ABC analysis is a method that entails categorizing items based on their perceived value and is used in inventory management. It helps companies identify the most valuable products that match their customers’ demand, control and allocate resources efficiently, reduce obsolete inventory, and increase sales.

Watch the video below to uncover how ABC analysis works.

We will discuss an inventory categorization method based on the Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule. According to this principle, 20% of a company’s main goods represent 80% of its sales volume. In this article, we’ll review the use of ABC analysis, explore its advantages and disadvantages, and check out the six steps to conduct the analysis.

What is the use of ABC analysis?

ABC analysis enables businesses to figure out how to manage their inventory based on the key metrics. A brand needs to understand customer demand to determine whether its clients will buy a certain product. Companies that opt for ABC analysis have a chance to analyze their demand and manage their inventory based on this data.

One more reason businesses use ABC analysis is stock optimization. To meet customer needs, obtain a significant sales volume, and a higher profit, a company should categorize its products based on demand, importance, and profit. With the received information in mind, business owners can set prices for their products or services strategically.

ABC analysis helps identify and reduce the number of products customers don’t like or those with a low-profit margin. After the method is implemented, entrepreneurs obtain a smoother supply chain, reduce costs on additional stock, and allocate resources efficiently.

Now that you know the use of ABC analysis, we’ll proceed to the pros and cons of this technique.

Advantages and Disadvantages of ABC Analysis

By evaluating inventory and classifying it under the principles of ABC analysis, companies can identify the areas of manufacturing or sales that bring in the most value. The main advantage of this technique is that it enables you to determine the goods that consumers buy most often and monitor their availability to avoid stockout. Hence, businesses can focus on high-priority products that bring good ROI.

One more advantage of this method is the efficient allocation of resources. With ABC analysis, you can spend more money on purchasing goods popular among customers and ultimately bring good profit to your company. Moreover, it enables you to reduce costs on items that bring little or no profit and just gather dust on the shelves of your warehouse.

The disadvantages of the method include conflicts with traditional costing systems and substantial expenditures. Routine analysis of high-priority products requires higher expenses, which is why a company should prepare some extra costs.

The pros and cons are clear now, so let’s figure out how to organize the process.

6 Steps to Conduct ABC Analysis

To do an effective ABC analysis, you need to follow a particular sequence of actions. We’ve prepared six steps for you to consider when implementing this method into your business strategy. Stick to these steps to conduct a successful analysis.

  1. Define the things you want to analyze. The main goal of ABC analysis is to determine the importance of each product. The method enables you to identify the most and least profitable items. As a result, you’ll be able to improve the financial performance of your company. Think of the items you need to analyze to understand their value for consumers and the profit they bring.
  2. Gather the necessary information. Once you define the inventory to analyze, collect information about ordering and carrying costs. Leverage one of your accounting tools to obtain this data.
  3. Sort your goods. Before diving into the process, sort your products based on their cost. Rank them from the most expensive to the cheapest ones.
  4. Figure out the impact of your products on the company. List down the products in a spreadsheet and find out the influence each of them has on your business. Divide the goods and their annual costs.
  5. Divide your products into three classes based on demand. Now it’s time to split up your goods into categories based on the main principle of ABC analysis. Divide your products into three groups: A — the most valuable products that bring 80% of your profit, category B — less popular and valuable products that bring 15%, and C — items that bring 5% of revenue.
  6. Analyze the obtained data. In the end, you’ll have a spreadsheet with items that generate the most revenue and those that aren’t popular with your buyers. Check out the list to find the money makers at the top. Once you obtain the necessary information about high priority and low priority products, use it to your advantage. Remember that you still need to track your goods’ pricing and selling performance to ensure that their positions don’t fluctuate.

In a nutshell, the technique is especially useful in terms of warehouse management. It helps identify the items that bring the highest profit and products that a business owner doesn’t need to replenish. The analysis gives business owners a clear picture of the sales performance of certain goods.


  1. This article defines the term, contains examples of ABC analysis and a guide.
  2. In this article, you’ll find the advantages and disadvantages of ABC analysis.
  3. This article uncovers eight steps of ABC analysis.
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