Creating Supply Chain Excellence

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Finished Goods Inventory Management: Comparing Past Results to Today’s Outcomes

June 27, 2013

finished goods inventory managementMy history teacher used to tell me it is important to understand the past to shape the future. I didn’t know it at the time, but the same rule also applies to supply chains.

Tompkins Supply Chain Consortium’s latest report on finished goods inventory management compares past and present outcomes, which lets us see how we’re really doing today. In turn, it encourages readers to think about what they can do to make improvements in finished goods inventory in the future.

The report is based on a recent finished goods inventory management survey that was also completed in 2010 and 2012. What has changed since then?

New trends show geography plays a stronger role in controlling inventory than ever before. Companies also want to see more collaboration and shared responsibility of duties like setting finished goods inventory targets and accountability for inventory levels—to name a few.

While business conditions are not back to the levels of 2008 before the Great Recession, they are improving. One company mentioned that a swing toward higher value products helped increase its sales.

The greatest area for improvement is in process changes, but overall results show progress is being made by companies to improve finished goods inventory practices. Further reductions can also still be made in inventories, and customer service levels need improvements.

I’ve only just begun to skim the surface of these findings. I recommend reading the full report to better understand how today’s finished goods inventory outcomes measure up to past results.

After you have read the report, I’d like to hear what you think. Leave a comment below or tweet me @jimtompkins using the hashtag #talksupplychain. Were you surprised by the results? Does your organization use finished goods inventory metrics? Where do you see the future of finished goods inventory management?

Jim

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Photo Credit: Dafne Cholet

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