Demand Forecasting & Inventory Optimization
Field Proven Solutions for Manufacturers, Distributors, and MRO
How the Smart IP&O Platform Can Help
Smart IP&O, a Digital Supply Chain Platform
“Whatever the request, we need to meet our next day service commitment – Smart enables us to risk adjust our inventory, to be sure we have the products and parts on hand to achieve the service levels our customers require.”
“Smart’s service level planning methodology has led to productive conversations between sales and supply chain and given us a platform or common ground from which we base our discussions.”
“Smart IP&O allowed us to transform our manually maintained stocking levels to a service level-based model that drove significant improvements in fill rates while optimizing total inventory on hand. The accurate forecasts of stocking levels provided fact-based data that allowed us to strategically phase the consolidation effort where warehouse space was at a premium.”
Demand Forecasting and Inventory Optimization for Manufacturers, Distributors and MRO
Pursuing best practices in Demand Forecasting and Inventory Optimization for Manufacturers and MRO
Anybody doing the job knows that managing inventory can be stressful. Common stressors include: Customers with “special” requests, IT departments with other priorities, balky ERP systems running on inaccurate data, raw material shortages, suppliers with long lead times in far-away countries where production often stops for various reasons and more. This note will address one particular and ever-present source of stress: demand variability.
Inventory optimization has become an even higher priority in recent months for many of our customers. Some are finding their products in vastly greater demand; more have the opposite problem. In either case, events like the Covid19 pandemic are forcing a reexamination of standard operating conditions, such as choices of reorder points and order quantities.
Those who produce forecasts owe it to those who consume forecasts, and to themselves, to be aware of the uncertainty in their forecasts. This note is about how to estimate forecast uncertainty and use the estimates in your demand planning process. We focus on forecasts made in support of demand planning as well as forecasts inherent in optimizing inventory policies involving reorder points, safety stocks, and min/max levels.
AUTOMATED STATISTICAL ANALYSIS DRIVES INVENTORY MANAGEMENT
Inventory managers struggle with the conflicting priorities of customer satisfaction and cost control. The featured article shows how to harness customer demand data to craft optimal inventory policies:
Measure current inventory policy performance: service levels, fill rates, inventory turns, and ordering costs.
Identify improvement goals: Assessing tradeoffs between inventory investment and the risk of running out.
Find the optimal balance point: Setting reorder points and order quantities that will achieve the results you require and much more in this article.
What Do You Need to Know About Forecasting and Planning Service Parts?
This paper describes Smart Software’s patented methodology for forecasting demand, safety stocks, and reorder points on items such as service parts and components with intermittent demand, and provides several examples of customer success.