Handwashing, but for Your Database

2021 Prophecy – Part 1

In case you missed our whitepaper “Service Supply Chain Prophecy: 2021 and Beyond” and our webinar of the same name, we want to offer a bit of each of our prophecies here in our blog.

We centered our first prophecy around data and hygiene. (They have more in common than you think.) Who could forget all the handwashing that occurred in 2020? The phrases “Wash your hands.” and “Don’t touch your face.” might forever be ingrained in all of us, which really isn’t such a bad thing. However, I think data cleansing, along with continued handwashing, will be big in 2021.

Data cleanup isn’t a new idea, but with all the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for clean data has really become more important than ever.

Data-Driven Approach to Planning

There’s already a strong drive toward a more comprehensive data-driven approach to planning, and it necessitates that data be more accurate and complete. Newly available IoT (Internet of Things) data will allow, or force, service organizations to focus on cleaning up data that is often overlooked, or was previously unavailable. But don’t let this distract you from achieving and maintaining high-quality core master data.

Pay close attention to data that will enable a fully optimized service parts plan, such as:

  • Part and product master information
  • Installed base information
  • Service bills of material
  • Part chaining and supersession

Targeted Stocking of Proper Service Parts

These critical data elements allow for targeted stocking of proper service parts without the need for blanket coverage techniques across forward stocking locations and technician trunk stock. This will ultimately lead to better service levels with less overall inventory, as well as a reduction in excess and obsolescence.

IoT’s Increasing Role in Service Parts Planning

Availability of IoT data will become more relevant to planning operations in the long run. Make sure you have tools and processes implemented to seize this available data as these tools evolve. Data science and machine learning experts can then leverage this data into increasingly proficient inventory plans.

Tools to monitor and analyze the amount of IoT sensor-related data that manufacturers and service providers gain from installed systems will be key to making new insights available. And with that comes the ability to act on those insights. Executing and capturing this action-based data will provide the closed-loop information necessary to increase data accuracy. In essence, clean data that seemed out of reach now comes into focus.

Getting Started with Data Clean Up

Act Now:

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain

  • Start with the basic data:
    • Complete part master with accurate standard costs
    • Complete and accurate demand, not just usage, data
    • Accurate leadtimes
  • If you’re unable to immediately capture some key data elements in a current system (ERP, WMS, CRM, FSM), consider capturing it in an offline database. It’s not ideal, but better than nothing.
  • Automate, automate, automate! Ensure all relevant data is captured in an automated fashion.

Now get your water (basic data) and your soap (system to capture the data), and start washing (automating and optimizing)!

For the most in-depth look at this prophecy, be sure to listen to our on-demand webinar.

John P. Peterson

John P. Peterson III, CPIM
Enterprise Solutions Consultant

John is a supply chain professional with more than 30 years of experience; 25 years focused on the service supply chain. In 20 years at Baxter Planning, he has leveraged his expertise and experience to drive Implementations, Consulting, and Planning engagements.

In his current Enterprise Solutions Consultant role, John serves as a subject matter expert providing technical demonstrations and solutions development in support of our sales team. He continues to do extensive work on independent inventory analysis projects, to date identifying over $1B in inventory optimization opportunity alongside the opportunity to reduce service misses due to inventory shortages by over 30%. In 2019, John was named as a Supply Chain “Pro to Know” by Supply Chain & Demand Executive magazine.

Certified in Planning and Inventory Management by ASCM (formerly APICS), The Association for Supply Chain Management, John has served on the Board of the Dallas and Austin, Texas ASCM (formerly APICS) chapters.

John lives in the Austin, Texas area with his wife, Lisa, with whom he has twin sons. He enjoys spending downtime motorcycling through the Texas Hill Country, drumming, and ‘glamping’ around Texas.