How to calculate inventory turnover: Formulas and examples

By constantly taking inventory, restaurants will be able to identify trends as to how they’re using their food and ingredients. You can determine what items should be replenished more often and which aren’t a priority. Taking inventory on a regular basis will give you insight into how quickly you’re running out of certain foods and ingredients. Developing a plan for inventory control is ideal to ensure it’s up-to-date. This is how they set minimum inventory levels for each item they want to have on hand. There is an increased chance for error when taking inventory manually.

  1. For a lot of brands, 3 SKUs make up 50% of sales (or in some cases, the top 2 best-sellers are 90% of revenue).
  2. With ShipBob’s technology combined with global fulfillment, you can gain a holistic view of your operations with just a few clicks.
  3. These benchmarks are often inexact because each industry is different, and there’s no formula to apply.
  4. The inventory turnover ratio is calculated by dividing the cost of goods sold for a period by the average inventory for that period.
  5. Average Inventory is the mean value of the inventory during a specific period, typically calculated by adding the beginning and ending inventory for a period and dividing by two.

In other words, it measures how many times a company sold its total average inventory dollar amount during the year. A company with $1,000 of average inventory and sales of $10,000 effectively sold its 10 times over. High inventory turnover can indicate that you are selling your product in a timely manner, which typically means that sales are good in a given period.

When inventory is sold as it comes in, you can organize your inventory in an easily accessible manner to ensure that no inventory expires. Vendor managed inventory allows restaurants to keep track of their food and purchases. This means that they have the ability to manage the inventory purchases and payments they’re making to their vendors.

A low inventory turn rate could result from overstocking or an inefficient sales and marketing process. In any case, it’s important to recognize products with low inventory turnover, understand the root causes and address excess inventory. By comparison, luxury purchases and other consumer discretionary brands replenish stock about six times per year. Inventory turnover is calculated by dividing the cost of goods sold (COGS) by the average value of the inventory.

‍What is a good inventory turnover rate?

What constitutes a “good” inventory turnover ratio will vary depending on the industry your business operates in, but most ecommerce businesses consider a ratio between 2 and 4 to be healthy. However, doing so may lead you to invest in products that are very slow to sell — or worse yet, that won’t sell at all anymore. This results in obsolete inventory or dead stock that increases holding costs, and costs time and money to move out. In the most general sense, the more sales your business makes, the more successful your business probably is.

With this option, you’ll be able to easily update inventory as often as necessary. With an ideal food turnover ratio, a restaurant will boost its profitability and strengthen the confidence between the owner and the shareholders. You’ll also have an understanding of which food items are underperforming. This can help you decide on how to change that; for instance, by offering those products at discounted prices. By utilizing turnover strategies, you can also anticipate order demand with increased accuracy and be ahead of schedule. You can also determine turnover by dividing the total sales by inventory.


If you are a small business, do not strive for an ITR achieved by much larger, more renowned companies. A well-known company with a low inventory turnover is none other than the jewelry company, Tiffany & Co. Their low turnover rate can be attributed to the high cost and slow-moving nature of their luxury products.

Understanding how your business stacks up against others in your industry may be helpful to understand your business performance. What is a good inventory turnover ratio for your business and industry payintuit may be completely different from that of another. Conversely a high turnover rate may indicate inadequate inventory levels, which may lead to a loss in business as the inventory is too low.

In accounting, the inventory turnover is a measure of the number of times inventory is sold or used in a time period such as a year. It is calculated to see if a business has an excessive inventory in comparison to its sales level. The equation for inventory turnover equals the cost of goods sold divided by the average inventory.

Remedies could include promotional activities to increase sales, re-evaluating purchasing strategies, or diversifying product offerings. For example, a company with $20,000 in average inventory with a COGS of $200,000 will have an ITR of 10. The longer an item is held, the higher its holding cost will be, and so companies that move inventory relatively quickly tend to be the best performers in an industry. The speed at which a company is able to sell its inventory is a crucial measurement of business performance. As powerful extra tools, other values that are really important to follow in order to verify a company’s profitability are EBIT and free cash flow.

‍What do your inventory turnover ratio and DSI tell you?

By identifying and prioritizing high-demand, high-margin products, companies can tailor their inventory strategies to improve turnover and overall financial performance. Analyzing the performance of different products in terms of turnover rate and profitability allows businesses to allocate resources more effectively. Consequently, as an investor, you want to see an uptrend across the years of inventory turnover ratio and a downtrend for inventory days. Before starting to review the inventory turnover formula, we need to consider the period of the analysis.

The most common length of time used is 365 days representing the whole fiscal year, and 90 days for quarter calculations. In this post, we will consider the period as the former since it will include any seasonality effect that might be during the year. To calculate the food cost percentage, you must add the value of inventory at the start and all purchases, then subtract the value of your ending inventory and divide the result into the total food sales.

Since the inventory turnover ratio represents the number of times that a company clears out its entire inventory balance across a defined period, higher turnover ratios are preferred. A high inventory turnover ratio usually indicates that products are selling in a timely manner, and that sales are good in a given period. However, an inventory ratio that is too high could mean that you need to replenish inventory constantly, which could lead to stockouts.

If a retail company reports a low inventory turnover ratio, the inventory may be obsolete for the company, resulting in lost sales and additional holding costs. Want to see how many times you sold your total average inventory over a period of time? Calculate your inventory turnover ratio to see how your business is performing. For example, products with high inventory turnover ratios should be optimally positioned in warehouses for quick fulfillment. Slow-moving inventory, meanwhile, can be discounted to make room for more profitable items.

Terms Similar to Inventory Turnover

Earlier in the article, the concept of a high inventory turnover rate was introduced. The description of a high or lower stock turnover explains how inventory turnover ratios are interpreted once calculated. A low stock turnover rate indicates weak sales, and that cash may be tied up in excess, unsold products that are taking up too much space within storage.

Conversely, by calculating inventory turnover ratios for your products, you’ll know exactly which products to discontinue, as well as when and how many units to reorder for low-turnover SKUs. The ITR also acts as a mirror reflecting a company’s financial health. Businesses with an optimal turnover rate often have a better cash flow and reduced storage costs, indicative of effective operations. The purpose of calculating the inventory turnover rate is to help companies make informed decisions about pricing, manufacturing, marketing, and purchasing new inventory.