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  • Writer's pictureThe Catalyst

Updated: Jul 13, 2018

Does the scenario I share in the first 30 seconds of this video inspire you or scare you?

Are you ready to stand & deliver? As this video shares the details, here is a summary of the 10 questions!


1. Demand Forecast: Are you flying solo in setting it, or inviting knowledge in from supplier & merchandising peers? Are you Co-owning the forecast?

2. Demand Profile: Hey, if 23% of your items are profiled, shouldn't about 23% of your new items have profiles? We understand there is no history, but borrow a proven profile or category-level profile for a smarter start.

3. Dem Deviation (madp): Are you confident that 20% is the best starting point for every type of item? Listen to our guidance & use our analytics to know the smart DemDev starting point for each range of forecast. Set it unique.

4. & 5. Lead Time & LT Variation: Sure, the item will fall under it's supplier, but if item level lead times are active, consider also setting a unique LTV for the item. Check those same analytics. Perhaps short LTs need a higher LTV right from the start.

6. & 7. Order Cycle & Line Cost: Adding one item to a line is no big deal, but after adding many it will be time to revisit your Ordering Analysis to see if a new Order Cycle is needed. Does this item require more effort to buy and receive? Consider adjusting the line cost for smarter order for years to come.

8. Buying Multiple: Set a smart one from the start, but as that Demand Forecast moves to a place you did not expect, be ready to adjust to a smarter buying multiple. Catalyst Portfolio analytics can help automate that process!

9. Service Goal: We expect that you probably have this one covered, however the same thoughts apply as in buying multiples. If the item moves from a C to an A item, will you remember to adjust to a smarter Service Goal? Catalyst can also help automate that process.

10. Shelf Life & Beyond: Get all of these components right from the start and avoid potholes that limit new item success.

This short HIKE is part of our New Item Excellence Trek.

Join Barry and I on that Trek here:

And now it's time for Action, because...

We Lead the Journey, but You Deliver the Results!

(Not yet live with our Portfolio Dashboards, we can fix that quickly. Ask about a free trial)

  • Writer's pictureThe Catalyst

Join us in a Journey to Unrivaled Inventory Results

We are back baby! With decades of experience guiding companies to inventory management results, we are laser focused to deliver new breakthroughs to the inventory community. Our mission, vision and direction:

We will treat you as a savvy Inventory Investor

Our journey begins! Late Packer's coach Vince Lombardi began every training camp with the statement... "This is a football"

So for all of you whose careers have been labeled as inventory management, replenishment, planning, buying, re-buying, purchasing or we want to begin by saying that we see you as Inventory Investment Managers. You are business owners with incredible influence over the success of your organization.

Selling generates revenue, but smart inventory investing generates profit!

​That was the first lesson I learned from Anders Herlitz, the founder of E3 Corporation, and it is still the foundational truth of our profession.

You are the investors of the organization with a larger checkbook than you ever imagined. The Catalyst team will help you think, analyze and deliver success like a financial analyst.

Our journey will be challenging, but very, very rewarding

We will ask you to think differently. We will challenge you to prepare for success but putting your best work in the continual refinement of your inventory components so that daily replenishment is swift, quick and routine. We will deliver dashboards and views and urge you to dig through and find your opportunities. You will see them more clearly than ever, but these exercises must be done BEFORE and not during replenishment.

You will know your NUMBERS like never before

The team at Catalyst uses Marcus Lemonis of the TV show The Profit as one of our guiding mentors, simply by watching his shows and videos. His frequent quote: "If you don't know your numbers, you don't know your business" holds true in our profession. Catalyst will work to deliver amazing dashboards so that you know your numbers and can take action on your business.

How was your service attained last period? You hit overall? Great! Now how did you do on Slow Items? New Items? Profiled Items vs Non? Slow moving Profiled Items? Long Lead Time? Short LT? High LT Variation? Short Order Cycle lines with Low LTV? Your issues are not simply with suppliers or item groups, they are in these unique inventory sectors and we will help you see them in high definition.

Prepare for unrivaled results, and prepare to collaborate at a new level

As your success grows, we want you to stop playing defense and start playing more offense. We will provide tools and education for other in the organization. We will work with you to build bridges in the form of education and dashboards.

Each week we will deliver a guiding article, usually combined with a new dashboard and educational video. We will teach, encourage, challenge, motivate, brag about your success and then always remind you that it is time to take action.

This week your homework is easy. Please provide us with any email addresses that you want to have access to our articles, tools, education and more.

And now it's time for Action, because...

We Lead the Journey, but You Deliver the Results!

(Not yet live with our Portfolio Dashboards, we can fix that quickly. Ask about a free trial)

  • Writer's pictureThe Catalyst

Now you are thinking like an Investor! Let's go beyond the ABCs of setting service goals

Yes, our Service Goal is our steering wheel for the inventory. Yes, it is our image. We need to be competitive within our industry, but you have room to insert a smart strategy also!

Keep it simple for starters & look for these 2 big opportunities

  • If you are making a ton of profit on an item, don't be out of stock.

  • If margins are razor thin, question your decisions of high service goals

We are so used to the A, B, C guideline for setting service goals that we forget the actual goals of revenue and profit. You have B and C and even D items that don't jump out at you on the sales rankings, and they are not top of mind for marketing, sales and stores, but they deliver strong profit.

This picture layers your inventory by Profit Margin and the filters and legends offer everything you need to find out one of your prize items is sitting in the wrong bucket. Spend an hour and you will boost profits enough to pay your monthly salary and beyond. That's a great feeling for an Inventory Investor!

Worried about the change to inventory? Run a simulation first

Make no mistake, this is a great education opportunity for others in the organization. Use our video or make your own. Fearful that you are turning too many goals upward? Run a simulation on them to measure the extra inventory. Compare that to the lost profit at their old service goal. Shoot us a note if you need assistance or the proper steps. Mr, Friendly has boatloads of those tools for you.

Your victories do not occur during that first hour of daily replenishment. You prove your worth during this sophisticated level of fine-tuning the key components. You are a well equipped investor and you are ensuring great success for the future of your business. Watch the video and then it's time for action.

And now it's time for Action, because...

We Lead the Journey, but You Deliver the Results!

(Not yet live with our Portfolio Dashboards, we can fix that quickly. Ask about a free trial)

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