Inventory Management Statistics from Reputed Sources | 2024

Updated Aug 6, 2023.
inventory management statistics

Inventory management is the function of understanding a company’s stock mix and the various demands of that stock. It also refers to the process of inventory tracking, ordering, storing, using, and even selling the inventory of a company.

Recent statistics show that inventory management is being seriously overlooked in the United States, with a huge amount of money tied up in it. This leads to significant loss of opportunity, errors, and cost increases.

Statistics also show just how important it is to maintain inventory accuracy and visibility at all times, with many US businesses still not using any kind of inventory management solution. Having a proper inventory management system also improves customer satisfaction.

In this blog, we’re going to break down some of the most significant statistics on inventory management, warehouse statistics, the supply chain industry, inventory accuracy, and inventory management software.

Inventory Management Statistics (Highlights)

  • Currently, US-based retailers sit on approximately $1.43 in inventory for each $1 of sales they make
  • A square foot of warehouse and distribution centers in the United States costs about $5.08
  • The global supply chain industry is worth a whopping $15.85 billion
  • The global supply chain market is set to experience a compound annual growth rate of 11% until 2027
  • Approximately 46% of small-to-medium businesses don’t track inventory or use a manual method instead

Inventory Management Statistics

1. Inventory, along with accounts receivable and accounts payable, have tied up $1.1 trillion in cash

(IMPO Mag)

An incredible amount of capital is tied up in inventory. Inventory, together with accounts receivable, and accounts payable makeup $1.1 trillion in cash, which is equivalent to approximately 7% of the United States GDP (gross domestic product).

2. Currently, US-based retailers sit on approximately $1.43 in inventory for each $1 of sales they make

(Marketing Alternatives, Inc)

More and more businesses are overstocking their inventory in order to ensure that they’ll be able to supply all customer orders and to prevent stockouts.

However, overstocking has been proven to bring its own challenges and costs. The capital is tied up in overstocking and is completely unavailable for any other uses. such as investing in efficiency or productivity-boosting technologies.

Along with this, there’s also an associated risk of shrink due to the fact that the product might age or even expire, as there’s an increased risk of increased costs due to managing and keeping additional inventory.

3. Only 43% of small businesses track and manage their inventory

(Package X)

These inventory management statistics can have a significant impact on any business’s ability to be able to conduct business effectively over the long run.

Businesses that do not track inventory are much more likely to run into forecasting problems than those that do. Inventory forecasting consists of making informed predictions and estimations of the amount of inventory you’ll need for a specific timeframe.

4. The amount of inventory on hand based on average daily sales has increased by 8.3% over the previous five years

(Supply Chain Digest)

Statistics have shown that reducing stock-outs and overstocked items can lower the overall cost of inventory by up to 10%, which represents a significant amount of capital for any business.

The money that’s potentially currently tied up in inventory could be used for research, development, expansion, employee recruitment, and many more things that could significantly benefit any operation.

Warehouse Management Statistics

5. Up to 73% of warehouses plan on using a mobile device for inventory management purposes

(Valu Track)

Statistics have shown that up to 73% of businesses plan to implement mobile devices for warehouse management purposes. This type of modernization will help to eliminate the human error factor from manual processes, which have been reported in up to 62% of warehouses.

Failing to update your business and its warehouse operations with mobile devices could potentially leave it more susceptible to out-of-stocks and other errors, which would in turn reduce productivity and customer satisfaction.

6. The number of warehouses in the United States has increased by 6.8% in the past five years


Similarly, inventory and warehouse management has been increasing in both value and relevance in the past several years.

Moving away from pen-and-paper inventory management has been proven to be a huge step toward running a successful business. Along with the growth of RFID (radio-frequency identification) systems, companies are able to take control of the inventory process.

7. A square foot of warehouse and distribution centers in the United States costs about $5.08

(Sea Rates)

Compared to other facilities and types of buildings, warehouses are one of the cheapest to buy or rent out.

