The Smart Forecaster
Pursuing best practices in demand planning,
forecasting and inventory optimization
Smart Inventory Optimization (SIO) creates planning scenarios. SIO starts with a “Live” scenario that shows where you are now. Various team members can create their own scenarios, perhaps dividing the work by product line or sales territory. One decision maker can then merge these scenarios into a consensus plan that becomes the “Goal” scenario, which drives the ERP system’s replenishment planning.
You know the situation: You work out the best way to manage each inventory item by computing the proper reorder points and replenishment targets, then average demand increases or decreases, or demand volatility changes, or suppliers’ lead times change, or your own costs change.
Managing the inventory across multiple facilities arrayed in multiple echelons can be a huge challenge for any company. The complexity arises from the interactions among the echelons, with demands at the lower levels bubbling up and any shortages at the higher levels cascading down.
For most small-to-medium manufacturers and distributors, single-level or single-echelon inventory optimization is at the cutting edge of logistics practice. Multi-echelon inventory optimization (“MEIO”) involves playing the game at an even higher level and is therefore much less common.