A true story of non-availability of products.


Enough has been written about the issue of sold out at points of sale. But I want to tell you what it represents for a buyer like me, on a not so normal day.

After a long working day, I call my wife to tell her that before I got home she could buy something, either for dinner or for breakfast. He replies that a couple of boxes of lactose-free milk would be fine. I make time accounts and it is clear that I manage to buy them without problem. In addition, I arrive just in time to watch the classic on television with a cold beer, the real reason to go to the supermarket. The trancón is worse than every day, and the route that should be in thirty-five minutes, extended to an hour and fifteen minutes.

I arrive at the supermarket that is 5 blocks from my house, I hardly find a parking lot and finally I enter. After finding the milk section, because again they changed the location of the products in this supermarket, I check the gondola. Not seeing the lactose-free milk, I ask an employee if he could find what he was looking for somewhere else.

The acceptance of the exhausted

The employee with an excellent disposition accompanies me to where I had initially sought the milk. When searching in detail, without looking at me, he says resignedly "seems to be exhausted." Seriously? I tell him between incredulous and ironic. I was in one of the largest supermarkets in the country and was looking for the product of a recognized brand and there is no lactose free milk? Already with the inconvenience of the case, I decided not to buy even the beer, to "punish" the supermarket. I tell the employee “thankfully, in Colombia, the exhausted is 4%”, referring to the last official study published. He thought I was speaking in another language and he didn't pay attention to me. I leave the place, in the parking lot they ask me for the purchase ticket, and since I didn't buy anything, I had to pay some pesos. Good! I can't find what I'm looking for and I have to pay them.

I look at the nearby stores for the lactose free milk we need at home. In the fourth store I found a milk, but not the brand I was looking for. I thought for a couple of seconds, that doesn't matter, I carry it. I arrive at my house, deliver the famous milk, and get ready to watch the game. My wife says: "you forgot the brand of milk we like again". I look at her, sigh and say: I did not forget, but in a while I tell you. She looks at me and with a simple "ok" ends the conversation.

Before going to sleep I tell my wife what happened to the milk. She replied: "That is normal, one often does not find what you are looking for", which generated my interest in writing this article.

More sales with less inventory??

We get used to not finding what we are looking for and companies get used to not having availability of some products. It seems normal to be full of inventory of products that are not sold as expected. Organizations believe that having exhausted is normal and does not quantify lost profits. This opens the opportunity for competitors worldwide to meet the needs of their customers.

The exhausted ones are the consequence of operating under the forecast models, these will always maintain their probabilistic nature. The replacement for consumption is deterministic in nature and allows the availability of products. Which leads to eliminating the exhausted with less inventory. Companies from various sectors worldwide are operating with this model. Amazon has managed to position itself in the retail world using the principles of consumer replenishment. If you are looking for a performance jump in the profitability of your company's operation, what do you expect to explore this model?

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