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Aug 12, 2020

supply chain science

Pricing Practices for Supply Chain Software

From exorbitant one-time licenses to hidden maintenance fees, it seems like navigating the range of approaches to pricing software can often be somewhat of a minefield. Here, we explore some of the main approaches and learn more about the bad practices to look out for.

Aug 5, 2020

What is Supply Chain?

From a company perspective, while dealing with flows of goods, supply chain is the mastery of optionality when facing variability. This episode focuses on what the term ‘Supply Chain’ means, and what are the organisational implications of this definition.

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Jul 29, 2020

The Importance of Network Design

The very design of a supply chain network has a huge impact on inventory optimization. For this episode, we're delighted to welcome Pinak Dutta, Head of Network Optimization at Spreetail, to discuss what constitutes good design and how organisations can exploit this to improve their inventory allocation.

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Bill of Materials in 3 minutes

A bill of materials - which is more commonly referred to as a BOM - is a list of the raw materials and associated quantities that are needed to manufacture, assemble or repair an end product. Much like a list of ingredients that a chef would use to make a recipe, a BOM provides us with a compact inventory-oriented representation of the requirements associated with an end product.

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Jul 15, 2020

Event Sourcing for Supply Chain systems

When relational databases emerged in the 70’s they provided a breakthrough for companies to turn their supply chain digital, decades before the 'digitalization' buzzword. However, event sourcing has now emerged as a more manageable, more reliable and more scalable way to design supply chain systems compared to the relational design. At the core of this revolution, a perspective on reality itself which is too frequently under appreciated by supply chain practitioners.

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Jul 9, 2020

Walmart forecasting competition - post game analysis

A forecasting competition based on Walmart store data ended June 2020. Lokad ranked 6th out of 909 teams. In this episode, we have a closer look at this unusual sporting event, and what it takes to win such a competition. We are joined by Rafael de Rezende who was leading the Lokad team in this competition.

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Jul 1, 2020

Better Data for Better Forecasts

Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic character Sherlock Holmes famously said ‘it is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data’. We certainly agree, as data is the foundation of any optimization process. Here, we discuss what companies that collect data can do and tackle the myth that data has to be "perfect" for a machine to be able to work with it.

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Safety Stock in 3 minutes

In inventory control, there is a financial trade-off between purchasing more inventory and the cost of a potential stock-out. The more stock you have, the more working capital is needed and with too little stock on hand there are potential sales that can be missed, and even entire production processes that could be interrupted.

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Jun 17, 2020

Open-to-Buy

Open-to-Buy is a budgeting and planning process that is commonly used in the fashion industry to drive purchasing decisions. In this episode, we discuss why this approach is so popular and discuss whether modern technology can provide alternative approaches to keep up with the ‘fast fashion’ culture.

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Jun 10, 2020

Early Signals and Forecasting

With a product's success so often relying upon the latest trends, the ability to capture initial demand and detect new crazes is becoming increasingly sought after. Here we discover whether the rise of social media means that forecasting these trends is now possible and what companies can do to react based on early signals.

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Jun 3, 2020

Assessing Supply Chain Software

Market analysts and consultants can be a useful aid in assessing the multitude of different supply chain software. However, too frequently, those 'experts' hide behind weak and irrational methodologies, instead of providing opinionated insights which would require a lot work from them. Far from being irrational, high-quality subjective reviews nearly always outperform cheap and naive methodologies.

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Inventory Turnover in 3 minutes

Inventory turnover is a popular inventory management concept that is used to determine the overall efficiency of an entire supply chain. The ratio reflects the number of times inventory is replaced during a given period of time, and can give a useful indication of both trends and how well a company controls its merchandise. Numerically, it is calculated as the ratio between the cost of goods sold, divided by the cost price of the average stock level over the same time period.

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May 20, 2020

Decision First Supply Chains

Supply chains have historically been built with forecasting at their centre, with the actual decision making process left to the intuition and experience of senior staff. We explore the alternative approach of putting ‘decisions first’, and how this philosophy vastly improves the supply chain performance.

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