Supply Chain Blog

Paws for thought: FMCG Inventory Shrinkage and Control

Posted by Dave Jordan on Wed, May 29, 2013

Do you find yellow dog biscuits stuffed in your window frames?

Well, I’d expect such occurrences to be as rare as a squirrel with a nut allergy but I find it all the time. The house in Romania has mosquito nets on the windows as the summers are rather hot and the little blighters bite with pure human hatred.  The nets slide up and down between 2 small, vertical brushes on either side of the window to make them impregnable to blood seeking buzzers.

Within these brushes is where I find yellow dog biscuits. Not brown or red or any other colour, only yellow canine munchies. You might presume that our half Jack Russell-half Mr. Bean dog Mr. Patch is responsible. Is he hiding them away for a sneaky midday or midnight snack? Does he know about some impending global dog chow shortage? I doubt Mr. Patch is the culprit as some of these windows are 7 metres off the ground and our dog is yet to work out how to find and climb a ladder and then put the ladder away.

FMCG Stock inventory controlSo, how do the biscuits find their way into my window frames? Not surprisingly perhaps, the biscuit thieves are birds; magpies to be exact. I guess they are storing up for a rainy day or winter or some other event. They are known to be attracted by shiny objects but I cannot see the connection with a fairly bland crunchy snack. Also, as Mr. Patch eats inside the house they cannot be my/his biscuits so the magpies are stealing them from another poor dog in the area.

The house has many windows so the amount of stolen food is quite high and as I now regularly clear out the stash the amount really starts to add up.  Some pooch somewhere is not getting his or her full share to eat. That poor dogs’ human probably thinks their poodle is really content and eating well when in fact a magpie is regularly taking the yellow biscuits away. Of course, maybe the poodle doesn’t like the yellow ones but as dogs see in black and white and seem to eat anything I doubt this is the case.

Ok, what do we have here and what is this to do with Supply Chain? This is what is happening:

1.      1. The Supply Chain is not secure as stock shrinkage is occurring on an almost daily basis and nobody appears to notice.

2.      2. Stock is in the wrong location to serve the needs of the intended customers and consumers. When you have stock in the wrong places you will inevitably develop an overstock in your Producer network.

3.      3. Consumer demand is artificially high resulting in over-stocking and unnecessary spend along the chain.

4.      4. Ultimately, the consumer is receiving poor Customer Service.

About the only aspect impressive in this is the quality of the logistics in getting the stolen biscuits from a dog bowl into my window frames. I will keep a look out for any stolen jewellry but I fear I will only have biscuits to clear away.

Image courtesy of bplanet at freedigitalphotos.net

Tagss: FMCG, Logistica Management, Dave Jordan, Supply Chain, Inventory Management & Stock Control