Australian Automotive Aftermarket Magazine

Australian Automotive Aftermarket Magazine
09 August, 2017

John Allen, a Director with Horizon Inventory is publishing a series of articles in the Automotive Aftermarket magazine - the first appeared in the August 2014 Edition.

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Telematics Can Lead You to Better Inventory Levels, in the August 2017 Edition

When do we need a part in stock? Well the simple answer is when it is needed. The key now and in the future is when do we know that the part is needed, and where, and in what quantity? With apps and telematics becoming more available to help give you earlier visibility of when stock might be needed can you afford to ignore this extra intelligence?. Find out more in this month’s article.

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Why HI is not BI, in the July 2017 Edition

Inventory optimisation and business intelligence are 2 of the tools you can adopt and utilise in order to improve your inventory holding. Each one has it's strengths and weaknesses, but the main question one should ask is what solution would best suit me and my business, and which solution will best solve my inventory problem?. Find out more in this month’s article.

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Joining the Dots, in the June 2017 Edition

Establishing how to best source and distribute products through your supply chain can present many challenges. What if a product has high domestic transport costs, suggesting importing by sea as the best approach, rather than importing and then transferring via the internal supply network? Lots of decisions! They can be hard to make. Dynamic Supply Chain Reconfiguration can allow you to optimise the supply chain approach for every part. You can have different decisions for each part. It can be a lot easier to join the dots, than you might think. Find out more in this month’s article.

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When Track Conditions Change, in the May 2017 Edition

To maximise the chances of winning, an F1 car has to be set up just right. You need to balance the way all parts of the system operate together. Similarly if you are setting up your inventory system, you want to tweak your settings so that each item is set up just right at each point over time. Find out more in this month’s article.

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Tennis Lessons, in the March 2017 Edition

Anyone for a Tennis Lesson? Or rather a Lesson from Tennis? Find out how close to the lines you can go when you make the trade-offs between service levels and risk. This subject is explored by looking at some interesting statistics from the recent Roger Federer and Raphael Nadal Australian Open Final. Find out more in this month’s article.

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Forecasting slow movers, in the February 2017 Edition

Discover in this month’s article how the priority for slow movers is often not about improving Forecast Accuracy to the nth degree, but rather more about how you choose to stock the optimum quantity, and how you can do that easily for tens of thousands of items.

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Time to stand Inventory Management on its head?, in the November 2016 Edition

Inventory management is replete with lots of tried and tested practices, which are often rusted onto the framework of the way people run their businesses. They are very difficult to shift and can be very difficult to change. Unfortunately this seems to be especially true in Australia. It might be time to look at things anew and really challenge the status quo. Find out more in this month’s article.

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Culture Wars, in the October 2016 Edition

Why is it that some people can seem to work against each other and the organisation's objectives? The answer is often simple. They can! These negative behaviours can become embedded in the DNA of an organisation, and some behaviours can have such negative effects as to seriously damage profitability and return on working capital. Why worry about business models and strategies when you are in the inventory part of the business? Well that is it really – you are 'part' of a business and it is important to understand how better inventory management can contribute to the overall business. It all has to hang together. Better software and processes can of course make it far easier to translate better strategy into better policies, processes and practices. You can create the time and space to win your culture wars, not against the rest of your organisation, but with them. It all starts with leadership. Find out more in this month’s article.

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Let's be Gentle with Each Other, in the September 2016 Edition

The Bullwhip effect was first described in the 1960s. It refers to the amplification of variability as you go up the supply chain, further away from the original demand signal. The bullwhip effect can easily lead to overstocking by 40-50% and more. If it has been known about for so long, why is it that organisations and supply chains continue to exhibit such damaging behaviours and effects? Find out more in this month’s article.

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Teamwork - It Takes All Kinds, in the August 2016 Edition

Isaac Newton said "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.". It is a recognition that even Isaac Newton, one of the greatest thinkers of all time, cannot stand alone. He built on the achievements of others. When we look at a supply chain or inventory management system we may not have or need the same calibre of thinkers but we do need to build on and with the work of others. We need to build on the skills, knowledge, capabilities and personalities of all the people who manage and operate the processes and systems. Find out more in this month’s article.

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Swings and Roundabouts, in the July 2016 Edition

Variations in demand are little like swings and roundabouts. The variations in demand at a branch level can be very high, but at the DC level they can be much less. That suggests that you carry most of your safety stock at the DC level. But how much? You need stock at the branch to handle short term fluctuations. Where do you get the right balance?. Find out more in this month’s article.

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Mastering your Inventory System and Data, in the June 2016 Edition

As a skipper at sea you feel a lot better if you know that your boat is properly set up and everyone knows what to do if something out of the ordinary should happen. Being comfortable only happens with careful and deliberate preparation. If you get it right, you can engage the auto-pilot and just perform periodic checks to make sure you are keeping on course. Steering an inventory management system can be very similar. Find out more in this month’s article.