When compared to 2016, up to 25% more manufacturers invested in a more advanced warehouse management system in 2017. Additionally, up to 50% of organizations and businesses use warehouse robotics for supply chain management purposes.

What’s also interesting to note is that more and more businesses are moving towards a smaller warehouse space – as small as 20,000 to 50,000 square feet. The current average warehouse space size in the United States sits at a whopping 400,000 square feet.

8. Approximately 42% of warehouses and distribution centers are expected to invest in technology and automation

(Logistics Management)

This also includes investing in great warehouse inventory management software, which is very helpful if your business is struggling with inventory management or supply chain visibility and accuracy.

Popular apps used for these purposes include Netsuite, Mobe3 WMS, Odoo, and Brightpearl

There are several kinds of warehouse inventory management systems, such as manual inventory, periodic inventory, and perpetual inventory. The kind that will be used depends on the type of operations a business is conducting.

How Much Can Automated Inventory Management Save On Labor
Source: N-IX

9. US-based retailers are trying to increase in-store pickups and lower the burden of inventory from warehouses (i.e. 15% of Target’s online purchases are marked for in-store pickup)

(Digital Commerce 360)

By using RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags on their products, Target is able to increase efficiency by increasing its inventory visibility. This means that their buyers will find out whether an item is available at their local store with more ease than ever before.

These RFID tags also help them fulfill online orders that have been placed for in-store pick up, which accounts for around 15% of their entire purchases.

10. Around 54% of warehouses are planning to expand the number of inventory stock-keeping units over the upcoming five years

(Vidya Mentors)

More and more businesses are expanding and increasing the product range that they stock in order to be able to meet consumer demands.

Similarly, up to 30% of businesses plan to reduce the number of stock-keeping units in their product portfolios in order to enhance resilience in transportation and logistics.

11. Human error was reduced by 43.5% percent by using barcode technology on medication at an academic medical center

(National Center for Biotechnology Information)

By using barcodes, they were able to substantially reduce the human error rates when it comes to order transcription, medication administration, and even potential adverse drug events.

However, this did not eliminate such errors. Still, these statistics further prove that an efficient way to improve inventory accuracy and visibility is a crucial component of successful inventory management.

Supply Chain Management Statistics

12. The global supply chain industry is worth a whopping $15.85 billion

(National Law Review)

The global supply chain industry is also expected to further grow with a CAGR of 11.2% up until 2027, regardless of the COVID19 pandemic and the disruptions it brought about.

Its value is expected to more than double by 2027, and it’s predicted to be worth approximately $37.41 billion by the end of that year.

13. Only 22% of businesses and companies currently have a proactive supply chain network

(GDS Group)

Having a proactive supply chain network is extremely important. This means that the end-user is always able to address demand or shifts in supply before they become a critical problem.

The fact that only about a quarter of all companies operative with a supply chain network that’s proactive became very evident during the COVID19 pandemic, as this vulnerability was exposed.

14. The estimated value of out-of-stock items in 2020 was estimated to be more than $1 trillion due to the COVID19 pandemic


This comes in stark contrast to the amount of money tied in overstock items, which is set to be valued at $626 billion, meaning that the out-of-stock items were two times the value.

The trend of out-of-stock items being more than double the value of overstock items was particularly prominent in grocery stores. Statistics state that the out-of-stock items in grocery stores were worth more than five times more than overstock items.

15. The Transportation Management System (TMS) is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 11.2% from 2020 until 2027

(Market Watch)

These statistics mean that the market value of the transportation management system will increase by $120 billion in 2021.

It will further continue to increase and it’s predicted to reach an astonishing $261.89 billion by the end of 2028.

16. 38.8% of small businesses based in the US experienced supply chain delays due to the pandemic

(US Census Bureau)

Globally, around 12% of retailers stated that they have experienced extreme supply chain delays and disruptions largely due to the COVID19 pandemic. Similarly, 32% of global retailers stated they experienced “little” disruptions.

A larger issue was definitely maintaining stock since 28% of survey respondents stated that they experienced shortages and out-of-stocks, which prompted them to search for alternative sourcing options.

