Home » PSApedia

Inventory Carrying Costs 

Control Inventory Carrying Costs Efficiently for Your Business. Reduce Excess Inventory and Maximize Profits.

PsaPedia Logo

What is Inventory Carrying Cost?

Inventory Carrying Cost, often referred to as holding cost, represents the total cost a business incurs to store and maintain its inventory over a specific period.

This includes costs such as storage fees, insurance, depreciation, obsolescence, and even opportunity costs related to the tied-up capital. Understanding this cost is crucial for businesses, especially those in the retail and manufacturing sectors, to ensure profitability and efficient operations.

Importance of Inventory Carrying Cost

Inventory Carrying Cost is a pivotal metric for businesses. It helps in:

1. Financial Planning: By understanding the costs associated with holding inventory, businesses can make informed decisions about purchasing and production.

2. Cash Flow Management: Efficiently managing inventory can free up cash, which is essential for operational needs. Learn more about cash flow management in PSA.

3. Reducing Excess Inventory: Knowing the costs can motivate businesses to reduce excess inventory, thereby minimizing wastage and obsolescence.

Importance of Inventory Carrying Cost

Calculating Inventory Carrying Cost


Inventory Carrying Cost = (Average Inventory Value × Carrying Cost Percentage)


Let’s say a business has an average inventory value of $100,000 and the carrying cost percentage is 20%.

(Inventory Carrying Cost) = ($100,000 x 0.20) = $20,000

This means the business spends $20,000 annually to hold and maintain its inventory.

Inventory Carrying Cost vs Other Related Costs

1. Ordering Cost: While inventory carrying cost pertains to holding inventory, ordering cost relates to the cost of placing orders. It includes costs like shipping, handling, and processing.

2. Stock out Cost: This is the cost incurred when inventory runs out, leading to missed sales or urgent replenishment costs.

3. Setup Cost: Relevant for manufacturing, it’s the cost to set up machinery or processes for production runs.

Understanding the balance between these costs is crucial for efficient project financial management.

Cost Type Definition
Inventory Carrying Cost The cost associated with holding and storing inventory, including expenses like warehousing, insurance, depreciation, and obsolescence.
Labor Costs Expenses related to employee salaries, benefits, training, and other labor-related expenditures.
Software and Technology Costs Expenses for PSA software, tools, and technology used for project management, resource allocation, and reporting.
Marketing and Sales Costs Expenditures for marketing, advertising, and sales efforts to acquire new clients and retain existing ones.

How Inventory Carrying Cost is Used?

1. Inventory Management: Businesses use this metric to determine optimal order quantities, minimizing both ordering and holding costs. Explore more on streamlining business processes for operational efficiency.

2. Budgeting and Forecasting: It aids in setting budgets and forecasts for inventory-related expenses.

3. Performance Metrics: Comparing actual carrying costs against benchmarks or industry standards helps in gauging performance.

4. Strategic Decision Making: Decisions related to warehousing, production runs, and even sales promotions can be influenced by carrying costs.

Ready to Optimize Your Inventory Carrying Cost?

KEBS, a leading Professional Service Automation (PSA) software, offers tools that can significantly aid in managing and reducing inventory carrying costs. KEBS provides real-time reporting analytics that can offer insights into inventory levels, helping businesses maintain optimal stock levels.

With tools like Gantt charts, businesses can plan production schedules better, reducing the need for excessive inventory. KEBS financial management software ensures that businesses have a clear picture of their inventory costs, aiding in better financial planning.

KEBS Finance Management

Ready to Optimize Your Inventory Carrying Costs with KEBS? Dive deeper into how KEBS can transform your inventory management. Contact us today or request a demo to see KEBS in action.

Key metrics.

Start your free trial with KEBS

A Professional Services Automation Software

Access Demo