Frequently Asked Questions

Can following better disciplines with my present system help me achieve what micq-if could?

There is no escaping the need for disciplines and cultural change

Whatever system you employ disciplines will be important. If people don’t trust the system, or if they need to inspect its recommendations, your inventory systems investment will fall short of its promise. If matched items are not periodically reviewed (albeit by perhaps just one person for the entire country), and if supply managers don’t periodically review supplier performance and adjust lead time and supply variability expectations accordingly, then you will not realise the benefits that are potentially possible, at least not for long.

micq-if can help you follow important disciplines and achieve cultural change

Perhaps you have to ask, if better disciplines can deliver you results, why have they not worked so far? Maybe applying the necessary disciplines is hard. micq-if has been developed to handle real situations where people might be suspicious of change and where they don’t always practise the best disciplines, so, for example it:

  • helps you track any overrides, including the responsible person, the reason and for how long any override should remain in force
  • highlights where you need to focus your forecasting and supply plan reviews, and where you can just let the system run your supply chain on auto-pilot
  • tracks activities and changes so you can focus on where training, process change and other interventions might be necessary, and … it is supported by extensive help, training and video tutorials to help you enforce good disciplines.

There are however some things that no amount of disciplines and processes can deliver

Disciplines can only deliver so much. There are some things that are simply beyond the capability of human processes. For example:

  • In a typical branch with 6,000 products, fully a third may be sold in common quantities that are 2 or greater. Recognising this from the raw retail sales data, and then maintaining the reference files is almost certainly not feasible without a lot of computer aided support. And then you throw in the likelihood that some retail outlets will sell in ‘uncommon quantities’ … it just becomes too hard when you have maybe tens of thousands of products and tens or maybe more warehouses. micq-if has however a proven record of handling these situations with little or no intervention.
  • If you are looking out over the next 4-6 months and trying to plan out when you need to ship containers, for perhaps multiple consolidated suppliers, and maybe a couple of thousand different purchase orders there are literally millions and millions of possible combinations that affect volume, weight, transport costs, carrying costs … they are beyond human comprehension. micq-if can help handle these kind of operational decisions quickly and easily.
  • You know you have an emergency order problem. The air bag bill is too high. Across millions of orders and tens of thousands of products how do you manually deduce which products need to be matched up to deliver customer solutions. micq-if can help you develop this retail sales intelligence and then apply it to your retail stock levels, so that you reduce emergency orders while still improving inventory turns.
  • You can take into account the complex set of factors which in reality need to be considered for each supply planning situation. micq-if can help you evaluate the inter-play of over twenty different factors but do so in a way that enables you to cost effectively manage a large product range.
  • micq-if can help you can conduct inventory and supply planning reviews effectively every day, but in so doing actually reduce your workload.