Business Policy Blog

Pursuing Best practices in demand planning, forecasting and inventory optimization

Business policy provides strategic guidelines that help organizations manage operations and achieve long-term goals. It is especially important in inventory management and demand planning, where it ensures that supply chain operations are aligned with the company’s strategic objectives.

Business policies utilize predictive analytics and regression analysis to manage inventory effectively, avoiding excesses and shortages while optimizing costs and responsiveness. The implementation of these policies involves advanced statistical methods and technologies to enhance accuracy, reduce errors, and adapt to market changes, thereby maintaining operational efficiency and competitiveness.

Check out industry best practices below on how to optimize your inventory to cut costs, meet demand, and streamline your supply chain.

Make AI-Driven Inventory Optimization an Ally for Your Organization

Make AI-Driven Inventory Optimization an Ally for Your Organization

In this blog, we will explore how organizations can achieve exceptional efficiency and accuracy with AI-driven inventory optimization. Traditional inventory management methods often fall short due to their reactive nature and reliance on manual processes. Maintaining optimal inventory levels is fundamental for meeting customer demand while minimizing costs. The introduction of AI-driven inventory optimization can significantly reduce the burden of manual processes, providing relief to supply chain managers from tedious tasks.

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Daily Demand Scenarios

Daily Demand Scenarios

In this Videoblog, we will explain how time series forecasting has emerged as a pivotal tool, particularly at the daily level, which Smart Software has been pioneering since its inception over forty years ago. The evolution of business practices from annual to more refined temporal increments like monthly and now daily data analysis illustrates a significant shift in operational strategies.

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Constructive Play with Digital Twins

Constructive Play with Digital Twins

Those of you who track hot topics will be familiar with the term “digital twin.” Those who have been too busy with work may want to read on and catch up. While there are several definitions of digital twin, here’s one that works well: A digital twin is a dynamic virtual copy of a physical asset, process, system, or environment that looks like and behaves identically to its real-world counterpart. A digital twin ingests data and replicates processes so you can predict possible performance outcomes and issues that the real-world product might undergo.

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Direct to the Brain of the Boss – Inventory Analytics and Reporting

Direct to the Brain of the Boss – Inventory Analytics and Reporting

In this blog, the spotlight is cast on the software that creates reports for management, the silent hero that translates the beauty of furious calculations into actionable reports. Watch as the calculations, intricately guided by planners utilizing our software, seamlessly converge into Smart Operational Analytics (SOA) reports, dividing five key areas: inventory analysis, inventory performance, inventory trending, supplier performance, and demand anomalies.

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How Are We Doing? KPI’s and KPP’s

How Are We Doing? KPI’s and KPP’s

Dealing with the day-to-day of inventory management can keep you busy. But you know you have to get your head up now and then to see where you’re heading. For that, your inventory software should show you metrics – and not just one, but a full set of metrics or KPI’s – Key Performance Indicators.

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Recent Posts

  • Make AI-Driven Inventory Optimization an Ally for Your OrganizationMake AI-Driven Inventory Optimization an Ally for Your Organization
    In this blog, we will explore how organizations can achieve exceptional efficiency and accuracy with AI-driven inventory optimization. Traditional inventory management methods often fall short due to their reactive nature and reliance on manual processes. Maintaining optimal inventory levels is fundamental for meeting customer demand while minimizing costs. The introduction of AI-driven inventory optimization can significantly reduce the burden of manual processes, providing relief to supply chain managers from tedious tasks. […]
  • The Importance of Clear Service Level Definitions in Inventory ManagementThe Importance of Clear Service Level Definitions in Inventory Management
    Inventory optimization software that supports what-if analysis will expose the tradeoff of stockouts vs. excess costs of varying service level targets. But first it is important to identify how “service levels” is interpreted, measured, and reported. This will avoid miscommunication and the false sense of security that can develop when less stringent definitions are used. Clearly defining how service level is calculated puts all stakeholders on the same page. This facilitates better decision-making. […]
  • Future-Proofing Utilities. Advanced Analytics for Supply Chain OptimizationFuture-Proofing Utilities: Advanced Analytics for Supply Chain Optimization
    Utilities in the electrical, natural gas, urban water, and telecommunications fields are all asset-intensive and reliant on physical infrastructure that must be properly maintained, updated, and upgraded over time. Maximizing asset uptime and the reliability of physical infrastructure demands effective inventory management, spare parts forecasting, and supplier management. A utility that executes these processes effectively will outperform its peers, provide better returns for its investors and higher service levels for its customers, while reducing its environmental impact. […]
  • The Cost of Doing nothing with your inventory Planning SystemsThe Cost of Spreadsheet Planning
    Companies that depend on spreadsheets for demand planning, forecasting, and inventory management are often constrained by the spreadsheet’s inherent limitations. This post examines the drawbacks of traditional inventory management approaches caused by spreadsheets and their associated costs, contrasting these with the significant benefits gained from embracing state-of-the-art planning technologies. […]
  • Simple Inventory Optimization is Good Except When It Isn’t FHDSimple is Good, Except When It Isn’t
    In this blog, we are steering the conversation towards the transformative potential of technology in inventory management. The discussion centers around the limitations of simple thinking in managing inventory control processes and the necessity of adopting systematic software solutions. […]

