Inventory Planning Blog

Global supply chains create more inventory challenges

Posted on Tue, Feb 04,2020@08:45 AM

New inventory planning technologies and the Cloud can provide just the right environment for better global planning.

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Tags: Inventory Planning, Spreadsheets, supply chain planning

Valogix customers tell their inventory planning success stories Part 2

Posted on Tue, Oct 09,2018@01:18 PM

Herramientas Poderosas (HP)

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Tags: SAP Business One, inventory optimization, Spreadsheets, inventory management

Key to Successfully Using Advanced Inventory Planning Solutions

Posted on Tue, Nov 19,2013@10:00 AM

Ease of Use is the Key to Successfully Using Advanced Inventory Planning Solutions

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Tags: Inventory Planning, inventory optimization, Valogix, Spreadsheets

Reports and Spreadsheets Have a Place in Inventory Planning

Posted on Tue, Nov 05,2013@10:00 AM

But not for primary forecasting and replenishment planning

Reports and spreadsheets should be used to provide a basic level of information. However, many companies and planners use reports & spreadsheets to completely manage their inventory. To understand the use of these tools on effectiveness and efficiency in inventory planning let’s explore each one independently.

Reports
Many ERP and accounting systems have many standard reports that provide useful information. Usually, however, a company will create or build custom reports either in-house or through their 3rd party IT provider (Value Added Reseller – VAR). OK, so this may help because it provides a level of detail that a company or planner feels is necessary to better manage the inventory.

Assume your outside IT firm builds the report. It costs $5,000 to develop. Let’s also assume it is refreshed, updated, each day. Now what? This is static data and yes it is current but it just sits there and provides no efficiency for the planner. The planner must review and decide what the data suggests and what to do with the data.

But the real cost is much higher than the cost to develop the report. Every report, like spreadsheets must be maintained. Much like a car, the purchase price is just the beginning. Hours of a planner’s time are spent pouring over the results to make decisions. You need to count those hours as an associated cost. So, if a planner is paid say $45,000 per year, plus taxes and benefits the total annual cost is over $50,000. If 35% of a planner’s time is spent reviewing just the reports to manage the inventory, then the first year cost is $5,000 + $17,500 = $22,500. That is some expensive report. Are you getting your money’s worth? You still may not be done.

Most people who have reports will export the data from the report into a spreadsheet so they can better manipulate the data. Here is where the fun comes in.

Spreadsheets
The data from the report is now in the spreadsheet that you spent countless hours creating. The formulas in the cells calculate the numbers you need to evaluate your inventory and plan out the replenishments required.

The dangers inherent in spreadsheets are:
1.    Lack of Control
2.    Errors from:

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Tags: cloud, replenishment planning, forecasting, reports, Valogix, Spreadsheets

Advanced Inventory Solutions Complement ERP Systems

Posted on Tue, Aug 27,2013@12:01 PM

Advanced inventory planning solutions are known as decision support software. This means they are smart systems that forecast and plan optimal inventory requirements. They are superior to commonly used types of software; standard inventory transaction software and spreadsheets. Many of these solutions are both strategic and tactical tools. They cover long range inventory budget planning down to daily replenishment and problem solving.
 
Comparison to Spreadsheets
 
Spreadsheets are manual, time consuming. They do not provide intelligent part mix management and part specific forecasts. In addition, spreadsheets are extremely difficult to update and maintain current data effectively, plus they normally cannot be interfaced directly with enterprise and customer relationship software. Conducting quality assurance on the calculations and models is also difficult and based on a study by a leading international consulting firms over 90% of spreadsheets they audited contained significant errors. These errors led to the loss of millions of dollars.
 
Comparison with Standard Inventory Management other or Control Systems
 
Almost every inventory solution is a transaction (accounting) type system. This means they keep track of the physical movement of items on and off the shelf. These are “dumb” systems, meaning they are static and cannot intelligently determine what to stock, project demand, or create a complete replenishment plan. These systems are based on 40 year old plus, methods using ABC as the only part classification technique. They do not have leading-edge Exception Management capabilities which provide "alerts" to the User for unusually occurrences.
 
What Inventory Management Software can do:
 
• keep basic part information like: part number, description, cost, dimensions, etc.
• track parts movement: received, on order, on shelf, removed from the shelf, etc.
• provide a basic reorder point and min/max settings
• record the different bin locations where parts are stored
• provide an order for new parts needed, using standard reorder point, min/max, and safety stock
 
What Inventory Management Software cannot do:
 
• provide a system generated forecast or offer multiple advanced forecasting methods
• manage repair parts and their repair cycle (reverse logistics)
• provide an optimal inventory mix to improve service level while reducing cost
• offer multiple stocking and reordering policies
• manage parts specifically required for PM (preventative maintenance) schedules
• help to reduce overstock and excess part inventory
• manage by exception and provide key user alerts.
 
