Thursday 24th May 2018

Balancing Consultancy with Research

In Logistics, lots of things ought to be true that are not. Here's a few …

Warehouses should be at the population Centre of Gravity, right?

Whack the availability up, that always works.

Late deliveries cost us a fortune.

The trigger is often some completely innocuous question or comment.

Keep them coming - they are enormous fun!

In quite the strangest quirk of human nature, it's very rare for the original requestor to be the first to implement.



Where should I put my factory or warehouse?

How much stock should I hold centrally, vs. in shops or RDCs?

What happens when a supplier delivers late?

What if we replenished the shops in one day not two?

Where should I start to improve stock accuracy?

What happens to pick productivity as a warehouse gets full?

My warehouse will overfill soon. What must I do, and when?

When I blitz availability, stock shoots up and service doesn't.
Am I looking in the right place?

Such innocuous questions trigger our research efforts.

These solve problems nobody thought could be solved.

Or solve them before people ask for the solution. All these examples led to some completely new, and largely unexpected insight into how to run the supply chain.

Figuring why the old methods don't work, weeding them out and then explaining the new methods in non mathematical terms occupies most of our research effort.
Who'd have thought we could halve stockouts by switching forecasting off?
Or run the whole chain better on ~70% DC ex-stock availability than at 95%?
Or reduce stock and raise service level?

As general comments:-

  1. Logistics has suffered some awful mathematical blunders. There are textbook methods that don't work. Some are plain wrong, others (e.g.) don't work on slow movers. Others are good for A items and awful for B&C. And some, to be blunt, reflect better on the sales pitch than on the buyer.
    • No wonder supply chains need so much baby sitting!
  2. With 'free processing and infinite bandwidth' the supply chain should run 95%+ on auto-pilot. If it doesn't, then we got it wrong, nobody else.
  3. We've blamed colleagues and users when they can't grasp complex, 'time offset domino' supply chains. As professionals it's our responsibility to communicate in their language, not their job to understand ours.
    Their workarounds (and distrust) reflect on us, not them.

We can normally halve your stockouts on the same or less inventory. Call 01279-726806 or 07802-768078
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