Published Date: Dec 2023


The Covid-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented supply chain disruptions globally which has forced companies across industries to rethink their inventory management strategies. One strategy that has gained significant traction is moving to a global pag base stock model. In this article, we explore what pag base stock is, how the pandemic impacted traditional inventory models, and why companies are shifting to pag base stock.

What is Pag Base Stock?

An increasingly popular inventory management strategy is called pag base stock or target inventory. Under a pag base stock model, companies set a target inventory level for each product or stock keeping unit (SKU) at each location or distribution point in the supply chain network. The target inventory level is called the pag base.

Inventory is replenished up to the pag base as items are sold or used. The goal is to maintain inventory levels between a minimum and maximum range. When inventory drops below the pag minimum, a replenishment order is triggered to bring the level back up to the pag base. This helps ensure availability while avoiding excess stock above the base.

Benefits of Pag Base Stock

Compared to traditional replenishment methods like order point/order quantity that focus on economic order quantities, pag base stock has several key advantages:

- It balances inventory availability with efficiency. By maintaining consistent stock levels close to customer demand, items are readily available while excess inventory is avoided.

- Network responsiveness is improved. With targets set at multiple points, the system can quickly respond to changes in demand or disruptions anywhere in the network.

- Forecasting is less important. Pag base levels act as buffers so minor forecasting errors don't cause stockouts or excess stock. Replenishment is triggered simply based on inventory deviation from targets.

- It's simple to understand and manage. Setting target inventory levels for each location is intuitive for supply chain teams versus complex formulas in traditional models.

- Adaptability to disruptions. Pag base targets can easily be adjusted up or down based on external factors like demand shifts, supplier issues, or other changes.

How the Pandemic Impacted Inventory Models

The unexpected demand patterns and supply constraints caused by the pandemic exposed deficiencies in traditional just-in-time and efficient replenishment models used by many companies. Complex supply networks were disrupted, causing shortages, delayed orders, and other issues.

At the same time, shifts in demand caught many off guard as sales of some items like groceries spiked while others like apparel declined sharply. Stores struggled to keep shelves stocked and customers satisfied. This demonstrated the need for inventory strategies with more flexibility and resilience.

As the disruptions stretched on, it became clear pre-pandemic models leaving little inventory buffer were no longer viable. Companies had to find new ways to secure supply continuity, maintain availability for customers, and better absorb uncertainty and change across global operations.

Heading Towards Pag Base Stock

Faced with these new challenges, some forward-thinking companies decided to transition parts of their supply chains to a pag base stock framework. Setting target inventory levels regionally or locally offered several key advantages:

- It distributed buffer inventory across more points to withstand any single failure or shortage in the network.

- Regional and site-level managers had autonomy and responsibility to fulfill customer demand from their own inventory pools.

- Targets could easily be increased or decreased at any location based on changing demand signals or supplier constraints.

- The system as a whole became more resilient and adaptable to volatility while still maintaining efficiency through consistent inventory levels.

Some notable companies that adopted pag base stock strategies include Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, and others. Their supply chain leaders reported significant improvements to availability, service levels, and overall network responsiveness post-implementation.

Ongoing Adoption of Pag Base Stock

With pandemic-related disruptions expected to continue in the coming years combined with trends towards increased demand volatility and complexity, many experts believe pag base stock will become the dominant inventory framework globally. Its decentralization, flexibility and focus on maintaining consistent availability align well with current supply chain requirements.

Moving forward, companies are expected to apply pag base stock principles not just for raw materials and finished goods but components and sub-assemblies as well. Optimization of target levels using advanced analytics will improve inventory turns while maintaining high fill rates.

Pag base stock also offers opportunities to streamline procurement through more consistent replenishment signals to suppliers. Overall collaboration between manufacturers, retailers, 3PLs and others on pag base stock implementation holds potential for mutual benefit.

As supply chains remain under pressure, pag base stock provides a robust yet agile approach for industries to secure supply continuity, deliver on customer service, and weather ongoing uncertainty in the years ahead. Its adaptability and resilience will drive continued widespread adoption globally across multiple sectors.