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Mastering Inventory Planning

with Excel // A Step-by-Step



Inventory planning is the backbone of any successful business.

It ensures that you have the right amount of stock on hand to meet customer demand while minimising excess inventory and associated costs.

Excel is a powerful tool that can streamline the inventory planning process, providing businesses with the insights they need to make informed decisions.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to create an effective inventory plan using Excel.
Step 1: Gather Data

The first step in creating an inventory plan is to gather all the necessary data.

This includes historical sales data, current inventory levels, lead times, and any other relevant information.

Organise this data into separate columns in Excel to make it easier to work with.
Step 2: Calculate Demand

Next, calculate the demand for each of your products.

This can be done using historical sales data.

You can calculate the average demand over a specific period, such as the past year, or use more advanced forecasting techniques if you have the data available.
Step 3: Determine Lead Time

Lead time is the time it takes for a product to be delivered after it has been ordered.

Determine the lead time for each of your products and enter this information into your Excel spreadsheet.
Step 4: Safety Stock

Safety stock is a buffer of extra inventory that is kept on hand to account for variability in demand and lead time.

Calculate the safety stock for each product using a formula such as the standard deviation of demand multiplied by the square root of lead time, or using other methods based on your business's specific needs.
Step 5: Reorder Point

The reorder point is the inventory level at which a new order should be placed to replenish stock.

Calculate the reorder point for each product by adding the safety stock to the average demand during lead time.
Step 6: Economic Order Quantity (EOQ)

The economic order quantity is the optimal order quantity that minimises total inventory costs.

Calculate the EOQ for each product using the EOQ formula:

EOQ = √(2 * D * S / H)

D is the annual demand, S is the ordering cost per order, and H is the holding cost per unit per year.
Step 7: Inventory Turnover

Inventory turnover is a measure of how quickly inventory is sold and replaced.

Calculate the inventory turnover for each product by dividing the cost of goods sold by the average inventory value.
Step 8: Review and Adjust

Once you have calculated your inventory plan, review the results carefully and make any necessary adjustments.

This may involve tweaking your safety stock levels, reorder points, or EOQs based on changing market conditions or business priorities.

Effective inventory planning is crucial for smooth business operations.

Excel simplifies the process, enabling data-driven decisions.

Follow these steps to create a strong inventory plan for sustained growth and profitability.
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