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.
In this blog, we review 10 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.
Service Level Driven Planning (SLDP) is an approach to inventory planning based on exposing the tradeoffs between SKU availability and inventory cost that are at the root of all wise inventory decisions. When organizations understand these tradeoffs, they can make better decisions and have greater variability into the risk of stockouts. SLDP unfolds in four steps: Benchmark, Collaborate, Plan, and Track.
In the supply chain planning world, the most fundamental decision is how to balance item availability against the cost of maintaining that availability (service levels and fill rates). At one extreme, you can grossly overstock and never run out until you go broke and have to close up shop from sinking all your cash into inventory that doesn’t sell. At the other extreme, you can grossly understock and save a bundle on inventory holding costs but go broke and have to close up shop because all your customers took their business elsewhere.