Unlocking Profitability: Leveraging the Pareto Principle to Optimize Revenue from the Top 20% of Products

In today's global economy, businesses must stay on top of their game in order to remain competitive. Achieving profitability is no easy feat, but leveraging the Pareto Principle can be
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Do you know what makes an order profitable in a supply chain? It’s not just about selling a product at a high price, but also about managing costs associated with that sale. The profitability of orders is a key performance indicator (KPI) that helps businesses measure the financial success of individual orders. By tracking this KPI, businesses can identify the most profitable products or customers, optimize their supply chain to reduce costs, and increase their bottom line. In this way, profitability of orders is an essential tool for supply chain management, and can help businesses make informed decisions about how to allocate resources and improve profitability.

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key performance indicator

Profitability of orders is a crucial key performance indicator (KPI) used in supply chain management to track the financial performance of individual orders. It measures the profitability of each order by deducting the total cost of goods sold (COGS) and all relevant expenses from the total revenue generated by the sale of the product .


The profitability of orders can be used to determine which products or customers are the most profitable and focus on fulfilling those orders. It can also help businesses identify the least profitable orders, which can be discontinued or improved to increase profitability.

Tracking the profitability of orders can also help businesses identify trends and patterns in their supply chain that may be affecting profitability.


For example, if a certain product consistently generates low profitability, it may indicate a problem in the supply chain that needs to be addressed, such as high transportation costs or inventory carrying costs.Improving the profitability of orders can be achieved by optimizing the supply chain to reduce costs and increase efficiency. This can include negotiating better prices with suppliers, improving inventory management, and reducing transportation costs through more efficient logistics.


By tracking the profitability of orders over time, businesses can identify areas where they can make improvements to increase profitability. They can also use this KPI as a benchmark to compare their financial performance against other businesses in the industry and identify areas where they may be falling behind.In addition to improving profitability, tracking the profitability of orders can also help businesses make better decisions about which products or customers to focus on. For example, if a certain product consistently generates high profitability, businesses may decide to allocate more resources to that product to maximize profitability.

Exploring Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, is a principle that suggests that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In other words, in many situations, a small percentage of inputs or resources produce the majority of the outputs or results.

The Pareto Principle can be applied to a variety of fields, including business, economics, and social sciences. In business, the principle suggests that a small percentage of products or customers typically generate the majority of revenue or profits for a company. For example, 80% of a company’s sales may come from just 20% of its products or customers.


It is common for a small percentage of total goods to make up the majority of revenue for a business. This phenomenon is known as the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule. According to this rule, roughly 80% of revenue comes from 20% of products or customers. This means that businesses should focus on optimizing the profitability of those top-performing products or customers to maximize revenue and profitability. By understanding the Pareto Principle and tracking the profitability of individual products or customers, businesses can make informed decisions about which areas of the supply chain to prioritize in order to improve financial performance.



By understanding the Pareto Principle, businesses can focus on optimizing the profitability of those top-performing products or customers. This can involve improving the supply chain processes that support those products or customers, such as improving inventory management, reducing transportation costs, or negotiating better prices with suppliers. By doing so, businesses can maximize revenue and profitability, and prioritize resources where they will have the greatest impact.


The Pareto Principle can also be used to identify areas where a business may be inefficient or where resources are being misallocated. For example, if 80% of a company’s products are generating just 20% of its revenue, it may indicate that the company is investing too much in products that are not profitable or that its supply chain processes for those products need improvement.

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The reason that 20% of products typically contribute to 80% of a company’s revenue is due to a combination of factors.


Firstly, some products are simply more popular or in higher demand than others. This could be due to a variety of factors, such as price, quality, features, or brand reputation. Customers are more likely to purchase products that meet their needs or preferences, and these popular products will generate more revenue for the company.


Secondly, the Pareto Principle can also be influenced by the way that the company structures its product offerings. For example, the company may choose to focus on a small number of core products or product lines that are particularly profitable, rather than offering a wide range of products with lower profit margins. By concentrating resources on these top-performing products, the company can maximize revenue and profitability.


The fact that 20% of products contribute to 80% of revenue does not necessarily indicate any particular strengths or weaknesses of the company. However, it can be used as a valuable insight to optimize supply chain and focus resources. It’s important to evaluate the profitability of individual products and customers to identify areas of the business that may need improvement or optimization.

