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Ryan Nigro

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Ryan Nigro (rnigro)

  • Email: ryann@data-profits.com
  • Nice Name: rnigro
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  • Registered On :2015-11-17 06:40:32
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  • Author ID: 3

Author Posts

Supply Chain Visibility: Are you Running the Race End to End?

How Visible are the Links in your Supply Chain?

To keep up with their customers in today’s marketplace, retailers need supply chain visibility to look closer at their entire supply chains’ performance in order to be successful. To have happy customers in today’s marketplace requires retailers to be much more responsive to their customer’s demands.

Retailers need to look end to end at their supply chain for the issues that drive their business. Having the right inventory strategy is just the start, you need to be customer centric in your execution: monitoring promotions and events and reacting to their preferences that drive business. Having the right tools in place gives you the ability to measure results and to balance the tradeoffs between: inventory, forecast accuracy, customer service, revenue, and profits.
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Seasonal Indexes Serve Up Lost Sales and Low ServiceSeasonal Indexes are a great tool that can be easily used to manage inventory and improve replenishment, allocations and new product releases. Seasonal Indexes used correctly result in sales growth and fewer out-of-stocks. Hello,Captain Obvious. The unfortunate truth is many of you fail to use seasonal indexes where you should today. The small group that does use seasonal indexes often fails to adjust the indexes when calendar events happen in different business fiscal weeks this year compared to the year the index was created. Last, Seasonal Indexes fail when you use the wrong math formula to create the seasonal index or you or your software use the wrong demand sales data to build the seasonal index. The results from these issues are out-of-stocks, lost sales and mis-spent inventory dollars. Read More

YES, Weekly Replenishment CAUSES Out-of-Stocks and Lost SalesYou believe a weekly replenishment process that includes reviewing plan, inventory, and sales to make purchase order decisions is profitable.  Some people think weekly replenishment increases turns for the business.  Your weekly review and reorder for inventory replenishment also suggests razor sharp exception management processes are in place, ready to act.  Weekly review and reorder means there is little chance for out-of-stocks or extraneous freight costs to occur. Historically, these ideas promote the belief that human review and intervention on a weekly basis is the correct and profitable course of action.

So, how is that weekly replenishment process working out for you?

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Critical Steps to Forecasting Replenishment for Demand PlanningForecasting replenishment correctly and following standardized inventory replenishment processes continues to deliver significant returns to retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers. For the retailer/ wholesaler/ manufacturer ready to move away from legacy technologies, there are huge opportunities that cost 50-90% less than legacy systems. A forecast accuracy in the 90% range we know delivers a significant shareholder value increase of 15% or more.

Several documented events support these claims (click a link): a retailer achieved a 25% inventory reduction and a 3% same store sales increase in 90 days, the sales and inventory trend continued going forward (press release), Dr. Mentzer’s 3 page story concerning a collection of businesses that delivered an average 15% shareholder value increase via forecast accuracy improvements which directly impacted forecasting replenishment, and The Home Depot Chairman and CEO, Frank Blake, specifically stated in the 2011Q4 earnings briefing that supply chain investments continued to provide significant benefits including increased turns and same store sales.
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Expert Investment Buying Tips for your Optimized Inventory Replenishment Inventory Investment Buying (forward buying) is a strategic part of the buying role that many companies don’t realize today. The truth: Investment Buying that is based on accurate demand forecasting and effective inventory optimization processes delivers significantly higher gross margins, better GMROI, and balanced inventory levels.
Buying and maintaining inventory is often viewed as a cost center and companies struggle with these 4 basic questions:

  • When do I buy?
  • What quantity should I buy?
  • When I buy, how can I balance inventory levels?
  • A vendor has offered a discount, how much more, if any, should I buy?

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Is your Promotion Planning and Execution Process Out of Date?

Promotions are Vital for Greater Revenue and Reduced Inventory

In-Store trade promotions are the lifeblood of the supermarket industry and discount retailer. Trade promotions include products featured in ads and in-store circulars, products displayed on end of aisle caps or away from their normal shelf location, and products with temporary price reductions. They create Trial and Repeat Purchases AND create all important Impulse Sales. You know impulse sales; they are all of those items you purchased that were not on your shopping list!

