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  • On LinkedIn, I came across this short, one and a half minute, video on how Amazon arranges items in its prime warehouses.  These are the warehouses where Amazon stocks items in local markets for their 2- and 1-hour deliveries.  The warehouses store items randomly throughout the warehouse to minimize the time to pick.  The video... Read More »
  • When I was a planner more than 15 years ago for a consumer goods manufacturer, I approached each Monday morning with dread.  Not because I did not enjoy the company I was working for, rather I knew that I would be entering into a period of painstaking 5-Why research looking back a week to categorize... Read More »
  • The Newsvendor Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story

    Larry Snyder, Ph.D. Aug 5th, 2016
  • You Can Set Inventory Levels and Other Such Myths

    Michael Watson Ph.D May 13th, 2016
    (This article first appeared in SupplyChainDigest.) If you are like me, when you first got into the inventory field it was hard to figure out what it was planners were actually doing. When I asked inventory planners and managers what they were doing. They gave answers like the following: “We set our inventory levels to... Read More »
  • (This article first appeared at Supply Chain Digest and was co-written with Paul Brown.) When rolling out a tactical inventory planning system, there are several organizational issues you need to keep in mind.  These will matter as much as the technical capabilities of the solution in terms of overall implementation success. 1.  You may have... Read More »
  • I heard a great story on how Nick Saban’s Alabama football team wins so many games. The story goes like this:  They never focused on the outcome of the game or looked at the scoreboard.  Instead, they focused all efforts on executing the very next play.  Every play was treated like it was a game... Read More »
  • Bringing Analytics to the CFO

    Michael Watson Ph.D Jan 12th, 2016
    A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted the rising need for analytics on the CFO’s team. The article highlighted how CFO created groups for Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) that went beyond normal finance functions and helped the business run better. The article gave the example of the FP&A team at Dunkin Donuts help... Read More »
  • Ford’s $100M Inventory Solution

    Michael Watson Ph.D May 26th, 2015
    Several years ago, I worked on a technical inventory optimization project for a $1.5B consumer products company.  The CEO of this firm attended a few of the technical meetings where we were talking about things like lead-time variability and the forecast errors.  I asked him why he was so interested in this inventory project. His... Read More »
  • Using Safety Stock to Buffer Against Variability

    Michael Watson Ph.D Aug 6th, 2013
    Dealing with variability is part of creating a lean supply chain (or lean enterprise).  Ideally, you would like to eliminate the variability.  However, this is not always possible.  When it is not possible, you need to create the appropriate buffers. If you are interested in more details about how inventory can be used to buffer... Read More »