Last week Slimstock hosted its inaugural inventory management roundtable in Canada at The Hilton Hotel, Burlington. Meant as a platform for networking of like-minded professionals and sharing of strategies around the science of inventory management, the event was insightful and intimate, attended by practitioners, decision makers and business owners. Chaired and moderated by Slimstock, the Roundtable touched on the themes of demand profiling and forecasting, product life-cycle management, inventory availability and shelf life.
The event started on a light note – a round of introductions and sharing of challenges faced with inventory. The participants established great rapport very quickly, and the conversations were natural and at times, even humorous!
ACROSS VARIOUS INDUSTRIES
While they were all from different backgrounds such as pharmaceutical, healthcare, retail and safety equipment, the participants had common frustrations, that is, managing short shelf lives, obsolescence, one-off items, urgent and ad-hoc requirements, S&OP processes, safety stock and working capital reduction. Mainly, everyone realized that small inefficiencies in inventory management could balloon into significant cost penalties at the end of the day.
Understocking generally means missed revenues, and in specific industries, monetary penalties will be imposed. Turning inventory over at a sluggish pace, or overstocking, will unnecessarily limit the cash flow and might push us to a position of needing to sell their stock at cost or liquidate at a loss.
The key is to minimize old stock as well as to maximize revenue opportunities by reducing lost sales.
Developing more timely and reliable forecasts can do this. Slimstock shared its Building Blocks model – strategies that participants could leverage to achieve better predictions – ensuring the right assortment mix, increasing the reliability of physical and system data, and capturing relevant planning parameters.
Overall, the Roundtable received positive and encouraging feedback, with additional wishes for future events. It was a fruitful session for all participants and Slimstock, and we look forward to organizing more sessions across various cities in Canada every quarter!