Welcome to part 2 of my blog series where I look back to my days as a purchaser and my experience with Lanham Demand Planning. You can find part 1 here.
It had only been a week and a half since we went live with Lanham Demand Planning (AFP) and I felt like my world had been turned upside down. Unlike most times, this was a good feeling to have.
Each day I walked into work knowing that I had a ton of work ahead of me, but I wasn’t stressed, and I no longer had that dreading feeling that it would never be completed. Instead I felt at ease knowing that each day brought us closer to our goal. Every morning I came in and reviewed the overnight processes to ensure they ran without errors. After that I began updating and/or creating BOM’s (Build of Materials) for items that were set as assembly yet had no BOM entered. After I had reviewed this, I worked on what the company was most excited about, the Buying Calendar.
This is where all the fun is. Here I pick a vendor and location that I would like to review. Once I create a suggested order, which are based on our historical sales data, I begin the task of reviewing each item. This system is looking at all our data to see how many times an item was sold in a month versus how many we bought and when we should buy them. Before demand planning, we were doing this all manually. Not only was this highly time consuming, but there was so much room for human error. Now the system does this for us.
One thing that I personally love about this system is that it will inform me if we have “excess” inventory in another location. Since we have three warehouses, this is huge as a customer may only want to ship from one location for whatever reason. As many of us know, budgeting has become a huge part of our jobs and the fact that this system will tell me if another location has excess allows me to plan spends better, as well as allowing my financial planner to plan and adjust our budgets as needed.
I knew this was only the beginning, and that we still had a ton of clean up ahead of us, but with each day our data became cleaner and allowed us to get deeper into the program. I look forward to keeping you posted with new and exciting changes as they happen.
In the final blog of this series, I will take a closer look at where we were at 8 months after implementation.