Introduction to Raw Materials Inventory

A manufacturing company relies mainly on data and information to properly manufacture items while staying within its financial budget. Manufacturers may comprehend their raw materials return rate, develop applicable financial statements, and calculate when they’ll need to resupply their inventory using useful formulas like calculating raw materials inventory. Let us look at raw materials inventory and how to measure it.

What is Raw Materials Inventory?

Raw materials inventory is the computed worth of a business’s basic materials utilized to produce and assemble its products. These are “pre-production material” items available in stock and ready to use. Since raw materials contribute to a company’s entire product inventory, raw materials are frequently listed as a current asset in financial records such as an income statement.

Direct and indirect raw materials are the two subdivisions of raw materials inventory.

Direct Materials

Raw materials that are effectively used throughout the production process of a company’s goods and services and are an essential part of the completed products manufactured are referred to as direct materials. Direct Material Costs are stated on the debit side of the financial statement under “cost of products sold.”

They are also known as the costs incurred to create a product that businesses can trace back to its initial form.

The five primary constituents of direct material cost are as follows:

Costs of raw materials

Packaging is integral to the production process since it protects your products and helps you market them.

Packaging prices vary depending on the size and type of material used. However, they can range from $0.15 for a little bag to $20+ for a special box.

Transportation and Storage Fees

Moving items from one location to another incur transportation costs.

Transportation costs could entail moving them by air, water, or land. You must factor this into your calculations because these fees can suddenly arise when relying on your suppliers’ locale.

Because freight prices differ depending on where it’s being delivered, it’s essential to determine your supplier’s charge.

These holding fees can quickly add up if you have considerable stock, so keeping track of them is crucial.

Raw materials inventory in e-commerce

Taxes Levied Indirectly

GST and VAT are examples of indirect taxes or taxes that are imposed uniformly on all commodities.

Indirect tax costs should be factored into your calculations, but you must ensure they are relevant to the rates with which this tax is collected under your country’s laws. This will differ based on where you are, so factor it into your estimates.

Price Reductions

Discounts are used to lower the cost of an item and can be applied as a one-time reduction or a sales promotion. These reductions should not include whatever is provided above and beyond what is generally anticipated, such as free delivery. Instead, they should emphasize asking whether your provider has any unique offers that will help you save money. If you’re working with a wholesaler, they might be willing to give you the concession to get your goods into retail outlets. Estimating your direct materials cost can also help you save money altogether.

Indirect Materials

Materials used in industrial processes cannot be linked to a specific product or experience. While these materials are utilized as a part of the production, they are typically used in tiny amounts per product and acquired in bulk.

Because of the characteristics of these materials, tracking them as direct materials or including them in the purchase requisition is usually ineffective. Instead, these items are expensed as manufacturing equipment or trade supplies, i.e., manufacturing expenses. In some circumstances, indirect materials aren’t tracked using a conventional stocking or record-keeping system; instead, an intuitive structure is utilized to identify when more indirect materials are needed.

Difference Between Direct and Indirect Materials

While raw materials are transformed into completed items, indirect materials are those that do not constitute part of the final product.

Another distinguishing feature of indirect materials is that their expenses cannot be linked to a specific item.

Raw materials inventory in e-commerce

Examples of Raw Materials

Depending on how they’re made, these materials fall into one of three categories:


The most prevalent customers of these items are agro-industries. Fabrics, dairy, and other businesses process materials such as leather, thread, and other natural fibers to create finished goods.


Items obtained from agriculture or forestry are called plant-based. Cotton, cooking oil, cork, and other unprocessed commodities fall into this category, also known as vegetable-based unprocessed commodities.


Coal, natural gas, iron ore, sand, clay, and other mineral-based commodities can be acquired by extraction. This type of material is used in industrial applications and the carving of gorgeous jewelry.

Why Do Businesses Have Raw Material Inventory?

Raw materials, consumables, and packing materials are held and issued on a JIT (Just-in-time) basis in most firms’ raw material inventory warehouses attached to manufacturing plants. The reasons for keeping inventories can differ from one situation to the next.

Meet production demand variation

The production plan is adjusted following sales, forecasts, purchases, and stocking trends. As a result, the requirement for raw material sourcing for manufacturing changes depending on the product strategy regarding particular SKUs (Stock keeping units) and batch sizes. Keeping inventory in a local warehouse allows you to quickly assign the required amount and item to manufacture.

Marketplace demand and supply are cyclical, based on various factors such as seasons, holidays, and previous sales figures, allowing businesses to predict a massive rise in market demands well in advance. As a result, they accumulate raw materials and inventory so that they may ramp up production and speed up the time-to-market to satisfy the increasing demand.

