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Losing Sales - A Case Study
Thursday 24th May 2018
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What Service Level can we afford?

An unusual case, which ultimately led to the company (among other things) 'deciding which sales to lose'. And making £500,000 a year extra profit as a result.

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A Company Who Listened(!)

This happened in the early days of developing engaging, interactive, graphic Tools to help cross functional, mixed ability and mixed status teams 'get the message'.

It succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.

The company had always thought of 'all stockouts as bad'.

They had a huge range of rates of sale and a mix of short, medium and very long lead time items.

No 'one size fits all' stock policy will work. If it's right for slow movers, fast movers will be overstocked (and vice versa)
If it's right for medium lead time items it's wrong for both short and long.

That's familiar ground to logisticians, but not to buyers, marketeers, finance or the board.

We assembled a mix of senior and junior players from all such functions (including supply chain) and split them into 2 teams.

In a tutored session, each team then ran their actual orders, through their supply chain at their chosen settings.

The teams could see both sets of results live on screen, unfolding day by day as wild peak and trough orders clashed with 'how much we thought would sell 13 weeks ago, when the crop was harvested'.

It got fiercely competitive - at one stage the buyer shouting at the other team "You're going to run out" (which they did. But so, a couple of days later, did he!) - but it worked.

As a group they had reached a common understanding of effects they wanted and could afford. Further, they understood the link between causes and effect. As consultants we could have told them this. Such an approach might have worked at the intellectual level, but it wouldn't (and probably never will) work at the emotional level.

By using the Tools, they had learned; we hadn't taught.


Very interesting. Please contact us


Don't make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality. A.Einstein
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