The Smart Forecaster

Pursuing best practices in demand planning, forecasting and inventory optimization

The Trouble With Turns

The Trouble With Turns

In our travels around the industrial scene, we notice that many companies pay more attention to inventory Turns than they should. We would like to deflect some of this attention to more consequential performance metrics.

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Too Much or Too Little Inventory?

Too Much or Too Little Inventory?

Do you know which items have too much or too little inventory? What if you knew? How would you go about cutting overstocks while still ensuring a competitive service level? Would you be able to reduce stockouts without incurring a prohibitively expensive inventory increase? How would these changes impact service levels, costs and turns—for individual items, groups of items and overall?

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Handling Extreme Supply Chain Variability at Rev-A-Shelf

Handling Extreme Supply Chain Variability at Rev-A-Shelf

Does your extended supply chain suffer from extreme seasonal variability? Does this situation challenge your ability to meet service level commitments to your customers? I have grappled with this at Rev-A-Shelf, addressing unusual conditions created by Chinese New Year and other global events, and would like to share the experience and a few things I learned along the way.

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Demand Forecasting in a “Build to Order” Company

Demand Forecasting in a “Build to Order” Company

We often come into contact with potential customers who claim that they cannot use a forecasting system since they are a “build-to-order” manufacturing operation. I find this a puzzling perspective, because whatever these organizations build requires lower level raw materials or intermediate goods. If those lower level inputs are not available when an order for the finished good is received, the order cannot be built. Consequently, the order could be canceled and the associated revenue lost.

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Recent Posts

  • When implementing inventory optimization, don’t swing for the fences when a single will do!
    When the pressure is on to cut inventory and improve performance, you might want to move fast much like a hitter who wants to hit a home run. And in some cases, swinging for the fences might be the recommended approach. More often than not, a progressive approach to inventory optimization is more effective
  • Want to Optimize Inventory? Follow These 4 Steps
    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.