Economies of scale in procurement

Purchasing raw materials in bulk and retaining inventory is less expensive for the company than purchasing small lots regularly. In such circumstances, bulk purchases are made, and stocks are kept at the facility storage.

Use rising prices and discounts to your advantage

Suppose a price increase is anticipated in a few months due to price changes in the domestic or international industry, the effect of taxation and expenditures, and so on. Then businesses prefer to buy raw materials and equipment and invest in stocks as a hedging instrument against rising costs. To take full advantage of the volume savings offered by suppliers, businesses buy in bulk and keep raw material stocks. In such circumstances, the savings from discounts would be significantly more than the inventory holding costs.

Reduce transit cost and transit times

When importing raw materials from a foreign land or a distance vendor inside the country, buying products in bulk and transferring them as a full container or a truckload load can save a lot of money on transportation costs. Portion deliveries can be more expensive. In terms of transfer time, a container load cargo or a full truckload has a speedier transit time than a part shipping load, which might take several weeks as the freight awaits for the other shipments to fill the containers. Several issues could cause production and freight delays, impede the distribution network, and force enterprises to keep raw material stockpiles in reserve.

Businesses must keep extensive-lead and high-demand commodities in stock

Vendors’ raw material supply frequently has several months-long lead times. Furthermore, supply shortages are likely if the item in question is in great demand and in short supply. It is probably best to keep track of stocks and maintain control in such situations.

Raw Material Inventory Management

Both direct and indirect raw materials require proper handling to guarantee that sufficient quantities are available to produce a company’s products. Here are five practical methods for managing your raw materials.

Determine the inventory of raw materials

Calculating your stock should be the starting point in raw material management. The overall price of all parts and materials used to manufacture a product has not yet been employed in work-in-process or completed product manufacturing, known as raw materials inventory. Combining the cost of direct materials with the production overhead to establish the valuation of your store is one method of calculating raw materials inventories.

Keep a close eye on the raw resources you’re using

Bookkeeping is integral to the raw materials management process since it can help you avoid problems like overstocking and understocking.

Close monitoring can be helpful for internal operations and graphing price variations in exporting and importing items over time. It could assist you in better managing your company’s finances.

The 80/20 rule

Most experts advise following the 80/20 standard when operating a company. In non-scientific words, this is the premise that 20% of the labor produces 80% of the result. The 80/20 rule could mean aiming for a profit margin of 80% on 20% of your inventory for actual materials management.

As a result, you’ll have a specific inventory amount. You might then focus your inventory management efforts on the 20% of your activities that bring 80% of your income.

Evaluate your vendors

Keeping aware of your suppliers’ workflows is essential for the supply chain. If just one of your vendors is consistently late in delivering your raw materials, it could severely impact your organization.

Demand forecasting

Long-term planning is essential for raw material inventory management, mainly when dealing with perishable items. Demand planning is how a company examines prior developments and marketplace predictions in anticipating demand for its products. Forecasting demand will help you optimize your stock levels, but it will also help you maximize revenues by manufacturing only what you can market.

There are three basic approaches for a company to practice demand planning:

  • Market expert method – If you have a connection with a group of specialists in your sector, ask them for demand projections for that market.
  • Consumer survey method – Like the above, instead of polling your customers, you research them to measure their future interest in your items.
  • Trend prediction method – If you’ve been in the company for a while and have a lot of data to work with, you might be able to use that data to analyze and forecast product demand.
  • If your logistics have been harmed, it’s worth looking into if trade finance can help. Trade finance allows businesses to buy products (such as natural resources) from providers with financial ‘room to breathe.’

How to Calculate Raw Materials Inventory Value?

Raw material computation differs depending on nature and form, such as direct and indirect materials. In essence, raw materials are debited to the asset account for inventories and credited to the liability account for payables. Direct materials are treated as a debit in work-in-process stocks and as a credit in the raw resources accounting system.

The indirect materials are a credit to assess raw resources and a debit to the manufacturing expense accounts. To compute the final balance, subtract the raw materials used in either the work-in-process or finished-goods inventory. Add raw material purchases made throughout the accounting cycle.

Raw materials inventory in e-commerce

Beginning Raw Materials Inventory Formula

You can determine the worth of a company’s starting raw materials stock by tallying up all indirect and direct materials from the commencement of a given period and calculating their overall value. The formula is essentially the prior accounting period’s closing raw materials stock.

How to Find Ending Raw Materials Inventory?

