Inventory Skillset

A Balance to Strike

The Aera Inventory Skillset addresses complex inventory challenges, taking demand and supply volatility into account while balancing service-level goals and capital constraints to deliver optimal inventory management.

The Aera Inventory Skillset provides solutions to the challenges inherent in the complex reality of managing inventory today. With this Skillset, you will be able to meet the rising expectations of customer satisfaction and higher service levels while reducing carrying costs and loss due to spoilage or obsolescence. It also is designed to manage the disruptions with which traditional approaches struggle in a timely manner––from emerging ones like new channels and market trends to the more unpredictable events like the pandemic or other black swan situations.

With the Inventory Skillset, Aera automates data processing, dynamic adjustment of safety stock, calculations, project future inventory situation, identifying production plan adjustments to prevent stockouts and excess inventory, as well as auto-target setting at multi-echelon levels.

Aera Inventory Skillset provides planners a complete view of inventory context, expected demand, predicted lead times, and overall variability of demand and supply. The Skillset continuously evaluates inventory levels and targets against defined service levels, proactively making adjustments based on factors such as expiring inventory, new product introductions, substitutions, and so forth.

Benefits

  • Evaluates inventory conditions as often as every few minutes rather than days or weeks, allowing rapid and effective responses to not only supply and demand volatility, but also unexpected changes.
  • Improves safety stock calculation enabling carrying less inventory without jeopardizing service levels, freeing capital, and capacity.
  • Enables cost savings and improves customer satisfaction across all SKUs. With the acceleration of decision-making, optimizing inventory for long-tail items becomes a possibility.
  • Automates the process of balancing inventory, including executing corrective actions in transactional systems, allowing the management of the entire portfolio of products and services.
  • Provides an audit trail with visibility into inventory savings to date, actual and optimized inventory by SKU, or location to see how well recommendations perform.
  • Clearly explains recommendations and their rationale to be easily understood through ‘Glass Box’ analytics.

Cognitive Skills

  • Dynamic Inventory Management Skill optimizes safety stock policies down to the SKU level to establish effective inventory management rapidly, without jeopardizing the customer-defined service levels. This Skill ingests, harmonizes, and augments data across systems to provide end-to-end inventory visibility across the supply chain. By evaluating demand, supply, and performance factors for every SKU/Location in the network, the Skill identifies opportunities to recommend optimal inventory levels and service targets and can seamlessly write back to the ERP source systems for execution.
  • Stock Rebalancing Skill recommends rebalancing opportunities for inventory among distribution centers. Recommendations are automatically generated when a service risk exists, or truckloads are greater than or equal to minimum truckload configuration. By calculating actual excess stock and shortage by day, the recommendations can project the associated inventory savings and revenue at risk and execute updates directly back into source systems.
  • Production Schedule Skill adjusts production scheduled dates based on the available capacity and inventory risks, pushing back production for products with the risk of excess while pulling in the ones at risk of stockout. Recommended production schedule changes are automatically generated daily for review or automation. Decisions are then implemented for execution directly into the ERP or planning system automatically.
  • Prevent Stockout Skill identifies the best actions to prevent a stockout and recommends the best solution based on prioritization rules among all the potential options. The Skill may consider stock rebalancing, changing the production schedule, pulling-in purchase orders for finished goods, repacking products, expediting transport, or buying more raw materials when generating recommendations. Upon deciding, choices are written back into the source systems for execution.
  • Multi-Echelon Inventory Optimization (MEIO) Skill determines inventory targets at each stocking location in the supply chain network to meet targeted customer service levels. The Skill ingests, harmonizes, and augments data across systems to provide end-to-end inventory visibility across the supply chain. It is then able to optimize and recommend the inventory targets based on the network constraints, targeted service levels, and supply chain costs while providing visibility about the targeted production plan and targeted transfer plan.
  • Raw Material Inventory Skill identifies raw materials constraints for generating inventory recommendations and provides the input to the Procurement Skillset to unlock these constraints. The Skill explodes the BOM of finished goods into semi-finished goods and raw materials and identifies the shortages of each. The Skill is then able to trigger the required inventory, production, and procurement recommendations.