Safety Stock Optimization

Many of you are looking for a correct, comprehensive safety-stock calculation. My company’s approach is based on more than 15 years of development and testing. As we have learned through extensive experience, optimized safety stock requires more than a formula. We use complex demand–data modeling and calculations. We provide a service, not a spreadsheet. You send us your data. We send you the results.

Our safety-stock model is correct and comprehensive, providing optimal safety stock levels for your service-level and financial-performance targets. We include all the factors that affect safety stock and service level, and apply the proper statistical techniques to them. We do not utilize the usual stockout-event-based metric, but the same quantity-based fill-rate criterion that most companies use to measure actual service-level performance during a month, quarter or year. Our calculations represent the right-skewed and sporadic patterns typical of real demand data. Our model also includes past-due demand and its disruptions, probability of past-due-demand cancellation, lead time, reorder quantity (MOQ, EOQ, etc.), package size and reorder-review frequency. Finally, our results provide a high degree of confidence, typically 95%, of consistently achieving your target service levels without costly expediting.

For more details, see our white papers at www.topdownleansystems.com/white.htm. Page 16 of the “Common Safety Stock Calculations” white paper has examples of our safety-stock analysis. Also, see how you do on our Safety Stock Quiz, at www.topdownleansystems.com/quiz.htm.

To demonstrate the power of our approach, we would be happy to calculate and analyze safety-stock levels for a sample of your inventory items at no charge. Send me data on up to 30 of your items, and we will send you results – safety stock quantity and safety stock days for each item. Our analysis also includes each item’s range of expected actual performance for fill rate; average reorder and on-order quantities; average quantity on-hand, days on-hand and inventory turnover; average daily demand and demand activity percentage.

We require this data for each item: Item identifier, target fill rate, reorder quantity (MOQ, EOQ, batch size, lot size, etc.) or reorder frequency, package size (order multiple), lead time, probability of past-due-demand cancellation, days in actual service-level measurement cycle, and as much historical daily time-series demand as possible (three years is best, two is better, one is good). We perform extensive pre-screening on your input data to identify potential issues and to avoid “garbage in, garbage out.”

Send me your contact information via www.topdownleansystems.com/contact.php. I’ll provide you with a file containing input-data examples. Of course, I’ll be happy to explain our model in more detail and to answer your questions, at your request.

David McPhetrige, TopDown Lean Systems