Inventory and Demand Planning: Guest Posts

Data Driven Planning, Demand forecasting and inventory optimization

7 Digital Transformations for Utilities that will Boost MRO Performance

7 Digital Transformations for Utilities that will Boost MRO Performance

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.

read more
The Supply Chain Blame Game:  Top 3 Excuses for Inventory Shortage and Excess

The Supply Chain Blame Game: Top 3 Excuses for Inventory Shortage and Excess

The supply chain has become the blame game for almost any industrial or retail problem. Shortages on lead time variability, bad forecasts, and problems with bad data are facts of life, yet inventory-carrying organizations are often caught by surprise when any of these difficulties arise. So, again, who is to blame for the supply chain chaos? Keep reading this blog and we will try to show you how to prevent product shortages and overstocking.

read more
Inventory Planning Becomes More Interesting

Inventory Planning Becomes More Interesting

Just-In-Time (JIT) ensures that a manufacturer produces only the necessary amount, and many companies ignore the risks inherent in reducing inventories. Combined with increased globalization and new risks of supply interruption, stock-outs have abounded. So how can you execute a real-world plan for JIT inventory amidst all this risk and uncertainty? The foundation of your response is your corporate data. Uncertainty has two sources: supply and demand. You need the facts for both.

read more

Recent Posts

  • Worker on a automotive spare parts warehouse using inventory planning softwareService-Level-Driven Planning for Service Parts Businesses
    Service-Level-Driven Service Parts Planning is a four-step process that extends beyond simplified forecasting and rule-of-thumb safety stocks. It provides service parts planners with data-driven, risk-adjusted decision support. […]
  • Implementing Demand Planning and Inventory Optimization Software with the Right DataImplementing Demand Planning and Inventory Optimization Software with the Right Data
    Data verification and validation are essential to the success of the implementation of software that performs statistical analysis of data, like Smart IP&O. This article describes the issue and serves as a practical guide to doing the job right, especially for the user of the new application. […]
  • Do your statistical forecasts suffer from the wiggle effectDo your statistical forecasts suffer from the wiggle effect?
    What is the wiggle effect? It’s when your statistical forecast incorrectly predicts the ups and downs observed in your demand history when there really isn’t a pattern. It’s important to make sure your forecasts don’t wiggle unless there is a real pattern. Here is a transcript from a recent customer where this issue was discussed: […]
  • Digital Transformations for Utilities that will Boost MRO Performance7 Digital Transformations for Utilities that will Boost MRO Performance
    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 top factors that impact influence the speed of your forecast engineHow much time should it take to compute statistical forecasts?
    How long should it take for a demand forecast to be computed using statistical methods? This question is often asked by customers and prospects. The answer truly depends. Forecast results for a single item can be computed in the blink of an eye, in as little as a few hundredths of a second, but sometimes they may require as much as five seconds. To understand the differences, it’s important to understand that there is more involved than grinding through the forecast arithmetic itself. Here are six factors that influence the speed of your forecast engine. […]

    Inventory Optimization for Manufacturers, Distributors, and MRO

    • Worker on a automotive spare parts warehouse using inventory planning softwareService-Level-Driven Planning for Service Parts Businesses
      Service-Level-Driven Service Parts Planning is a four-step process that extends beyond simplified forecasting and rule-of-thumb safety stocks. It provides service parts planners with data-driven, risk-adjusted decision support. […]
    • Digital Transformations for Utilities that will Boost MRO Performance7 Digital Transformations for Utilities that will Boost MRO Performance
      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. […]
    • 6 Do’s and Don’ts for Spare Parts Planning6 Do’s and Don’ts for Spare Parts Planning
      Managing spare parts inventories can feel impossible. You don’t know what will break and when. Feedback from mechanical departments and maintenance teams is often inaccurate. Planned maintenance schedules are often shifted around, making them anything but “planned.” Usage (i.e., demand) patterns are most often extremely intermittent, i.e., demand jumps randomly between zero and something else, often a surprisingly big number. […]
    • Hand placing pieces to build an arrowProbabilistic Forecasting for Intermittent Demand
      The New Forecasting Technology derives from Probabilistic Forecasting, a statistical method that accurately forecasts both average product demand per period and customer service level inventory requirements. […]
    Problem

    Keeping inventory investments in check while maintaining high customer service levels is a constant balancing act.  Without proper controls, excess inventory grows throughout your supply chain, locking up vital working capital that constrains your company’s growth.  Every day, the ERP system makes purchase order suggestions and manufacturing orders based on planning drivers such as safety stock, reorder points, and Min/Max levels. Ensuring that these inputs are understood and continually optimized will generate substantially better returns on your inventory assets.  Unfortunately, many organizations rely on rule of thumb logic,  institutional knowledge, and “one-size-fits all” forecasting logic that assigns all items within a particular group the same service level target. These approaches yield suboptimal policies that cause inventory costs to balloon and service performance to suffer. Compounding the problem is the sheer volume of data – thousands of items stocked at multiple locations means planners don’t have the bandwidth to proactively review these inventory drivers on a regular basis.  This results in outdated reorder points, safety stocks, order quantities, and Min/Max settings that further contribute to the problem.

    Solution

    Smart Inventory Optimization (SIO™) is available on Smart’s Inventory Planning and Optimization Platform, Smart IP&O.  It delivers inventory policy decision support and the means to share, collaborate, and track the impact of your inventory planning policy. This can help realize millions in savings by improving customer service and reducing excess stock. You can forecast metrics such as service level, fill rate, holding costs, ordering costs, and stock out costs. Users can identify overstocks and understocks, adjust stocking policies when demand changes, share proposed policies with other stakeholders, collect feedback, and establish a consensus inventory plan.  And unlike traditional inventory planning systems that rely on rule of thumb approaches or require the user to arbitrarily set suboptimal service level targets, Smart Inventory Optimization prescribes the optimal service levels for you.  Users can optionally assign service level constraints to ensure the optimization engine respects business rules. SIO provides the required inventory planning parameters for a variety of replenishment policies such as Reorder Point/Order Quantity, Min/Max, Safety Stock Planning, and Order Up to levels.

    Register to Watch the Demo

     

      Your Name *

      Company Name *

      Work Email *

      Work Phone


      With Smart Inventory Optimization you can:
      • Identify where you are overstocked and understocked.
      • Modify  planning parameters based on your business rules, service targets, and inventory budget.
      • Leverage the optimization logic in SIO to prescribe planning parameters and service levels for you.
      • Compare proposed policies to the benchmark.
      • Collaborate and develop a consensus inventory plan.
      • Automatically generate revised planning parameters as demand and other inputs change.