In May, R.L. Polk & Co. announced the winners of this year's Polk Inventory Efficiency Awards: Toronto-based manufacturer Mevotech and distributor Performance Warehouse.
Were there any notable trends among this year's batch of submissions for the Inventory Efficiency Awards?
One of the key things we've seen recently is that there are more and more people focused on local demand, and on understanding the key differences in regions and uniqueness of local demand. That guides the decision on where to put inventory, based on their understanding of the local market, right down to the store.
That's intuitive on the distributor or retailer side, but it even extends to manufacturers, who are taking into consideration more and more not just the national movement expected for a part, but what is going on at the local level.
What were some of the factors that led to the selection of Mevotech and Performance Warehouse as this year's winners?
Mevotech really looked across their entire supply chain for improvement. They really took a holistic approach, and that was what caught the eye of the selection committee.
One of the things that stood out for Performance Warehouse was that they implemented a tool that went across their entire organization, from the main warehouse to the DCs to the stores, to match inventory to local demand. That was key.
Are there any planned changes for the awards or submission process for next year?
One thing we've talked about, and I don't know if this will happen or not, is we are looking at extending the definition of the award to the total supply chain. That's one of the inputs we've gotten from the selection committee, that if we highlight the entire supply chain it could bring in a lot more examples of business results other than those related to inventory.
The other piece is a global emphasis. We're continuing to try and expand our communication with the entrants, so they will share the inventory improvements they are making on a global basis, not just on a regional basis.
Subscribe to Aftermarket Business World and receive articles like this every month….absolutely free. Click here.