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Is your organization ready for an inventory management shakeup?

by Bridget McCrea
Contributing Writer,

Balancing inventory against customer demand is an ongoing struggle for any company that makes and/or stocks physical merchandise. Overstock and you may find yourself holding the bag on inventory that no one wants, but under-stock and your customers may go elsewhere to find what they're looking for. Even Dynamics ERP users have to take these possibilities into consideration and prepare for a number of scenarios (stock outs, obsolete inventory, etc.).

In Eight ways to shake up inventory management, business improvement consultant Dawn Kynaston calls inventory management the "eternal struggle at the heart of effective supply chain management," that organizations continually get wrong. "If they are to get it right they need to completely shake up the way their inventory is being managed," Kynaston writes.

Here are three of Kynaston's suggestions for shaking up inventory management:

  1. Understand your inventory. Trying to remove inventory without tackling the root cause is like tackling the symptoms of an illness before the diagnosis. That means understanding why it's there in the first place. "The inventory an organization holds today is typically a consequence of the decisions it made months, years, even decades ago - many of which are forgotten with the passage of time," Kynaston writes.
  2. Look to the future. "To avoid making the same mistakes as your predecessors, you need to look beyond the immediate execution window and consider all supply variables before making decisions," writes Kynaston, who adds that an integrated management process can help to achieve this.
  3. Remember the great unwatched. All too often organizations rush straight into removing visible inventory (cycle stock, safety stock, pre-stocking, and hedging stock), writes Kynaston, "when ...

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About Bridget McCrea

Bridget McCrea covers business and technology topics for various publications. She can be reached at

More about Bridget McCrea