DISKOVER closes disposition gap

Information / Communication

For items for which no normal distribution can be determined in the stock issue, distribution-free methods must be used. The “DISKOVER” add-on tool presented here can be used with all common ERP and merchandise management systems.

“We initially waited for the development of SAP APO, but we were disappointed to discover that APO does not provide suitable replenishment support for at least 25% of the articles that actually occur in warehouses and for which distribution-free processes would have to be used. In addition, APO lacks important tools for article structuring,” says Dr. Helmut Abels, Managing Director at Abels & Kemmner. For this reason, it was decided to develop an add-on tool for parameter optimization in ERP, merchandise management and PPS systems.

Results of the alpha test

During the product development phase, Abels & Kemmner used DISKOVER as an internal analysis tool for 34 consulting customers with different software configurations without a direct software connection and identified a savings potential of at least 15% for 82% of the companies examined, with 32% even achieving savings of more than 25%. The largest cluster with 43% of companies was able to save between 20 and 25%. It is therefore clear that the correct determination of the scheduling parameters is essential for economic reasons.

Why distribution-free procedures

Many of the calculation methods commonly used for inventory planning in ERP systems (mean value, exponential smoothing, MAD…) assume a normally distributed stock issue without taking the actual stock issue distribution into account. In practice, however, the distribution of stock issues varies greatly. In a study carried out at RWTH Aachen University, the proportion of normal distribution observed was only around 5%. A relatively large proportion of the observed statistical outflow distributions (approx. 25%), on the other hand, could not be assigned to any of the theoretical distribution types investigated. Naturally, users will not find instructions on how to proceed in such cases in ERP and PPS systems. For this reason, inventory optimization in ERP and PPS systems is only suboptimal. The DISKOVER add-on tool closes the gap to scientifically based optimal scheduling with the so-called distribution-free scheduling methods.

Why systematic article analysis

An article that begins its life cycle as a CZ article (low sales relevance, sporadic) may develop further into a BY or even AX article (medium to high sales relevance, regular demand), falls off again, comes back to life and at some point becomes a CZ article again as its life cycle draws to a close. It is obvious that an AX article must be planned and scheduled differently than a CZ article. Therefore, the current positioning of all articles must be permanently determined via the article structuring. As a result, the planning and scheduling procedures must be adapted accordingly.

IT facts

DISKOVER is programmed in C++. As a client, it runs on all Windows platforms. The central database server (e.g. Oracle, MS-SQL and comparable derivatives) communicates with the leading ERP system via a standardized interface.

The client and server must be configured depending on the data volume: The minimum requirements for the system are an Intel Pentium processor, 64 MB RAM, 10 MB hard disk space for the client and 200 MB free disk space on the server. The server is designed as a WindowsNT server.

Since, in Abels & Kemmner’s experience, day-to-day business often does not allow dispatchers to carry out strategic analyses or they lack the know-how to do so, Abels & Kemmner provides comprehensive support for the introduction of DISKOVER. The portfolio ranges from training to the outsourcing of strategic inventory management.

Abels & Kemmner estimate the market potential for Diskover at 30% of the market for PPS and WW systems. Abels & Kemmner are therefore looking for medium-sized software and system houses as cooperation partners who would like to incorporate the tool into their product portfolio in order to ensure rapid distribution and further development of the system.

Dr. Bernd Reineke

Dr. Bernd Reineke

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