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Customer Care

Supply Chain Expert Focuses on Inventory

Weighing supply and customer satisfaction

Published: Wednesday, November 30, 2022 - 12:00

(LMA Consulting Group: Claremont, CA) -- As supply chains grapple with demand fluctuation, supplier challenges, stagflation, and volatility in the economy, Lisa Andersonmanufacturing and supply chain expert—sees inventory tightening.

Also the president of LMA Consulting Group, Anderson says, “The supply chain has been front and center since the beginning of the pandemic, when toilet paper highlighted the importance of a reliable supply chain. Volatility in supply chains has caused chaos in every industry.

“Now, the emphasis is on inventory. Building inventory was important when supply chains were trying to regain a semblance of order. Yet, in haste to build inventory, sometimes the wrong inventory was increased, the right inventory was in the wrong place, profitability was sacrificed, or all of the above. Whatever the situation, inventory is now a key focus.”

Organizations are taking a hard look at existing inventory, customer demand, and profitability to remedy and balance inventory.

“Companies need to reshape their operations and supply chains by right-sizing inventory levels,” Anderson says. “The trick is to cut inventory without impacting customer service or cutting performance or profitability. Volatility in the economy will be the reality for the foreseeable future. Those who have processes in place to evaluate customer demand, create accurate forecasts, position capacity, and plan production to capitalize on opportunities that exist will have a huge advantage.”

Anderson and her firm use sales and operations planning to capitalize on opportunities while maintaining organizational alignment.

“Pencils and erasers, Excel spreadsheets, and gut instincts no longer work,” she says. “Manufacturing today is complex. Customers are sophisticated. Their needs and wants change depending on the end user. It is up to manufacturers to anticipate change, plan for it, and be able to change at a moment’s notice. Processes can provide data, consistency, and order to the many moving parts in the supply chain.”

Anderson provides supply chain updates through Supply Chain Chats, a series of short videos that address current topics, issues, and challenges related to supply chains.

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For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.