Please bear with me for a moment, this is more of a rant than anything else. I want to relay a story from today which is all about taking inventory management a wee bit too far. The situation is as follows. I had to put my Ez-Pass into my car and I did not have the back velcro strips that would stick to my windshield. For a while I would have to hold up my Ez Pass to go through tolls, not always practical. You might scoff and say “well how difficult is that?” Easier said than done, especially for the EzPass tolls were you do not have an actual toll booth, the ones on the highway that you can just drive 55 mph through. Try holding up the transponder and knowing exactly when to do so and make sure the system picks up your transponder. Trust me a $35 ticket will attest to how difficult that skill is…So my prior job was in New Hampshire (I live in Massachusetts and that is where I got my transponder). My office was close to an EzPass office. I decide to go to said office and get a fresh pair of velcro strips. So far nothing to crazy. So I go there one afternoon after lunch, wait in line, get to the front of the queue, speak to a polite woman who tells me she would be happy to give me replacement strips…so far so good. But then asks me about my transponder, so I begin to explain to her where it is registered to which she says “Oh, I’m sorry, we cannot give away replacement strips unless we have a transponder from this state to match the strips.”
What? Huh????? Is the New Hampshire inventory control of spare EzPass strips that controlled???
Contrast that with my visit, today, to the Massachusetts EzPass office. Walk up to counter, ask for two strips (btw I am all ready to explain that I am a Mass resident with Mass transponder…) to which the kind lady behind the counter pulls out a bucket of strips, takes two out and off I go. Morale of the story the transponder strips inventory management in New Hampshire is so finely tuned, that they have a perfect 1 to 1 replacement inventory level.
Seriously, it got me thinking, what in the world was that all about. How come in Massachusetts I walk in and there is a bucket of these $0.93 pieces of velcro but in New Hampshire I need a letter from the governor to get 2 replacements. Is New Hampshire managing their inventory budget down to the sub-$1 level? Is there really such a high demand for this sticky velcro pieces that they must be protected and signed for like a loaf of bread during the Great Depression?
While the influx of data and technology to measure and monitor inventory, assets, workers to name a few are constantly getting better it does not necessarily mean we must manage things to the $0.93 piece of inventory level. Then again that was New Hampshire…lots of things up there I call into question.