Resources

The Environmental Case for Optimization

The Environmental Case for Optimization

Climate change and sustainability is increasingly becoming a central element of commercial decision making. In June 2019, the UK parliament passed legislation requiring the government to reduce the UK’s net emissions of greenhouse gases by 100% relative to 1990 levels...

Don’t Just Manage, Optimize: Minimising Risk and Waste

Don’t Just Manage, Optimize: Minimising Risk and Waste

As we close out 2021 and look to 2022 it’s clear there are increasingly tight margins for profit and error. Consumers are demanding shorter delivery times.   Retailers are placing a greater premium on service levels.  Costs are rising, inbound and outbound logistics...

Sense and Sustainability

Sense and Sustainability

In April 2021 the UK government set the world’s most ambitious climate change target into law to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. The climate change agenda is hot news and despite protests from various organisations dividing public opinion,...

Navigating the Perfect Storm

Navigating the Perfect Storm

If managing inventory can be challenging at the best of times, it can be debilitating at times of local and international disruption. Manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and other companies that deal with household products, cosmetics and toiletries, office...

Becoming the Supply Chain’s ‘Most Valuable Player’

Becoming the Supply Chain’s ‘Most Valuable Player’

You can be the ‘All Star MVP’ in achieving supply chain excellence. You just need the support of the right information, tools and players.  The barriers to excellence Everybody is aiming for excellence – delivery of the right product, to the right customer, at the...

Better Methods to Boost Sales

Better Methods to Boost Sales

Consumer spending is increasing and given it is driving over a quarter of GDP growth this year, it is an important sign of economic life picking up as restrictions ease. In fact, the CBI is forecasting that the UK economy will return to pre-Covid levels by the end of...

Inventory Strategy in Uncertain Times

Inventory Strategy in Uncertain Times

For many businesses, the cash tied up in stock can be 20%, 30% or even 40% of annual turnover. When considering those amounts, even seemingly small inventory management decisions can have a far-reaching and compounding effect across the organisation and on the bottom...

Creating the Space to Plan

Creating the Space to Plan

Talking to manufacturers and wholesale and distribution companies has made it clear that there are several consistent trends at play at the moment. Competition is fierce Everyone is working hard to get their products to market, including suppliers and competitors....

When Results are Delivered, Do We Question the Approach?

When Results are Delivered, Do We Question the Approach?

When embarking on a journey somewhere, do you create a detailed route plan in advance or just set off in the general direction and rely on signs along the way to get you to your destination? Most of us probably combine the two approaches – we tend to take a look at...

Delivering for New Retail Trends

Delivering for New Retail Trends

The shopping centre giant Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield have carried out research on the impact of the pandemic on the future of shopping. Westfield’s study, which polled 2000 UK consumers and 500 UK retailers, identified a range of trends: One of the five key areas of...

Take Stock of Your Inventory!

Take Stock of Your Inventory!

It will come as no surprise to hear that having control of your stock is critical to success and yet many in wholesale and distribution don’t go beyond the fundamentals of stock management and are losing out.  We know that the golden rule calls for the right product...

Why Robust Merchandise Financial Planning is Critical

Why Robust Merchandise Financial Planning is Critical

Failing to plan is planning to fail.  You’ll have heard that one before. The sentiment behind it is why we all plan for success. But all plans are not created equal, some are absolutely better than others. They’re easier to produce, deliver better results and drive...

Responding to Disruption

Responding to Disruption

When you’re driving, your journey feels smooth thanks to your car’s suspension working to absorb any shocks from bumps in the road. The same applies to your business – if operations have started to feel smooth over the last few months that’s likely down to your...

Minimising the Cost of Uncertainty – Scenario Planning

Minimising the Cost of Uncertainty – Scenario Planning

‘Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth’ – Mike Tyson Plans are easy to come up with. The challenge is ensuring that they are good ones – able to withstand tests of turbulence and unexpected shocks. There are lots of signs to keep an eye out for as...

Demand Variability – Risk or Opportunity?

Demand Variability – Risk or Opportunity?

Unpredictable patterns of demand create challenges for managing inventory. These primarily manifest themselves in either excess inventory or issues with fulfilling service levels.  Demand variability is a constant, there’s no way to predict with absolute certainty...

Cut Stock-Outs by 10–25% and Improve Service Levels

Cut Stock-Outs by 10–25% and Improve Service Levels

The last year has been defined by disruption and volatility. The unprecedented rate of change seen in consumer behaviour was a large factor. Looking ahead, there’s no tipping point on the horizon that will cause future prospects to settle into a predictable rhythm....

Reduce Obsolete Stock Write-offs by 5–20%

Reduce Obsolete Stock Write-offs by 5–20%

When excess inventory is managed effectively and stock levels are reduced, surplus no longer accumulates. A reduction of obsolete product means you can avoid selling off stock at a discounted price, or worse, writing it off entirely.  Preventing this situation keeps...

Release 15–25% of Your Cash from Unnecessary Safety Stock

Release 15–25% of Your Cash from Unnecessary Safety Stock

How do you consistently achieve high service levels without carrying large volumes of safety stock for each inventory item? Hitting those rates of order fulfilment starts with inventory classification. Like so many models, the wholesale and distribution approach is...

Inventory Optimization – The Impact on Your Bottom Line

Inventory Optimization – The Impact on Your Bottom Line

We frequently talk about inventory optimization in terms of the ways in which it can help you better manage your supply chain. Perhaps you think of it as a ‘nice to have’ approach, something to incorporate in the future. You’d be wrong. There are quantifiable, in some...

