The Smart Forecaster
Pursuing best practices in demand planning,
forecasting and inventory optimization
There are unavoidable tradeoffs between inventory cost and item availability. The Smart Inventory Optimization (SIO) app calculates all the key metrics to expose those tradeoffs. You can try “what-if” experiments such as “What happens to shortage cost if we raise the reorder point from 5 to 10?”. Better yet, you can let SIO find the optimal operating policy, e.g., the lowest cost combination of reorder point and order quantity that guarantees a 95% service level.
If you hear the phrase “regime change” on the news, you immediately think of some fraught geopolitical event. Statisticians use the phrase differently, in a way that has high relevance for demand planning and inventory optimization. This blog is about “regime change” in the statistical sense, meaning a major change in the character of the demand for an inventory item.
Our customers are great teachers who have always helped us bridge the gap between textbook theory and practical application. A prime example happened over twenty years ago, when we were introduced to the phenomenon of intermittent demand, which is common among spare parts but rare among the finished goods managed by our original customers working in sales and marketing. This revelation soon led to our preeminent position as vendors of software for managing inventories of spare parts. Our latest bit of schooling concerns “blanket orders.”
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.