Getting started with Lokad

Quantitative Supply Chain can deliver more for your company’s supply chain than you think. However, unlocking those benefits requires effort and commitment. Lokad delivers not only the necessary technology, but also the expertise that your company requires. Take advantage of our free consultation with a Lokad supply chain expert to learn more.

Do. Or do not. There is no try.

Lokad provides both a software platform and a team of supply chain experts. Both focus on delivering the benefits associated with a successful quantitative supply chain initiative: less stocks, less stock-outs, less inventory write-offs, etc. The benefits associated with quantitative supply chain are substantial, and typically go beyond what companies expect from a solution that optimizes their supply chain.

However, unlocking those benefits takes effort and commitment. Half-hearted attempts involving proofs-of-concept (POCs) or small scale pilots invariably fail. Unlocking benefits means learning how to do things differently: if your supply chain remains completely unchanged, there is no hope of improving anything. This learning process takes time: a few weeks at the very best, but usually a couple of months.

If your company can’t commit itself to a supply chain initiative that will last 6 months, then we suggest to step back and reconsider. Either your supply chain is only considered to be a second-class citizen for your business and does not warrant such an effort, or your supply chain is critical and the stakes are high enough to make it worthwhile.

Expand your horizons

Supply chains are overrun by outdated ideas such as the ABC analysis, safety stocks, EOQ formula, median daily / weekly / monthly forecasts and manual correction of forecasts. All those ideas date back to a time when computing resources were scarce: either because calculations were done by hand or because computers were still in their infancy.

Computers have improved so dramatically over the last decades that all supply chain challenges should be revisited with a fresh perspective of near-unlimited computing resources. In fact, nowadays, when software is done right, the goal lies in always knowing what to do with the processing power, and not the lack of said processing power.

Most supply chain solution vendors tend to disclose next to nothing on their website. Lokad is different. We have invested significant effort in making our supply chain materials public - on our very website. We therefore suggest that you spend some time browsing our website, and really hope that this time will be well-invested; even if you don’t adopt Lokad in the end.

Managed or self-service

Lokad comes in two flavors: either pure software or software+experts.

Lokad’s pure software option is aggressively priced compared to other notable supply chain solutions. However, the pure software platform is actually the expensive option from a TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) perspective as it means that the whole implementation of the solution as well as its maintenance have to be managed by your company. But having the right solution is not enough and having an excellent data analyst is required as well. This approach is typically favored by either large companies that can afford their own data science teams or by small tech-driven companies that are used to internalizing this type of advanced data analytics.

Lokad’s software+experts option comes with a higher price tag. However, the cost of the software is dwarfed by the cost of the expert; just like the cost of an accounting firm depends on the hourly fee of the accountant, with the cost of the accounting software having little impact on the actual fee. In addition, from a TCO perspective, the software+expert option is not only cost effective, but also typically results in higher ROI. In reality, the supply chain expert, extensively trained by Lokad and assigned to your company, benefits from an experience gathered from dozens of businesses similar to yours. Such experience is hard to replicate for our clients internally. This expertise not only boosts the supply chain performance that is delivered, but also shortens the time frame of the implementation as well.

Get a free consultation with a supply chain expert

In order to help you and your company to get started with a quantitative supply chain initiative, Lokad offers you a free consultation with a supply chain expert. To make the most of this consultation, we suggest that you gather some information upfront so that we can provide you with more precise guidance.

The ambitions or pain points of your company. Quantitative supply chain is both a technology and a methodology that intends to deliver measurable supply chain results. Yet, ambitions tend to vary from one business to the next. It helps to have a detailed overview of your company’s ambitions, instead of sticking to the usual challenges such as less stock, less stock-outs. Providing us with a brief description of your supply chain topology - stores, warehouses, plants, etc. - is also helpful.

Key supply chain figures. Approximate numbers are good enough, but we do need to know the scale of the problem. Dealing with 100, 10k or 1M SKUs requires different approaches. The same goes for SKU rotations - depending on whether each SKU rotates with 100, 10k or 1M units per year, the solution is unlikely to be the same. Knowing your inventory value, inventory days and service levels will help us to clarify the picture further. Don’t hesitate to bring your own KPIs to the consultation if you consider them to be aligned with your business.

IT systems and processes. The optimization of your supply chain depends on the data that is found in your company’s IT systems. Getting a good picture of the IT systems that power your company helps to identify the challenges that might lie ahead of the initiative. Also, gaining understanding in your current supply chain processes helps to pinpoint the areas where quantitative supply chain is most likely to deliver significant ROI.

Book a call with a supply chain expert