Days Inventory Outstanding Formula, Guide, and How to Calculate

Given the figures, the DSI for the year is 3.65 days, meaning it takes approximately 4 days for the company to sell its stock of inventory. The DSI value is calculated by dividing the inventory balance (including work-in-progress) by the amount of cost of goods sold. The number is then multiplied by the number of days in a year, quarter, or month. The days sales of inventory (DSI) is a financial ratio that indicates the average time in days that a company takes to turn its inventory, including goods that are a work in progress, into sales. We’ll assume the average inventory days of our company’s industry peer group is 30 days, which we’ll set as our final year assumption in 2027. Like earlier, a step function is used to incrementally reduce our assumption from 35 days at the end of 2022 to our target 30-day assumption by the end of 2027, which implies a decline of approximately one day per year.

It can lead to higher inventory levels to compensate for the long lead times, potentially resulting in increased holding costs, higher capital tied up in inventory, and increased risk of obsolescence. On the other hand, shorter lead times can result in lower IDOs, as stock arrives quickly, allowing for faster turnover and potentially lower inventory levels. An inventory days estimate is useful for distribution businesses because it allows a proper allocation of storage costs for inventory (storage costs or holding costs are part of the overall inventory costs). The less time each item spends in inventory, the lower the cost of storage. For example, if a product has an annual storage cost of 24%, but if it only remained in inventory for four months, how much was paid in holding costs for it? We must remember that typically the cost of storing an item is represented as a percentage of its valuation (in the previous example, 24%).

Now that we know what inventory days on hand are, let us see its importance in inventory management. Inventory days on hand is a critical metric for effective inventory management because it provides insights into how efficiently a company manages its inventory levels. By calculating and monitoring inventory days on hand, businesses can determine the average number of days it takes to sell through their inventory, which helps optimize inventory replenishment and production planning. Generally, a small average of days sales, or low days sales in inventory, indicates that a business is efficient, both in terms of sales performance and inventory management. A low DSI reflects fast sales of inventory stocks and thus would minimize handling costs, as well as increase cash flow. DSI is also known as the average age of inventory, days inventory outstanding (DIO), days in inventory (DII), days sales in inventory, or days inventory and is interpreted in multiple ways.

Flexibility to meet consumer demand

Conversely, another method to calculate DIO is to divide 365 days by the inventory turnover ratio. The formula for calculating DIO involves dividing the average (or ending) inventory balance by COGS and multiplying by 365 days. Stockouts occur when a company runs out of inventory, resulting in unfulfilled customer orders and lost sales. By analyzing IDO, a company can determine the optimal inventory level to hold to meet customer demand without excessive stockouts. Maintaining an appropriate IDO can help a company avoid stockouts by replenishing inventory on time and preventing prolonged stockouts. Based on its inventory turnover ratio, the company’s inventory is expected to last approximately 45.6 days.

  • ShipBob lets you focus on creating and selling great products — we’ll handle the rest.
  • The most common length of time used is 365 days representing the whole fiscal year, and 90 days for quarter calculations.
  • When your stock is stagnant, business is stagnant—but when you’re smart about how you manage your inventory, you can keep the cash flowing and your customers happy.
  • Further, it depicts how soon a company can turn its current assets into cash.

Inventory policies include parameters such as order quantities, safety stock levels, reorder points, lead times, and supplier agreements, among others. By reviewing and optimizing these policies, a company can make data-driven decisions to improve inventory management and reduce IDO. Assuming a company has an inventory turnover ratio of 8 for a given period; and we want to calculate the inventory days on hand. Assuming a company has an average inventory of 50,000 and a cost of goods sold of 500,000 for a given period, we want to calculate the inventory days on hand.

