Tag Archive: strongest link

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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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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Should Supply Chain be a Strategic Function?

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Only if you want to ensure results! My view of supply chain is from your suppliers’ supplier through your manufacturing processes (internal and external) to your customers’ customers. Thus, very little is not impacted by it. How could you not include this critical piece in your strategic thinking? The good news is that I’ve seen a continual evolution of the last several years where it has gained in strategic importance. More and more, the leaders of supply chain are being given a “seat at the table”. The tricky part is that it can be known by many names – Operations, Product…
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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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Which Inventory Management Planning Method Is Best?

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I’ve incorporated three planning method options into a presentation on inventory management best practices. I’ve been receiving more and more requests for this topic as executives experience the impact poor inventory management can have on an organization — it can stunt growth, weaken profits, tie up cash unnecessarily and negatively impact operational efficiency. I run across conflicts frequently among these options. Unfortunately, the method is often dictated. Resources are not valued. And results struggle. On the other hand, my best clients view these as complementary options to be used at the “right” time in the “right” situation for the “right”…
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Have You Performed a Supply Chain Checkup Lately?

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As supply chains have become complex, it is no longer a “nice-to-have” to perform supply chain checkups. It has become an imperative. Supply chain performance will have a direct impact on whether a company can grow, whether customers are happy (or searching for competitive alternatives), whether profit will increase, and whether cash will be available. Thus, it must move from being an afterthought to a vital component of strategy. Supply chains have countless components and moving parts. Strategy, culture, people, processes, and systems are all relevant and must be considered in supply chain design. They are cross-functional, cross-organizational and global.…
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