Fix it later. The reason why may surprise you!

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 : 0 Comments

As I mentioned last week, for many of our Pull implementation engagements, one question often comes up:  “Should we fix all of the major issues in our process before we make the big switch to Pull?”  The concern is that trying to overlay a new approach (particularly one that typically is accompanied by a reduction in inventory buffers) over an imperfect process creates a high risk for increased stock outs and a lower customer service level.  Though this concern is certainly valid, we almost always recommend taking the plunge and implementing pull first.

Here’s one reason why:

The notion that converting to Pull needs to be accompanied by a reduced inventory level is a falsehood.  We typically recommend keeping overall inventory levels stable at first (though how this inventory is allocated is often changed).  The switch to Pull is already a shock to the system.  There is no reason to introduce a second shock.  The inventory reductions will come soon enough, in a very identifiable and less-shocking manner.

Stay tuned for an even better reason next week.

Post by Charlie Agullla, VP Consulting

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