EOQ (Economic Order Quantity)

What is EOQ (Economic Order Quantity)?

The optimal order quantity that minimizes total inventory costs, balancing holding costs and ordering costs.

Explanation: EOQ (Economic Order Quantity) is the optimal order quantity that minimizes the total inventory costs, which include both holding costs and ordering costs. It is a key formula in inventory management that helps businesses determine the most cost-effective amount of inventory to order, balancing the costs associated with maintaining inventory and the costs incurred when placing orders.

Key Components of EOQ

  • Holding Costs (Carrying Costs): The costs associated with storing and maintaining inventory over a period. These costs include warehousing, insurance, depreciation, and opportunity costs.
  • Ordering Costs: The costs incurred each time an order is placed. These costs include administrative expenses, shipping, and handling.
  • Demand: The total quantity of inventory required over a specific period, usually a year.
  • EOQ Formula

    The EOQ formula is derived from setting the derivative of the total cost function (sum of holding and ordering costs) to zero and solving for the order quantity.

    The formula is: The EOQ formula is derived from setting the derivative of the total cost function (sum of holding and ordering costs) to zero and solving for the order quantity. The formula is:

    EOQ =         


  • D = Annual demand for the product (units per year)
  • S = Ordering cost per order (dollars per order)
  • H = Holding cost per unit per year (dollars per unit per year)
  • Example Calculation

    Suppose a company has the following data:

  • Annual demand (D): 10,000 units
  • Ordering cost (S): $50 per order
  • Holding cost (H): $2 per unit per year
  • The EOQ would be calculated as follows:

      =    = 707

    So, the optimal order quantity is 707 units.


    Benefits of EOQ

  • Cost Minimization: EOQ helps in minimizing the total inventory costs by balancing the trade-off between ordering and holding costs.
  • Efficient Inventory Management: Helps businesses maintain optimal inventory levels, reducing excess stock and the risk of stockouts.
  • Improved Cash Flow: By minimizing unnecessary inventory, EOQ can improve a company's cash flow and overall financial efficiency.
  • Streamlined Operations: Provides a clear guideline for ordering schedules, helping to streamline procurement and inventory management processes.
  • Assumptions of EOQ

  • Constant Demand: The EOQ model assumes that the demand for the product is constant and predictable.
  • Constant Lead Time: The lead time for receiving orders is assumed to be fixed.
  • Fixed Ordering and Holding Costs: Both ordering and holding costs are assumed to be constant over time.
  • Instantaneous Replenishment: It is assumed that the entire order quantity is received at once, without any delay.
  • Limitations of EOQ

  • Variability in Demand and Lead Time: In reality, demand and lead time can fluctuate, making the EOQ model less accurate.
  • Fixed Costs Assumption: Ordering and holding costs may not be constant, especially in dynamic market conditions.
  • Single Product Focus: EOQ is primarily designed for single-product scenarios and may not be directly applicable to multi-product inventory systems without adjustments.

    EOQ is a valuable tool for businesses looking to optimize their inventory management. By calculating the optimal order quantity, companies can minimize their total inventory costs, improve operational efficiency, and ensure a better balance between ordering and holding inventory. Despite its assumptions and limitations, EOQ provides a foundational approach to effective inventory control and cost management.

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