Apple turns over their inventory every five days

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,031   +150
Staff member

Apple has topped the charts in the eighth annual Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 research initiative as having the best supply chain in the world. The company received a composite score of 9.69 out of 10, roughly 80 percent higher than what second place Amazon finished with at 5.40.

The most interesting metric in the list has to do how quickly a company turns over its inventory. TUAW breaks this down simply as how long a product stays on the shelf in a store before being sold.

gartner apple inventory inventory turn-over

The Atlantic did some research into inventory turn metrics and discovered that typical manufacturing companies have between six and eight inventory turns per year. Furthermore, high volume / low margin companies like grocery stores could have upwards of 12 turns each year. This essentially means that for a typical manufacturing company, a product may sit on the shelf for around 45 days before being sold.  

For Apple, their inventory turn around metric is 74. That means that an Apple product only sits on the shelf in a store for around five days before being sold. The only company in the top 25 that beat Cupertino in this category was McDonalds with an inventory turn of 142. Of course, keep in mind that they deal in perishable food items where a quick turnaround is mandatory.

For comparison in the same tech category, Dell had an inventory turn of 35 times per year while Samsung scored a 17 and HP did 13 turns per year.

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Posts: 10,610   +464
^ Probably bigger than some though. But you make a good point, their large, diverse product line in the mid 90s is what almost killed them. Making few products and making them well can be more beneficial than making a plethora of 'ok' products.


Posts: 827   +93
Im sure this report doesnt cover non-Apple store numbers. Places like Best Buy ect. can sit on a Iphone for months w/o seeing any movement. Altho I am 100% certain that Apple shipping their product to other vendors is covered on this report.