    Inventory Optimization for Manufacturers, Distributors, and MRO

    • Future-Proofing Utilities. Advanced Analytics for Supply Chain OptimizationFuture-Proofing Utilities: Advanced Analytics for Supply Chain Optimization
      Utilities in the electrical, natural gas, urban water, and telecommunications fields are all asset-intensive and reliant on physical infrastructure that must be properly maintained, updated, and upgraded over time. Maximizing asset uptime and the reliability of physical infrastructure demands effective inventory management, spare parts forecasting, and supplier management. A utility that executes these processes effectively will outperform its peers, provide better returns for its investors and higher service levels for its customers, while reducing its environmental impact. […]
    • Centering Act Spare Parts Timing Pricing and ReliabilityCentering Act: Spare Parts Timing, Pricing, and Reliability
      In this article, we'll walk you through the process of crafting a spare parts inventory plan that prioritizes availability metrics such as service levels and fill rates while ensuring cost efficiency. We'll focus on an approach to inventory planning called Service Level-Driven Inventory Optimization. Next, we'll discuss how to determine what parts you should include in your inventory and those that might not be necessary. Lastly, we'll explore ways to enhance your service-level-driven inventory plan consistently. […]
    • Why MRO Businesses Need Add-on Service Parts Planning & Inventory SoftwareWhy MRO Businesses Need Add-on Service Parts Planning & Inventory Software
      MRO organizations exist in a wide range of industries, including public transit, electrical utilities, wastewater, hydro power, aviation, and mining. To get their work done, MRO professionals use Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. These systems are designed to do a lot of jobs. Given their features, cost, and extensive implementation requirements, there is an assumption that EAM and ERP systems can do it all. In this post, we summarize the need for add-on software that addresses specialized analytics for inventory optimization, forecasting, and service parts planning. […]
    • 5 Steps to Improve the Financial Impact of Spare Parts Planning5 Steps to Improve the Financial Impact of Spare Parts Planning
      In today’s competitive business landscape, companies are constantly seeking ways to improve their operational efficiency and drive increased revenue. Optimizing service parts management is an often-overlooked aspect that can have a significant financial impact. Companies can improve overall efficiency and generate significant financial returns by effectively managing spare parts inventory. This article will explore the economic implications of optimized service parts management and how investing in Inventory Optimization and Demand Planning Software can provide a competitive advantage. […]

    Problem

    What is my inventory position today, on any item?  Where are we stocking out and how often? What are my delivery times?  Why did we ship late?  Do we have too much inventory in one location, not enough in another?  What are my real supplier lead times?   These are obvious, daily questions, and the answers can reveal underlying root causes that when resolved will improve supply chain performance.  But these answers are elusive, often because data is locked up in your ERP and only accessible via limited reporting views or spreadsheets.  Creating these reports manually using Excel requires data imports, reformatting, and distribution to key stakeholders, wasting countless hours of valuable planning time. This means that getting updated information, when you need it, is not always possible. Not having access to these answers means that problems reveal themselves only after it is too late, and opportunities for improving the inventory planning process are overlooked, further contributing to poor performance.

    Solution

    Smart Operational Analytics (SOA™) is a native web reporting solution available on Smart’s Inventory Planning and Optimization Platform, Smart IP&O.  It provides a fast, easily understood, current perspective on the state of your inventory, its performance against critical metrics, actual supplier lead times, opportunities to rebalance stocks across facilities, and helps you uncover root causes of operational inefficiencies.  SOA automatically refreshes as often as you’d like providing all stakeholders immediate, up-to-date reporting on your operations and performance.  You’ll have constant visibility of inventory levels, orders, shipments, and supplier performance to ensure you’ll always be in tune with the state of your operations and resolve issues before they become problems. Enhance visibility. Improve responsiveness. Increase your bottom line.

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      Smart Operational Analytics

      Inventory Analytics

      Quantify inventory value
      Inventory segmentation
      Inventory classification
      Trend metrics over time

      Operational Performance

      Measure service level performance
      Measure fill rate performance
      Calculate turns, holding & ordering costs
      Trend metrics over time

      Supplier Insights

      Measure supplier performance
      Compare supplier lead times
      Rank suppliers across available metrics
      Trend metrics over time

      Who is Operational Analytics for?

      Smart Operational Analytics is for executives, planners, and operations professionals who seek to:

      • Measure inventory costs and performance in real time.
      • Assess and compare Supplier performance.
      • Identify root causes of stockouts, excess inventory, and late deliveries.
      • share KPI’s such as service levels, turns, costs, and more across the organization.
      What questions can Operational Analytics answer?
      • What does my inventory look like? By value, count, classification?
      • Is my inventory trending up, down, or the same?
      • How much of my inventory is overstocked, understocked, or acceptable?
      • Can inventory be transferred from overstocked locations to under stocked locations?
      • Can existing supplier orders be cancelled or deferred?
      • What are my current turns, service levels, and fill rates and how do they trend over time?
      • How many out of stock events occurred this week, this month, this quarter?
      • How are my suppliers performing, how do they compare?
      • What is my supplier lead time and how has it changed over time?
      Inventory and supplier reporting for your enterprise

      Smart Operational Analytics empowers you to:

      • Benchmark service performance and inventory costs.
      • Benchmark supplier performance.
      • Assess and Classify Inventory by class, stage, and more.
      • Share metrics with the organization.

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