All Things Inventory

Sara Hoormann Principal
Read Time: 3 minutes apprx.

Inventory plays a critical role in any organization. On the one hand, it enables companies to meet customer demand and associated service commitments; on the other hand, it ties up a good deal of cash. Planning organizations often spend countless hours attempting to ensure that the right inventory exists at the right place at the right time. Because of all this, companies often turn the focus of their continuous improvement initiatives to inventory first.

The team here at Opex has spent a considerable amount of time researching, applying and writing about ‘All Things Inventory’ over the years. Below is a great catalog of our work that practitioners can use to refresh their knowledge and perhaps even learn something new they can apply within their own inventory strategy and planning processes:

An Introduction to Buffers:
Using Safety Stock to Buffer Against Variability by Mike Watson
3 Types of Buffers by Mike Watson
What Makes a Good Inventory Buffer by Mike Watson

A Look into Ongoing Inventory Planning:
You Can Set the Inventory Levels and Other Such Myths by Mike Watson
4 Things Nick Saban Can Teach Us About Inventory Planning by Mike Watson
6 Organizational Issues in Tactical Inventory Planning by Mike Watson

Applying Different Inventory Models:
Extra! Extra! Here’s What You Need to Know About the Newsvendor Problem by Larry Snyder
The Newsvendor Doesn’t Tell You the Whole Story by Larry Snyder
You Don’t Need the Optimization in Multi-Echelon Inventory Optimization by Mike Watson
How You Should Be Using Multi-Echelon Inventory Tools by Sara Hoormann
Reinforcement Learning Explained Using The Beer Game by Larry Snyder

Technical Research Papers on Inventory Optimization:
Bullwhip and Reverse Bullwhip Effects Under the Rationing Game by Larry Snyder
A Tight Approximation for an EOQ Model with Supply Disruptions by Larry Snyder
Centralization vs Decentralization: Risk Pooling, Risk Diversification and Supply Chain Disruptions by Larry Snyder
Infinite-Horizon Models for Inventory Control Under Yield Uncertainty and Disruptions by Larry Snyder
Inventory Systems with Stochastic Demand and Supply: Properties and Approximations by Larry Snyder

Inventory Solutions:
The Impact of Inventory and the Number of Warehouses by Mike Watson
Ford’s $100M Inventory Solution by Mike Watson

The landscape of the potential for Inventory Solutions continues to evolve and so does our study and application of new concepts. Because of this, we are spending this first quarter of 2018 releasing new assets on our work as well as running three Opex Analytics Academy sessions focused solely on inventory. The goal is to help attendees better understand the science behind inventory and how trends in machine learning will begin to touch inventory in the near future. We will also provide practical tips for building an inventory process that is right for their businesses.

Sign up to join us:
January 31st – The Science of Inventory Calculations and Optimization
February 21st – Machine Learning, Inventory Optimization and The Beer Game
March 21st – Scaling Inventory Solutions with Machine Learning and Good Design

You can also subscribe to our Blog to receive notice of all our new content: Opex Analytics Blog