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Counting the Cost of Inventory, in the May 2016 Edition

When you add up all the components of cost involved in managing demand, supply and inventory it is very easy to see that your organisation can spend 10-20% of revenue across these processes. Is the 'stuff' getting on top of you, or are you focused on the right stuff? Find out more in this month’s article.

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Inventory Myths, in the March 2016 Edition

What are the myths surrounding inventory in your business? Perhaps it is time that they are debunked. Find out more in this month’s article.

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Effective Inventory Management, in the February 2016 Edition

When you are trying to juggle a lot, it is too easy to make bad decisions. This month’s article focuses on what do you need to have in order to have quality, timely information that you (or your systems) can act on.

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Effective Inventory Management, in the November 2015 Edition

Our latest article explores how to stack up your benefits and balance the returns from your inventory and inventory management investment.

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Emotions Affecting Your Inventory, in the October 2015 Edition

There are a lot of things to be afraid of when we manage inventory. However we can harness the fear to produce much better outcomes. This month’s article focuses on the hard side of the soft stuff... the emotions that can drive our inventory management practices.

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Be Careful What You Measure For..., in the September 2015 Edition

We all know the saying, "Be careful what you wish for, Cause you just might get it". When we don't fully explore the implications of our measurement and incentive systems we often stumble into traps of our own making. This article explores some of the pitfalls or collateral damage that can arise when we focus on an immediate reward and lose sight of the bigger picture. It also suggests some principles that ought to be considered when designing our measures and incentives to achieve optimal inventory and business results.

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Minimum Order Quantities - Can We Be Smart About Them?, in the August 2015 Edition

In a market like Australia, with so many different models of cars on the road, we have very large ranges of parts and unfortunately, because of our market size, many do not have high sales volumes. Things are not helped when many of these slow moving items also have Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs).
How can they be managed better? Find out more in our latest article.

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Inventory People - New Age Thinking, in the July 2015 Edition

With the advent of new software to better manage very large ranges of products it is time to stock of the skills and mindsets of the important people who drive the day to day operation of your inventory management system. The July article explores the kind of people you need to drive your inventory processes and profitability further.

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Inventory Discipline - The dos and don'ts of inventory management disciplines, in the June 2015 Edition

Discipline is essential to manage inventory well but maybe it’s time to review the discipline(s) we use and their effect. Read our latest article and see how good inventory disciplines can be liberating rather than punishing.

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Lucky Inventory - Getting better odds playing the aftermarket game, in the April 2015 Edition

Article Number Seven just had to be about Luck.
It is entitled Lucky Inventory and explores how you can give yourself better odds playing the aftermarket game. The article demonstrates how you can give yourself a much better chance of having the right amount of stock, and maximise your winnings.

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The Excess of Evil..., in the March 2015 Edition

The Excess of Evil: Lurking in the dusty recesses of your warehouse could well be the seeds of your profit destruction. You can work hard to accumulate profit but one mistake can dash all your hard work. This next article explores the issue of excess inventory, why it happens and how you can avoid it and how you can better manage it. If you can put together the right processes, people and systems you can keep the Evil out of your Excess and maximise your profits.

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Matched Items - Is there a catch?, in the February 2015 Edition

You know to replace a water pump you need some other parts, but does your inventory management system? This article focuses on using the information inside your ERP system to look at the combinations in which products are used or bought. Knowing this could well affect the inventory performance for a substantial number of products. Matched Items goes well beyond the traditional kitting approaches with which you might be familiar. Can you afford to not have this sort of insurance?

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2 4 6 8 - What do we appreciate?, in the November 2014 Edition

The quantity in which an item is used will often be far more important than the predicted rate of consumption. For example, if we now say that the product is sold at a rate of 0.75 units per month, and in quantities of two each time, then you would stock 2 or possibly even four. If it was sold at just 0.25 units per month, but still in twos, then you would still stock two. You can see that it makes a lot of sense to understand and use the common quantity in which an item is being sold or used, to determine the optimum inventory holding.

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Information to Manage your Inventory, It's all there, in the October 2014 Edition

If your inventory management is not running as well as you would like, you will probably find that it is not going to get better by itself, and that your ERP system already contains much of the information you need. However you do need the right tools and different ways of understanding what is needed. You might want to look at this information asset a bit differently. How much more value can you extract from it, especially if you maintain it well.

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WHY MANAGE INVENTORY’, in the September 2014 Edition

Clearly there are many variables to consider when managing inventory, ranging from your business strategy and imperatives, to the effort you put into forecasting, to how well you manage product transitions and to the way you trade-off freight and buy-breaks against processing and holding costs. In fact there are usually more than twenty variables to consider if you want to get close to having your cake and eating it too.

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FOCUSING ON THE ‘WHY’ IN INVENTORY, in the August 2014 Edition

John Allen, a founder of Horizon Inventory and thought leader in the ground breaking methods Horizon is making use of to optimise inventory for our clients discusses the reasons why holding the optimum level of inventory is important.

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