Glossary

Active inventory  –  inventory (stock) which likely to sell in the near future.

Continuous review – An item is ordered as soon as it falls below its reorder point, i.e. the reorder review period is zero.

Exponential smoothing  –  This is a technique for maintaining an estimated mean (average). For example, if it is used to maintain an estimate of the mean demand per month then, each month, the estimate is updated, giving most of the weight to the old estimate and the remainder of the weight to the most recent month’s demand. The weight given to the most recent month’s demand is called the “smoothing constant”.

Maximum level  –  When and item is ordered, the order quantity should be such as to increase the stock on hand of an item plus the quantity on order from the supplier minus the quantity on customer back order to the “maximum level”.

Mean  –  This is the “ordinary” average, e.g. the mean of 5, 2 and 4 is (5+2+4)/3 = 11/3 = 3.67. The term is also used to mean expected value. Under these circumstances, it is also called the “theoretical mean”.

Median  –  The middle quantity when they are sorted. For example, to find the median of 3, 1, 7, 1 and 5, first sort them, giving 1,1,3,5,7. The median is then the number in the middle, i,e. 3. If there are two in the middle then average them. For example, to find the median of 3, 1, 5 and 1, first sort them, giving 1,1,3,5. The median is the average of 1 and 3, i.e. 2.

Periodic review – Periodic listing, by the computer, of all items which should be ordered from a particular supplier at that time. The amount of time between the production of those listings for a particular supplier is called the “reorder review period”.

Reorder point  –  When the stock on hand of an item plus the quantity on order from the supplier minus the quantity on customer back order falls below a level known as the “reorder point”, the item should be ordered. This reorder point is often referred to as the “minimum level”.

Reorder review period  –  The amount of time between successive occasions on which the computer produces reordering recommendations for a particular supplier.

Service level  –  the percentage of customer demand which is supplied immediately off the shelf.

Trend  –  Progressive increase or decrease in demand rate.

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