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Finance and the Supply Chain

There is a relationship between Finance and the Supply Chain in almost any company. The Supply Chain has a majority of the assets of the company and is responsible for managing the lions share of the costs. The assets include [...]

The Value of an SKU?

Very recently we got a phone call from an old colleague who works for a home decor company. He was about to go into a meeting with the executive committee where he was going to propose an SKU management process. [...]

S&OP: Closing the Gap between People and Processes – Part 2

Part 1 of this series of blogs may be found here. Part 2 continues herein. The origins of S&OP are not well documented. It seems to have emerged gradually with the introduction and evolution Materials Resource Planning (MRP). The Oliver [...]

S&OP: Closing the Gap between People and Processes – Part 1

On September 14, 2011 we presented a webinar, Sales and Operations Planning: Closing the Gap between People and Processes. The webinar can be viewed on our On Demand Webinar Videos collection. As a follow-up to the well received webinar, we are going [...]

Back to School … Back to Work!

It is Back-to-School sale time. There are advertisements for the office superstores and the big box retailers. The goods that line the shelves, end aisle displays, and floor displays were ordered back in April and May. The goods were shipped [...]

S&OP: Closing the Gap Between People and Process

With the proliferation of items or SKUs and the global nature of many of our supply chains, it is imperative to have the best and most accurate Sales Plan we can have. It is equally important to have an Operations [...]

800 Pound Gorilla

What is an 800 Pound Gorilla?  Well as this blog is not about biology or animal species it is safe to assume we are not talking about the Western Lowland Gorilla, the Eastern Lowland Gorilla, the Mountain Gorilla, or any [...]

Operational Definitions Part II

In part I of this two part blog we discussed Operational Definitions and how specific words, terms or concepts can have a distinct meaning in a specific organization or business and how people must be aware of this when communicating [...]

Operational Definitions

Operational Definitions were a large part of what W. Edwards Deming used to advocate in his teachings. Chapter 9 of his book, Out of the Crisis is dedicated to this concept. “Operational Definitions, Conformance, Performance.” In the opinion of many people [...]

What is Activity Analysis? Part 4, The People Dominant Process

We believe that inventory is the final arbiter of supply chain performance. To get it right takes more than just good clean data and using the proper calculations for Demand Planning, Inventory Sizing, and Manufacturing Planning. It requires well conceived [...]

What is Activity Analysis? Part 2, Warehouse Layout and Re-Layout

Last week we posted a blog about Activity Analysis, we learned this is basically the task of delving into and capturing the complexities and nuances of whatever complex process you are attempting to manage or improve. Now let us consider [...]

What is Activity Analysis?

In the world of Inventory Management, there are many classes of inventory. A key component of a robust inventory management process is to define, segregate and measure, from there we need to develop and implement action plans by the various [...]

The Taught String Theory

In the April Issue of our newsletter we introduced our “Taught String Theory” which illustrates how effective data sharing can integrate the demand and supply processes of customers and suppliers—as if tied together with a taught string. We are including [...]

Four Strategies to Help You Meet the New Normal, Head-On

Back in January we posted our Supply Chain Resolutions for 2011. In our March newsletter, we shared our four improvement strategies for the remainder of 2011. We are posting them here for those readers that do not receive our monthly [...]

Practical Guide to Contingency Planning

We recently posted a blog, “The Crisis in Japan & the need for Contingency Plans”, and have had a few inquiries for more information on contingency plans. Allow us to expound a bit on our view of contingency planning. There [...]

A Quick Inventory Opportunity Assessment

When we meet with a company for the first time, we like to ask three simple questions to allow us to make a quick assessment of their inventory status.  We ask: What is your revenue and gross margin? What is [...]

Don’t be Naive About Inventory Management

For the first part of this posting, you have to pretend that it is 1975 and not 2011. You are given a mandate to reduce inventory by 10%. The totally naive thing to do would be to cut inventory across [...]

Variation and Inventory

No one wants to hold inventory. It is necessary because of variation: variation in demand, variation in lead times, variation in raw and finished good quantity, variation in yield (production line reliability), variation in transit times, and of course random [...]

The E&O and Inventory Turn Relationship

At DemandCaster, we are dedicated to helping small- to mid-sized manufacturing and distribution companies better manage their planning and inventory. We try to do that using simple concepts, intuitive tools, and straightforward processes. In our work with clients, we have [...]

Inventory as a Percent of Sales

If you are focused on optimizing inventory, another useful measure of inventory or working capital is the ratio of inventory to sales or inventory as a percentage of sales. It is a very simple and easy to calculate KPI. It [...]

How Much is Increasing Inventory Turns by One?

There has never been a good answer to this question. We have asked our partners in finance and they just gave us a blank stare and did what finance people always do. They asked “Why do you want to know [...]
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