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Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Inventory Turnover

Every business has inventory and its cash flow as its lifeline for earning revenue in the longer run. There are different methods and statistics which can be implemented to a balanced inventory cash inflow and productive sales for the business. Inventory turnover methodology is one of them.

Let’s understand how this inventory turnover formula will help in increasing our sales and having a balanced inventory in our warehouses.

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What is Inventory Turnover?

Inventory turnover is the ratio, to give an insight into the efficiency a company has, both absolute and relative while converting it’s cash into sales and business revenue. In other words, it is a ratio depicting how many times an organization has sold and replaced inventory during a given period of time. Companies can then divide the no. of days in a given period by the inventory turnover formula to calculate the days it would take to sell inventory in hand. 

Calculating inventory turnover helps businesses in making better choices and do futuristic inventory planning on pricing, manufacturing, marketing and purchasing of new stock in demand.

How is Inventory Turnover calculated?

Inventory Turnover =  Annual Sales / Average inventory for a period. 

Where: Average Inventory=(BI – Ending Inventory) ÷ 2

BI=Beginning Inventory

Point to note here is that some of the companies use cost of goods sold, instead of annual sales while calculating the inventory tracker value. When using the inventory turn ratio to compare companies within an industry, we need to make sure we are using ratios calculated on the same basis. If you assess one company using the cost of sales in the calculation, and the other using total sales, you’ll have an inconsistent and faulty comparison . These improper value of inventory turnover ratio will be of no use for your business management.

Applications of Inventory turnover in business:

A low turnover ratio will point to overstocking, obsolescence, or deficiencies within the marketing effort. If the inventory is popping over slowly, then the prices of warehouse attribution to every unit are higher. A high turnover rate might indicate inadequate levels of inventory, which can result in a loss in business because the inventory is low. The cost of sales is taken into account to be more realistic because the difference in the sales and cost of sales are recorded. Stock inventory turnover also indicates the briskness of the business.

Questions on Inventory Turnover

A lot of people have some basic queries related to inventory turnover and how it will be useful in our business model. Let’s discuss the top four queries to understand inventory turnovers better.

1. Why do you need to measure inventory turnover?

If you’re still not measuring inventory turnover for your business, here are a couple of reasons you should be doing it on a regular basis:-

  • Better Financial position

Inventory turnover ratio is one of the key performance indicators (KPI) for a growing business. Often banks consider Inventory turnover ratio as a measure of how easily your inventory can be sold and how quick you can make a profit for your business. Inventory in many business models are kept as collateral for loan sanctions, hence inventory trackers are very important in getting financial support for your firm.

Read MoreHigh Inventory Levels: Overcoming the Challenge

You’ll make smarter business decisions

Understanding your market trends and closely monitoring stock turn helps in making better purchasing decisions, keep a constant merchandise movement in our warehouses and sell smarter to your customers with a complete view of market trends in hand.

This Inventory metrics can inform you of many decisions like:

  • What items need to be ordered  – Understanding your product market trends can be repeated using these turnover values and help us to decide on which products need a refill and which product is going obsolete in our warehouses.
  • What units need to be kept in front of the sale aisle – Dead stock and out of date products can be reshuffled and sold first to avoid any product wastage.
  • What has to be ordered in advance to allow ample time for manufacturing/production/shipping – understanding the amount of raw material required in the products production cycle, we can ensure that we don’t run into out of stock or stock-out situations and preorder our required amount of spare parts in advance.

Clearly, when we have a solid handle on inventory turnover, we have better answers to our daily inventory needs which are useful for making futuristic and more efficient stock requirement decisions.

2. What Constitutes a Typical Inventory Turnover Ratio?

The inventory turnover ratio is not that versatile that fits-all metric, as it differs across multiple industries. To gather necessary insights into our inventory management strategies and potentially boost sales, it is pivotal to compare our company’s inventory turnover rate with that of our competitors.

ICommonly, retail grocery stores and food chains tend to display a considerably higher inventory turnover rate. This is foremostly due to the perishable nature of their least-expensive products, which demands cautious management.

Contralily, companies dealing with the heavy machinery and hardware sector generally report minimal turnover ratios. This is caused due to their higher-value products and lengthier production and sales cycles.

Utilizing the Inventory Turnover Ratio:

The inventory turnover ratio caters as an influential tool for assessing how promptly an organization is exhausting its inventory and determining its efficiency relative to industry standards. Throughout most industries, such a ratio typically comes within the range of 5 to 10. Although, particular industries may come across variation relying on the complexity of their business environment and the nature of their products.

