Days Sales in Inventory (DSI)

Updated on May 9, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byWallstreetmojo Team
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is Days Sales In Inventory (DSI)?

The Days Sales in Inventory (DSI) value gives an estimation of the time required for a business to turn its inventory into sales. Generally, a low DSI is preferred because it denotes quick inventory turnovers, although the ideal DSI will vary depending on the organization and its sector.

Days Sales in Inventory

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It provides investors and creditors with an estimate of the cash flow, value, and liquidity associated with inventories. Older and dated inventory is less valuable than fresh inventory. DSI value indicates how fast the company’s inventory is moving. A lesser amount of outstanding inventory enables the business to sell its inventory for cash more quickly.

Key Takeaways

  • Days Sales in Inventory (DSI) exhibits the average number of days a business requires to turn its inventory into sales. It is one way to measure inventory management.
  • DSI is calculated per the formula: DSI = (Average inventory/cost of goods sold) x 365. At the end of an accounting period, a company’s inventory represents the worth of items still in stock and available for purchase.
  • A high DSI indicates that the company has had trouble turning around its inventory into revenues, and a low DSI value indicates the company’s efficiency in converting inventories into sales.

Days Sales In Inventory Explained

Days sales in Inventory (DSI) exhibits the average number of days a business requires to clear the inventory by selling it. So finding the average days sales in inventory is one way to measure inventory management. For instance, a company’s low DSI means many things. First, the organization has been efficiently using its inventory. Generally, a decrease in DSI indicates an improvement in working capital, whereas an increase in DSI denotes a decline. On the other hand, a high DSI shows that the company has had trouble converting its inventory into revenues.

Monitoring DSI is linked to several advantages:

  • Inventory management & optimization: Inventory purchases are determined by how closely a business tracks its benchmark. 
  • Improvement in cash flow: An increase in cash flow can be achieved by identifying methods to reduce DSI. It helps to free up funds, which opens up options to invest in other business areas.
  • Employment of new strategies: Monitoring DSI Suggests that new pricing and marketing decisions are necessary. For example, if DSI is greater than desired, businesses can offer product bundles, discounts, coupons, or other incentives to encourage and attract purchases. 
  • Reduces the danger of spoilage: If there are seasonal commodities or perishable goods, it is crucial to maintain a low DSI because a longer shelf life increases the likelihood of inventory dead stock or spoilage
  • Making plans for the future: Knowing the DSI and how DSI changes throughout the periods due to seasonal sales and other opportunities can help a company make a precise inventory prediction.

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The formula for calculating Days Sales in Inventory is as follows:

DSI = (Average inventory /Cost of goods sold) x 365

The inventory is the number of products a business has left at the end of the year. The cost of goods sold is a company’s direct production costs for its inventory. Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) refers to labor, materials, and other expenses directly associated with manufacturing a company’s products.

Calculation Example

A Days Sales in Inventory calculation example is as follows:

Daniel is the owner of a candle shop. He wants to assess his business’s Days Sales in Inventory for the previous year. According to company records, the value of the unsold stock (ending inventory) is $20,000, and the cost of goods sold is $125,000. 

The calculation of DSI can be done as follows:

DSI = (Average inventory/cost of goods sold or sales) x 365

DSI = $20,000/$125,000*365


According to this estimate, the “Days Sales in Inventory” is 58.4, which indicates that the company typically converts its inventory into cash in 58 (approximately) days or that its inventory will survive, on average, for 58 days.

Days Sales In Inventory And Inventory Turnover

Inventory turnover measures how frequently inventory is sold or used during a given time frame, such as a year. Inventory turnover, in simple words, is an indicator of how a company handles its inventory. If the inventory turnover ratio is high, the company handles the inventory well, and the stock is not outdated, which naturally means lower holding costs.

On the other hand, if the inventory turnover ratio is low, it indicates the company’s goods are slow to move or are not getting sold much in the market. As a result, it means higher holding costs, possible outdating of goods held, and naturally lowers profits. On the other hand, DSI shows the time frame the business can turn its inventory into sales. Therefore, inventory turnover and days sales in inventory concepts are related.

DSIInventory Turnover
The average number of days it takes to turn inventory into salesThe number of times inventory is sold or used over a given time frame
Average inventory/COGSCOGS/Average Inventory
Generally, a low DSI value is preferredGenerally, high inventory turnover is preferred

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why “Days Sales in Inventory” ratio is important?

The calculation of DSI value is important to companies and their stakeholders since it throws insight into the efficiency of inventory management and the company’s performance. For example, the DSI value discloses how fast a company sells its inventory; that is the average time it takes to clear its inventory through sales.

What is a good DSI ratio?

Good DSI generally means a decent number of days a business can sustain its inventory. It is calculated to effectively manage inventories and find a balance between having enough stock reserve but not too much to lay idle. Generally, low DSI values are preferred since it indicates the smart conversion of inventories. Ideally, a good DSI is 30–60 days (depending on the entity’s size and industry). 

Is a high DSI good?

A low DSI value indicates that a company is more effective at clearing its stock. In contrast, a high DSI value suggests it may have purchased too much inventory or possibly have older stock in its inventory. Hence a high DSI value is not good.

This has been a guide to what is Days Sales in Inventory. We explain its formula, calculation, example, and differences from inventory turnover. You can learn more about financing from the following articles –

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