Thursday, August 21, 2008

Inventory ranking

Distributors, manufacturers, and retailers often stock thousands of products. Properly managing the physical inventory and replenishment of these items is a challenging task. While most buyers and salespeople realize that not all items are equally important to customers or their company, it often difficult to identify those products that demand the most attention.
* 80% of your sales are generated by 20% of your salespeople.
* 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers.
* 80% of your stock sales involve 20% of your inventory items.
But this rule is not always true. In fact for many companies, 80% of sales are generated by only 10% to 13% of stocked inventory items!
Rank or classify your products based on their contribution to total sales. The products that account for 80% of your sales are typically referred to as "A" ranked items. This may be 5%, 10%, or 20% of your products.
While this type of ranking is important to identify those products that have the most potential for inventory turnover (i.e., opportunities to earn a profit), it is not as valuable in answering other inventory-related questions, such as:

* What products should be maintained in stock?
* Where should a specific inventory item be located in your warehouse?
A special-order item is not maintained in stock inventory, but is ordered and received to fulfill a specific customer requirement.
Reorder quantities of a product with a high cost of goods sold ranking should be carefully determined to achieve a high level of inventory turnover. At the same time you might consider maintaining additional safety stock for products with a high hit rank to minimize the chance of stock-outs. You also might want to include a third type of ranking in your classification analysis, one based on profitability.Ranking products based only on annual cost of goods sold provides an incomplete picture of inventory performance. Three-way ranking provides valuable information concerning each stocked product's contribution to the overall profitability of your organization, information that is vital in your quest to achieve Effective Inventory Management.

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