The Smart Forecaster
Pursuing best practices in demand planning, forecasting and inventory optimization
We are often asked what the difference is between these two important performance metrics for inventory planning. While they are both important for measuring how successful a business is in meeting demand, their meaning is very different. If not understood and incorporated into the strategic inventory planning process, inventory will be inefficiently allocated resulting in lower customer service and higher carrying costs. We’ve illustrated the difference in this 4 minute recording using Microsoft Excel.
Smart Operational Analytics automatically calculates historical service levels & fill rates across any item. To see how you calculate these and other operational metrics including inventory turns, supplier performance, and more register below to watch a five minute demonstration. The demo will show how our cloud platform continuously calculates and reports these metrics across thousands of items helping you identify opportunities for service level improvement and inventory reduction.
Generally, the supply chain field has lagged behind finance in terms of the use of statistical models. My university colleagues and I are chipping away at that, but we have a long way to go. Some supply chains are quite technically sophisticated, but many, perhaps more, are essentially managed as much by gut instinct as by the numbers. Is this avoidance of analytics safer than relying on models?
In this blog, we review 9 specific questions you can ask to uncover what’s really happening with the inventory planning and demand forecasting policy at your company. We detail the typical answers provided when a forecasting/inventory planning policy doesn’t really exist, explain how to interpret these answers, and offer some clear advice on what to do about it.
You can’t properly manage your inventory levels, let alone optimize them, if you don’t have a handle on exactly how demand forecasts and stocking parameters (such as Min/Max, safety stocks, and reorder points, and order quantities) are determined. Many organizations cannot specify how policy inputs are calculated or identify situations calling for management overrides to the policy. If you have these problems, you may be wasting hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars each year in unnecessary shortage costs, holding costs, and ordering costs.