Kele Sr. Director of Supply Chain Operations
As Kele promised in 2018, we have begun to stock select inventory closer to our customers in the Northeast. What does this mean for you if you are located in the region? Above all, you will experience the same high level of service you do today but with an added benefit: increasingly faster delivery.
We spoke with Duke Rogers, sr. director of supply chain operations, to find out how the operations team approached the initiative and what is in store for 2019.
Q: Duke, what drove the overall process from an operations standpoint?
A: We feel like we have a good understanding of customers’ unique needs to get parts, scheduled deliveries, and packaged solutions fast. This has been Kele’s business for decades. That was the goal but in the context of a particular region of the country. Now that Kele has dedicated resources in the region, it is easier to do so in a way that is mutually beneficial to Kele and our customers. The key driver of our process was that, in addition to moving products closer to customers in the Northeast, we sought to think strategically about what products they might need and let that create the foundation.
Q: To that point, how did Kele decide which products to add to the in-stock inventory in the region?
A: We looked at our data to drive the initial selection. Kele does have a sound grasp of the industry, given our history and track record of helping customers win with the right selection of parts—be that for break-fix or large project needs. However, this initiative could not be built on “gut feeling” alone even if it is an informed one. Data drove our decisions.
Q: What data points did you focus on?
A: We analyzed historical demand to determine the products and what the forecast should be. We also reviewed what is being purchased from Kele—popular products—right now and across the last several months. That is how we prioritized the selection. Moving forward, this data will also help us determine the right mix, inventory levels, and what to add or replenish.
Q: Generally, what will be available to customers?
A: We want to get the most popular SKUs stocked in our Boston location. The plan is to stock products that fulfill the top 80% of orders coming out of the region. Once again, data analysis drove this and will continue to do so in the future.
Q: What should customers in the Northeast expect going forward?
A: We’ve completed the first step in the process by building solid momentum toward our Q2 goal. Customers can expect more orders to be filled and arrive sooner. We are currently satisfying orders daily that meet set criteria. Going forward, we will monitor the SKUs and shipments and adjust inventory as necessary. Ultimately, customers in the region should expect even quicker access to the products they need. The Kele operations team is excited about making this happen.
Stay tuned for more information in 2019.