draft-insightpack

InSight Pack

Keep an eye on your business with our InSight Pack

Lokad's take

Supply Chain is the heart of most businesses and you need to be in control of it. How good you are doing in terms of sales, what you have in stock, what your stock cover is, your margin, among other information are imperative to know for everyday business decisions. Improving these decisions will make a difference for your business, but you cannot optimize what you can’t measure. What you need is a health monitor that will keep you up to date with the status and wellbeing of your Supply Chain. Lokad can offer you such a tool, as well as the means to kickstart it with the help of a Supply Chain Scientist to provide you with the main dashboards and KPIs that you will need.

The Software

Lokad has developed a high-end platform with cloud computing capabilities which gives its users a wide range of tools dedicated to Supply Chain decisions and reporting. Our data storage and data processing are distributed on Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform, with algorithms that have been intensively adapted for managing inventory or situations relating to pricing. This typically allows calculations and dashboards to be re-executed in a matter of seconds to include the latest data uploads or simply to change the parameters.

The platform is built around:
  • A dedicated and unlimited data storage accessible via FTP/SFTP/FTPS/Browser
  • A scripting engine running Lokad’s internally developed programming language - Envision - that can
    • Read tables (flat text files & Excel sheets) accessible on the account directory.
    • Carry out just about any calculation that could otherwise be done with Excel, plus some advanced features such as a probabilistic forecast generator or some nonlinear problem solvers.
    • Display single page dashboards by creating and arranging various type of tiles (tables, line charts, pie charts, histograms …).
    • Produce tabular output files, like Excel sheets or CSV flat text files. Just like the dashboards, these tabular files are entirely, and programmatically, configurable.
  • An integrated data synchroniser that interfaces with the most common Multichannel Order Managers and Inventory Management Softwares of the market.
  • A sequencer that can be automatically scheduled for executing any Lokad project in the desired order at the desired frequency.
  • A user management including unlimited number of users with different possible rights of access.

The platform has been built in a very configurable and programmatic way so that Supply Chain experts can build up optimizations and reporting for just about any business case. The solution is also very flexible and can easily be adapted in order to always align the logics / reports with evolving businesses.

Read more at: http://www.lokad.com/resources

Human plus Machine

However, Lokad’s platform is nothing without a proper configuration and maintenance over time. This human intervention both requires a Supply Chain and a Data Science expertise. Supply Chain expertise because you need to understand and properly address the challenges of Supply Chains that become more complex every day (sparse demand, varying lead times, MOQs, costs of air transport vs sea transport…). Data Science expertise because you need to perform quantitative assessments that leverage the historical data, and to implement the logic that entirely automates the mundane decision-making process. In this regard, a lack of programming fluency puts any initiative at risk of excessive delays and hazardous numerical results. Programming is a skill as well as an art.

This very specific mix of skills - Supply Chain, plus programming, as well as a deep understanding of Lokad’s technology and how to make the most of it - is what our experts are specially trained for. That is why a lot of companies opt for a Managed Service, where a Lokad Supply Chain Scientist is fully dedicated to their account, implementing and maintaining the setup over time. This is the solution that satisfies most of our customers. However, given the level of dedication required from an expert, it is also an expensive solution. We perfectly understand that some of our customers, especially small companies - even when they are fast-growing - cannot afford this kind of services. It doesn’t mean that the need to properly operate and monitor their Supply Chain is absent.

This is the reason why Lokad also gives two additional possibilities to its customers: the Bare Metal Plans and the InSight Pack.

With a Bare Metals Plan, you can choose to be responsible for all the setup and the maintenance of your account. In this case, what you get is the software only (including all the features). All the programming and configuration is up to you, with the help of our public documentation. Of course, we realize that the Bare Metals Plan is mostly for the “happy few”, tech-savvy companies that will feel perfectly comfortable programming on their own, spending the time necessary to learn about Envision and making good use of our tutorials. This is not the easy way.

The InSight Pack

If you don’t have the possibility or time to implement a solution on our platform, would appreciate a bit of help from our experts, but you don’t have the resources for a full Managed Solution either, then our InSight Pack is the perfect solution for you.

With our InSight Pack, we help you getting a foot on the ladder by pre-configuring your account. The idea is to set up a limited number of dashboards on top of your data. By default, Lokad will implement standard formulas and KPIs (no probabilistic forecasting is included) but some of those may be changed to your specifics if defined before the implementation. Once implemented, these dashboards are pretty much stand-alone and we won’t provide any maintenance.

This service is adapted to companies that are looking for a light and flexible Business Analytics solution or that are interested in configuring themselves the scripts and the logics but need a heads up - it is often easier to adapt and change something rather than to start from a blank page.

Of course, a later migration to a Managed Solution is a possibility at any time. We also propose consulting hour packages to intervene on the set up at any time when light modifications are required.

Deliverables

Our InSight Pack contains the following:

  • Integration with your Inventory Management Software
  • Data health dashboards: checking the content and quality of the data
  • Dashboard 1: Reorder alerts (based on formulas adapted to your company).
    • Listing of Items (filtered or not)
    • Sales rates based on the last XX days / last year…
    • Current stock levels (on hand, reserved, on order, on backorder…)
    • Alerts based on stock levels + sales rates
    • Purchase recommendations
  • Dashboard 2: Item inspector
    • Zoom on a particular reference
    • Display of all the relevant information (attributes, stock levels, sales lines, PO lines...)
    • Charts for sales, POs, COGS (cost of goods sold), stock levels…
  • Dashboard 3: Sales report
    • Best sellers per SKU / Ref / Group / Supplier...
    • Best margin makers per SKU / Ref / Group / Supplier…
    • Browse historical data via date entries (dashboards and KPIs will be refreshed for each entries)
    • Zoom on Suppliers / Groups …
  • Dashboard 4: PO Report
    • History of purchases
    • Current open POsStock value / count per SKU / Ref / Group / Supplier...
    • Stock cover calculations
  • Dashboard 5: Stock Report
    • Stock value / count per SKU / Ref / Group / Supplier...
    • Stock cover calculations
    • Identification of dead inventory

NB: as specified above, the dashboards do not include the implementation of Lokad’s forecasting technology, which comes with a Managed Solution.

Data requirements

It is required that your data lies in a software integrated by Lokad. Please find the list here: http://www.lokad.com/integrations. If your software is not part of that list, don’t hesitate to contact us.

NB: Lokad will use your data as is. Data health dashboards will be implemented to alert you on the quality of your data and help you improve it over time if need be. However, Lokad is not responsible for improving the quality of your data. This quality can have a direct impact on the analysis and KPIs displayed in your dashboards.