Intensive Inventory Management

Unlock Your Inventory’s Potential

Course Overview

This program will help you transform your company data to meaningful, actionable results using inventory management best practices. This program deals with STOCK processes such as inventory stratification, forecasting and replenishment. Inventory stratification is the process of classifying items into a certain number of categories so that managing them day-to-day does not become unwieldy. The stratification process is usually not well-defined or given due importance, and it often gets over-simplified. When appropriately used, it can play a pivotal role in defining policies and procedures for other inventory management processes such as forecasting and replenishment. You will get hands on experience performing inventory stratification, analyzing demand patterns, applying various forecasting methods, evaluating forecast error to choose the best method, and deciding ‘what to order?’ and ‘how much to order?’. After this program, you will be able to use the tool that you develop during this course to implement best practices right away.

Transform your company data to meaningful, actionable results, using inventory management best practices over this four day journey.

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Who Should Attend

  • Inventory Planners/Buyers
  • Inventory Managers
  • Purchasing Professionals
  • Supplier Relationship Managers
  • IT Professionals and Business Analysts
  • Category / Product / Brand Managers
  • Anybody who manages inventory in your firm

What can you do immediately after the course

  • Increase service level and inventory turns
  • Proactively identify new items to stock
  • Reduce obsolescence and right-size inventory investments
  • Improve forecast accuracy through focused forecasting
  • Optimize safety stock investment and item profitability
  • Understand demand and supply variability
  • Effectively redeploy slow-moving inventory


"Through knowledge learned from the inventory management program, attended by all our management and key salespersons, we have reduced our total inventory levels by
over 20%."

Brent A. Burns, Building Materials Distributor

Course Outline

Motivation and Trends

Inventory management is a no brainer. Inventory is one of distributors largest asset, if managed poorly will lead to significant decline in profitability and customer service. World-class distributors receive a 300% or better ROI on their A and B item inventory (based on gross margin contribution). No other investment can give a greater return, so a reduction in inventory to invest in other forms of business does not make sense. How do they achieve these numbers?

Inventory Stratification

Customer service often drives large, inefficient inventories in an attempt to be all things to all people. Shareholder value seeks to carry only profitable products, at reasonable levels (asset efficiency), producing maximum sales (cash flow), while also increasing market share (growth). A properly executed inventory stratification will ensure shareholder value and direct all purchasing decisions towards the firm’s financial strategy. An example purchasing scheme might be to carry “A” items with a solid safety stock, carry “B” items with a limited safety stock, “C” items with no safety stock, and eliminate “D” items.

Demand Classification

Not all items can be forecasted. Before you decide on which products to forecast, learn how to analyze product demand better. This will let you know which items are stable (easy to forecast), moderately stable (can be forecasted with consistent human input and additional tools), unstable (very difficult to forecast).

Forecasting Methods and Accuracy

If the system forecast is not trusted, people will deploy inventory to protect against stockouts. Nobody knows the true cost of a stockout, but everyone agrees it far exceeds the cost of inventory. This problem is the number one cause of excess inventories and customer service failures. The distributor has only so many resources it can apply to serve the customer. Ineffective forecasting guarantees there will be too much inventory in some products and customer service failures in others. “Train, Train, and Then Train Some More” is the key to improving forecast accuracy.


The most difficult purchasing process to understand is setting the Reorder Point (ROP) also known as the “min.” The ROP will constitute the vast majority of the distributor’s inventory and will determine the most important critical success factor, customer service.Using a hands-on approach learn – 1) What to buy? 2) When to buy? And 3) How much to buy? This decision if not executely properly will lead to excess inventory or stockouts.

Implementation and Roadmap

It’s time to move away from the “gut-feel” and “art” approach to inventory management and adopting a scientific data driven comprehensive and holistic approach. You will be given a 12 step prescriptive plan to implement inventory stratification right away.

Course Packet – Tools and materials

What will you receive at the program?

What do you need to bring?

Slides as a course booklet

A laptop with Microsoft Excel installed (version 2007 or higher)

Workbook for exercises and activity

Inventory data from your firm for hands-on activity

Optimizing Distributor Profitability Book

Key inventory metrics that you track at your firm

Certificate Plaque


Course Instructors

Barry Lawrence, Pradip Krishnadevarajan, Senthil Gunasekaran

Course Timings

Day 1: 8:00am-5:00pm
Day 2: 8:00am-5:00pm
Day 3: 8:00am-5:00pm
Day 4: 8:00am-5:00pm