Tag Archive: inventory levels

Forget Data Cleanup and Find a Measure to Start NOW!

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If you have the systems to measure your ideal metric, go for it but don’t let it become an excuse! Find one that will measure progress and start immediately! For example, in one of our clients, not only were the run rates incorrect but they were wildly different for similar items which would make planning an utter nightmare! However, there are still ways to measure progress and plan. Find a metric that won’t change and stick to it. In this case, we used earned standard hours, and we are able to measure improvements in the metric. Of course, as data…
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Solid Inventory Management Practices Remain Timeless

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Inventory management remains a timeless and vital topic for success. Every so often, we get away from talking about it on a consistent basis because it seems somewhat humdrum. But it isn’t! Earlier this year, I was asked to speak to a group of manufacturing leaders about it because of the ongoing importance. Then, I was asked to speak to a group of quality experts on the topic as it not only is timeless but it also crosses boundaries. Next, a peer group of manufacturing leaders asked me to speak on the topic. I didn’t have to be a rocket…
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Inventory as a People Topic

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One of our favorite client stories on the topic of “Profit through People” goes back to one of our first clients. It is hard to choose a favorite in this category as PEOPLE make or break success at every juncture along the way. In this case, our client needed to get a handle on inventory somewhat rapidly because it could directly affect the sale of the company — and each individual’s career success and chances at long term viability at this company. How could we bring inventory levels down while keeping the high service levels our customers had come to…
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Why Planning is at the Crux of Success

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I just had a brainstorming session with one of my key clients about the integrated planning process — in essence, how demand and supply match up to ensure customer service (which is #1 for every client in today’s environment), growth, and improved margins and cash flow. It almost doesn’t matter the reason I come into a client — and the reasons can be wide ranging — there is always opportunity to improve the integrated planning process, get everyone on one page with clarity and sync up demand with supply. It sounds much easier to do than it is in reality.…
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Should We Always Aim to Reduce Inventory Levels?

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Certainly reducing inventory on hand is typically preferred as you can accelerate your cash flow. It is one of the key focus areas of my consulting practice. I have found that reducing inventory by 50% is typically quite achievable with the optimal mix of people/skills, processes and systems. Keeping money flowing is one great way to improve your business results. However, it is never black or white. There are times when increasing inventory is my recommendation!  The best practice process should not dictate low inventory levels for the sake of having low inventory levels. If it does, throw out your…
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Inventory Management Remains Core to Success

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No matter how many engaging conversations I have with clients, contacts and trade groups about emerging supply chain trends, the less exciting topic of inventory management oftentimes can deliver a higher value than the latest and greatest most-talked about trend. As the Programs chair of APICS Ventura chapter said when requesting this topic for a recent speech, inventory management is core to success and remains a timeless topic.   This prompted me to think about what I see across all types of clients: Whether a $5 million fast-growing manufacturer in the building products industry, an $80 million dollar food processing…
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