How to manage your groceries like an inventory pro

By Tim Kachur food pantry resized 600 How to manage your groceries like an inventory pro

Businesses have benefited greatly from new technology and systems. Advances in computing hardware and software allow companies to develop complex models to optimize inventory positions with a PC, a software package, and training. In Managing inventory in our daily lives, we explained how inventory concepts presented themselves in everyday life. This time, let’s explore how everyday users can achieve similar gains in managing one of the most common, yet mundane, aspects of life: grocery shopping.

Years ago, I did most of my grocery shopping at a certain chain, which carried many private label items unavailable elsewhere.… READ MORE

Outragists are the New Awful

tumblr inline niwe4wUfiN1t63ajm Outragists are the New Awful

Over on Twitter (@ScottAdamsSays) I coined the word outragism and defined it as the act of generating public outrage by quoting famous people out of context.

Creating the word is only the first part of my strategy.

My plan is to arm victims of false accusations with a word that has equal weight to the accusation. For example, if you are falsely accused of being a Nazi sympathizer because you watch the History Channel, the accuser is using full verbal firepower and all you have is a weak denial about your interest in history.… READ MORE

Stories of Supply Chain Leadership: Interview with Joan Motsinger, Seagate

By Lora Cecere seagate 2 Stories of Supply Chain Leadership: Interview with Joan Motsinger, Seagate

Many companies talk about Supply Chain Excellence, but most leaders struggle to define it. As a goal, it is easier to say than to define. One supply chain leader, in a discussion last week, likened supply chain excellence to fitness. His reasoning? He saw fitness as a goal to work for, and he acknowledged that you can get fitter; but he believed that the state of fitness is elusive. His belief was that fitness as a goal that it is hard to reach.… READ MORE

Your Phone Interface is a Legacy Train Wreck

tumblr inline niub73s53T1t63ajm Your Phone Interface is a Legacy Train Wreck

If you were to design a smartphone interface from scratch, without any legacy issues, would it look like a bunch of app icons sitting on a home screen?

No. Because that would be stupid. Would you want your users to be hunting around for the right app every time they want to do simple things? That ruins flow. And it unnecessarily taxes your brain by making you shift your mental model each time you switch apps. You’re always thinking Is this the one with the swiping left or the one that scrolls down? 

There is a lot of background processing in your brain just to move from app to app.… READ MORE

Cradle to Grave?

By Lora Cecere LONG TAIL Cradle to Grave?

Last week, I interviewed Robert Byrne, founder of Terra Technology on his demand planning benchmarking study. I enjoy creating the podcast series, and Rob’s findings in his benchmark study are always thought-provoking. This is his fifth year of studying demand processes. In this blog, I share the findings and why I think that they should matter to supply chain professionals in consumer-facing industries.

Over the course of the last six years, in the Consumer Products Industry, based on Rob’s study, the number of items has proliferated by 30%.… READ MORE

Speed is the New Intelligence

tumblr inline niu7odQcBs1t63ajm Speed is the New Intelligence

If I told you the government was planning some sort of new program to benefit its citizens, your initial reaction might be, “uh-oh.” Governments aren’t smart. And the last thing you want from a dumb entity is “more.”

Governments have smart people working for them. But when you sum up the parts of government, you get less than the whole, thanks to bureaucratic inefficiency, political in-fighting and whatnot. 

But what if that were about to change?

A smart friend told me recently that speed is the new intelligence, at least for some types of technology jobs.… READ MORE

Cultivating Integrators to Overcome Organizational Complexity

By Mike Romeri 3084f4ce 79fb 4515 9532 49a35aaf41d0 Cultivating Integrators to Overcome Organizational Complexity

In Capturing Value within Complex Organizations, we discussed at a high level how supply chain analytics and organizational techniques can be used to identify and capture hidden opportunities to reduce costs, cycle-times and inventory. The concepts are based on Six Simple Rules:How to Manage Complexity without Getting Complicated. Here we introduce the concept of (organizational) integrators and explain why they are so important to the change process but are often over-looked and describe techniques we use to encourage them to engage early and well in the planning and executing end-to-end transformation projects.… READ MORE

The Value of Marketing Intelligence Principles within Demand Planning and S&OP

By Terry Fearn Terry Fearn The Value of Marketing Intelligence Principles within Demand Planning and S&OP

Nearly all supply chain practitioners are familiar with, or have been trained on, the use of Lean/Six Sigma tools for reducing waste and improving processes. However, these tools are often thought of as techniques only for addressing manufacturing quality and efficiency. In recent years, Lean practitioners and educators have found the tool set to be just as effective for improving business processes. There are significant benefits to be gained by “leaning” a business process, but with that comes process challenges to overcome.… READ MORE

Reaction to Bad News

When something unexpected and bad happens to you, what is your initial reaction?

I hate to admit this, by my first reaction is usually excitement. Nothing good or interesting happens when everything is working as expected. In chaos we find opportunity, as the saying goes. When one door closes, another opens, or so they say. And of course we have all absorbed the wisdom that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. But are those old saying enough to make you actually feel good when things around you are going to hell?… READ MORE

ATM Replenishment: Forecasting + Optimization

By Mike Gilliland

Why do people steal ATMs? Because that’s where the money is!!!

While the old “smash-n-grab” remains a favorite modus operandi of would-be ATM thieves, the biggest brains on the planet typically aren’t engaged in such endeavors (see Thieves Steal Empty ATM, Chain Breaks Dragging Stolen ATM, An A for Effort).

And of course, as we learned in Breaking Bad, successfully stealing an ATM (but then insulting your crime partner), can have unfortunate mind-numbing consequences.

The ATM Replenishment Problem

Suppose you operate hundreds of ATMs, processing millions of customer transactions a month.… READ MORE

Do Open Networks Boost Your Odds of Success?

Every time I hear of a study suggesting that doing (whatever) is important for success, I ask myself if the authors interpreted the correlations correctly.

And I rarely think they did.

Take for example this recent article describing how people with “open networks” are far more successful than those with “closed networks.” In this context, it means that the more new ideas you are exposed to, the more likely you are a success.

That interpretation makes perfect sense to me. Seeing lots of new ideas is probably a good thing in most situations.… READ MORE

What can you do about higher inventory in Pharmaceuticals?

By Alexander Bender 67ebb2e8 edd5 4eec 9796 75fe3e29ac2f What can you do about higher inventory in Pharmaceuticals? Financial analysts often track these numbers to assess the health of a company, this assessment of Teva yearly turns is around 2 whereas for Taro Pharmaceuticals they are evaluated at 1.5 turns. Other industries tend to do a lot better. Dell yearly turns are 32 and it is considered a leader in inventory management in the hi tech industry, Toyota has around 11 turns, in a somewhat slower industry.

The following are six possible reasons for the high turns in pharma:

Demand Growth:
Because of the cost of pharmaceuticals, demand growth is often dependent on payer decisions.… READ MORE