The average age of Inventory Ratio Basics

The average inventory period formula is calculated by dividing the number of days in the period by the company’s inventory turnover. A company may choose to use a moving average inventory when it’s possible to maintain a perpetual inventory tracking system. This allows the business to adjust the values of the inventory items based on information from the last purchase. The average age of inventory is a measurement that estimates the average time to sell a given product.

From there, business owners can more easily get rid of aged stock to make sure their cashflow is unimpeded. The three inventory aging calculations you’ll need to know are average inventory cost, cost of goods sold (COGS), and inventory turnover ratio (ITR). According to Chron, the average inventory age represents the days it takes to sell a stock. Therefore, one must first determine the average inventory balance over a specified period to determine the average list age. The average age of Company A’s inventory is calculated by dividing the average cost of inventory by the COGS and then multiplying the product by 365 days.

If you had older inventory of furniture and household supplies though, that would be more appropriate for a donation. Failing all of the above, you may have to consider your older inventory to be scrap and have your accountant write it off in the financial records. Some purchasing contracts allow for returning a negotiated percentage of product average age of inventory to the vendor each year. If you don’t currently have this arrangement, you may wish to negotiate that into future contracts. If that’s not an option, you can attempt to sell this inventory directly or hire a third-party service to do so. As of today’s date, which is May 10, 2021, we have 116,000 of this particular gasket in our inventory.

As an example, the age of inventory is very important in the food industry – especially for perishable food items that can expire, such as fresh produce, meat, and dairy. Investors can use the average age of inventory to evaluate a company’s operations. The average age of inventory gives insight into how fast a company is turning over its inventory. Generally, a faster inventory turnover (low average age of inventory) means that a company is efficiently selling inventory.

  1. Inventory control is rooted in overseeing the supply, storage, management, and distribution of your stock.
  2. Understanding the age of your inventory gives you significant information about customer demand trends.
  3. Average inventory is a calculation that estimates the value or number of a particular good or set of goods during two or more specified time periods.
  4. Luckily, ecommerce brands can track aging inventory and take proactive measures before this inventory wrecks your margins.

Matthew Rickerby is the Director of Digital Marketing at Extensiv, the leading solution for multichannel, multi-warehouse D2C brands. For the past ten years, he’s covered ecommerce topics ranging from conversion rate optimization to supply chain management. Third-party transportation providers ship the products to either customers or retail stores to complete orders.

Here’s an example—the data below are from the financial statements of a fictional retailer, Company X. All numbers are in millions of dollars. Inventory aging describes a scenario in which your inventory doesn’t sell quickly or sells at a lower price. Internally, we need to decide how old these gaskets can get before we no longer wish to use them in production. On February 11, 2021, we received gaskets, so we have gaskets that are 88 days old. We continue down the table until all 116,000 gaskets have been assigned an age.

Optimize warehouse management

If you are successful enough, you may be able to break even by selling it at the same price you bought it with. However, in most of the cases, aged inventory may result in a loss for the suppliers. This results in an average inventory of $9,875 over the time period being examined.

Software for Automated Inventory Management

Company B reports an average inventory of $100,000 and COGS of $1,500,000. Company A reports an average inventory of $200,000 and COGS of $1,000,000. You might think that the change between these two years is significant—and it is, but it should indicate to you that you should investigate more to find out what might have happened.

Know your inventory turnover ratio

This might entail reaching out to a new market with those sluggish sellers, combining them with more well-liked SKUs, or lowering their retail price. Liquidating old inventory might be a realistic solution for recovering some value and freeing up storage space. However, examining each product’s possible future demand and exploring alternatives, such as re-marketing or bundling, is critical before considering liquidation.

Understanding the Cash Conversion Cycle (CCC)

Especially, if you are supplying food or products that have a food component, you should be even more careful. If your inventory expires, you will not be able to generate any revenue out of it. Alongside with the options available to handle inventory aging, there are multiple adverse consequences you might face. The system assists you with the necessary on-the-go information you need to be able to make a decision regarding a particular portion of your inventory.

Your warehouse will have less room to hold new products with a more aged inventory. Therefore, you will need to purchase extra storage or reallocate your current inventory to store more products. Your overall production costs will thus rise due to the rising facility charges. Making data-driven sales decisions is all about using the insights and information available to you from inventory reporting. With this info at your disposal, you can avoid marking down items on a whim — or worse yet, reordering a product without knowing the quantity you already have in stock.

Companies with a higher ratio show better management and better use of their assets. On the other hand, a high average age of inventory is an indication of bad management and improper use of the capital. Retail brands may get rid of old inventory by giving it a discount, grouping it with bestsellers, or (if all else fails) giving the extra stock to a good cause. However, by doing routine inventory audits, looking into demand trends, and refining their demand projections, they may prevent having outdated stock in the first place.

Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets. The CCC over several years can reveal an improving or worsening value when tracked over time. For instance, imagine Company X’s CCC was 83 days for the fiscal year 2020. In 2021, the company had a CCC of 130—this is a decline between the ends of fiscal years 2020 and 2021.

That’s why efficient inventory management—reflected in a lower—can help maintain profitability. Inventory audits regularly ensure that your stock records reflect what is in your warehouse. This increases inventory accuracy and clarifies which goods aren’t moving (leading to better inventory control).

This strategy examines purchasing habits, seasonal demand, and location-based characteristics to determine which commodities are required at particular times and locations. These insights influence a business’s future purchase and fulfillment activities. For example, the rate at which companies replace their inventory and assign priority for repurchase depends on understanding consumer trends and sale rates. Over 1.8 million professionals use CFI to learn accounting, financial analysis, modeling and more.

Nené Fontaíña
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