By: Avijit Biswas
22 Jun, 2021
Remember the Batman V Superman Jeep Renegade Dawn of Justice edition? Built to release with the movie in 2016 this special edition included standard popular equipment group in addition to all the Batman black. Now imagine a customer walking into a dealer store looking for replacement of its dual zone climate control. The dealer says they don’t carry it any longer and neither are they able to locate one that does.
Automotive companies where part identification and reporting diversity has proliferated across storage locations & production units lose the ability of sharing parts inventory between sister dealers. In turn this makes availability check and response to opportunistic spares sales situations super hard to service.
Customers looking to replace that climate control now has to wait for days as dealer agents navigate through store systems to confirm earliest availability.
|Part Name||Part Number||Vendor||Location||Stock(numbers)||Qty||Availability|
|Blower fan||82105-LFT||Universal Spare Parts||Everet, MA||15|
|Evaporator||CC-20167||Integrated Climate Control Systems||Roxbury||64|
|Condensing coil||30248||USP Inc.||24 Shetland St, Everett||90|
|Expansion valve||CLMT CNTR-70345||Univ. Spare Parts||Everett, MA||210|
|CC Fan||CC-82105||ICC Syst.||Wash. Street, Rox.||84|
|Cond. coil||49350||Int. CC System||Washington St., Roxbury, MA||104|
Systems unaware of alternates (after all Dawn of Justice used the same climate control as many other Jeep models) and unable to understand that Stock, Qty, Availability mean the same - have no way of responding to that waiting customer.
On the input side too, without harmonized view of inventory, centralized procurement department created to drive economies of scale, does very little in rationalizing vendors or simplifying supply chain.
It’s not uncommon to receive call from a Telco’s local sales team offering an upgrade, just a day after one has signed up for same on the web. Absence of golden record, with subscriber’s personal, service, and related information, leaves the subscriber annoyed and sales representative frustrated. B2B insurance gets complicated with different divisions and geographies buying multiple disparate risk coverage from the same insurer. Policies are often distributed via different channels that may include third party agencies as well.
|Millennial Motors||1200 Ilderton Rd, London SE15 1NP||1003-495-7680|
|MM Asia||65/1 Obudan Street Manresa. Quezon City, Philippines||Null|
|Baltasar Goncalves||MM Europe||1003-495-7688|
|Pringle Motors (MM)||Corporate Office||1003-495-7700|
Claim managers will have to struggle through these records manually - checking every address, asking colleagues, sieving thru’ past records before they can conclude that all of them roll up to Millennial Motors in London. Different policies were sold to its operating units by multiple agencies drawing from the central negotiated agreement.
Inconsistent levels of detail, missing fields or descriptions, missing or inaccurate classifications (if that at all exists) are daily challenges that operations teams across industries are living with.
Digital commerce has now made this problem truly explode. Localized field attributes is the challenge that every retailer is grappling with. The table below would give you a sense already.
|SIZE||0 1||0 2||0 3||0 4||0 5||0 6||0 7||0 9||11|
|Height||cm||155 ~ 165||160 ~ 170||165 ~ 175||170 ~ 180||175 ~ 185||180 ~ 190||185 ~ 195||185 ~ 195||185 ~ 195|
|feet||5'1 ~ 5'4||5'3 ~ 5'6||5'4 ~ 5'7||5'6 ~ 5'9||5'8 ~ 6'1||5'9 ~ 6'2||6'1 ~ 6'4||6'1 ~ 6'4||6'1 ~ 6'4|
|Chest||cm||78 ~ 86||82 ~ 90||86 ~ 94||91 ~ 99||96 ~ 104||101 ~ 109||106 ~ 114||116 ~ 124||126 ~ 134|
|inch||31 ~ 34||32 ~ 35||34 ~ 37||36 ~ 39||38 ~ 41||40 ~ 43||42 ~ 45||46 ~ 49||50 ~ 53|
|Waist||cm||66 ~ 74||70 ~ 78||74 ~ 82||79 ~ 87||84 ~ 92||91 ~ 99||98 ~ 106||111 ~ 119||124 ~ 132|
|inch||26 ~ 29||28 ~ 31||29 ~ 32||31 ~ 34||33 ~ 36||36 ~ 39||39 ~ 42||44 ~ 47||49 ~ 52|
Should the production unit treat JP XS and US XXS as 2 different ‘products’? Or should that be done at the dispatch end? Add to this the challenges of different retail chains using different expressions to count inventory – stock, quantity, qty, available units and so on. Production planning, ATP check, distribution planning have never been this complex.
Big data analytics or AI enabled decision making can be impactful only with robust data governance. And data governance can only be attempted after masters are harmonized and standardized.
Until then customers will continue to
- receive telecom sales rep’s upgrade request calls even after signing up for the same
- be surprised to know that the climate control was always available, and
- wait for insurance claim processing for weeks