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Supply chain and inventory consulting

Supply chain strategy and design

If you are selling or providing goods, your supply chain can be either a critical source of competitive advantage or a strategic weakness. Deciding how and where you source, manufacture and distribute your goods has a major impact on multiple sources of competitive advantage, such as speed to market, cost, agility and resilience, as well as the ability to innovate rapidly and differentiate your offering.

nVentic helps organisations define their supply chain strategy and then design the supply chain to best deliver on that strategy. A key priority is supply chain risk. The wrong strategic decision can lock organisations into situations that are difficult and expensive to escape. nVentic’s structured and data-driven approach allows different priorities to be balanced in an objective way, removing politics and emotion from the discussion.

Supply chain and inventory optimization

Whether you have a narrow objective to reduce inventories, or broader objectives to improve different aspects of supply chain performance, we believe that a deep evaluation of your inventory position is the best way to start any supply chain transformation. Inventory sits at the heart of supply chain and is both a symptom and cause of your supply chain performance. Having too much or too little inventory drives supply chain inefficiency, while in turn inefficient supply chains deliver too much or too little inventory.
Inventory process landscape
Our standard approach is to start by extracting large volumes of granular data from ERP systems and evaluating inventory levels using advanced scientific approaches. Since we have automated this evaluation, we can provide organisations right up front with insights into their biggest opportunities to reduce shortages and excess stock levels, delivering a range of quick wins. We then work with clients to identify and address the root causes of those sub-optimal positions. Every organisation is unique, so priorities and opportunities differ for each client, but typically, over the course of a substantial transformation, the following process areas will be addressed:

  • Supply chain planning
How are inventory policies and target stock levels set, what material resource planning (MRP) strategies and tools are being used? Usually high value/volume items are well managed, but item proliferation means that significant potential for improvement exists elsewhere. In addition, too few MRP strategies are being employed, often incorrectly, and blanket approaches, such as targeting X weeks’ cover, drive both excesses and shortages.

  • Sales Inventory and Operations Planning (SI&OP)
This is the critical process for balancing supply and demand, but it is difficult and labour-intensive to do well. A robust and granular data basis, such as that provided by our evaluations, can transform SI&OP performance.

  • Procurement, both strategic and operational
Procurement has a key role to play in minimizing inbound lead times, reducing risk and reducing minimum order quantities (MOQ’s). We help clients identify key risks, target lead time reduction efforts, and perform enhanced total cost of ownership (TCO) exercises to better align Procurement’s incentives with the rest of the Supply Chain

  • Production management
Production is critical for work in progress (WIP) inventory in particular. Inflexible schedules and an excessive focus on avoiding changeovers create internal bullwhips. A greater focus on inventories and the application of lean techniques like single minute exchange of die (SMED) enhance agility and resilience

  • Forecasting
In a first instance, we look at how forecasts are used. We help clients understand where forecasts are adding value and where they are destroying value. Once this is well understood, different forecasting techniques need to be applied to different situations

Our approach can be applied to individual facilities or across multi-echelon networks. For improvements to be sustainable a high degree of knowledge transfer is required and this is at the heart of our consulting approach.

We help clients better understand the optimization principles in play and how to take advantage of them in pragmatic ways.

We help clients get more value from their existing technology, which is often complex and hard to apply in many circumstances.

Our front-line consultants, who are all supply chain specialists, have access to fast analytics and a formidable bench of expertise. Our preferred way of working is to deploy small teams of consultants to work with in-house client teams. This maximises the sustainability of the improvements made.

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