Between you and me, I have a big Starbucks habit. I’m not proud of it – but I do show up every day with the same order for Bob Silver and me. Starbucks, you can count on us for two venti hot drinks every day. So why were you out of cup sleeves for over two weeks in Phoenix? You know I’ll be there around the same time every day, and I suspect you know all my neighbors will be there, too.
When I think about this shortage at Starbucks, I envision their ERP screens. I close my eyes and see the item record for the sleeves and the replenishment rules. I can see their demand forecast page. I dream of the sophisticated workflows and complex calculations in the Starbucks ERP to prevent such a shortage. So, why were they out of sleeves for so long?
Software Can’t Read Your Mind
Well, we have a saying at Silverware – its ERP not ESP! The ERP is only as good as the information it has been provided. For example, did anyone at Starbucks know that Phoenix had the biggest Spring Training season ever? Did anyone inform their ERP that hundreds of thousands of coffee drinking tourists were going to hit the town in February and March? Did their ERP know that the weather this spring in Phoenix was a bit chillier than usual?
Only You Can Make Your ERP Smarter
It’s important to maintain ERP data to support changes in your supply chain. You can’t “set it and forget it”. Your ERP needs care and feeding! Here are four quick tips to make sure your ERP will keep your supply chain working!
- Did any of your customers have unusual purchases that you can’t expect in the future? Be sure to back those out of your forecast calculation.
- Does your business have seasonality? Be sure your forecast calculation adjusts for the time of year.
- Do your customers have changes in their buying patterns? Collaborate with your customers to understand upcoming changes in their buying patterns so you are not caught by surprise.
- Do you understand your vendor lead times? Periodically measure your vendors’ performance and update your safety stock and reorder cycles so you are prepared in the case of any delays.
Remember, it’s ERP not ESP! This software doesn’t have a sixth sense – only you can set the rules.
Oh – and hey, Starbucks – it’s going to be 100 degrees in Phoenix soon, so I’m going to switch to a cold drink. Be sure you have enough of those trenta cups for my iced tea!
Are you constantly running too high or too low on your inventory? Drop us a line to see how our team can help you design your replenishment strategy.
If you’re in Arizona this month, join us April 24, 2019 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM (MT) for the first NAVUG chapter meeting of the year at Microsoft!