Cost Accounting

What is Economic Order Quantity and Its Assumptions?

Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) is a formula used in inventory management to determine the optimal quantity of goods that should be ordered at one time.

EOQ takes into account various factors such as ordering costs, carrying costs, and the demand for the product. By finding that sweet spot where the cost of ordering and holding inventory is minimized, businesses can optimize their operations and save some money along the way.

By using EOQ, businesses can avoid stock shortages or excessive inventory, which can lead to wastage and increased costs. It’s a great tool to help businesses strike a balance and manage their inventory in a more efficient manner.

The assumptions underlying the EOQ model

Demand is known: Firstly, the EOQ model assumes that the demand for the product is constant and known in advance. This means that the business has a good understanding of how much of the product will be needed over a given period of time. While this assumption may not always reflect reality, it serves as a useful starting point for calculating the EOQ.

Constant lead time: The lead time, which refers to the time between placing an order and receiving it, is assumed to be constant and consistent for each order.

No stockouts or backorders: The EOQ assumes that there will be no stockouts or backorders during the planning period. This assumption implies that replenishment will always occur before running out of stock.

Instantaneous delivery: It is assumed that once an order is placed, it will be delivered instantaneously without any delays.

Fixed purchase cost: The cost of placing an order, usually including administrative expenses such as processing paperwork and transportation costs, remains constant regardless of the order quantity.

Constant holding cost: The EOQ model assumes that the holding cost per unit per year remains constant. Holding costs include expenses such as warehousing, insurance, and any costs associated with storing and maintaining the inventory. By assuming a constant holding cost, businesses can better assess the impact of inventory levels on their overall costs.

No quantity discounts: The EOQ does not consider any discounts provided by suppliers based on larger order quantities.

Single product focus: The EOQ model assumes that only one item is managed at a time, assuming no interactions with other products or constraints regarding available space or production capacity.


While the assumptions underlying the EOQ model may not always perfectly align with real-world situations, they provide a valuable framework for businesses to optimize their inventory management and minimize costs. It’s important to remember that the EOQ model is just one tool among many that businesses can utilize, and adjustments may need to be made based on specific circumstances and industry dynamics.

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