So much of what is a supply chain is centered upon inventory, and if you get your inventory planning right, many of the endemic challenges begin to rapidly diminish. Like so many pursuits, to achieve optimal performance, you must master the fundamentals, and inventory is fundamental to supply chain management. Arguably effective inventory planning for many is a knot tied with fine thread. Perhaps it is a consequence of continuing to employ an approach defined some fifty years ago.
Things have changed.
I think it’s rather obvious after millions invested and years of technology implementations, those who are tasked to make it happen, continue to use spreadsheets. I think it’s time to resist the Siren’s song of tech and focus upon the fundamentals. When inventory planning fundamentals are solid, organizations reduce their expensive firefighting and move toward more efficient fire prevention.
“Therefore, pass these Sirens by, and stop your men's ears with wax that none of them may hear”
I recall when just in time was the fashion du jour. Enterprises wanted to go from the mess that was just in case, to just in time. It didn’t happen. Now, the notion of transitioning from a reactive to a proactive, to a predictive model, is seducing so many who think the next shiny tech will alleviate their current challenges. The idea that an organization can go from reactive to predictive via AI or ML, is much the same as going from JIC directly to JIT. Not surprisingly, many of those who are engaging in the AI and ML conversation cannot discern or articulate the difference between AI and ML. For the vast majority, the promise of an intelligent autonomous supply chain is decades away.
Today, tech is inserted into a process, where the methodology is typically defined by the tech. In contrast, the most capable organizations follow a different approach, a defined outcome prescribes method, then the method defines the process, it is then tech is incorporated to enable and measure the process. In 2030, most will have succumbed to the siren’s song, not significantly revising an approach the industry has employed for 50 plus years, sadly most will continue to struggle as the industry’s dynamics evolve and they do not.