Too Much or Too Little Inventory?

By Gregory Hartunian

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?

Most companies know they have too much or too little inventory but lack a key ingredient for optimizing inventory: Service Level-Driven Demand Planning.… READ MORE

The New Normal and the New Neutral

By Jeff Speakes

The “New Normal” is a phrase coined a few years ago by the Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO), or at least that’s what they claim. It referred to a lengthy period of slow economic growth that they expected to persist as people recovered from the financial crisis. In view of the very modest economic growth that has occurred over the past five years (since the recession formally ended in 2009), the PIMCO forecast has worked out pretty well.… READ MORE

Patience is a Virtue, Especially When Implementing an Integrated Business Planning (IBP)/ Executive S&OP Process

By Craig McLaughlin
share save 256 24 Patience is a Virtue, Especially When Implementing an Integrated Business Planning (IBP)/ Executive S&OP Process

Back in early 2013, when I moved into my current role of leading the global Integrated Business Planning (IBP)/ S&OP program for Mondelez, I came into the job from a Business Unit operations leadership role.

As any of you operational folks will relate to, getting “stuff” done “now” is what keeps the lights on, but moving into a global job takes some adjusting because in our case, my focus shifted from decision making to decision influencing. A frustrating shift if you aren’t ready for the change.… READ MORE

The Illusion of Intelligence

Maybe the reason that scientists are having a hard time creating artificial intelligence is because human intelligence is an illusion. You can't duplicate something that doesn't exist in the first place. I'm not saying that as a joke. Most of what we regard as human intelligence is an illusion.

I will hedge my claim a little bit and say human intelligence is mostly an illusion because math skills are real, for example. But a computer can do math. Language skills are real too, but a computer can understand words and sentence structure.… READ MORE

Joining Forces for the Third Act

By Lora Cecere
shutterstock 1788296 300x202 Joining Forces for the Third Act

“I read your blog, and was struck by some of your comments on Forbes,” stated the email. “Could we arrange a call?”

“Sure,” I said, and the call was quickly arranged.

As I answered the phone, I heard the voice of an aggressive investor in supply chain technology software. He seemed very certain in an uncertain market. I scratched my head because I question how anyone can be this “sure.” Since more and more equity groups are reading this blog, and sending me questions, this post is for them.… READ MORE

Managing Inventory in Our Daily Lives

By Tim Kachur
grocerystorepic Managing Inventory in Our Daily Lives

Supply chain professionals see the world through a different lens than most. Where others see products on the shelf, we think of the containers on a ship, or trailer hauling down the highway full of that product and the possible shipping lanes and utilization.

When we see deliveries to our local store or restaurant, many of us think of the replenishment process, delivery routing and if it was a “milk run.”

When our e-commerce parcel is delivered, we think about the strategic decision on where to place a fulfillment center and the inventory optimization made to improve service levels.… READ MORE

Writing Tip of the Day

If you can write down what you are thinking, that's the only skill you need to become a professional writer. (Editors can fix your grammar and spelling.)

But writing what you are thinking is much harder than it sounds.

An amateur writer usually writes what he imagines other people think, or what other people have already written, or what other people might expect to be written. It is surprisingly difficult to capture your own thoughts in prose. And that means vast amounts of knowledge and creativity are stranded in skulls all over the world.… READ MORE

Collaborative Planning Forecasting & Replenishment (CPFR) and the Extended Supply Chain

By Cedrick Laporte-Roy
share save 256 24 Collaborative Planning Forecasting & Replenishment (CPFR) and the Extended Supply Chain

Has your organization been struggling to deliver a consistent fill rate to your client or service level to your client’s customers? Has it been challenging for your company to keep decent inventory coverage or maintaining satisfying forecast accuracy? If you answered yes to one of these questions, it might be time for your corporation to rethink some aspects of your supply chain.

In today’s competitive market, it is more and more difficult (if not almost impossible) to gain efficiencies and improve demand response for companies working in silos.… READ MORE

Supply Chain Analytics in Mergers & Acquisitions

By Sumeet Mahajan
M&A3 copy Supply Chain Analytics in Mergers & Acquisitions

Just within the first quarter of 2014, U.S companies registered $299.6bn in mergers and acquisitions; the highest Q1 by value since the pre-crisis level. Even globally, the M&A activity has been at fever pitch with a 39% increase in deal value, from $449.7bn in Q1 2013 to $625.4bn in Q1 2014 as noted here.

This week alone two mega-deals were announced: AbbVie announced it is buying Shire for $54B and R.J Reynolds Tobacco Company announced that it will buy rival Lorillard for $27B.… READ MORE

Building the Open Source Country

I think I figured out how to build a new country.

Let's say the country is a human-made island in some hospitable ocean, formed by lots of floating platforms so it can grow and rearrange itself as needed. That solves most of your climate-change risks because the entire nation can navigate slowly to the best ocean climates.

We'd start the project by creating some sort of open source wiki platform in which people can contribute designs and ideas. The subjects would be organized by function:

1.… READ MORE

Forecasting and supply chain blogs

By Mike Gilliland
SteveMorlidge2 Copy 91x100 Forecasting and supply chain blogs

In the summer heat, when The BFD alone isn’t quite quenching your thirst for forecasting know-how, here are several other sources:

Steve Morlidge

CatchBlog — by Steve Morlidge of CatchBull

From his 2010 book Future Ready (co-authored with Steve Player), to his recent 4-part series in Foresight dealing with the “avoidability” of forecast error, Steve is delivering cutting edge content in the area of forecast performance management. He also contributed a Foresight/SAS Webinar available for on-demand review.

Eric Stellwagen

The Forecast Pro – Eric Stellwagen of Business Forecast Systems

Eric delivers great practical tutorials on various forecasting topics through his blog, and also in conference presentations and articles (including 2 chapters in the Foresight Forecasting Methods Tutorials compilation).… READ MORE