Q. What were the key challenges of managing supply chain before you embarked on journey of implementing TOC processes?
A. The Mobile Store: Brands are continuously introducing new models. The future sales of models is unpredictable. A model could turn out to be a slow-seller or a dead item, locking both capital and shelf space. As we had limited capital, we had the challenge of deciding on future buys. At the same time, many stores were not making profits; expanding by opening more stores was risky.
Q. What are the key paradigm changes that were implemented while implementing the TOC processes?
A. The Mobile Store: The key paradigm change was to hold the stocks for immediate sales at the stores and move the buffer stocks upstream (to the DCs). We also chose to transfer inventory across stores and across DCs every Tuesday and Wednesday respectively to ensure that excess stocks moved away from low demand locations to high demand spots. This ensures lean inventory at all times; it also ensures that slow moving stocks are moved between locations rather than ordered afresh.
Q. What were the implementation challenges?
A. The Mobile Store: The biggest challenge was getting the team used to the new way of functioning. The team had to be convinced to hold buffer stocks at the DCs rather than ‘push’ them to the stores.