Pros and Cons


  1. Greater focus: By identifying the top-performing products, the company can focus its resources on optimizing those products, rather than spreading resources too thin across a large number of products. This can lead to greater efficiency and effectiveness in the supply chain, resulting in improved profitability.
  2. Competitive advantage: By focusing on the top-performing products, the company can differentiate itself from competitors and establish a reputation for quality and reliability in those specific products. This can help the company gain a competitive advantage and maintain market share.
  3. Opportunity for growth: By identifying the top-performing products, the company can focus on expanding those product lines or developing new products that cater to the same customer base. This can help the company grow its revenue and market share over time.


  1. Over-dependence on a small number of products: If the top-performing products make up a large portion of the company’s revenue, the company may be overly dependent on those products. This can increase risk if there is a decline in demand for those products or if there is increased competition in that market.
  2. Vulnerability to supply chain disruptions: If the top-performing products are dependent on specific suppliers or raw materials, any disruptions to the supply chain can have a significant impact on the company’s revenue and profitability.
  3. Limited product diversification: By focusing too heavily on the top-performing products, the company may neglect other products or markets that have potential for growth. This can limit the company’s ability to adapt to changing market conditions or customer needs over time.

In this project

Our client is a parts seller whose 80% of revenue is generated from the sale of just 20% of its products. While this may seem like a successful business model on the surface, there are underlying challenges that must be addressed to ensure long-term success. Our task was to identify these problems that could potentially impact our client’s business over time.

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revenue is generated

Data analysis – underlying problems

When a company’s 80% of revenue comes from the sale of just 20% of its products, it can face several challenges in managing its supply chain, warehouse management, transportation, and demand forecasting. Here are some of the key problems that such companies may encounter:


  1. Supply chain challenges: The company’s supply chain may be heavily dependent on a small number of suppliers, which can increase the risk of disruptions if there are any problems with those suppliers. The company may also have to manage complex supply chain logistics for the top-performing products, such as sourcing materials from multiple locations or coordinating with multiple vendors.
  2. Warehouse management challenges: The company may need to manage a large amount of inventory for the top-performing products, which can be challenging to store and distribute efficiently. This can lead to problems with inventory management, stockouts, and overstocking, which can impact profitability and customer satisfaction.
  3. Transportation challenges: The company may need to transport a large volume of goods for the top-performing products, which can be challenging to manage effectively. This can lead to problems with transportation costs, delivery times, and logistics, which can impact customer satisfaction and profitability.
  4. Demand forecasting challenges: The company may face challenges in accurately forecasting demand for the top-performing products, which can impact inventory management, production planning, and supply chain logistics. If demand is overestimated, the company may end up with excess inventory, while if demand is underestimated, the company may face stockouts and lost sales.

Some strategy

  1. Optimize supply chain: To ensure that the top-performing products are always in stock, it is important to optimize the supply chain by carefully managing suppliers, production schedules, and inventory levels. This will help ensure that the company can meet customer demand for the top-performing products, while also minimizing inventory costs.
  2. Diversify product offerings: While the top-performing products may be generating the most revenue, it is important to continue to develop and promote other products that have potential for growth. This will help diversify the company’s revenue streams, reduce reliance on a small number of products, and mitigate the risk of supply chain disruptions.
  3. Forecast demand accurately: Accurately forecasting demand for the top-performing products is critical to effective inventory management and supply chain planning. By using data analytics, market research, and customer insights, companies can develop more accurate demand forecasts, which will help optimize inventory levels, production schedules, and supply chain logistics.
  4. Improve warehouse management: To ensure efficient and effective warehouse management, companies should invest in technology and processes that optimize inventory storage, picking, and shipping. This will help minimize errors, reduce lead times, and improve customer satisfaction.
  5. Monitor supply chain risks: To minimize the risk of supply chain disruptions, companies should monitor suppliers, transportation providers, and other stakeholders for potential risks. This will help identify and mitigate potential problems before they occur, reducing the risk of lost sales and customer dissatisfaction.


The Pareto principle is a powerful concept that can be applied to many aspects of business, including the profitability of orders. When 80% of revenue comes from the sale of just 20% of products, it can create both opportunities and challenges for companies. While the top-performing products may be generating significant revenue, they also require careful management to ensure long-term success. Companies must optimize their supply chain, diversify their product offerings, forecast demand accurately, improve warehouse management, and monitor supply chain risks to effectively manage this situation. By taking a comprehensive approach, companies can maximize revenue from their top-performing products while minimizing the risks associated with a high concentration of revenue from a small number of products. Ultimately, effective management of profitability of orders can drive long-term success and profitability for companies in the dynamic and competitive business landscape.

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