Critical for any business that has products like retailers, stock turnover – or ‘turn’ – tells you how often your products are being sold over time. It’s the same if you manufacture and have raw materials: your business is working harder the faster you buy, sell and replace stock.
It’s a signal if your business is performing better or worse to allow you time to take action
If stock turn is slowing down then:
Actions to reverse this trend would include conducting a stock audit to detect unsold stock and then get rid of it (often by discounting), using stock inventory software (if you don’t already) to track what’s not selling, tightening up on security on who has access to what.
If stock is increasing then:
Actions to encourage this trend would include checking you’re not running out of materials, and your capacity and delivery times to customers are still the same.
Stock turn is usually calculated by using what stock you started with, minus what you end up with (the cost of goods sold or COGS) over a given time period, divided by the average stock level during that period. If you’re not using an accountant, there are a number of online tools that will help you to calculate stock turn, as well as websites that provide step-by-step instructions like Wikihow.com.
There are a few things to keep in mind when calculating turnover rates:
In the past businesses may have held large amounts of stock so they’d never run out, or be able to offer a wide selection. Sometimes suppliers would offer incentives to buy in bulk to receive a volume discount which would increase your margin, or have minimum orders.
However this is not as critical with the ‘just in time’ principle (where you only buy what you need so it arrives just in time when you need it). Advances in delivery, online ordering and manufacturers able to offer smaller production runs with automated machinery, has made it easier and easier to reduce the stock you hold.
Which lowers all your costs. You could spend less on rent, utilities, insurance, theft and other costs of maintaining your stock or raw materials.
It’s not feasible to stock a lifetime’s supply of every item, which is why you need to be careful and practical about your ordering (especially for seasonal businesses). To pay your bills and see a profit, you need to sell what you’ve bought, ideally faster and faster. The stock turn rate measures the rate you move inventory from your storeroom to the customer.
Plus when you combine stock turnover with other business metrics such as customer service and ROI, you’ll get a much clearer and more accurate picture of business performance.
POSTED IN: Cash Flow