Retail enterprises mostly display elevated turnover ratios, given their attention on high-volume, low-margin operations. Contrarily, industries such as automobile manufacturing or airline manufacturing, classified by higher profit margins, tend to have minimal inventory turnover rates.

Experts utilize the inventory turnover ratio to analyze whether an organization is efficiently handling its inventory and surpassing competitors in inventory turnover.

Further considerable application of the inventory turnover ratio is estimating an organization’s liquidity. Liquidity displays the entity’s capability to manage a systematic cash reserve. A high inventory turnover ratio illustrates strong liquidity, as it indicates frequent cash inflows from customers. Contrary, organizations with minimal inventory turnover ratios may come across higher carrying costs. To maintain financial health, it’s imperative for organizations to aim for a higher inventory turnover ratio.

3. How to improve Inventory Turnover ratio?

On analyzing your business inventory requirement and turnover ratio, if you think its needs an improvement to increase your business profit, here are some ways to improve your inventory management.

  • Better Forecasting

Forecasting is very important in understanding your inventory trends. If we can understand and forecast our customers demand trends correctly, we can only order the required set of inventory. With the high demand for required stocks in hand, we can definitely improve our business revenue.

  • Improve Sales

Improved marketing strategies help in improving overall inventory ratio. With better sales of in-demand products with advertisements, promotional events and offers,the inventory ratio will definitely improve. This in-turn helps in increasing overall revenue for the organization.

  • Reduced Product price

Many companies apply the option of reduced prices to an attractive level to increase their product sales. Items with a lower sales rate and with marketing team not able to increase its demand, providing discounted price strategy helps in increasing the sales of the products and overall working capital for the company. In such low profit margin cases, out and outdated inventory stocks can be quickly removed to improve the overall turnover ratio of the products.

  • Focus on Top Selling products

Applying the Pareto’s 80:20 principle, we should invest more on the products that get you the maximum profit and at the same time eliminate or reduce the purchases of products which have low sales rate and are incurring losses for your firm. Removing the lower turnover ratio for products in loss, will improve the overall inventory turnover for the company as a whole.

  • Better Order Management

Having better inventory management strategies help in avoiding unwanted and unnecessary inventory purchases and improve the overall inventory management ratio.

Read More 3 Costly Inventory Analysis Mistakes Made by Distributors

  • Eliminate Safety stocks and old inventory

Many manufacturing invests in safety stocks to be prepared for unseen demands and emergency situation. But with efficient inventory management strategies, proper knowledge of the required inventory can be done to avoid any extra purchases of inventory and bypass unwanted inventory all together. This considerably reduces old and outdated products in warehouses and make way for fast moving products which improve the inventory turnover and overall revenue generation for the company.

  • Reduce Purchase Quantity

Extra and unnecessary product purchase is the major cause of low inventory turnover ratio, having a calculated amount of purchase quantity helps in maintaining optimal requirements of inventory and improving the overall turnover ratio.

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4. Disadvantages of Inventory Turnover Ratio

Usually, having a high turnover ratio are considered to be a favorable situation for a business, problems can arise if turnover occurs too rapidly or too slowly. Let’s understand some of the disadvantages of inventory turnover ratio.

  • Lost Sales

Moving your inventory to a high inventory ratio can have its own negative effects. Merchants man elect to limit the variety and amount of the products they carry to prevent a backlog of inventory and keep goods moving in their warehouses. While merchants are more focused on improving the inventory ratio, products in hand can quickly go out of stock and many customers may find it difficult to get the required quantity. In such scenarios many clients drifts towards many competitive products, to keep their required quantity fulfilled and may never turn back to the current product at all.

  • High Expenses

Many merchants order small quantities of inventory to keep their inventory levels high and incur the greater cost for the business. Transportation expenses come to a higher value for repetitive and small orders. Also, merchants who order small quantities often ,miss out on the bulk discounts and special deals on high volume purchases. In some cases, merchants may have to order expensive express delivery methods to prevent out-of-stock situations. Along with these, many taxes and other processing charges get additionally added to multiple and frequently repetitive orders.

Read More – 6 Inventory Control Techniques for Stock Optimization


Inventory turnover ratio helps in knowing which products to store or reorder and how much to order. These information are the key game-changing insights for any business model.  Having a solid knowledge on your inventory turn, allows you to stay on top of your game in making right decisions for carrying the correct amount of inventory at the correct time. SalesBabuCRM is an efficient cloud based inventory management tool to help you with analyzing your product requirements and manage your inventory.

Read More – 5 Ways to Boost Your Inventory Management Systems