Inventory Planning Blog

What has the Duke of Wellington got to do with supply chain planning?

Posted on Tue, Apr 09,2019@06:08 AM

What You Don’t Know but Soon Will                                                                                     

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1 May 1769 – 14 September 1852) was an Anglo-Irish soldier and statesman. Rising to prominence during the Peninsular War, he became a national hero in Britain after the Napoleonic Wars during which he led the victorious Anglo-Allied forces at the Battle of Waterloo. He later became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on two separate occasions. 

Planning the supply chain replenishmentSo, what has the Duke of Wellington got to do with supply chain planning? He made the following statement which clearly describes the dilemma inventory managers and planners, purchasing departments, parts managers and logistics and warehouse managers face. He said, All the business of war, and indeed all the business of life, is to endeavour to find out what you don't know by what you do; that's what I called guessing what was at the other side of the hill."* 

Planning the supply chain replenishment process is exactly that, doing what you think you know how to do but you don’t really know until after the fact. The “other side of the hill” is the end result after your planning is complete. You then see if you guessed correctly on what the customer demand was and whether you had enough stock on hand to meet that demand. Was the stock in the right location (Logistics) within your supply chain operations? If not, you missed sales, possibly customers became dissatisfied with your service and the bottom-line impact could be problematic. 

Logistics is also a key part of your inventory supply chain. Logistics management is the part of supply chain management that plans, implements, and controls the efficient, effective forward, and reverse flow and storage of goods, services, and related information between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet customer's requirements. 

Basically, there are two major segments of logistics:

Inbound logistics is one of the primary processes of logistics concentrating on purchasing and arranging the inbound movement of materials, parts, or unfinished inventory from suppliers to manufacturing or assembly plants, warehouses, or retail stores.

Outbound logistics is the process related to the storage and movement of the final product and the related information flows from the end of the production line to the end user. 

Ask yourself and your team why are you doing things the way you do them. Is it out of habit or by corporate direction or because changing to another way or solution is scary?  How do you make better decisions about what is on the other side of the hill? 

Whatever the reason, if you are not using an advanced inventory planning solution you are guessing what the demand will be and how much stock you need to meet it. Have you upgraded your warehouse solution? What about the way you plan and manage your inventory? Is it within the ERP system, or are you using spreadsheets and reports or maybe just a forecast tool? 

advanced inventory planningDeciding to make a change to an advanced planning solution is easy because these solutions do the bulk of the work for you. Stop the arduous and costly task of using and maintaining spreadsheets to plan your inventory. Valogix Inventory Planner works 24x7x365 forecasting, planning and replenishing your inventory. 

Every day an advanced inventory planning tool like Valogix, provides all the up to date information for what is needed, how much is needed and where it is needed. This leaves you with time you do not have now, to manage any anomalies and address the issues you want to resolve. Productivity gains in time and money is at the core of an advanced inventory planning system and it is an on-going benefit from the first day. 

*Statement in conversation with John Croker and Croker's wife (4 September 1852), as quoted in The Croker Papers: The Correspondence and Diaries of the Late Right Honourable John Wilson Croker, LL.Dm F.R.S, Secretary of the Admiralty from 1809 to 1830 (1884), edited by Louis J. Jennings, Vol.III, p. 276.

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Tags: Supply Chain, supply chain planning, logistics management