At what point does a company switch from a focus on efficiency to concentrating on effectiveness? We talk about process and performance improvement a lot, but how often do we think about what that really means?
Dropping inventory below the optimum amount causes shortages, whereas holding more inventory than necessary will result in waste. The main reason for keeping inventory is to save time, so lowering it will adversely affect the condition that the inventory is there to manage. You should go back to why you made those decisions in the first place.
Lead time is arguably the most important factor in manufacturing and distribution. To a great extent, it determines how you set up your business, what inventory you carry and where/why, what you can offer to your customers, and how agile and responsive you can be to changing conditions and changing demand.
Companies that don’t do a detailed forecast are greatly limiting their ability to marshal their resources to meet customer demand effectively. They will likely be caught with too little or too much inventory at some point, the need for expediting or overtime, and some disappointed customers and lost sales.