Filtering by Tag: documentation

Subtleties in lead time calculations

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

The lead time is one of the two variables, along with the service level, that are essential to optimize inventory. Yet, calculating the correct lead time can be somewhat tricky because of start-of-day vs end-of-day variations, business days vs calendar days, reordering delays, etc 


Illustration of lead time calculation when reordering delays.


The illustration shows a store reordering every 3 days with a supplier lead time of 4 days. The applicable lead time in this case is 7 days.

Check out our new tutorial for lead time calculations.

Stay tuned for more.

Categories: supply chain Tags: documentation insights No Comments

Whitepaper on Out-of-Shelf Monitoring Technology released

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

Few aspects of retailing are as fundamental as fully stacked shelves, and few concerns rank higher with an ever more demanding customer than product availability. Regardless, on-shelf availability remains a huge challenge for the industry. Growing, more dynamic product portfolios, staff and cost cuts combined with an increasingly complex supply chain have increased the challenge.

Cover of the OOS whitepaper by LokadWhile shelf availability is a top concern for customers and retailers alike, even the Tier I retailers today mostly rely on manual checks by store staff. This puts a large burden on employees, and response times to out-of-shelf situations are slow.

However, grocery retailers a crossed Europe and the US have started to explore technology that can help address the problem. With this in mind, we have published a whitepaper on out-of-shelf monitoring technology which gives an overview of

  • Objectives of out-of-shelf monitoring systems
  • Introduction to the technology
  • Definition of performance characteristics
  • Quantification of system capabilities and limitations

Are we missing some interesting aspects of this type of technology, or do you have experience with OOS monitoring systems you want to share? Please let us know in the comments.

Categories: business, insights, retail Tags: documentation oos shelfcheck whitepaper No Comments

Major documentation upgrade for Salescast

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

Our clients need better forecasts, but they also need better insights. Salescast, our webapp dedicated to retail, wholesale and manufacturing was having about 200 words of documentation, which, by any standard was thin.

Hence, over the last couple of weeks, we gathered materials, and this morning, we released about 7000 words of documentation concerning Salescast ins and outs.

First, we clarify the scope of Salescast, with special focuses on large retail networks, eCommerce and manufacturers. In short, if your company has inventory, then Salescast do apply to your case.

Furthermore, we details pros and cons of statistics. There are limits in what can be achieved through statistics; and Lokad does not come with divination capabilities.

As a rather touchy subject, we also position Salescast against our competitors. Naturally, we have a rather biased viewpoint here. So in the end, it comes down to benchmark us and see for yourself.

Also, Salescast isn't even remotely intended as a silver-bullet for supply chain. Lokad is a rather social software company in the sense it plays well with buddies, aka other complementary apps.

Nonetheless, Salescast does have some nice features on its own. It delivers Excel reports with both forecasts and key inventory optimization metrics (but you probably know that already). Just in case, here is a sample Excel report.

At this point, people typically ask How does your forecasting engine works? and How much does it cost? We already had two pages, namely Technology and Pricing, addressing those two questions, but we have tried to adopt a more practical angle here.

Once all those items are cleared, it's time to get started with Lokad. From there, you should quickly end-up with your first forecast report delivered. Expect the unexpected, forecasting is a counter-intuitive science.

Categories: docs, safety stock Tags: documentation insights salescast No Comments

New Forecasting Technology FAQ

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

Lately, we realized that the page detailing our forecasting technology was somewhat vague concerning under-the-hood aspects such as seasonality, trend, product life-cycle, promotions, ... Hence we have just posted a new extensive Forecasting Technology FAQ.

Questions and Answers

  • Nuts and bolts
    • How accurate are your forecasts?
    • Forecasting competitions, do you have any academic validation of your technology?
    • Do you evaluate the accuracy of your forecasts?
  • General patterns
    • Macro trends (ex: financial crisis), how are they handled?
    • Seasonality, trend, how is it handled?
    • Promotions, how are they handled?
    • Product Life Cycles and product launches, how are they handled?
    • Intermittent / low volume products, how are they handled?
    • Cannibalization, how are they handled?
    • Weather, how is it handled?
  • Demand artifacts
    • Lost sales caused by stock-outs, how are they handled?
    • Exceptional sales, how are they handled?
    • Aggregation, top-down or bottom-up?

Obviously, we are barely scratching the surface here. Don't hesitate to post your own questions, we will do our best to address them as well.

Categories: docs, forecasting, insights Tags: documentation forecasting insights No Comments

Tags and Events user guide

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

First of all best wishes for 2010. Lokad has been nicely growing and moving forward during 2009, we really hope to be able to move forward according to plans for 2010.

As a first token of goodwill, we have finally published the long missing User guide for Tags and Events.

Indeed, tags and events are a powerful extension of our Forecasting API, that let Lokad refines forecasts through meta-data. Both LSSC and L3C support this framework.

Tags and Events are especially useful in retail and manufacturing to better handle promotion forecasts, but also product launches as well as all sort of factors that impact the business.

Categories: developers, docs Tags: documentation events forecasting guide tags user No Comments