On Time and Full – How Supply Chain & Inventory Planning Transformation Is Helping Lowe’s Scale New Heights!

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Imagine several million home improvement products – lighting, flooring, plumbing, bathing, kitchen, electricals, home appliances, home décor, etc. – kept in a huge store, almost the size of a Soccer field.

Now imagine 2200 of those stores spread across the U.S. and Canada.

That’s Lowe’s for you!

But can you imagine the complexity in ensuring the availability of the right product in Lowe’s store and online channels in the right quantities to meet customer needs?

That’s the job of supply chain and inventory planning teams at Lowe’s.

The supply chain and inventory planning teams play a vital role in driving improvement of OTIF – On Time in Full – that leads to better in-stocks, reduction of out of stock duration, as well as a reduction on the strain to our stores and Distribution Centers.

To enable such improvements, the teams are working on developing the best in class reporting and analytics capabilities that allow the teams to quickly get at the root cause of issues and proactively manage it. Besides, on-time reporting helps Lowe’s merchandising partners make key business decisions about product line reviews, business awards, etc.

As Lowe’s strives to achieve new levels of retail excellence, it’s undergoing a major transformational change. The teams here at Lowe’s are all rallying around the new mission: “Together, deliver the right home improvement products, with the best service and value, across every channel and community we serve.” At Lowe’s, we have identified four key pillars that drive our mission statement to become a truly omnichannel retailer, and one of them is Supply Chain Transformation.

“We have many capital investments to support this transformation through facilities and technology. We have a strong leadership team that is committed to building the best in class retail supply chain. An integral part of achieving our success criteria is for the vendor compliance team to develop strong partnerships with our vendors.”, says Christine Mulder, director – supply chain strategy, Lowe’s.

She further adds, “These partnerships enable the teams to identify the root cause to issues as they occur and work effectively with vendors and cross-functional teams across the organization to fix them. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this team and define and develop a best in class vendor performance program.”

Lowe’s in India is hiring vendor compliance analysts. If you are interested in this role and wish to apply, click here.

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Another important aspect of the supply chain equation is determining the best way to flow goods into Lowe’s stores and help improve supply chain efficiencies that enable cost savings. That’s the role of Merchandise Logistics Management and Supply Chain Planning teams.

Greg Riser, director – merchandise logistics management at Lowe’s believe that merchandise Logistics management teams are key for improving inbound flow from suppliers to Lowe’s distribution centers and stores.

He says, “Merchandising logistics management analyzes the inbound flow based on complex analytics that impacts channel selection, inventory placement decisions, supplier ship-point optimization, freight mode selection, freight ownership that is informed by merchant and replenishment business parameters and service expectations.

Likewise, the Supply Chain Planners enable Lowe’s to manage the inventory depth and flow timing for the assigned business area.” He further adds, “Together these teams improve the service, cost and inventory levels through operational excellence, and hence are so key to Lowe’s.”

Take your career to the next level. Be part of Lowe’s and work with the team that manages and plans the supply chain and inventory of a Fortune 50® home improvement business that impacts the lives of over 18 million customers served every week!

Lowe’s in India is hiring Supply Chain Planners. If you are interested in these roles and wish to apply, click here.