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Inventory decisions are not made by systems or proce­dures, they are made by people. We need to hire intelli­gent people, train them, empower them to solve problems, and compensate them for their contributions. In this case, not all of our people are equal. Earlier we talked about ABC classification. We could say that a few senior executives are our "A" employees, not many of them, but they earn a lot of money and have a lot of clout. "B" employees might be our middle management and supervisors, and "C" employees might be our non-exempt work force. Unlike traditional ABC analysis, we probably need to pay more attention to the Cs than the As or Bs. Remember that good inventory management is based on good inventory control. It is our Cs, our re­ceiving clerks, material handlers, production techni­cians, and shipping clerks, who manage the daily transactions that link the real inventory to the perpetual inventory. We need to ensure our Cs have all the train­ing, tools, and enthusiasm they require to maintain very high inventory record accuracy. We also need to train and empower our Cs to make good inventory manage­ment decisions so our customers don't have to wait while the decision gets escalated to some A or B executive.



The cliche "last but not least" comes to mind. Last in our supply chain from vendor to customer, our distri­bution channel is possibly our closest direct link with our customer. If we have made all the right inventory decisions so far, let's not drop the ball now. If we own the distribution network, let's ensure it's an integrated part of our inventory system. If our distributors don't work for us, it is critically important to us that they strive for the same high level of inventory management and control. Earlier we discussed the benefits of treating our suppliers as partners. The same applies to our distribu­tors. Let's bring them into our inventory management system. Let's use "concurrent distribution engineering" to mutually develop a total inventory system that willprovide the highest level of customer service

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 14

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