Supply Chain Disruptions Statistics

17. Supply chain disruptions cause significant loss in terms of reputation (54%), logistics (54%), and finances (62%)


Other issues related to the supply chain industry include transportation costs, untimely pickups, and deliveries, as well as inaccurate inventory counts. Ever since the COVID19 pandemic started transportation costs have increased due to backlog.

Additionally, supply chain statistics have also shown that the pandemic caused shortages and high fuel prices, which made businesses struggle to keep costs within their client’s desired ranges.

18. The most frequent cause of supply chain disruptions within the US are unplanned IT outages (68%)


Unplanned IT outages are closely followed by adverse weather (62%), loss of talent (51%), cyber-attacks (50%), and fire (44%) as the most common causes of supply chain disruptions in the United States.

Materials and products that do not get where they were supposed to get have a ripple effect which further disrupts the supply chain for a significant time.

19. Up to 30% of companies do not analyze the cause and source of their supply chain disruptions


The fact that almost a third of companies don’t analyze the source of their supply chain disruptions definitely comes as a shock.

In order to maintain accuracy, visibility, and a smooth supply chain flow, businesses must invest time and capital into establishing and eliminating any possible source of disruption.

Inventory Distortion Worldwide
Source: Retail Wire

20. The most common event that can lead to global supply chain disruption are mergers and acquisitions (66%)


Even though mergers and acquisitions hold the top place among the most common events that lead to supply chain disruptions on a global level, other factors also include extreme weather (41%), factory fires (37%), and business sales (33%).

Inventory Accuracy and Visibility Statistics

21. 69% of companies do not have full visibility of their supply chain, whereas only 6% have full visibility

(Supply Chain Dive)

The lack of supply chain visibility and accuracy continues to be an ongoing issue in the industry, especially since the pandemic started.

Inventory visibility and accuracy are extremely important, as businesses that fail to track their inventory effectively can face up to a 62% hit to finances, largely caused by supply chain disruptions.

22. The global supply chain market is set to experience a compound annual growth rate of 11% until 2027

(Business Wire)

Despite the ongoing pandemic that has caused a myriad of issues related to inventory and supply chain management, this number has continued to hold.

The global supply chain market is set to increase in market value from $15.85 billion up to an astonishing $37.41 billion predicted to be reached in 2027.

23. Supply chain visibility is one of the top strategic priorities for companies around the globe


The ability to track components, products, or even parts from their manufacturer to their final destination is of utmost importance for any business or operation. The primary goal of supply chain visibility is to improve and further strengthen the supply chain.

This is achieved by making data readily available to all stakeholders, even including the customer.

24. According to some estimates, proper item-level tagging can increase inventory accuracy to up to 95%

(PR News Wire)

This particularly refers to the use of RFID tags and some other similar types of technology that could potentially be used to track inventory and improve supply chain management.

As the inventory accuracy of US retailers currently sits at just 63%, implementing this kind of technology could potentially increase it to an astounding 95%, which would make an enormous difference and make for better inventory management practices.

These RFID tags, along with sensors, scanners, robots, and drones throughout a warehouse or facility, remove almost all potential for human error. This, in turn, leads to much fewer stock-outs and additionally leads to improved sales due to higher margins.

25. The average United States retail business has an inventory accuracy of just 63%

(PR News Wire)

When it comes to business settings, particularly the inventory management process, a score of just 63% in regards to inventory accuracy is simply unacceptable. With an inaccurate inventory, it becomes extremely difficult to perform daily tasks.

These tasks include very important processes such as managing replenishment schedules, which can potentially lead to stockouts.

In general, a low accuracy inventory ultimately leads to long waits on receiving orders, which could result in customer dissatisfaction and even order cancelations.

26. Approximately 34% of retail businesses shipped an order late because they sold a product that was out of stock


Just as was mentioned above, poor inventory visibility inadvertently leads to the inability to meet customer expectations and results in lowered customer satisfaction.

