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ABC Analysis

ABC analysis, also known as Pareto analysis or the 80/20 rule, is a widely used inventory management technique that categorizes items based on their relative importance in terms of value or frequency of consumption. It helps organizations prioritize their inventory management efforts and allocate resources more efficiently.

The analysis derives its name from the three categories used to classify items:

  1. Category A: These are high-value items that represent a relatively small portion of the total inventory but account for a significant portion of the overall value. These items are critical and typically have high demand or cost. Proper management of Category A items is crucial to the organization’s financial success.
  2. Category B: These are medium-value items that represent a moderate portion of the total inventory and have a moderate impact on the overall value. They are essential but not as critical as Category A items.
  3. Category C: These are low-value items that make up a large portion of the total inventory but contribute only a small fraction to the overall value. They are typically inexpensive and have low demand.

The classification is based on the Pareto principle, which suggests that approximately 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In the context of inventory management, it means that roughly 80% of the value (or consumption) comes from about 20% of the items.

By conducting an ABC analysis, businesses can focus their efforts on managing the most critical items (Category A) more closely, while applying less rigorous control to the less important items (Category C). This approach allows for better allocation of resources, time, and attention to items that have the most significant impact on the business’s performance.

ABC analysis is commonly used in inventory management, supply chain management, and procurement to optimize inventory levels, reduce carrying costs, prevent stockouts of essential items, and enhance overall operational efficiency. It is also helpful in identifying opportunities for cost reduction and streamlining inventory-related processes.

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