Friday, April 13, 2012

I Would Like to Understand How You Track Inventory

I really am beginning to really like LinkedIn.  I am finding new uses for it almost every day.  Today’s forum discussion is from Mr. A and he wants to understand how we track inventory and to know if there is a way to visually manage and monitor inventory.

This is a really good point, although I am not sure Mr. A is asking for the same reason I am answering.  That is another story, but one of the fundamental differences between a forum or written communication and verbal, in-person contact. 

So what are the contributors suggesting?

·         People are so helpful.   The first person is really proud that he “invented” graphic techniques “years-ago”.  Wow, imagine that we are getting to know someone who invented graphic techniques.  Hey we can even visit his web site.

·         The next person informs us that he has done stock analysis in different stores and recalculated reorder points based on consumption and Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) methods.  Well, there are many types of calculations based on any number of formulas.  Different locations in an operation may need different calculation methods and certainly no one way is perfect.  He is available if you want to contact him for the details.  Might be a good idea, but.

·         Next is the suggestion of a Kanban system.  Old, but reliable.  My guess is if Mr. A is asking the question the way he is, then Kanban is too much to consider implementing at this point in time.

·         Next we are told that there are a lot of software applications and different methodologies, but of course you have to be able to calculate the Return on Investment (ROI).  There are also cycle counting solutions and, on and on and on and on.  He sure seems smart.

·         Next we find out that (insert big company name (BCN)) has a great inventory management system.  Okay, I believe that, but Mr. A did not mention he had BCN and if he does not, it is not going to help him today or possibly in the future.  Oh, and a Kaizen approach is efficient.  BCN has great solutions for some organizations, but making that decision is more involved than a LinkedIn discussion will address.

·         Our next respondent notes that it is what you do with the information that is equally important.  True, why else would you bother?  He even shows how smart he is by explaining that you can identify fast moving stock and you may even need to rearrange your warehouse to optimally place those fast moving items.  Rearrange my warehouse?  Did Mr. A say anything about this?  Poor guy just wants to get a handle on his inventory.  If he is asking, then he is not the person that should be making those decisions.

·         The next guy indicates there are several ways to track inventory.  Sure, there are.

·         Finally, we here from someone who indicates these are all good points and he agrees with all of them.  He notes that the product type may influence the process to use and of course there is money tied up in inventory.   Personally, I think there is little he does not agree with.

I feel so much better now and I am sure Mr A. does too.

Do we know why Mr. A is asking about tracking inventory?  Every company that handles inventory needs to find efficient ways to count and manage it. 

What benefit would visually managing and monitoring inventory have?  Visually presenting the information has value.  Look at the popularity of YouTube and Facebook.  Pictures tell a story.

An important component in any inventory system is accuracy and tracking, both being interrelated.  From an accurate inventory comes forecasting and effective management.

Here is a point nearly every on-line forum does not deal with.  It is my point.  Did anyone of the respondents directly ask why?  Did anyone ask Mr. A what he was hoping to achieve?  What system he was using now, if any?  Was this for his benefit or senior management?

There a whole host of questions that should be addressed first.  Perhaps this is a disadvantage of on-line forums.  Everyone wants to be helpful, get heard first, have the best answer (to an unasked question), and be looked upon as intelligent.  We are all stroke deprived and need someone else to think we are smarter than we actually are.  We get beat up every day.

Dolvin Consulting works directly with your team and starts with questions, not benefits and solutions.  We first start with a phone conversation to determine if we are capable of addressing your challenges.  If we both feel that it is worth an investment of our time, we meet face-to-face.  Interpersonal communication is 70% non verbal.  We potentially lose a lot of information, if we do not do this.  This does not mean we do business together, it just means it is worth our time to sit down and find out if the solutions we have to offer match your challenges. 

No match means we do our best to refer you another resource that may be able to help.

There is no harm in contacting us today.  We are not here to sell you anything.  We are a solution provider that connects challenges and resources.  Please contact us for your consultation.

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