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 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

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 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

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