Excellence in Supply Chain and Inventory Management

Inventory management is a key area in optimizing supply chain and effectively fulfilling customer demand. When inventory management is done right, a delicate balance is struck between minimizing holding costs and holding sufficient stocks to satisfy customer demand without any shortages.

Microcells has a loyal customer base, some of whom have been working with us for well over 30 years. Building on the trust we have built over decades, one of our old customers wanted help to optimize their supply chain and implement lean inventory management to achieve the delicate balance mentioned above.

Challenges We Faced

• Understanding the required stock levels to effectively balance managing customer demand and minimizing holding costs.

• Arranging production schedule and raw material supply chain to fulfill customer requirements in a timely manner.

• Managing logistics and associated costs over an extended period of time and arranging door delivery to the customer’s warehouses in multiple locations.

• Providing shelf-ready packaging with barcoding.

Our Approach & Solution

The most critical part of this project was to first understand the customer’s requirements and their order patterns. After a series of conference calls and emails, we requested all stock related information from our customer and also analyzed internal data relating to the buying patterns over many years. Valuable feedback was also provided by the customer as to what the trends were going forward in the industry, so that we could better anticipate changes in the product mix that we had to supply. The shelf-ready packaging requirements were also shared with us.

With all the information at hand and in consultation with the customer, fast moving products in the customer’s range together with any seasonality in these products were identified. Accordingly, our production plan was updated to prioritize these goods, making sure that excess stocks were maintained at the correct time of year to satisfy the changing demand patterns. The shelf-ready packaging prototypes were designed and manufactured in Sri Lanka and samples were sent to the customer for approval together with the labelling.

Armed with a much better idea of the monthly volumes that would be moving and planning ahead, raw material supplies were planned for well in advance to ensure no shortages and minimal changes in input costs. Several logistics solution providers were considered before deciding on the best option for a cost-effective solution, with just in time delivery provided to the customer’s doorstep in multiple locations.

All in all, we worked very closely with the customer and helped ease several supply chain related burdens off their shoulders and add value to their operations. Clear communication as well as standard operating procedures and guidelines helped smoothen the process, and aid both organizations to work as one team to successfully implement lean inventory management.