How to Calculate Inventory Days

To understand how well they manage their inventory, we start reviewing their last fiscal year, and then we apply the inventory turnover ratio formula. Once the company is running, cash for sustaining operations is obtained from the products sold (cash inflow) and from short-term liabilities from financial institutions or suppliers (cash outflow). On the Accounting side, we consider inventory as a current asset recorded on the balance sheet. It has a high degree of liquidity, meaning that we expect it to be converted into cash in a short period of time (less than one year). The denominator (Cost of Sales / Number of Days) represents the average per day cost being spent by the company for manufacturing a salable product.

Your cost of goods sold for the month is $80,000, and there are 30 days in the month. Let’s look at an example to illustrate how this formula might be used to calculate inventory days on hand. For purposes of forecasting, inventory is ordinarily projected based on either inventory turnover or days inventory outstanding. DIO, or “days inventory outstanding”, measures the number of days required for a company to sell off the amount of inventory it has on hand. When a company maintains an appropriate IDO, it means that inventory is turning over efficiently and is not held for longer periods. It allows for faster conversion of inventory into sales, which can result in faster cash inflows.

How to use inventory management ratios for comparing companies?

Inventory turnover days, on the other hand, calculates the average number of days a company takes to sell its inventory. You’ll walk away with a firm understanding of what inventory days is, why it’s an inventory management KPI you must pay attention to, and how to calculate ending inventory. Comparing a company’s DSI relative to that of comparable companies can offer useful insights into the company’s inventory management.

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. Some companies might buy manufactured products from different suppliers and sell them to their clients, like clothes retailers; meanwhile, other companies could buy pig iron and coke to start steel production. Below is a break down of subject weightings in the FMVA® financial analyst program. As you can see there is a heavy focus on financial modeling, finance, Excel, business valuation, budgeting/forecasting, PowerPoint presentations, accounting and business strategy.

A more accurate option is to include in the average the ending inventory balance for every day of the measurement period. Using those assumptions, DSI can be calculated by dividing the average inventory balance by COGS and then multiplying by 365 days. Inventory days in simple is a metric that calculates how long a product is in the warehouse before it is sold.

Mitigates Operating Costs

Inventory turnover and DSI are similar, but they do not measure the same thing. DSI measures the average number of days it takes to convert inventory to sales, whereas the inventory turnover ratio shows the number of times inventory is sold and then replaced in a specific time period. Effective inventory management can often be the difference between staying competitive or not.

The fewer days required for inventory to convert into sales, the more efficient the company is. The pause is because supply chain pro’s know too much about how much inventory they have on hand. While you might think your question—“How much inventory do you have on hand? ”—was a simple one, that supply chain pro knows there is more than one way to measure their inventory. Not a pause because that supply chain pro doesn’t know how much inventory they have on hand—no. It measures how many months’ worth of inventory a retailer holds on average before selling it.

Inventory days on hand enhance customer service levels by ensuring that a company has the right inventory to meet customer demand promptly. When a company maintains an appropriate IDO, it can avoid stockouts and ensure that products are the beginner’s guide to balance sheets available when customers need them, leading to high customer satisfaction. Adequate inventory levels can help a company fulfill customer orders promptly, reduce backorders or delays, and provide reliable and consistent customer service.

Lower fulfillment costs

For example, companies in the food industry generally have a DIO of around 6, while companies operating in the steel industry have an average DIO of 50. Therefore, comparing DIO between companies in the same industry offers a much better, more accurate and fair, basis for comparison. For example, a drought situation in a particular soft water region may mean that authorities will be forced to supply water from another area where water quality is hard. It may lead to a surge in demand for water purifiers after a certain period, which may benefit the companies if they hold onto inventories.


This represents the number of times a company has sold and replaced its inventory. A good days of inventory can vary based on the product, but on average, is between 30 and 60 days. Having good days of inventory levels will vary based on the company size, the industry, and other factors. The average inventory figure is used in the calculation, rather than the inventory balance on a specific date, because inventory levels can change significantly by day. The most common way to derive an average inventory figure is to take the average of the beginning and ending inventory balances for the measurement period.

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