Sawtooth Chart

The Sawtooth Chart is a powerful graphical tool extensively utilized in inventory management to visualize and understand the cyclical nature of inventory levels over time. As its name suggests, the chart resembles the shape of a sawtooth, with a sequence of incremental rises followed by sharp declines. This pattern represents the periodic fluctuations in inventory, showcasing the buildup and depletion of stock as goods are replenished and consumed within a specific time frame.

Key Aspects of Sawtooth Chart in Inventory Management

  1. Periodic Replenishment and Consumption: The Sawtooth Chart showcases the repetitive cycle of inventory replenishment and consumption. Each cycle corresponds to a specific time period, such as days, weeks, or months, during which inventory levels rise as new stock is added and then decline as goods are sold or utilized.
  2. Inventory Levels on the Y-Axis: The vertical axis of the Sawtooth Chart represents the inventory levels, indicating the quantity of goods available at different points in time. The incremental rises and sharp declines in the chart visually illustrate the ebb and flow of inventory stock.
  3. Time on the X-Axis: The horizontal axis of the Sawtooth Chart represents time, divided into periods or intervals. Each period corresponds to a full cycle of inventory replenishment and consumption.

Uses of Sawtooth Chart in Inventory Management

  1. Reorder Point Analysis: The Sawtooth Chart aids in determining the appropriate reorder point for inventory. By identifying the lowest point in the sawtooth pattern (the point just before a sharp rise), businesses can set their reorder point to ensure timely restocking and prevent stockouts.
  2. Inventory Optimization: Analyzing the Sawtooth Chart helps in optimizing inventory levels. Businesses can identify trends in the sawtooth pattern, enabling them to strike a balance between carrying sufficient inventory to meet demand and avoiding excess stock that may lead to increased holding costs.
  3. Lead Time Management: Understanding the Sawtooth Chart assists in managing lead times effectively. By recognizing the time between placing an order and receiving the inventory, businesses can ensure a smooth inventory flow and avoid disruptions in production or sales.
  4. Demand Forecasting: The cyclical nature of the Sawtooth Chart can provide valuable insights into demand patterns. Businesses can use this information to refine their demand forecasting models and make data-driven decisions.

Interpreting Sawtooth Chart in Inventory Management

When analyzing the Sawtooth Chart in inventory management, the incremental rises indicate inventory buildup during replenishment periods. This buildup ensures sufficient stock is available to meet customer demands. The sharp declines represent inventory depletion during periods of consumption or sales.


The Sawtooth Chart is a valuable tool in inventory management, offering insights into the cyclical patterns of inventory replenishment and consumption. By leveraging this graphical representation, businesses can optimize inventory levels, set appropriate reorder points, and improve demand forecasting. Effectively managing inventory through the Sawtooth Chart helps businesses ensure smooth operations, minimize stockouts, and maximize overall Efficiency in their supply chain.


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