Understanding Period Order Quantity (POQ) in Inventory Management


In the world of inventory management, finding the right balance between maintaining sufficient stock levels and minimizing holding costs is crucial. One approach that aims to strike this balance is Period Order Quantity (POQ). In this article, we will delve into the concept of POQ, its benefits, and how it can be applied in inventory management.

What is Period Order Quantity (POQ)? 

Period Order Quantity (POQ) is an inventory management technique that determines the optimal order quantity for replenishing inventory at regular intervals, usually at fixed time intervals rather than based on demand fluctuations. Unlike other approaches that focus on specific demand levels or order cycles, POQ considers a predetermined period to place orders.

Key Features and Benefits of POQ:

  1. Simplicity and Ease of Implementation: POQ offers a straightforward approach to inventory replenishment. By setting fixed time intervals for ordering, it simplifies the decision-making process.
  2. Inventory Level Stability: With POQ, inventory levels remain relatively stable since orders are placed at regular intervals, regardless of demand fluctuations. This helps to ensure a steady supply and reduces the risk of stockouts or excess inventory.
  3. Cost Optimization: POQ helps minimize costs associated with carrying inventory. By ordering in larger quantities and less frequently, organizations can take advantage of economies of scale, reduce order processing costs, and potentially negotiate better pricing with suppliers.
  4. Reduced Administrative Efforts: Since orders are placed periodically, there is less administrative effort involved in tracking and placing frequent individual orders.
  5. Better Demand Planning: POQ facilitates better demand planning by analyzing historical data and forecasting requirements over fixed time intervals. This can lead to more accurate inventory projections and improved supply chain management.

Example Illustration: 

Let’s consider an online retail store that sells electronics. The store decides to implement a POQ approach to manage its inventory of a popular smartphone model. After analyzing historical data and considering factors like lead time and customer demand, the store determines that a two-week ordering interval is suitable for this product.

At the end of every two weeks, the store places an order to replenish its inventory. The order quantity is calculated based on factors such as the average sales during the period, safety stock requirements, and supplier lead time. By following this approach, the store maintains a consistent stock level, avoids frequent ordering, and achieves cost savings through bulk purchases and reduced administrative efforts.


Period Order Quantity (POQ) offers a practical and effective method for managing inventory by placing regular orders at fixed time intervals. With its simplicity, inventory stability, cost optimization benefits, and improved demand planning capabilities, POQ is a valuable tool for businesses looking to strike the right balance between inventory holding costs and meeting customer demand.