ALC's LEAN Articles Series



Stock Management Learnings

7 Stock Management Learnings from the Covid pandemic

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been notable changes and adaptations in the implementation of Just-In-Time (JIT) principles and lean inventory management practices in various industries.

These changes are primarily driven by the recognition of the vulnerabilities exposed by the pandemic and the need for greater supply chain resilience. Here are some ways in which JIT and lean stock management have evolved:

  1. Increased Focus on Resilience: The pandemic highlighted the risks associated with overly lean supply chains. Many companies have started to prioritize supply chain resilience alongside efficiency. This means maintaining a balance between lean practices and having adequate safety stock or contingency plans to respond to disruptions effectively.
  2. Diversification of Suppliers: Companies have been diversifying their supplier base to reduce reliance on a single source. This helps mitigate the risk of supply disruptions if one supplier or region is heavily impacted by a crisis.
  3. Buffer Stock: Some organizations have started to maintain larger buffer stocks of critical components or materials to ensure a steady supply during times of uncertainty. This allows for a quicker response to demand fluctuations or supply chain disruptions.
  4. Nearshoring or Onshoring: To reduce the vulnerabilities associated with extended global supply chains, some companies have been shifting their production or sourcing closer to their primary markets. This trend is often referred to as nearshoring or onshoring.
  5. Advanced Analytics and Technology: Many companies are leveraging advanced analytics, data-driven forecasting, and technology solutions to gain better visibility into their supply chains. This helps in predicting and mitigating potential disruptions more effectively.
  6. Scenario Planning: Organizations are now more focused on scenario planning to prepare for various supply chain disruption scenarios. This includes conducting risk assessments and having contingency plans in place.
  7. Supplier Relationships: Building strong, collaborative relationships with suppliers has become a priority. Closer partnerships can lead to better communication and coordination during times of crisis.

What have your stock management experiences been in the last 48 months?

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