Finished Goods Inventory: Definition, Formula, Calculation

Allison Champion
5 min read
April 30, 2024
Modified: May 9, 2024

Finished Goods Inventory

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, there’s nothing worse than a customer hitting that “buy now” button, only to be met with the dreaded “out of stock” notification. It’s a frustration for them, and a missed opportunity for you.

But what if you could eliminate this frustration altogether and consistently meet customer demand? Imagine transforming your online store from a stockout culprit to an always-in-stock hero, consistently exceeding customer expectations. No more disappointed tweets or viral rants about unavailable product.

Consider this blog your action plan for mastering finished goods inventory management.

What is Finished Goods Inventory?

Finished goods inventory refers to each completed products you’ve manufactured and are ready for sale. These items have fully completed the manufacturing process, are on your warehouse shelves and are waiting to be shipped to eager customers. It’s essentially the final stage in a product’s life cycle before it leaves your possession.

Think of it this way: raw materials are the building blocks, WIP inventory is the product under construction, and finished goods inventory is the completed house, ready for its new owner.

How to Calculate Finished Goods Inventory

Calculating your finished goods inventory is crucial for maintaining stock visibility and optimizing your order fulfillment operations.

Finished Goods Inventory Formula

To calculate the value of finished goods inventory, use the following formula:

Finished Goods Inventory = (Cost of goods manufactured – total cost of goods sold) + Value of Previous Period’s Finished Goods

Step-by-Step Calculation Process

Feeling a little overwhelmed? Here’s a step-by-step process for calculating all of the values you need to insert into the finished goods inventory formula:

  1. Find Your Beginning Finished Goods Inventory: This value represents the total worth of finished products you had in stock at the start of the period (month, quarter, or year). You can usually find this number on your previous accounting reports.
  2. Calculate Your Cost of Goods Manufactured: This represents the total cost incurred to produce the finished goods during the period.
  3. Calculate Your Cost of Goods Sold: This reflects the value of finished goods you actually sold to customers within the same period.
  4. Plug the Numbers In: Once you have all three values, simply substitute them into the formula to determine your ending finished goods inventory. This represents the total value of your on-hand stock at the close of the period.

Finished Goods Inventory Calculation Example

Imagine you’re a thriving jewelry entrepreneur and you started the month with $20,000 worth of finished inventory, which includes a mix of popular items like silver earrings ($5 per unit cost), gold necklaces ($20 per unit cost), and gemstone bracelets ($30 per unit cost). During the month, your talented team crafted another $25,000 worth of beautiful jewelry and sold $22,000 worth of jewelry.

Here’s where the calculation comes in:

  • Beginning Finished Goods Inventory: $20,000
  • Cost of Goods Manufactured (COGM): $30,000
  • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): $22,000

Let’s plug that into the formula:

$20,000 (Beginning Inventory) + $30,000 (COGM) – $22,000 (COGS) = $28,000 (Ending Inventory)

Why is Finished Goods Inventory Important?

Finished goods inventory is a fundamental principle that applies to all e-commerce businesses, regardless of whether you’re selling apparel, electronics, or sporting goods. By effectively managing your finished goods inventory, you can streamline your fulfillment process, delight your customers, and propel your online store towards long-term success.

Sales and Revenue Generation

Every e-commerce business owner dreads the “out-of-stock” notification. By maintaining optimal finished goods inventory levels, you ensure you have enough popular products on hand to fulfill orders promptly, keeping the cash flowing and customers happy.

Having a buffer of finished goods also allows you to react quickly to emerging customer preferences. For example, if a particular fitness tracker surges in popularity, you’ll have the inventory to capitalize on the demand and maximize your sales potential.

Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

By having finished goods readily available, you can streamline your fulfillment process and ensure orders get shipped promptly. This translates to happy customers who are more likely to return for future purchases and recommend your brand to others.

Consistent availability of popular products builds trust with your customers. They know they can rely on you to have the items they need in stock, fostering brand loyalty and repeat business.

Stabilize Supply Chain Operations

Maintaining a healthy finished goods inventory allows you to avoid production process bottlenecks. You can plan production cycles strategically, ensuring a smooth flow of new items without creating a backlog or overstocking on outdated products.

External factors like material shortages or unexpected delays from suppliers can disrupt your supply chain. Having a buffer of finished goods provides a safety net, allowing you to fulfill customer demands orders even if unforeseen challenges arise.

Financial Health and Reporting

Precise finished goods inventory calculations contribute to accurate financial reporting. This allows you to make informed decisions about pricing, promotions, and future investments, ensuring the financial health of your business.

Overstocking can lead to excessive storage costs and the risk of obsolescence. Conversely, understocking results in lost sales opportunities. By keeping a close eye on finished goods inventory, you can optimize storage utilization and minimize unnecessary expenses.

Operational Efficiency and Planning

Inventory data empowers you to make informed decisions about future purchases and resource allocation. You can identify popular styles that need to be replenished sooner and adjust your ordering patterns accordingly. This data-driven approach fosters efficient use of resources and maximizes your profit margins.

Analyzing historical sales data alongside your finished goods inventory levels allows you to make informed forecasts about future demand. This foresight helps you plan purchasing strategies effectively,  ensuring you have the right amount of the right products available at the right time.

Risk Management

Running out of stock on popular items can damage your brand image and lead to frustrated customers. Maintaining a buffer of finished goods inventory helps mitigate the risk of stockouts, ensuring business continuity and customer satisfaction.

Overstocking on unpopular designs can lead to dead stock and write-offs. By keeping an eye on finished goods inventory and analyzing sales trends, you can minimize the risk of outdated products accumulating in your warehouse, safeguarding your profit margins.

How Flowspace Helps Improve Finished Goods Inventory Management

Flowspace understands that managing finished goods inventory is a critical aspect of e-commerce success. That’s why Flowspace pairs powerful software with a flexible nationwide fulfillment network to support growing ecommerce brands as they optimize their supply chains and improve work in process inventory levels.

With Flowspace, you gain unmatched inventory visibility. Our robust system tracks inbound, outbound, and in-progress stock in real-time, eliminating data silos and providing a single, crystal-clear view of your finished goods inventory across all locations. This transparency empowers you to make informed decisions about production, fulfillment, and future purchases.

We go beyond basic inventory tracking. Flowspace’s advanced analytics tools leverage real-time data and historical sales trends to generate actionable insights. This allows you to forecast demand with greater accuracy, optimize finished goods inventory levels, and minimize the risk of stockouts or overstocking.

Flowspace’s system also provides real-time alerts when finished goods inventory levels dip below a predefined threshold.  Additionally, our predictive forecasting helps you anticipate future demand fluctuations, allowing you to proactively adjust your inventory levels and ensure you always have the right amount of the right products in stock.

Interested in more ways to improve your business? Read more about dynamic slotting, distributed order management and virtual warehousing.

Or, get in touch with Flowspace. Flowspace is the best way to optimize your finished goods  inventory levels and support successful partnerships with manufacturers. Contact us today to get more information.

Written By:

flowspace author Allison Champion

Allison Champion

Allison Champion leads marketing communication at Flowspace, where she works to develop content that addresses the unique challenges facing modern brands in omnichannel eCommerce. She has more than a decade of experience in content development and marketing.

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