oboloo FAQ's

What is ABC Analysis and how does it work?

What is ABC Analysis and how does it work?

Many businesses use ABC analysis to better organize and manage their inventory. But what is it? Simply put, ABC analysis is a supply chain organization method that divides items into three categories based on their relative importance or value. This system helps businesses prioritize and allocate resources in a smarter way, so they can make the most of their money. In this blog post, we will discuss ABC analysis in more detail, exploring its definition, how it works and why it’s important to your business. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know exactly how ABC analysis can help you optimize your supply chain and make more informed decisions regarding your inventory.

What is ABC Analysis?

ABC analysis is a inventory optimization methodology that is used to categorize inventory based on importance. The ABC method uses a simplified Pareto principle, which states that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In other words, ABC analysis focuses on identifying and managing the small number of items that have the biggest impact on your business.

The first step in conducting an ABC analysis is to rank your inventory items from A to C, with “A” being the most important and “C” being the least important. This ranking is typically based on factors such as turnover rate, profit margin, and safety stock levels. Once you have ranked your inventory, you can then develop different plans for managing each category.

For example, you may want to manage your “A” items differently than your “C” items. “A” items are typically managed more closely because they have a bigger impact on your business. This may include things like keeping closer track of stock levels and implementing just-in-time delivery for these items. On the other hand, “C” items are not as critical to your business and may be managed with less frequent stock checks and less stringent delivery requirements.

Overall, ABC analysis can help you focus on the most important items in your inventory while still maintaining adequate levels of less important items. This can save you time and money by allowing you to better manage your

The Three-Step Process of ABC Analysis

The Three-Step Process of ABC Analysis:

1. First, you need to identify the criteria that will be used to classify your inventory items. This can be based on factors such as value, volume, frequency of use, etc.

2. Next, you will need to assign a value to each of your inventory items based on the criteria you have selected.

3. Finally, you will need to group your inventory items into three categories: A, B, and C. Items in the A category will be those that are most important (and therefore deserve the most attention), while items in the C category will be those that are least important (and can therefore be given less attention).

How Does ABC Analysis Work?

ABC analysis is a method of categorizing inventory items based on their importance. The ABC approach assigns a letter to each item, with “A” items being the most important and “C” items being the least important.

The letters are then used to help prioritize inventory management activities. For example, “A” items may be given more attention because they are more likely to have a significant impact on the business if they are not available.

This approach can be applied to any type of inventory, including raw materials, finished goods, and even non-physical items like information or ideas.

The Benefits of ABC Analysis

When it comes to managing inventory, every organization faces the challenge of allocating scarce resources in the most efficient way possible. ABC analysis is a powerful tool that can help organizations optimize their inventory management and ensure that they are making the most of their limited resources.

ABC analysis is a method of categorizing items in an inventory based on their importance. Items are classified as A, B, or C based on factors such as how often they are used, how critical they are to operations, and how expensive they are. Classifying items in this way helps managers make better decisions about where to allocate their limited resources.

There are several benefits of using ABC analysis in inventory management:

1. It helps managers prioritize items: ABC analysis helps managers identify which items are the most important and should be given priority when it comes to allocation of resources. This ensures that resources are being allocated in the most efficient way possible.

2. It improves decision-making: By categorizing items into three distinct categories, ABC analysis provides a simple framework that can be used to make complex decisions about inventory management. This improved decision-making can lead to significant cost savings for an organization.

3. It reduces costs: One of the main goals of any inventory management system is to reduce costs. By allocating resources more efficiently, ABC analysis can help organizations achieve this goal. In fact, studies have shown that implementing an ABC system can lead to cost savings of up to 20%.

The Limitations of ABC Analysis

Despite its many benefits, ABC analysis does have some limitations. First, it is a static approach that does not take into account changes over time. Second, it relies on historical data, which may not be representative of future demand. Third, it can be difficult to accurately classify items into the correct category (A, B, or C). Finally, ABC analysis does not consider the impact of individual items on overall profitability.


ABC analysis is an invaluable tool for businesses of all sizes, helping them to prioritize their resources and identify areas where improvements can be made. By understanding how ABC Analysis works, you will be able to quickly identify which items are the highest priority and focus your efforts on those. This not only saves time and money but also helps maximize profits. With a little practice, you will become an expert at this versatile technique in no time!

Want to find out more about procurement?

Access more blogs, articles and FAQ's relating to procurement

Oboloo transparent

The smarter way to have full visibility & control of your suppliers


Feel free to contact us here. Our support team will get back to you as soon as possible

Oboloo transparent

The smarter way to have full visibility & control of your suppliers


Feel free to contact us here. Our support team will get back to you as soon as possible

© 2024 oboloo Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of oboloo content, including by framing or similar means, is prohibited without the prior written consent of oboloo Limited. oboloo, Be Supplier Smart and the oboloo logo are registered trademarks of oboloo Limited and its affiliated companies. Trademark numbers: UK00003466421 & UK00003575938 Company Number 12420854. ICO Reference Number: ZA764971