The ending inventory equation determines the value of products sold at the end of a fiscal year. It is usually recorded at a reduced cost or market value in the financial statements.

Ending Raw Materials Inventory Formula is equal to Beginning Inventory + Purchases – Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)

The value of the firm’s ending inventory is calculated using one of the three techniques listed below:

FIFO Method

Because the older items have been used up and the most recently acquired products represent current market pricing, FIFO can better estimate the potential for ending inventory. FIFO is the most obvious choice for most businesses because they usually utilize their oldest stock first to create their products; therefore, COGS valuation follows their production plan.

LIFO Method

When using the LIFO approach to calculate sales figures, the latest items purchased are used to evaluate COGS and are sold initially. Businesses would sell the older, less expensive goods later. The current COGS would be more significant under LIFO in inflationary situations because the new stock would be more costly. Consequently, businesses would reduce the year’s costs and revenues or net earnings. However, the corporation will have a reduced tax burden.

How to Calculate Raw Materials Inventory Turnover

The raw materials inventory turnover rate is a computed rate that indicates when a company’s inventory of raw materials is depleted and needs to be replaced. This process can help determine future stock levels and predict when more raw resources will be required.

These steps will help you calculate your raw material inventory turnover:

Step 1: Determine The Period For Which You Will Be Calculating

Step 1: Determine the period for which you will be calculating To calculate the turnover, a corporation must obtain its equation numbers from a particular period, much as it does when computing the raw materials stock. Many businesses use one fiscal year as their standard period.

Step 2. Determine The Average Inventory Of Raw Materials

The simplest method for calculating median raw materials stock is to add the beginning and ending inventory values, then divide the total by two. If a company’s initial raw material asset value was $50,000 at the start of its fiscal year and its finishing asset value was $60,000, the mean will be ($50,000 + $60,000)/2, or $55,000.

Raw materials inventory in e-commerce

How to Calculate the Raw Material Value with Weighted Average Costing?

The mean unit cost is calculated by dividing the entire cost of items available for purchase by the average prices. The ending inventory valuation is computed by multiplying the average cost by the product quantity available after the financial quarter.

Raw materials inventory in e-commerce

How Do You Track Raw Materials?

The purpose of raw material traceability is to monitor raw materials from when they leave the supply source till they arrive at the factory. Manufacturing processes are smoothed out by tracking.

Your bottom line will suffer without a tracking system, and untracked raw inventory will undo your hard work. The benefits of implementing a track and trace function are tremendous and can sort everything for organizations.

How Does Tracking Raw Materials Help Your Business?

It’s critical to have visibility into your manufacturing operations to streamline production, boost profits, and eliminate waste. These points below illustrate why tracking raw materials is crucial.

Efficiency Gains

Practical raw material evaluation allows manufacturers and suppliers to boost productivity. Raw material traceability ensures operations run smoothly. Businesses can update customers on the delivery status. Efficient gains will enable them to plan ahead of time.

Quality Control

Quality control enables enterprises to obtain high-quality raw materials for their manufacturing operations. In industries such as automotive and food supply, a track and trace mechanism fosters quality monitoring, which is critical. The raw material provider can anticipate the time it will take for the raw material to arrive at its goal by keeping track of the delivery of materials.

Continuous Improvement

Modern businesses are lean and adaptable. Raw material traceability enables a compact production process that reduces waste and promotes continuous development. Continuous enhancement benefits both suppliers and brand makers by allowing them to refine their operations regularly.

Save Money By Avoiding The Risks Of Non-Traceability

Numerous instances of component failures are due to the inability to develop a suitable tracking system. You can avert such calamities by implementing a comprehensive tracing system to cover every step of the process. Consequently, companies will be able to avoid the danger of non-traceability.

Root Cause Analysis In A Flash

With a traceability structure in order, identifying possible issues before the raw material is sent, determining the severity of the situation, and choosing the root causes become more straightforward. The advantage allows for the resolution of organizational issues, whether minor or extensive.


Finished goods are created using raw materials. Unfortunately, certain raw materials may deteriorate during production or storage, and these costs are included in the company’s price of products sold. As a result, businesses need an account of such materials utilized in creating products at any moment.

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Some common examples of raw materials include gasoline, coal, plastic, minerals, and forest resources.

The main distinction is that raw materials inventory is used in manufacturing items. In contrast, completed goods inventory is what the firm produces and then sells to a product distributor.

Raw materials inventory is recorded into an inventory asset account.

Raw materials are needed to refine any final product into finished products.

You can manage your raw materials inventory by understanding methods such as overstocking and understocking or using quality raw materials for your business.

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