We’re fluent in startup finance. Now you can be too.

Learn more about common financial (and startup) terms here. To learn more about Pilot, fill out the form below.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Economic Order Quantity (EOQ)

What is EOQ?

EOQ, or Economic Order Quantity, is a metric used to determine the optimal order quantity for inventory management. It helps businesses minimize the total costs associated with ordering and holding inventory, such as ordering costs, holding costs, and stockout costs. EOQ is particularly useful for companies that deal with a consistent demand for their products and want to optimize their inventory management processes. In this article, we'll discuss the steps to calculate EOQ, why it’s important, and suggest strategies to improve it.

How to calculate EOQ

The formula for calculating EOQ is:

Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) = √(2DS / H)


  • D represents the annual demand for the product
  • S represents the cost of placing an order
  • H represents the holding cost per unit per year

EOQ calculation example

Let's consider a real-world example of a retail store that sells electronic gadgets. We'll use the following data to calculate the EOQ:

Annual Demand (D): 12,000 units

Order Cost (S): $75 per order

Holding Cost per Unit per Year (H): $3

Plug these values into the EOQ formula:

Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) = √(2DS / H)

EOQ = √(2 x 12,000 x 75 / 3)

EOQ = √(1,800,000 / 3)

EOQ = √(600,000)

EOQ = 774.6 units

Since we can't order a fraction of a unit, we'll round up to the nearest whole number:

EOQ = 775 units

In this example, the retail store should order 775 units at a time to minimize their total inventory costs.

Why is EOQ important to understand?

Understanding EOQ is essential for businesses for several reasons:

  • Cost optimization: EOQ helps businesses find the optimal order quantity that minimizes the total costs associated with inventory management. By striking a balance between ordering costs and holding costs, companies can reduce their overall expenses and improve profitability.
  • Inventory management efficiency: Applying the EOQ model allows businesses to maintain an efficient inventory management system. This ensures that they have enough stock to meet customer demand without overstocking, which can lead to increased holding costs and potential obsolescence.
  • Decision-making support: EOQ serves as a valuable tool for decision-makers in various departments, such as procurement, finance, and operations. By understanding the optimal order quantity, these professionals can make informed decisions about purchasing, budgeting, and resource allocation, ultimately contributing to the company's overall success.

Strategies for improving EOQ

Here are some strategies that can help improve your EOQ:

  1. Optimize order frequency: Regularly review and adjust your order frequency to ensure it aligns with your business's demand patterns and inventory management goals. By placing orders at the right time, you can minimize stockouts and excess inventory, leading to a more efficient EOQ.
  2. Negotiate with suppliers: Work closely with your suppliers to negotiate better pricing, payment terms, and delivery schedules. This can help reduce your ordering costs and holding costs, ultimately improving your EOQ. Building strong relationships with suppliers can also lead to more favorable terms and better collaboration in the long run.
  3. Implement demand forecasting: Accurate demand forecasting can help you better predict your inventory needs and make more informed decisions about order quantities. By using historical sales data, market trends, and other relevant factors, you can anticipate future demand and adjust your EOQ accordingly. This can help you maintain an efficient inventory management system and minimize costs associated with stockouts and overstocking.

Need help with other finance or startup questions?

Pilot provides bookkeeping, CFO, and tax services for literally thousands of startups and growing businesses. We've successfully processed over 10 million transactions for our customers and have unparalleled expertise when it comes to helping businesses succeed.

We're the largest startup-focused accounting firm in the United States, and we'd love to help you. To talk to an expert on our team and find out what Pilot can do for you, please click "Talk to an Expert" below, or email us at info@pilot.com.

See what Pilot can do for you

Get the peace of mind that comes from partnering with our experienced finance team.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.