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A Robust Inventory Management Solution


A Robust Inventory Management Solution

Andrew Seay shares an article on the MECE framework and how it makes large inventory problems manageable. 

How do you eat an elephant?  The answer, of course, is “one bite at a time.”  The same principle applies to all big problems, including those in the supply chain.  A $50M inventory problem is far too large to solve all at once.  Using the “MECE” framework can help.

Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive or, MECE (pronounced mee-see), is a problem-solving framework that forces sub-segmentation of a problem while ensuring that all aspects of the problem remain in view.  The framework was initially developed by McKinsey & Company in the 1960s, but has roots tracing back to philosophers of ancient Greece, including Aristotle.

The concept is helpful because it forces the problem solver to develop segmentations that are easy to differentiate and do not overlap with one another.  Through dividing the problem in this way, the problem solver can breakdown a problem into smaller, discrete and more manageable segments, while remaining confident that the segmentation retains full view of the problem.  Utilized effectively, MECE forces simplification and acts as a skill multiplier for the team.

MECE is the backbone of Seay Associates’ (and McKinsey’s) approach to problem solving and inventory management.  In this article, we’ll review the advantages of using a MECE approach to problem structuring and how it can be effectively applied to your supply chain.

Advantages of the MECE Approach

It turns overwhelming big problems into manageable small problems

The most obvious advantage of the MECE framework is that it forces us to break down big problems into discrete smaller problems.  In the example below, we’ve broken down a company’s inventory into three MECE buckets:

Key points include:

  • Maintaining visibility of the full problem
  • Maximizes capabilities of the team
  • Manageable work streams

Read the full article, The MECE Principle Will Help Solve Your Inventory Problem, on