Tag Archive: Inventory and Operations Planning

Forecasting: How Far Should You Look into the Future?

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Whether setting strategy or designing a SIOP (sales, inventory and operations planning) process, one of the most important questions to consider in forecasting is how far into the future will you look? And why? As we think about whether the answer should be 1 month, 1 quarter or 1 year, check your thinking. When assessing the future it is important to think through the elements that may impact your forecast. 10 Questions to Ask When Forecasting and Designing SIOP 1. Do you have customer contracts in your business/ industry? If so, how far out do they go? 2. Regardless of the…
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SIOP is Not a Supply Chain Project

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According to the head of the Drucker school’s supply chain program, SIOP (sales, inventory and operations planning) is a hot topic with executives and supply chain leaders. I’ve found that our 4 EXCEL proprietary SIOP process has gained HUGE benefits for clients, and so I concur! However, SIOP is NOT a supply chain project; the significant growth, profit, margin, cash and service benefits come to those who treat it as an organization-wide strategic initiative. Although the supply chain and operations resources typically coordinate the SIOP process as their skills align best with the majority of the processes, the reason for…
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SIOP Success is a Straight Line to People

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As with everything in business success, SIOP (sales, inventory and operations planning) success is a straight line back to people. Thus, it is the reason I started my business with the “Profit through People” brand and continue with it as one of our service lines and for our newsletter. In the last 5 years, we have completed many SIOP projects and have found the keys to delivering rapid, bottom line results – exceptional customer service, significant growth, improved margins, accelerated cash flow and high morale. These keys to success are built into our proprietary process for SIOP, 4 EXCEL, which…
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Involve Your Supply Chain for SIOP Success

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The best SIOP (Sales, Inventory & Operations Planning) processes that deliver significant returns on investment involve the extended supply chain. Since SIOP is about how to align demand with supply – and align all the process owners and executives on one page, it has far reaching implications beyond any one project, person or result. I find the most successful SIOP processes deliver the optimal combination of: Business growth backed by operational readiness Improved customer service levels Accelerated cash flow Increased margins Thus, it is a worth-while endeavor for any business as not only a way to stay competitive but it…
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SIOP beyond Borders

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SIOP (Sales, Inventory & Operations Planning) is one method to align demand with supply while also aligning the various functions within an organization to deliver strategic objectives and maximize business value. As popular as it is becoming, I think we must challenge ourselves further with SIOP beyond borders. Although it certainly can mean the interconnectivity in today’s end-to-end supply chain, it also can simply mean the connectivity and alignment among supply chain partners. For example, as we connect our customers with our suppliers, our IT partners with our customers’ requirements and the like, we gain a distinctive advantage in the…
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SIOP/Integrated Business Planning

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SIOP (sales, inventory, & operations planning) taken to the best practice degree is often associated with integrated business planning. In some circles, they are seen as interchangeable. In others, it is seen as the “next step” for SIOP. It is nomenclature to me as I see fully leveraging SIOP as common sense.  Substantial results will follow. For example, several of my clients have achieved one or several of the following with SIOP/Integrated Business Planning: 1) successfully supported dramatic growth; 2) improved service levels; 3) slashed lead times; 4) improved margins; 5) accelerated cash flow; and 6) increased productivity. Why not use SIOP…
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Types of Capacity

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Capacity is a critical element for any business – and especially those interested in growth! A good place to start is to understand your capacity, which can mean different things to different people. The traditional definition relates to the total output you can expect from a machine, group of machines or facility. I view capacity as all of the following: 1. Machine – if your machines were running 24/7, what is the output you would expect? 2. Machine staffing – given your staffing levels, what is the output of your machines? 3. People – what resources and skills do you have…
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Cycle Counting: The 5 Keys to Inventory Accuracy

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The main goal of cycle counting is to cycle through your inventory to ensure inventory accuracy on a consistent basis. (In contrast, a physical inventory is a point-in-time process, typically yearly, to ensure inventory accuracy). The keys are as follows: 1. People: It is important to make sure the right resources have the right responsibilities. A counter requires a detail-orientation and should take counting seriously (it is amazing how much time and energy is saved with a cycle counter that understands the value of counting right the first time), whereas a reconciler requires an analytic ability with enough of a…
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