A measure of inventory efficiency, calculated by dividing total sales by the inventory value for a specific period.
What is Sales-to-Stock Ratio (SSR)?
The Sales-to-Stock Ratio (SSR) measures inventory efficiency by comparing sales to available stock. It helps optimise inventory, offers insights into product performance, and indicates profitability. However, it lacks context, doesn't consider seasonality, and ignores profit margins.
How SSR works
- Calculation: SSR is calculated by dividing the total sales over a specific period by the average stock level during the same period.
- Efficiency Indicator: SSR indicates how well inventory is managed. A higher ratio suggests efficient stock turnover, while a lower ratio might indicate overstocking.
- Optimal Ratio: An optimal SSR varies by industry and product type. A higher ratio isn't always better; it should be balanced based on the business's goals and market dynamics.
- Inventory Optimisation: SSR helps retailers identify slow-moving products and overstocked items. This insight guides decisions on restocking, discounting, or discontinuing products.
- Demand and Seasonality: SSR needs to account for demand fluctuations and seasonality. It's important to adjust the ratio based on high and low-demand periods.
- Profit Margins: While SSR shows turnover, it doesn't consider profit margins. High turnover doesn't always mean high profitability if margins are low.
- Complementary Metrics: SSR is often used alongside other metrics, like Gross Margin Return on Investment (GMROI), to get a comprehensive view of inventory performance.
Remember that SSR's interpretation can vary based on the retailer's specific circumstances and objectives.
Pros of SSR
- Inventory Efficiency: SSR helps retailers optimise their inventory management by indicating how quickly stock is being sold relative to the available quantity. A higher SSR generally reflects better inventory turnover and efficient use of resources.
- Improved Decision-Making: By analysing SSR for different product categories or time periods, retailers can make informed decisions about restocking, purchasing, and markdown strategies. This leads to better alignment between inventory levels and customer demand.
- Identifying Trends: Consistently monitoring SSR allows retailers to identify trends and patterns in sales and stock performance. It helps in predicting demand patterns, understanding seasonality, and adapting strategies accordingly.
Cons of SSR
- Limited Context: SSR provides a simplified view of sales and stock performance without considering external factors such as promotions, market trends, or economic conditions. This limited context can lead to inaccurate interpretations.
- Not Applicable to All Products: SSR might not be suitable for all types of products. For example, high-value or slow-moving items might have a lower SSR even though they are essential to the business. Overreliance on SSR could lead to misjudging their importance.
- Short-Term Focus: SSR primarily focuses on current sales and stock levels, which can lead to short-term decision-making. Retailers might overlook long-term strategies, such as brand-building or product innovation, if they are solely driven by optimising SSR.
Below you will find answers to common questions
What does a low SSR indicate for our products?
A low SSR suggests that your products are not selling as quickly as expected in relation to the available stock. This could be due to factors like changing consumer preferences, ineffective marketing, or inaccurate demand forecasting. It's important to analyse the root causes and consider strategies to either increase sales or optimise stock levels.
Is there a recommended benchmark SSR that we should aim for?
There isn't a universal benchmark SSR that applies to all retailers and industries. The optimal SSR varies based on factors like product category, market trends, and business goals. It's more useful to compare your SSR to historical performance or set internal goals based on your specific context. Regularly monitoring and analysing changes in your SSR will help you determine what level is best for your business.