Heads Up: Successful Forecasting and Demand Planning

Heads Up: Successful Forecasting and Demand Planning

What’s the state of your inventory management today? Are you reliant on spreadsheets, snapshots and individuals’ knowledge? Or do you have a near-time view of all activity that automatically prompts planners, buyers and the rest of the team, allowing them to run with...

The State of S&OP in 2021

The State of S&OP in 2021

Even before the crisis emerged in 2020 and forced them to take action, organisations had started to recognise and experience the many benefits of optimizing their S&OP process. In the main, this was as a tool for balancing supply and demand. Now, as we shift to a...

2021 Wholesale / Distribution Benchmark – Early Findings

2021 Wholesale / Distribution Benchmark – Early Findings

Our wholesale/distribution benchmark survey is based on the anatomy of a world-class wholesale distribution firm.  Participants score their organisations against the statements that a world-class organisation would use to describe themselves and their operational...

Can We Talk About Recovery Yet?

Can We Talk About Recovery Yet?

The journey ahead might be a little bumpy, but there are signs we’re on the road to recovery. According to a Financial Times poll of more than 90 leading economists, it will take at least 18 months for the UK economy to return to its pre-pandemic size. They also...

2020 – That Was the Year That Was

2020 – That Was the Year That Was

And what a year it was! Across the board, businesses had to deal with demand shocks and everyone had to adapt rapidly to uncertain and dynamic circumstances in order to survive. Ultimately, the experience has shifted the approach organisations take to planning. Demand...

Peak Trading 2020 – Initial Thoughts

Peak Trading 2020 – Initial Thoughts

In the week immediately after the typical Black Friday/Cyber Monday peak shopping weekend, it’s interesting to consider the ways in which things are looking different this year. The usual push to consumers started early this year and it’s likely to continue for...

Are You Experiencing More Business Pains Than You Should Be?

Are You Experiencing More Business Pains Than You Should Be?

Every company experiences various pains – you could say it’s one of the costs of doing business. But are the difficulties you’re ignoring holding you back from becoming a world-class wholesale organisation? Acute vs chronic Given we regularly discuss the state of your...

Inventory Health Part 3: Increasing Stock Turn

Inventory Health Part 3: Increasing Stock Turn

Having considered the importance of relationship management and using your team’s knowledge to look behind the numbers, we’re going to consider the vital statistic for inventory health: stock turn. The rate at which your business turns its stock is a crucial indicator...

Inventory Health Part 2: Knowledge Matters

Inventory Health Part 2: Knowledge Matters

Strong management of the complex relationships and moving parts that determine inventory health requires quality information and proactive decision making. We looked previously at the importance of freeing your team from laborious tasks and equipping them with...

Inventory Health Part 1: People Matter

Inventory Health Part 1: People Matter

Strong inventory management was a key element in our focus on recovery and resilience. We’re going to take some time to consider this in more detail as inventory health is one of the most important aspects of supply chain management. With valuable resources tied up in...

Recovery and Resilience: Looking Ahead

Recovery and Resilience: Looking Ahead

As we’ve discussed over the last month, the supply chain is the engine of any retail and wholesale business model. When things are not running smoothly, the operation is stuck in a lower gear and the only way to create organisational resilience is to take steps to...

Recovery and Resilience Part 2: Reducing Excess Inventory

Recovery and Resilience Part 2: Reducing Excess Inventory

We’re taking some time to focus on key challenges to your organisation’s resilience. As we highlighted last week, in order to increase resilience and build the momentum required to promote recovery, vulnerabilities around the supply chain must be addressed. The most...

Recovery and Resilience Part 1: Tackling Demand Fluctuation

Recovery and Resilience Part 1: Tackling Demand Fluctuation

Our ebook, Shifting Through the Gears, considers the supply chain as the engine of the retail wholesale business model. Some organisations are stuck in low gear, with the engine operating at high revolutions just to move forward.  Businesses operating in the higher...

5 Supply Chain Trends in 2020

5 Supply Chain Trends in 2020

Supply chains are always evolving to meet company needs and bring about greater efficiency. And though 2020 has introduced new challenges for supply chains — all but stopping them in many cases for a number of months — general evolution in this space is not stopping....

Making the Right Inventory Optimization Decisions

Making the Right Inventory Optimization Decisions

The success of inventory optimization – and ultimately, positive customer service – relies on a multitude of decisions. Choices are required at every stage of the process to ensure not only that the right products are in the right place, at the right time, but also...

Access the Value of Inventory Optimization

Access the Value of Inventory Optimization

There is a large difference between managing and optimizing your inventory. ERP systems can track items; provide the data required to analyse sales and inform the process from initial purchase order to payment, but they can’t handle supply chain optimization.  ...

There’s no ‘I’ in S&OP.  Are you missing a trick?

There’s no ‘I’ in S&OP. Are you missing a trick?

Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) gets a lot of attention in tough economic times.   Given the volatility caused by the recent crisis it’s an essential process and everybody will be scrutinising their plans and forecasts right now as the future they had...

Safety Stock: What Is It and Why Is It So High?

Safety Stock: What Is It and Why Is It So High?

Whether you're new to logistics or a veteran, safety stock is an important concept that many people can be confused about. As a simple explanation, safety stock is an extra amount of stock that is maintained to mitigrate a risk of stockout. That is all well and good,...