Inventory Optimization at Procter & Gamble: Achieving Real Benefits Through User Adoption of Inventory Tools
Over the past 10 years, Procter & Gamble has leveraged its cross-functional organizational structure with operations research to reduce its inventory investment. Savings were achieved in a two-step process. First, spreadsheet-based inventory models locally optimized each stage in the supply chain. Because these were the first inventory tools installed, they achieved significant savings and established P&G's scientific inventory practices. Second, P&G's more complex supply chains implemented multiechelon inventory optimization software to minimize inventory costs across the end-to-end supply chain. In 2009, a tightly coordinated planner-led effort, supported by these tools, drove $1.5 billion in cash savings. Although case studies show the mathematics employed, of equal importance is the presentation of the planning process that facilitates inventory management and the decision tree that matches a business to the optimal inventory tool depending on the requirements of the business. Today, more than 90 percent of P&G's business units (about $70 billion in revenues) use either single-stage (70 percent) or multiechelon (30 percent) inventory management tools. Plans are underway to increase the use of multiechelon tools to manage 65 percent of P&G's supply chains in the next three years.