Friday, 13 January 2012

I have lost my blogging Mojo and the logistics of my underwear draw.


I am British so I don’t want to get all Austin Powers on you but I have lost my blogging  Mojo a little this week.  It has been an eventful week; it was the second anniversary of the Haiti earthquake. I still have plenty of friends out there working on the reconstruction and have lost some friends recently to violence and cholera.  We are also gearing up to back to Haiti on a short trip to shine The Logistics Project’s light on a few logistical dark corners, so we are prepping and packing and will blog more on that nearer the time.

It has been a busy week in the office to and I have to remember that there is the whole business of doing the back office work that directors have to attend to, visits to the accountant, insurers, contact and plain old paperwork.  We took delivery of an iPAd and believe it will improve our ability to give timely and effective feedback and are working with some very cool apps.  In more exciting news we have had the mock ups of our new website back from Ewan at Wangbar and these look very cool so keep an eye on our website as it will be renewed very soon....spoiler below

A sneaky peak at the new website

Whilst looking for the old blogging mojo I found myself awake at 0430 thinking about my underwear draw.  It is the top draw of the dresser near our bed and its contents tell a sorry tale of failure to observe stock re-order level systems.  I got up to make a camomile tea to help with the sleep but couldn’t help feeling that this was another logistical dilemma faced in the Lamb household.  I would need to get to grips with it, as I sat wearily in the dim light of our living room it came to me – this was all about minimum and maximum stockholding levels.

When I was a single man I had a fail-safe system for securing a steady supply of underwear.  I had what I termed “favourite underwear” and “emergency underwear”.  Favourite underwear was comfortable, functional and started life  as presentable.  Emergency underwear consisted of unsightly or uncomfortable items such as  tighty whiteys, Y fronts and Christmas theme shorts that had seams in all the wrong places.  The reorder marker for underwear usually came in the form of a slight draft as the shorts wore through in all the wrong places.  At this point favourite underwear would be retired and emergency underwear implemented until a resupply could be effected.

Just say no.....
What I found was that this system was not compatible with the married life system and underwear with more than the standard 2 holes for the leg and one for the waist count were being "prematurely" retired.  The system I was using had a very low re-order level and the uncomfortable seams of the Christmas shorts and the social stigma of tighty whiteys forced a re-order event.  Married life had reset the system:  all novelty and unsightly underwear had gone and thus the trigger for reorder had disappeared.
Things I could have taken from my career to prevent this shortfall of undies are as follows:

-          Correctly assess your maximum and minimum re-order levels, take into consideration seasonal changes.  Does the impending wet season mean you need a greater buffer stock.
          
-          Choose an appropriate trigger, the simple irritation of low stock may not always be the most appropriate re-order marker.  Sometimes an algorithm of stock over consumption can be a more effective measure.
    
-          Regularly review your operational setting, changes in output, personnel or supplier can lead to a need to review your minimum stock levels and reorder triggers.

So tonight as your jockeys (or female equivalent) fall to the floor use that as a trigger to review your min/max stock order levels.

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