Forecasting & Replenishment

8th Annual Forecasting & Replenishment Forum – What to Know Before You Go

Q&A with Denise Clarke, Vice President and Owner, Care-A-Lot Pet Supply

We recently spoke with Denise Clarke, Vice President and Owner of Care-A-Lot Pet Supply, to get a firsthand perspective on how attendees at this year’s Forecasting & Replenishment Forum can make the most of the upcoming event.

Before implementing Lanham’s Advanced Forecasting and Procurement (AFP) product in January 2016, Care-A-Lot Pet Supply had no good way to forecast its inventory needs, other than using extremely time-consuming manual processes. Consequently, they struggled with managing overstock, as well as running out of product, as they tried to keep their retail store shelves stocked properly and meet fulfillment needs for online and catalog orders.

Q: Why do you attend the Forecasting & Replenishment Forums?

Continuing education is part of our company culture. We are always looking for ways that we can develop and enhance our skills. For example, we have manufacturers come in on a regular basis to train our employees on pet products so we can be 100% familiar with what we are selling to our customers. When it comes to the back office side of operations, we believe continuing education is equally important.

Once we started using AFP, we were able to efficiently forecast our inventory needs. We hadn’t been able to do that very well before. Instead, we would waste time going back over every line item in our purchase orders to see if we were ordering enough, or not enough. The productivity gains AFP provided were fantastic. Since the AFP product is so rich in functionality, we want to keep learning and growing, which is why attending the Forum makes sense for us.

Q: What did you gain from attending the Forum last year?

The three days were jam-packed with information. It was a great mix of in-depth technical information and higher-level best practices. Hearing about others experiences also enabled us to think in different ways about how we were approaching certain situations. Having an industry expert such as Jon Schreibfeder, President of Effective Inventory Management, on the agenda gave us some great perspective on inventory management concepts as well.

Q:Do you have any specific advice for Forum attendees this year?

This year I’ll be attending with two of our buyers, and I’ve told them that if they can get just one take-away from each session, they’ll be able to leave with some great knowledge nuggets that can be gainfully applied to our business.

The other advice I’d offer is to take good notes! There’s so much information provided, that this is probably my number one recommendation. The other guidance I’d give is to definitely stay all three days.

Attending the Forum is a great opportunity to interact directly with the product developers, industry experts and supply chain colleagues, and come away with a deeper understanding of AFP’s functionality as well as broader industry trends. Learning about the product roadmap is also useful in terms of forward planning. So bring your questions and suggestions and get ready to learn a lot!

Care-A-Lot Pet Supply, headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA, provides pet owners with a one-stop shop offering a full range of pet supplies, plus in-store veterinarian clinics. With three retail locations, plus a catalog and online store, it has become one of the leading pet supply companies in the nation.

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Editor’s note: The 8th annual Forecasting & Replenishment Forum takes place May 16-18 in San Antonio, TX. Be sure to register now for this three-day seminar for Lanham AFP and Absolute Value customers who want to take their forecasting and replenishment systems to the next level.

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