West Monroe helped a leading retailer gain greater visibility into inventory management costs with a detailed store inventory time and motion study
Partnering with West Monroe and equipped with a customized calculation tool for inventory management, the client was able to improve processes and store operations, better manage costs and position themselves to deliver on aggressive growth goals.

The client is a leading retailer with over 700 locations across the country.

The client spends a considerable amount of effort to ensure inventory accuracy. The company wanted to get an accurate estimate of the time required to conduct a physical inventory count at each of the company’s stores. They also wanted to evaluate the impact of proposed changes to the count process on the overall count time and the inventory count accuracy.

With an aggressive growth strategy, the company wanted to control the growing costs of conducting regular store inventory counts. The client was looking to achieve the following results:

  • Get an accurate estimate on the amount of time inventory count takes at each store
  • Understand the impact of proposed process changes on the count time and count accuracy
  • Gain visibility into the main drivers and variables impacting the overall cost of inventory counts
  • Acquire a modeling tool to support decision making and process improvement initiatives

West Monroe Partners was able to demonstrate the depth of our capabilities through a number of past projects with the client. Our client recognized West Monroe Partners as an industry leader in the application of time and motion methodology. Our distinct approach together with a thorough knowledge of the retail industry proved to be the winning combination.

Our approach.
In collaboration with the client, West Monroe Partners developed a customized data collection and analysis approach that involved:

  • Review of current inventory counting methods and proposed changes to the counting procedures
  • Store observations to capture any variability in the application of the counting methods
  • Data analysis of information captured by inventory counting terminals
  • Data analysis of store profiles to isolate key drivers for the inventory count modeling tool

West Monroe Partners applied its industry-leading time and motion study methodology to execute data collection and analysis. The results were incorporated into a custom-made calculation engine for the inventory count modeling tool. The tool provided a detailed view of the inventory count time estimate for each individual store and highlighted the impact of proposed changes to the counting method.

To provide further value to our client, West Monroe Partners compiled a list of recommendations and action items around inventory count processes and procedures.

As the client opens new stores and broadens its product selection, the company’s focus on inventory accuracy will only increase. West Monroe Partners delivered our client a modeling tool to facilitate decision making and allow the company to better focus on their process improvement efforts. As a result, the client is now better equipped to deliver on an aggressive growth plan.

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