UST improves and optimizes inventory planning for global distribution company
After decades in business, this multination distribution company operates in over 50 countries. With nearly 1,000 employees, the company generates more than $3 billion annually.
Needed to unlock data from Blue Yonder demand and fulfillment application
The company’s purchasing department had difficulty getting analytical insights from its Blue Yonder demand and fulfillment (D&F) application. With more than 1,000 inventory SKUs at each of its eight distribution centers, the purchasing team could not easily pull data from the system to accurately predict demand. As a result, the company kept losing potential sales because products weren’t available when and where customers wanted to buy them. They lost money from surplus inventory that didn’t sell or had money tied up in safety stock. The purchasing team wanted to integrate its Blue Yonder D&F system with Tableau to create custom analytical dashboards with summary data and drill-down capabilities to better understand demand and make better purchasing decisions.
Delivered three intuitive analytics dashboards to improve demand forecasting
UST integrated Tableau with the company’s Blue Yonder D&F system and Oracle database. Blue Yonder hosted both systems in its cloud environment, adding a layer of complexity to the project. Regardless, in just a few months, the UST project team delivered three dashboards:
- A forecast accuracy dashboard - to allow the purchasing team to immediately understand forecasting data from week to week
- An inventory/safety stock dashboard - to see where inventory was located across the company’s eight distribution centers and to help optimize safety stock product levels
- A lead-time dashboard - to help the purchasing department factor product lead-times to forecast data and understand which suppliers delivered rapidly or slowly
Immediately reduced safety stock inventory levels and saved millions of dollars
Once the new dashboards were in place, the purchasing department reduced safety stock levels at each distribution center - saving the company millions of dollars. UST further helped the client identify poorly forecasted products, distribution centers, and suppliers. With these analytical insights, the purchasing team could implement inventory optimization strategies, like setting KPI thresholds to improve demand planning and customer service. The company expects to realize additional cost savings and revenue improvements.