the logistics department at these companies, who navigates according to operational goals such as securing high servicelevels, e.g., 98% while maintaining reasonable stock levels. But there is a huge difference between a 98% service level and 100% customer satisfaction. The first is actually possible, but not until we accept that we will never reach a 100% and start to behave as such.
Fighting for each customer is in the nature of most companies, but when you have to manage thousands of SKU’s it is impossible to secure 100% customer satisfaction and very expensive to try. No matter what you do, you will always lose some customers, but wouldn’t you rather be in charge of when you let a customer down instead of trying to satisfy everyone and let random decisions dictate who you let down?
The time has long passed since marketing had any say in how logistics should optimize their inventory. My advice is to look at your data and let them guide you, as discussed in previous posts: Guidelines for product management and Classify before you act – but don’t classify without a purpose!. Analyze and differentiate your inventory policies to gain insight and fact based information that will help you to prioritize.
My guess is that you will lose fewer customers, if you decide when to say no. YOU need to be in control and not sales. If you don’t have authority to control your inventory, then how can anyone expect of you to reach your targets? But I guess that an almost 100% Customers satisfaction slogan is bad marketing.