Not To-Do List

Jim Klekamp

Senior Business Consultant

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed a recent trend in journalism—the "listicle." This is a combination of a list and an article, designed to grab your attention about a certain subject. Well, I think its safe to assume that everyone has heard of a “To-Do List.” I’m proposing a twist on that concept—a  "Not To-Do List." Exactly like the title implies, these are things we may be doing with our Supply Chain Planning system, but should not be.


The list below is by no means a comprehensive "Not To-Do List" and will somewhat differ by industry.

Not To-Do List:

  1. Ignore information 
    Information is a valuable commodity for any company. I’ve seen people ignore all sorts of valuable information: exceptions, "Due for Service Orders" and other various alerts in the system. This is your systems way of saying, “Please look at this. I need your input.”
  2. Fail to review your Service Level goals
    In most industries, items are frequently added and dropped. You should review your Service Level goals at least 4 times a year. Just mark your calendar every quarter.
  3. Overlook your Global Control settings
    As your business changes, your system is designed to be flexible enough to keep up. Quite frankly, most people still have the same settings from when the system was first set up. Take some time to review these settings and update accordingly.
  4. Ignore Real-Time Forward Buy and Deals
    This is money left on the table there for your asking. Previous articles have expounded that once suppliers know you have the capabilities to give them a quick answer, they will give more deals in the future.
  5. Disregard profiles for seasonal items
    By not applying profiles to seasonal items, you will likely be overstocked half of the time and understocked the other half. When reviewing exceptions, constantly ask yourself, “Would this item benefit from a seasonal profile?”
  6. Use Hold out and Reserve for additional Safety Stock
    This is a common practice for those who don’t understand the system.
  7. Click the “Reforecast” icon for no reason
    Please have a reason to click on the “Reforecast” icon. If adjustments to history are made, this is necessary. Otherwise, you shouldn’t click to see if it changes.
  8. Manually add an item to an order just to meet a bracket
    Allow the system to build to a bracket in even days of time supply. Building across all items will balance out the entire line.
  9. Using fixed Days of Week and/or fixed Order Cycles out of convenience
    These two functions are primarily used for logistics reasons. Neither function should be used with the purpose of balancing out your weekly workload.
  10. Click “Approve Order” without reviewing
    It’s a bad habit to immediately approve orders on “Due for Service Orders” when they pop up. There may be items or exceptions that need reviewing before placing the order.
  11. Forget to publish and track goals
    Goals should be communicated to the entire team and aligned with the company’s goals. This information should be reflected on the system dashboard to keep the team informed of overall success and progress.
  12. Operate in a silo
    Departments that operate in silos are inefficient and not well informed of the entire business. Communicating with sales and operations enables departments to be more agile and informed with the most precise and current information.