In order to remain relevant and be able to compete with ecommerce giants, such as Amazon or eBay, a business must maintain inventory visibility and accuracy so as to not turn customers away or disappoint them due to the lack of inventory.

These statistics prove just how important inventory management is, and how valuable it is to have a properly functioning inventory management system in order to be able to manage customer expectations to the fullest extent.

Stockout Risks Statistics
Source: Crazy Lister

27. The most commonly used KPI for supply chain monitoring is daily performance (40%)

(Blue Ridge)

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are sets of quantitive metrics that help a business gauge its performance over a set period of time.

Monitoring how effectively an organization is reaching its targets and goals is extremely valuable.

When it comes to the supply chain industry, aside from monitoring daily performance, important KPIs also include cost reduction (35%), production service rate (29%), inventory turn (28%), and production time (27%).

Other factors used are lead time (27%), return rate (25%), and return on assets (ROA) (22%).

Inventory Management Software Statistics

28. Around 17% of small businesses use inventory tracking software such as Quickbooks to manage their inventory

(Click Focus)

By using a convenient online platform, you can successfully keep track and manage your inventory with some of the top-rated inventory management apps.

Even though approximately 17% of SMBs use Quickbooks, other popular software solutions are Acumatica, Oracle NetSuite, Syspro, and Orderhive.

Having great inventory management software will enable any business to have easy tracking, resource planning, smooth transactions, and other crucial functions that every business needs to have.

29. An astounding 67.4% of managers at supply chains use Microsoft Excel to keep track of and manage their inventory

(Supply Chain Dive)

The numbers are even higher with the years of experience of supply chain managers, with approximately 75% of late majority managers using Excel to manage and do inventory control.

On the contrary, only about half of new investors actually use Excel, as they prefer other more advanced methods of inventory control and management, such as third-party software and tools.

30. Approximately 46% of small-to-medium businesses don’t track inventory or use a manual method instead


What’s even more surprising is the fact that around 21% of small businesses reported having “no inventory”. Only around 40% of small businesses actually keep track of their inventory, whereas others either use a manual method or do not track inventory at all.

This means that many businesses still don’t know how much stock they have or how much they need to order, leaving them more vulnerable and more likely to encounter issues that could result in lower revenue.

How Can These Inventory Management Statistics Help You or Your Business?

Supply chain management and having a robust inventory management system are of utmost importance for any modern company or business. However, supply chain disruptions and the lack of visibility continue to persist as issues.

Inventory management systems and supply chain monitoring are constantly evolving, despite the fact that the COVID19 pandemic impacted them on a global level. Since supply chains have such a huge impact on company profits, cost reduction and optimization are very valuable.

Reducing supply chain costs from 9% to 4% has the potential to double a company’s profits, which is exactly why 57% of companies believe that supply chain management gives them a more competitive edge within their respective industry.

To sum everything up, these inventory management and supply chain statistics send one clear message, and that is that effective supply chain management is necessary in order for a business to grow and thrive.


  1. IMPO Mag
  2. Marketing Alternatives, Inc
  3. Package X
  4. Supply Chain Digest
  5. Valu Track
  6. Statista
  7. Sea Rates
  8. Logistics Management
  9. Digital Commerce 360
  10. Vidya Mentors
  11. National Center for Biotechnology Information
  12. National Law Review
  13. GDS Group
  14. Statista
  15. Market Watch
  16. US Census Bureau
  17. Intequus
  18. Syncron
  19. Resilinc
  20. Accenture
  21. Supply Chain Dive
  22. Business Wire
  23. EY
  24. PR News Wire
  26. Blue Ridge
  27. Click Focus
  28. Supply Chain Dive
  29. ATTS

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Anastasia Belyh

Editor at FounderJar

Anastasia has been a professional blogger and researcher since 2014. She loves to perform in-depth software reviews to help software buyers make informed decisions when choosing project management software, CRM tools, website builders, and everything around growing a startup business.

Anastasia worked in management consulting and tech startups, so she has lots of experience in helping professionals choosing the right business software.