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Thinking Part 1: Statistical Thinking

The concept of Statistical Thinking has always appealed to me since I first heard it back in the late 1970s or early 1980s. The concept surfaced, in my mind, recently when I began teaching two sections of Elementary Statistics at [...]

Whatever happened to JIT? – Take Two.

Out of all the blog postings and LinkedIn discussions, the 12-22-09 “Whatever happened to JIT?” generated the richest discussion on LinkedIn. It was that good, that I have to write on the subject again for a second week in a [...]

Whatever happened to JIT?

Just-in-Time (JIT) was all the rage twenty years ago.  People were studying the Toyota Production System, synchronizing their production plans with those of their suppliers, and reducing lead times in order to minimize inventory and maximize flexibility and responsiveness.  One [...]

Just Order what You Need

We were putting up the holiday lights on the bushes along our front walk. We were sorting through strings checking to see which worked. I was, as usual, curious, had lights that worked perfectly last year failed to work this [...]

Policy vs. Common Sense

My good friend Guillermo Fernandez, the retired General Manager of Colgate-Palmolive Mexico, would always say: "Common sense, the most uncommon of all the senses." Here is a true story to exemplify this very point. Way back when, I worked for [...]

Supply Chain Physics I

At DemandCaster, we have developed a concept called Supply Chain Physics. We use this concept to foster communication and accountabilities across functions and improvements within the enterprise. So what is Supply Chain Physics? Physics is defined at www.dictionary.com “the science [...]

Constancy of Purpose

Recently I was engaged in a discussion where someone floated the idea Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma initiatives are focused more on training and certification than anything else. As a result, more money is spent than generated. Why is [...]

Is Inventory an Independent Variable? Is the Earth Flat?

Business can be defined in many ways. But one thing is clear; businesses are judged and valued by numbers. Businesses are measured and compared in with prescribed numerical measures. Certainly we look at Profits, Share Price, and Revenues on the [...]

Halloween Logistics

Halloween and Logistics? Why of course. Halloween is a season and retailers plan for the peak. Think of Walgreen’s and CVS. They have their seasonal aisle, usually in the middle of the store. The space was dedicated to Back-to-School. As [...]

Demand Planning and Inventory Management: It is everywhere… I can’t escape it. Version 2.0

  Ah yes… this is another case of my focus on Inventory Management creeping into everything I do. Last time it crept up on me was while sitting in a Bagel Shop. I reflected on that in my blog posting [...]

Is your inventory putting you in a constraint jacket?

Let’s look at Inventory Optimization as a mathematical programming problem. You remember linear programming from a Quantitative Methods or Operations Class don’t you? No, we are not going to get deeply into mathematics here. In mathematical programming, there is an [...]

Tending the Organizational Garden

How often have we seen management initiate change with great enthusiasm and expectation and then passively manage the process to a failed outcome? A leader’s capability to manage change is often the determining factor behind a successful process implementation. Without [...]

Quarter End

It is September 30, 2009.  It is the end of the Quarter.  Funny things happen to the Supply Chain at the end of the Quarter. In all industries, companies are trying post sales and make budget numbers.   For publically traded [...]

Be a Great Supply Chain Leader: Simplify

Earlier this year, I saw a quote in The Reader’s Digest attributed to Colin Powell. Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers. This quote resonated with me because I believe in the power of simplification in Supply Chain Management and [...]

Demand Planning & Inventory Management: It is everywhere … I can’t escape it!

I was having lunch at a Bagel shop in downtown Lake Forest, IL yesterday.  I was enjoying my sandwich and looking at the glass display case full of bagels, cookies, and such.  The bountiful display did get my attention and [...]

Is Your Company a SLOB – Part 2

In our posting "Is Your Company a SLOB - Part 1," we reviewed the subject of excess and obsolete (E&O) inventory, its causes and challenges. In this posting we review what can be done to address theproblem. The good news, [...]

Is Your Company a SLOB – Part 1

In the world of inventory management, there is a term Excess & Obsolete, E&O, used to designate two classes of undesirable inventory. Excess Inventory: This class of inventory is for products and materials that are still being sold i.e. still [...]

Can you beat the House?

Go to a Casino, any Casino.  They are glitzy, shiny, edifices.  They are exciting places to be.  Judging by  the rates at which newer and bigger ones are being built, they are probably a lucrative business.  Hmmm, probably a lucrative [...]

Software is Only Part of the Answer

Many companies of every size will look at software to improve their operations and rightly they should. Having the right information in the right place at the right time in the right form can certainly help accelerate our ability to [...]

MRP and Inventory Management

Most companies use Material Requirement Planning (MRP) software or an MRP module of an ERP to plan and manage the purchasing and scheduling of materials based on a demand plan or forecast. It is time phased and can manage large [...]

Inventory – A Historical Perspective

In the earliest points in human history, as our earliest people became hunter-gatherers, there had to be some inventory management. Hunters developed crude wood and flint weapons to make their hunts easier. The first rudimentary inventory management followed pretty quickly. [...]
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