ABC analysis: Management Study Material for CMR/MMR DGMS Examination

ABC analysis


ABC analysis refers to materials management.

It is  an inventory categorization technique.

It is also called selective inventory control.

ABC analysis divides an inventory into three categories-

  • "A items" with very tight control and accurate records
  • "B items" with less tightly controlled and good records, and
  • "C items" with the simplest controls possible and minimal records.

The ABC analysis provides a mechanism for identifying items that will have a significant impact on overall inventory cost.

It also provides a mechanism for identifying different categories of stock that will require different management and controls.

The ABC analysis suggests that inventories of an organization are not of equal value. Thus, the inventory is grouped into three categories (A, B, and C) in order of their estimated importance.

'A' items are very important for an organization. Because of the high value of these 'A' items, frequent value analysis is required. In addition to that, an organization needs to choose an appropriate order pattern to avoid excess capacity.

'B' items are important, but of course less important than 'A' items and more important than 'C' items. Therefore, 'B' items are intergroup items.

'C' items are marginally important.

It is frequently used by inventory managers to put their efforts where greatest benefits, in terms of cost reduction as well as maintaining a smooth availability of stock are attained.


Difference between ABC analysis and XYZ analysis

ABC analysis classifies the raw materials based on their consumption during a particular time period (usually one year).

XYZ analysis is more used in relation of the customer demand for finished goods.

X is high demand, Y medium demand, Z very low demand.

ABC/XYZ Analysis is used to generate the strategy for the supply and inventory control and production strategy.

The ABC analysis is a primary analysis. It can be used as a basis for follow-up or secondary analyses for XYZ analysis.

Multiple choice questions for DGMS Coal and Metal Manager’s Examination


  1. In ABC analysis ‘A’ class consist of items having ________.
  1. Accurate records
  2. Good records
  3. Minimal records
  4. No records

(Ans: a)

  1. An example of fixed asset is
  1. Live stock
  2. Value stock
  3. Income stock
  4. All of the above

(Ans: a)


3. XYZ analysis is more used in relation of the customer demand for

a.         raw goods

b.         finished goods

c.         Both A and B

d.         Live stock



4.         Which of the following statements about ABC analysis is false?

a.   ABC analysis is based on the presumption that controlling the few most important items produces the vast majority of inventory savings.

b.   In ABC analysis, "A" Items are tightly controlled, have accurate records, and receive regular review by major decision makers.

c.   ABC analysis is based on the presumption that all items must be tightly controlled to produce important cost savings.

d.    In ABC analysis, "C" Items have minimal records, periodic review, and simple controls

Ans. C

5.         The two most basic inventory questions answered by the typical inventory model are

a.       timing and cost of orders

b.      quantity and cost of orders

c.       timing and quantity of orders

d.      order quantity and service level

 Ans. c

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