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Route to Market & Supply Chain Blog

FMCG Supply Chain Language; What do we really mean?

Posted by Dave Jordan on Wed, Mar 18, 2015

If you are honest you have probably sat bored in an airport lounge waiting for your inevitably delayed flight and listened in on a conversation. Go on, admit it! If the discussion topic is not one with which you are familiar it can be as if you are listening to speech in a foreign language. Different businesses and functions within the same businesses use a variety of words and phrases to describe what they actually do and not all are obvious to outsiders.


Here I take a look at some classic supply chain-speak. Within the supply chain community we all know what is meant by the myriad of KPIs, disciplines, skills, terms etc but what might non-supply chain people actually hear and understand?

Supply Chain – Available in many link sizes, this is what Do It Yourself (DIY) and hardware stores do.

Buying Contracts – The volume of supermarket shopping reduces.

Call-off - Cancel or postpone a sports fixture or other event.

Line Efficiency - How quickly the queue moves in the Post Office.

Changeover Time – How long it takes to select another TV channel with a remote control.

Forecast – What weather presenters try and do but usually fail.

Forecast Accuracy – How good or otherwise are the presenters?

Forecast Bias – Regularly preferring one forecaster over another.

Case-fill – Done before leaving on a vacation or business trip.

Case Packer – The person who fills the above cases before travel.

Shrink-wrap – A physiatrists’ white coat.

Customer Service Levels – How many floors there are in the shopping mall.

Out of stock – No Knorr bouillon cubes in the kitchen.

Out of stocks – Released from mediaeval public humiliation device.

Order Fulfilment – Telephone request for home delivered take away food.

Pallet – A flat wooden holder artist’s use for painting.

Pallet Space – How much free space is left for more paint on the pallet.

Pallet Utilisation – How often you use this item for painting.

Spreadsheet – Used to protect carpets when painting and decorating.

Ok, that is enough as my tongue is pressing in my cheek. Many thanks for reading this far but you probably should go and do some work now.

Image courtesy of stockimages at freedigitalphotos.net

Tags: FMCG, Dave Jordan, Humour, Supply Chain

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