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Dec 10, 2023:

In the realm of business efficiency, mastering inventory management is pivotal. Two potent techniques, ABC and XYZ analysis, offer a structured approach for businesses to categorise and prioritize their inventory based on financial significance and demand patterns.​

ABC and XYZ categorization
ABC and XYZ categorization

ABC Analysis: Prioritizing By Value

ABC Analysis categorizes items based on their value to the business, calculating their percentage contribution to the total value and applying the 80/15/5 rule. A-items, comprising 80% of the total value, are critical to business success and require tighter controls, while B-items (15%) warrant moderate control, and C-items (5%) need less stringent management. This approach helps prioritize resources effectively, ensuring efficient inventory management.​

XYZ Analysis: Understanding Demand Fluctuation

XYZ Analysis categorizes items based on demand predictability using historical data to calculate the Coefficient of Variation (CV).

CV = Standard Deviation of Demand / Average Demand


Items are classified as X (Low CV), Y (Moderate CV), or Z (High CV). X items have steady demand, allowing for lower safety stock, while Z items have unpredictable demand, requiring higher stock or flexible ordering. This analysis aids in forecasting and optimizing inventory levels, ensuring businesses can efficiently manage demand fluctuations.​

The ABC-XYZ Matrix: A Poweful Combination

By combining ABC and XYZ analyses, one can create a matrix that assigns a two-letter code to each item. This provides a more nuanced view of the inventory:

AX Items: High priority, tight controls, potentially use forecasting techniques.

AY Items: Still important due to value, but demand requires more frequent monitoring.

BX Items: Focus on optimizing ordering and storage for medium-value items.

CZ Items: Low-value, unpredictable items; consider just-in-time ordering or vendor-managed inventory.

Benefits of Combined Analysis:

Optimized Inventory Level:

Avoid stockouts or excessive holding costs by tailoring stock levels to demand characteristics.

Informed Ordering Strategies:

Implement different ordering methods (e.g., frequent small orders for Z items, bulk orders for X items) based on category.​

Effective Control Procedures:

Allocate resources for controls based on item importance (tighter controls for high-value items).