What Advanced Inventory Planning Solutions CAN DO:
 
• forecast parts demand with multiple models appropriate for different demand patterns
• plan for unlimited part and location combinations (scalable)
• provide advanced calculations for calculating shelf stock and reorder points
• calculate the optimal mix based on dynamic demand changes
• provide time phased plans and order for both new and repair items
• manage by exception and provide alerts to the planner
• identify overstock and excess inventory and provide redeployment strategies
• plan parts for preventative maintenance schedules
• multi-echelon or theatre planning - can plan at every stocking level both real and virtual
      (from master warehouse to stock kept with a field or service engineer)
• plan part life cycle, substitutes and supercedes, and end-of-life parts
 
Combining Transaction Systems + Advanced Planning Solutions
 
Advanced planning solutions do not replace the existing transaction systems. Instead, they are designed to complement and improve existing software. The best of all worlds is to add an advanced planning solution to an existing transaction system. This provides a more complete, robust system that dynamically plans based on what is happening now and projected for the future. Download our free whitepaper to find out more!

DMRP Smooth Flow Whitepaper
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Tags: Inventory Planning, cloud, inventory optimization, web based inventory software, cloud computing, Demand Planning, replenishment planning, Spreadsheets

Inventory Planning Feast or Famine

Posted on Mon, May 13,2013@10:00 AM

The vast majority of companies that own an inventory invariably use spreadsheets to control, manage and report. The types of companies vary from manufacturing, to wholesale distribution, to retail, to aftermarket services, to maintenance and repair operations. And this is true geographically and for companies from the very small to the largest. So why the fascination with spreadsheets?

I most cases, companies already own the software as part of a suite or as already installed on the computer they purchased. They are relatively low cost and have an abundance of features that make them attractive. It is also a case of “you don’t know what you don’t know”. Meaning, people are unaware of the availability of easy to use affordable, automated inventory planning software.

The dangers inherent in spreadsheets are:
Lack of Control
Errors from:

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Tags: Inventory Planning, cloud, inventory optimization, SaaS, Valogix, Spreadsheets

Inventory Planning for Complex Environments

Posted on Mon, Apr 22,2013@10:00 AM

Complex Environment Creates Inventory Challenges

Inventory management has become more challenging in today’s complex and competitive business environment. Yet many companies are still maintaining inventories manually, and  performing complicated computations using spreadsheets and point solutions. Keeping track of reorder points can become an overwhelming task as businesses grow. And standard spreadsheets offer little help in driving down costs and improving revenues because they are time consuming and frequently contain multiple errors. Ray Panko, University of Hawaii compiled data from numerous studies that indicates up to 90% of spreadsheets contain significant errors.

Where is the money hiding?
It is common to find excess and obsolete stock representing thirty-sixty percent of inventory and to find that five-forty percent of the time customer demands cannot be met (based on Valogix’ experience). At worst, companies lose sales; at best, they must ship items at a premium in order to fulfill orders, further driving down the profit margins.

There is good news on the (inventory planning) horizon
Automated planning tools are designed to remove complexity and improve inventory mix. They dramatically reduce the amount of time required to properly plan inventory. By automatically forecasting, replenishing and optimizing, companies can manage inventory more efficiently and meet the demands of customers and suppliers at lower costs for a powerful competitive edge.

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Tags: Inventory Planning, inventory optimization, Valogix, Spreadsheets, inventory management, Inventory Planning Solutions

Inventory Planning: Reports and Spreadsheets

Posted on Mon, Feb 04,2013@10:00 AM

Reports and Spreadsheets– An Unproductive Combination for Inventory Planning

Reports and spreadsheets should be used to provide a basic level of information. However, many companies and planners use reports & spreadsheets to completely manage their inventory. To understand the use of these tools on effectiveness and efficiency in inventory planning let’s explore each one independently.

Read More

Tags: Inventory Planning, cloud, web based inventory software, NetSuite, Supply Chain Managment, IBM, mistakes, Spreadsheets

Inventory Planning the Hard Way

Posted on Tue, Dec 11,2012@10:00 AM

The vast majority of companies that own an inventory invariably use spreadsheets to control, manage and report. The types of companies vary from manufacturing, to wholesale distribution, to retail, to aftermarket services, to maintenance and repair operations.  And this is true geographically and for companies from the very small to the largest.  So, why the fascination with spreadsheets?

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Tags: Inventory Planning, SaaS, Valogix, Spreadsheets