Distribution Expense as a Percentage of COGS

Metric Details & Benchmarking Report Download

KPI Benchmarks : Distribution Expense as a Percentage of COGS

  • Benchmark Range
  • Benchmark Average 8.3%
  • Benchmark Sample Size (n) 45

* Is High or Low Best: Lower is Better


KPI Details : Distribution Expense as a Percentage of COGS

Distribution Expense as a Percentage of COGS measures the portion of costs attributed to distribution of goods vs. the direct costs incurred to produce those goods. A high value for this KPI may suggest small order sizes, excessive equipment maintenance costs, ineffective inventory management, costly vendor selection, poor materials handling, expensive warehouse facilities, overstaffed Distribution functions or slow shipment/delivery cycle times. Companies that incur high distribution costs may pass those expenses on to customers in the form of shipping charges, which may cause customer dissatisfaction. Companies can reduce their distribution expenses by consolidating customer orders, setting productivity goals, optimizing packaging materials for different types of shipments, minimizing order errors, etc. While a low value is typically desired for this KPI, excessively low numbers may also suggest that there are inefficient controls in place for managing the direct materials and labor costs of produced goods.

KPI Best Practices : Distribution Expense as a Percentage of COGS

  • Write-off or sell excess inventory that is obsolete, expired or slow moving to increase stocking space
  • Adjust warehouse staffing levels to forecasted demand to minimize overstaffing
  • Analyze root causes of inventory errors to increase future inventory accuracy

KPI Calculation Instructions Distribution Expense as a Percentage of COGS?

Two values are used to calculate this KPI: (1) the total distribution expense incurred by the company, and (2) the total cost of goods sold (COGS) during the same measurement period. Distribution expenses should include management activities, receiving and warehousing inbound deliveries, monitoring product availability, picking and shipping products for delivery, inventory storage, and shipping/transportation. Do not include procurement expenses in this calculation. COGS includes the cost of the materials used in creating the good along with the direct labor costs used to produce the good. Do not include indirect expenses such as distribution costs and sales force costs in the denominator.

KPI Formula :

(Total Distribution Expense / Total Cost of Goods Sold) * 100

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