy and efficient business, and knowing the basics of how to properly manage your inventory is crucial for your success. It means you’re fulfilling capital employed formula, calculation and examples a demand and efficiently moving your products without having them sit on the shelf for months on end. Using this method, you would divide your cost of goods sold by your average inventory balance.

A high inventory turnover generally means that goods are sold faster and a low turnover rate indicates weak sales and excess inventories, which may be challenging for a business. Since supply chain professionals use this metric to measure how well they manage inventory, their interest lies in the speed at which product is shipped out to customers. Companies will almost always aspire to have a high inventory turnover. After all, high inventory turnover reduces the amount of capital that they have tied up in their inventory. It also helps increase profitability by increasing revenue relative to fixed costs such as store leases, as well as the cost of labor.