According to a recent study from The Nielsen Company, 42.8% of grocery purchases are sold on promotion, up from 40.8% a year ago. Drug stores, too, sell a significant portion of products on promotion, with 40.4% of sales linked to displays and/or features. Read More

Differences between Demand Forecasting and Sales Forecasting for Inventory Replenishment

Sales Forecasting is the wrong tool for inventory replenishment and inventory planning. Sales Forecasting, by its very name itself, is a measure of total sales. In our last article, we discussed that the key difference between sales forecasting and demand forecasting is whether (or not) sales data is broken out into type of sale, analyzed, and the results input into the forecasting algorithms. Sales type might include any or all of the following: regular, lost, promo, event, and close out sales. Without knowledge that sales went up or down due to market factors like out of stock and promotions, a sales forecasting system will forecast based only on the total sales. This may not be the intended goal for inventory replenishment or inventory management.

Key Limitations to Sales Forecasting

Sales Forecasting, by its very nature, doesn’t know why sales rise or fall and cannot connect events to sales behavior. For example, when sales were down 20% four weeks ago, you probably knew this was due to constrained supply which created out of stock issues. The sales forecasting system will react to the 20% drop by lowering the forecast. The resulting inventory replenishment orders from the new forecast will be low, creating a repeat scenario of lost sales again next month.
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Seasonal Index Lessons from History

Reviewing Seasonal Indexes is critical for an accurate demand forecast. Seasonal Indexes, also called seasonal multipliers, are used to adjust the demand forecast by multiplying the product base forecast by a multiplier. The effect will raise or lower the demand forecast for the time period, often a week or month. The results are often used to help calculate the inventory needed to support sales. Holidays like Easter, seasons like springtime, and events like the Super Bowl that repeat based on some factor of time are frequently better serviced with a seasonal index applied across the year.

Problems with Seasonality

The problem with seasonality is that it can change each year, and your current fiscal year may not map back to your seasonal index. Sales from the last seasonal event may impact your base demand forecast to create inaccuracy. Easter is in a different month and fiscal week this year. How did you account for the differences when purchasing Easter inventory for this year? Next year, Easter is again in a different month and will be several weeks different from this year. Thanksgiving is a holiday that based on the time of year can add or subtract a whole weekend of December holiday shopping. There are two issues that need to be reviewed and adjusted: the current year fiscal week seasonal index values and the base demand forecast. Read More

How To Get Rid of your Planners Once and for all

Demand-Driven Forecasting discussions seem to run into a debate on the differences between demand forecasting and planning. We know how new technologies have moved beyond many planner job descriptions, some still think a planner and inventory manager are the same. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the value proposition that bottom up, demand-driven retail delivers; they continue to use the old planning models and rename their process as demand-driven. I sat in on a presentation for an international retailer a short time ago. They were a mid-tier retailer with sales in excess of $500M, a strong web presence, and stores found in shopping centers and malls. Their products are purchased by male and female shoppers resulting in strong return shopper experiences and new customers which deliver strong sales growth year after year.

Attendance for our meeting included the CIO, Chief Merchant, Director of Forecasting, planners, and inventory management people. They told us their goals were to reduce operating capitol but maintain service levels for the web and store customers. The company wanted to increase turns while re-purposing the capital from inventory into new stores and acquisitions. The irony of the meeting is that while they used words like Demand Driven retail and Demand Forecasting, they were really talking about planning and goal setting. They believed that allocations were great and had never even thought of discussing top down versus bottom up as two distinctly different methodologies that are used to achieve entirely different goals. Read More

IE Business Intelligence Innovation Summit - Analytics for 2013

How to Leverage your Business Analytics to Shape Your Strategy for 2013?

Do you model your Business Intelligence efforts after market leaders? Learn how industry best-practices can transform the effectiveness and applicability of your analytics at the IE Business Analytics Innovation Summit. Business Intelligence and Business Analytics on Big Data enable companies to make better decisions and become more competitive in today’s marketplace.

As businesses look to leverage their business analysis, several common questions come up, including:

  • How can you engage senior leadership around implementing advanced analytics processes?
  • What is the role of predictive analytics in driving accountability of results?
  • Can you drive more business success through more accurate insight and use of data?
  • What methods can deliver the most effective impact on your business through analysis of data?

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