By understanding the rate at which inventory is sold, businesses can adjust their procurement strategies, ensuring optimal stock levels and minimizing excess or shortage situations. You can also divide the result of the inventory turnover calculation into 365 days to arrive at days of inventory on hand, which may be a more understandable figure. For example, a company like Coca-Cola could use the inventory turnover ratio to find out how quickly it’s selling its products, compared to other companies in the same industry. The inventory turnover ratio is a simple method to find out how often a company turns over its inventory during a specific length of time.

  • Inventory turnover can give valuable information about the health of your business.
  • Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us.
  • This means that Donny only sold roughly a third of its inventory during the year.
  • 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.
  • Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets.

Days in inventory is a measure of how many days, on average, a company takes to convert inventory to sales, which gives a good indication of company financial performance. If the figure is high, it will generally be an indicator of the fact that the company is encountering problems selling its inventory. In general, a result of between 5 and 10 after completing the inventory turnover ratio formula is considered a “good” inventory turnover ratio for most businesses. Whether you’re new to selling and distributing or have been in the business for some time, you should add inventory turnover ratio to your knowledge bank. This gives you an idea of how well you’re managing each of these two categories of inventory. Conversely, if your company’s inventory turnover is low when compared to your industry or your own past performance, you likely have a sales or purchasing problem.

Advantages of Monitoring Inventory Turnover Ratio

The longer an inventory item remains in stock, the higher its holding cost, and the lower the likelihood that customers will return to shop. For a trading concern, an inventory/material turnover ratio of 6 times a year is not very high. One would expect a trading company to have a faster rate of stock turnover. If the average stock of a business is high in relation to its annual sales, its inventory turnover ratio will be low. Similarly, if the average stock is low, the inventory turnover ratio will be high. The inventory turnover ratio can be calculated by comparing the balance of stores with total issues or withdrawals over a particular period.

This metric goes by several names, so don’t worry if you hear multiple references. In this case, we would estimate that The Home Depot turns its inventory about once every 73 days. Thus, inventory turnover — and the related inventory turnover ratio — is a powerful key performance indicator. This might be good for a car dealership, as it means the company has good inventory control and that stock purchases are in sync with sales.

For fiscal year 2022, Walmart Inc. (WMT) reported cost of sales of $429 billion and year-end inventory of $56.5 billion, up from $44.9 billion a year earlier. An overabundance of cashmere sweaters, for instance, may lead to unsold inventory and lost profits, especially as seasons change and retailers restock accordingly. In this example, the inventory/material turnover ratio is the highest for material X and the lowest for material Z. Such materials do not have any demand at present and represent a zero turnover ratio.

Effective Purchasing Decisions

Knowing how to properly understand and calculate your inventory turnover can lead to promising news for your business. Are you selling inventory quickly or does the majority of your inventory tend to sit in the warehouse? When you know your inventory turns ratio, it will be easier to confidently answer these questions.

Step 2: Calculate Average Inventory

A quick Google search, for example, shows that grocery stores typically have an inventory turnover of 40. Using this method, we would estimate that The Home Depot turns its inventory about once every 48 days. This method is generally a little optimistic since it includes the company’s profit when it takes total sales as its numerator. This means that Donny only sold roughly a third of its inventory during the year. It also implies that it would take Donny approximately 3 years to sell his entire inventory or complete one turn. There are three key takeaways you should keep in mind for the inventory turnover ratio.

While strong sales are good for business, insufficient inventory is not. A low ratio can imply weak sales and/or possible excess inventory, also called overstocking. 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. So, the number of inventory turns tells us how many times we sold through our inventory in a given period of time.

Know Accounts Receivable and Inventory Turnover

On the other hand, a low ratio may indicate the presence of slow-moving or obsolete inventory that requires attention. When there is a high rate of inventory turnover, this implies that the purchasing function is tightly managed. However, it may also mean that a business does not have the cash reserves to maintain normal inventory levels, and so is turning away prospective sales. The latter scenario is most likely when the amount of debt is unusually high and there are few cash reserves. Now, let’s assume that you have the opposite problem—your inventory ratio is too high. This means you turn over your entire amount of inventory a little over 17 times each year.

Inventory Turnover Ratio

In both cases, there is a high risk of inventory aging, in which case it becomes obsolete and has little residual value. It means you’re fulfilling 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. 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. Conversely a high turnover rate may indicate inadequate inventory levels, which may lead to a loss in business as the inventory is too low. On the other hand, a company that makes heavy equipment, such as airplanes, will have a much lower turnover rate.

In both cases, the values put into these formulas are in dollars, Euros, pounds or whatever the base currency is for your company. Creditors are particularly interested in this because inventory is often put up as collateral for loans. Sign up to receive more well-researched small business articles and topics in your inbox, personalized for you. The first is easy to calculate and gives an overall picture, but it doesn’t account for markup or seasonal cycles.

What Can Inventory Turnover Tell You?

Some companies may use sales instead of COGS in the calculation, which would tend to inflate the resulting ratio. The inventory turnover ratio can help businesses make better decisions on pricing, manufacturing, marketing, and purchasing. It is one of the efficiency ratios measuring how effectively a company uses its assets. Oftentimes, each industry will have an acceptable average inventory turnover ratio.